A while back, Rob made a comment about dating fat girls. It was his perspective that it was a dangerous proposition because if they lose their weight, they would dump you flat.

Back when I was working at Mindstorm, there was a young woman that was a receptionist for a time. She was a bit pudgy, but she knew what to do with the pudge to minimize its impact and make it work for her in her own way. The consensus among the single guys I knew there was that she was cool and cute but they didn’t know if they would actually date her.

It was apparent that she put more than a little effort in her appearance. It was no accident that she found clothes that minimized her weight and she found a style that very much worked for her. It was probably not lost on her that she was a receptionist in a building 85% staffed by guys, some of whom made pretty good money and who were members of a group known for being less particular.

I think of the receptionist because she was what struck me as a romantic marketeer. She was out there to get the absolute best guy that she could get by whatever criteria she used.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that. We all do that in our own way. If Clancy had met someone with all of my strengths but minus a few weaknesses who was just as into her as I was, there’s a good chance that she would have picked him. And vice-versa. I say “a good chance” because at some point I do think that chemistry takes a role.

But there is a group of people that takes it to the next level in a particularly cutthroat sort of way. The kind of person that, if they lost weight, would not hesitate in the slightest going for an upgrade.

Sheila talked of guys that are like this. Whereas guys that can’t afford to be too particular like to say that they would make better boyfriends to attractive girls because they will be more grateful to have an attractive girl, sometimes that’s just not true. Once they achieve one level, the next level up seems within grasp.

And the same is true of many women, including the receptionist. It was hard not to notice the extraordinary attention that she would lavish on what could easily be perceived as higher-status guys. Guys that were pretty much out of her league. But she would still entertain guys that were less desirable. I couldn’t escape the sense, though, that if she were ever with the latter and got an opportunity for the former, that she’d jump ship at the opportunity.

I could be wrong, though. It’s possible that she was just indulging the guys that I would put in her station and would never go out with them because she has what I would consider to be excessively high standards.

It’s hard to pick the marketeers out from the rest. Because people don’t let their own insufficiencies in the romantic marketplace keep them out of the game. Even ugly people would prefer not date ugly people. It’s something that ideally people move beyond. But a lot don’t. And when it comes to people that were in the lower circles of 6-12, there is a certain void in their self-esteem to fill. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the worst marketeers I know are people that were late entrants into the dating arena.


Category: Coffeehouse

About the Author

Will Truman (trumwill) is a southern transplant in the mountain east with an IT background who bides his time taking care of their daughter while his wife brings home the bacon. You will probably be relieved to know that he does not generally refer to himself in the third-person except when he's writing short bios on his web page.

11 Responses to Romantic Marketeers

  1. Maria the Lurker says:

    Is it really that easy to “trade up” once you’ve become emotionally entangled with someone? That is what I don’t like about the bio-reducto-sphere: it never considers intangibles like loyalty and love in the equation. Everything is reduced to cheap and easy evo-psych motivations that don’t seem to really apply to the real world I live in and work in everyday.

  2. rob says:

    Wow, I remember saying that. But I don’t remember being that categorical, or sounding like such a bitter asshole. I totally remember saying that I wasn’t an angel, and affirming every one’s right to leave a relationship for any reason or none (exceptions excepted.)

    Maria, probably not that easy. She spent a while moving away emotionally, and at least in retrospect I feel she used and mistreated me. OTOH, our feelings in retrospect are heavily colored with retrospect and current mood, and yet I would never date anyone who reminded me of her. At least I hope I won’t, I don’t have a great track record of judgment.

    I’m probably pretty close to what you (maybe) think of a bio-reductionist. Do we eat food because it tastes good, or because of heavy selection pressure over deep time to do it? If you say both, you’re a reductionist too. It would be absolutely amazing if had emotional reactions that weren’t contingent on lots of things. Love and loyalty are internal: not eternal. People fall out of love, become disillusioned with people and things they were once loyal too…But you totally new that. And you’ve never meet anyone who was a social climber, ever?

  3. Peter says:

    Did the receptionist’s strategy actually work, in other words did she end up dating higher-status men?

  4. Maria the Lurker says:

    But you totally new that. And you’ve never meet anyone who was a social climber, ever?

    Career climbers, yes, but I’m not sure about social climbers. The reason I posted is because I was involved in a five-year relationship that was going nowhere, but very hard to get out of, emotionally, even though I had “higher status” dating options.

  5. trumwill says:

    Rob,

    Your characterization is accurate. I wrote this post on a plane and didn’t track down the original comment, which is here. A more accurate characterization is that dating a fat girl can be dangerous. I remembered it wrong.

  6. trumwill says:

    Maria,

    I completely agree with you on the bio-reducto-sphere. I think it’s often a case of people mistaking cynicism for insight and worldliness.

    That being said, there are climbers out there. In love, we try to catch the best person that we can. If we suddenly have all sorts of other options, it becomes a matter of how strong the ties that bind are. A lot of love-as-office people will simply select the most qualified person for the position. A lot of relationships never had the right foundation. Some people are just schemers. But a lot of people, I would even say most people*, once they’ve found someone and become attached to them are not interested in trading up.

    * – Divorce rates are skewed by people that get divorced multiple times. Just because half of all marriages fail doesn’t mean that half of the people that get into marriage will get divorced.

  7. trumwill says:

    Peter, not that I can recall. I think in her case, her attraction to the coolest kids in the crowd went noticed, at least subconsciously.

  8. rob says:

    Trumwill, good to know. It was very possible that its just one of those things that doesn’t sound so awful until someone else says it.

    Maria, you were torn about moving on(up). But you did, kinda like someone who took her prospects for other relationships into account when making decisions. Loyalty and investment were only a couple of the things that motivated you. You also had feelings about potential future relationships, and those matter too. It doesn’t make you sociopath, a “relationship maximizer” or even a jerk.

    Trumwill, a more charitable interpretation of the woman you talked about is that she was practicing. For the too short time I practiced pickup, I tended to look up, on the theory that I was less likely to end up hurting their feelings.

    Thinking people are machines made of meat doesn’t mean we don’t have feelings: being emotionally torn is how way we compare stuff.

  9. Maria the Lurker says:

    Maria, you were torn about moving on(up). But you did, kinda like someone who took her prospects for other relationships into account when making decisions. Loyalty and investment were only a couple of the things that motivated you.

    Wrong, rob. I didn’t move “up” — I moved on. The guy had a severe case of commitmentphobia and was a master at keeping me on the string — for five years. But I did turn down a couple of “trade-ups” to stay with him — hence my comment about emtional entanglements. A(After five years it felt more like a divorce than a break-up). In the end I realized that any half-way decent relationship with a commitment-minded man was better than anything offered by the string-puller, but it took me a long time to get there.

  10. Barry says:

    I’m kinda continually amazed at how shallow people that move(d) in folks circles are. Women constantly on the lookout to “move up” in their dating circles? Men wanting to date young girls because they’re in their “sexual prime”?

    I don’t know, maybe my world is so narrowly focused I just don’t see it, but that kind of social Darwinism is utterly foreign to me. When people get together, they do so because they’re attracted to each other. When they stop, it’s because they either stop being attracted to each other, or someone more attractive comes along. It’s unfortunate and it happens but it’s not part of some personal plan to move up the ladder, one unsuspecting guy at a time…

    And the less said about Gannonism the better.

  11. Maria the Lurker says:

    10.I’m kinda continually amazed at how shallow people that move(d) in folks circles are. Women constantly on the lookout to “move up” in their dating circles? Men wanting to date young girls because they’re in their “sexual prime”?

    I don’t know, maybe my world is so narrowly focused I just don’t see it, but that kind of social Darwinism is utterly foreign to me.

    It seems to me that most of the people who post in the “HBD” sphere seem to have problems with normal numan emotions and want to reduce everything to biology. For all the nattering they do about “evopsychology” which entails passing their genes on successfully to the next generation, many do not seem to have children either.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

If you are interested in subscribing to new post notifications,
please enter your email address on this page.

Espresso


Recent Comments


Queenland

Greetings from Stonebridge a fictitious city in a fictitious state located in a tri-state area in the interior Mid-Atlantic region. We're in western Queenland, which is really a state unto itself, and not to be confused with Queensland in Australia.

Nothing written on this site should be taken as strictly true, though if the author were making it all up rest assured the main character and his life would be a lot less unremarkable.


Hit Categories


History Coffee