2180. Dating in Mid-life — Part D4: He Walks Himself to the Altar

You’ve read much of this before, but a summary is appropriate. The male heart is programmed to work through the following steps so smoothly that they can’t be identified as individual steps. They all merge together into one constantly developing process that emerges out of his determined effort to get you into bed. However, in his subconscious background, these things are happening.

  • Sensing his pressure to uncover weakness, you exercise due caution and refuse to be exploited. Almost accidentally to his mind but not yours, he discovers that you have admirable qualities that he likes and can admire. His curiosity arouses, his imagination soars according to how emotionally attractive you are to him.
  • Admired qualities are virtues to him, and men seek to marry a virtuous woman. Chaste dating enables you to disclose other qualities worthy of his admiration. (OTOH, conquest ends his search for weakness, which terminates the rapid growth of your virtue and expansion of his respect, which makes yielding counterproductive to your long-view expectations.)
  • His verbal commitment, followed by courtship, enables more virtues to accumulate and compound. He starts pleasing himself by pleasing you more and more, which is the development of devotion. Devotion grows and morphs into fascination. At some point, in a surprising realization, he concludes he can’t live without you. The surprise upgrades his mind from your fascinating likeability into a new app. He perceives you as full of promise as a potential mate. The hook is in his mouth but not yet set.
  • Spurred by his imagination, his judgment shifts you from potential mate to possible wife. Thinking himself unable to do without you, his focus changes. He looks for your promise as his life-partner, which casts the lure of your help to routinely uplift his present life and fulfill his ambitions. That realization qualifies you as highly desired wife. After imagining the full consequences of that, he envisions a trip to the altar. You hold so much promise that he can no longer ignore it. The hook is set.
  • He proposes, is accepted, turns the arrangements over to you (and bride’s mother), and gets himself to the altar on time.

Thus, just by being yourself and not trying to accelerate the process or convince him to commit or marry, by showing extensive patience, you pave with undisclosed female dreams the pathway to the altar. You dodge his search for weakness, demo your abundant qualities that he can admire, and await the proposal in his good time.

As I hope you have seen, the nature of men produces a premarital process and commitment agenda very different from both the womanly process and whatever women envision for men. Women are fond of makeovers in appearance because men appreciate the results. If more women had makeovers in virtuous behavior—aka feminine, moral, religious, and anti-feminist qualities—I predict that men would appreciate it. Many more would step up to the monogamous plate and swing for the marital home run as if in the world series, score tied, two outs, and bases loaded in the ninth.

You win through the activity of his curiosity, imagination, and subconscious mind. None of which you can influence directly and effectively (only subtly and indirectly). That’s why manipulation and pushing a man to the altar makes a marriage short-lived. You have to let him determine his commitment, devotion, and proposal. To figure important things out himself is to confirm his sense of independence before he yields it to you.

Before this series ends, I shall cite many of the virtuous qualities that women can follow to upgrade their virtuous behavior. In the meantime, tomorrow’s posting continues with some tips for interacting with men and dates.


Filed under courtship, Dear daughter, feminine, How she wins, sex difference

24 responses to “2180. Dating in Mid-life — Part D4: He Walks Himself to the Altar

  1. Cocoa

    Hello again 😊 You always talk and mention ‘patience’ and ‘extensive patience’. Patience with what and with who and till when. Maybe you can elaborate more when you cite the virtuous qualities for women. When can a feminine female wave and say goodbye, enough is enough?!

    Uhhh patience, may the Lord grant me a bucket full of that.

    Your Highness Cocoa,

    Women use patience to buy time for themselves or others to fix something that goes awry too often. It delays challenges, conflict, and controversies. Extensive patience is whatever she needs to get her way, to make choices that don’t back to haunt her.

    Say “Goodbye, enough is enough” anytime you wish. It’s not a function of patience. It’s a choice made after too much of some emotions and you use up all of the others that help make such decisions. IOW, he exceeds your limits on patience, frustration, anger, forgiveness, compassion, helpfulness, understanding, and a few other ingredients you consider before you act or make decisions.


  2. That Horse Is Dead

    Sir Guy,

    Can you explain the link between his imagination with “to how emotionally attractive you are to him”? I have heard men say, “I think about her all the time,” but does this imagining relate to her possibility of being conquered or other?

    Your Highness That Horse is Dead,

    If she’s unconquered, “I think about her all the time” is probably about his emotional connection with conquest as his dream still active in background.

    If conquered, it’s most likely about both sex and her. If he’s thinking only about sex, his subconscious mind would keep him from suggesting it to another woman with that phrasing. His mind protects him from saying the equivalent of, “I think of sex with her all the time” to another woman. He would find another way to describe how he misses her. Such as, yea, we have some good chats.

    If “I think about you all the time,” it’s probably about sex, whether he’s conquered you or not. If unconquered, he’s trying to convince you. If conquered, he’s imagining another great episode.


  3. That Horse Is Dead

    Sir Guy,

    A male acquaintance of mine who has been seeing a woman for several months told me yesterday that until she starts integrating herself with his life (specifically visiting our church when it’s her idea not his) that he’s not going to see it as anything serious. He then said that he “wasn’t going to tell **her** that.” To me, this almost seems like he’s testing her. Do men test a woman like this (their own qualifiers) in order to determine if a woman is relationship worthy or does this indicate something else like a maturity issue? And could it explain the disappearing man that we’re all familiar with, perhaps we step on one of his “land mines” and without knowing it? I’m wondering more about the tests men give and what this means.

    Your Highness That Horse is Dead,
    It makes me suspicious that he would say that to an acquaintance. If he was testing, either 1) he’s afraid of being rejected. Or 2) he doesn’t care much to be the leader; he’ll await her decisions. Or 3) V&U with hope or expectation that you will let girlfriend know.

    • That Horse Is Dead

      Now that I read through my question, it almost seems a Mr. V & U tactic and I just don’t recognize it?

      Your Highness That Horse is Dead,
      You could easily be right.

      • Cinnamon

        He has gone beyond qualifying her (which is reasonable behavior) to putting himself in the role of buyer and her into the role of seller. This is not masculine behaviour. It’s similar to V & U, which is also a type of role reversal. Who knows why she is putting up with it – perhaps she is desperate to get married and ignoring the signs, or maybe she is just enjoying casual companionship while she bides her time.

        Steer clear of men who think and act this way except for polite conversation LOL.

        • Great stuff here! Sir Guy, still hoping you can write an article someday on how to stop Role Reversal in a marriage. I have worn myself out trying to inspire, nag, even beg my husband back into the role of provider/protector in my marriage after a years-long period of his un/underemployment and ensuing depression. Unfortunatly nothing I’ve tried seems to be working…..sympathy for his plight has turned into fear of soon finding our family living out of our car despite my working 2 jobs. I also feel close to cracking up from tiredness from also trying to do what housework i can and looking after our family (no longer very well.) My husband says he doesn’t know what’s wrong with him that he doesn’t get picked for jobs and that at his age (He is 60 I’m 40) the only jobs he would likely be able to get are menial. Still I’ve told him it would really make a difference to the family and I would be truly proud of him….. but he says he “Doesn’t know what to do”. Our daughter has almost never seen him work, provide and protect and she is now a teenager! Anyway, even if its too late for us I would really love some insight on how this Role Reversal could maybe have been averted years ago when he first got laid off and I thought,”Well, I’ll just keep trying to find the next job, surely he will get back on his feet soon”… I was always a “Girly Girl” and was swept off my feet by his “Type A” dynamism and good looks: He really pursued me for marriage. I have never wanted to be a type A career woman—I’m a laid back feminine “Type B” who initially worked for enjoyment/supplementary income, but I’m really suffering, I can’t take care of us all on my own any longer I’m so tired. Without his masculine leadership, direction or foresight our family is floundering. He seems paralyzed. We have $2,000 to our name, no savings and my main job is due to be downsized in a couple of months.

          Sorr y i know I’ve post our story before and I know role reversal seems a hard subject. Almost seems like Manosphere guys are in favor of it oddly enough! (Desiring to be looked/chased after? Hardtoget? Isn’t that typically feminine?)

          Wish I’d found this incredibly wise blog a few years back because I must have turned myself into a donkey….Role Reversal is like a trap! How can it be avoided and stopped? I need to regain my feminine place/value in my marriage again. I know many of you awesome ladies have been praying and sending happy wishes my way and at least i have more clarity, either I need to resign myself to life as an endurance test and be OK with that forever or make a radical change and be willing to be at peace with the consequences.

          Your Highness MeowMeow,

          Stand by. A new perspective is coming and you may not like it.

          You say, “My husband says he doesn’t know what’s wrong with him that he doesn’t get picked for jobs and that at his age (He is 60 I’m 40) the only jobs he would likely be able to get are menial. Still I’ve told him it would really make a difference to the family and I would be truly proud of him….. but he says he ‘Doesn’t know what to do.’”

          How about planned role reversal? Are you sure he didn’t marry a trophy for the purpose of retiring very early and living like this?

          Doesn’t get picked? Perhaps he doesn’t want a job. Won’t do menial work to relieve wife’s burdens and contribute his part to salvage a crumbling marriage? In your opinion, how far removed are you from enslavement by some gentler name imposed deliberately by a selfish and self-convinced royalty figure?

          Won’t buy your logic to make a difference to the family? Isn’t proud of your pride in him? Says he doesn’t know what to do and refuses your suggestions? Contributes in some way to daughter becoming a development problem, and doesn’t rise above himself on her behalf either?

          I hate to suggest such a thing, but I suspect this was either his wishful thinking or well intended when you married. Twenty-year age difference invites men to think and even plan for female care in their late years. He seems to have started earlier than necessary and is well prepared to keep life going just as he’s doing now.

          So, imagine 20 more years of the same and let that bear on your conscience of what to do next.

          What I said above is speculation based on your description. I offer it to invite you to view your life from a different perspective. If I’m reasonably accurate, you will know how to figure things out and respond.

          As to your previous and most pressing question about role reversal, it mostly happens two ways. 1) Wife takes us the gauntlet of leadership, suppresses husband’s initiative, and siphons off his masculine spirit. 2) He plans it from the start or out of developments along the relationship road.


          • That Horse Is Dead

            Lady Meow Meow,

            You sound so strong despite the total exhaustion you describe. I don’t have the answers for you, but it sounds like you are experiencing the “dark night of the soul.” My only suggestion comes from your last statement, “either I need to resign myself to life as an endurance test and be OK with that forever or make a radical change and be willing to be at peace with the consequences.” I remember a time in my marriage when I said the same thing as if there were only two choices (black or white). I would propose to you that we serve a big God and there may be another way, you just don’t see it. Isaiah 43:19 says, “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” He is at work rest assured and as you surrender each day to what He is doing you will come out the other side with a different perspective, perhaps a more eternal perspective. Praying for you sister:)

            • Meow Meow

              Thanks Lady Horse! it’s true we can’t know, what God has planned. My attempt at trying to make sense of how this could have happened (despite a once strong love) I hope might help others too. But its hard to go, year after year, month after month, day after day, often during a single day, where life radically changes this way and that and you try to make plans only to have them dashed. I long ago gave up any attempt to control. I have surrendered completely to what the day brings me and just try to get through it. If it was just me thats one thing….but unemployed and angry husband, kid whose mental illness is rapidly worsening and now is having trouble at school…it can seem like there is a battleground on every front! I try to plan for the future but i can’t and that’s the thing that makes me feel least human. Even seeing a therapist which I’m trying to do is expensive/hard to find time for. Focusing on my femininity seems to help me and the whole notion of ‘Pretty Time”—feeling blessed for how God made you—is comforting and practical. The things i recommend for others in need, like Cocoa and other ladies here, are the ways I also try to soothe myself and feel closer to God/the eternal. I hope to understand Role Reversal better because I have a feeling that’s partly how i got into this mess (Well that and the real hard cold economic facts of the Recession)—and I’m sure I’m not alone.
              Thanks for the ongoing prayers!

          • Cinnamon

            Meow Meow,

            I agree with Sir Guy that his ambivalence toward underemployment is suspicious. I’ve seen this happen a few times in marriage where the man loses his job but will not hustle for any job in order to keep an income coming in. One wife suggested he apply at Home Depot, where there was a help wanted sign. His response? “They pay xxx per hour. I’m not working for that.”

            I realise “just take any job” sounds very smug in an economy when there are often hundreds of CVs for any single position, even at minimum wage, including CVs from recent college graduates and laid-off professionals. Many will get rejected as overqualified. Has he actually turned down low-paying jobs, or has he applied many times, gotten discouraged, and stopped applying at all?

            With respect to your own job/career, is moving away to a better job market a possible option for you? I don’t know what your skillset is, but if there is opportunity elsewhere it is something you should look at, as should he. I believe you said he was in IT previously. Has he ever tried to apply for short or medium term contracts where he would live away from home? It’s not ideal but it is a way to keep going financially and also get his confidence back.

            Finally, I hate the term “menial job.” There is as much dignity in mopping floors and washing dishes as there is in being a CEO (more in fact in many instances, since the lack of ethics of many senior managers is well-documented).

            P.S. I have first-hand knowledge and experience of underemployment, and remember vividly the humiliating and condescending remarks made by H.R. screeners reviewing my CV in an interview setting, even though it was a long time ago. The kindness of a very few, however (in my case people who didn’t look down on me for being unemployed/underemployed because they themselves had either been there, or seen someone they loved struggle similarly in the job market) made all the difference.

            • surfercajun

              @ Cinnamon

              Let’s see, I guess I must have had my “menial job” for years now…giggle… at least the mopers and dishwashers get paid… i don’t…but of course, I would not trade what I do for all the money in the world. I am raising souls and will see a return once grown. (not to confuse others that HAVE to work because of their situation. I am only speaking for myself. 🙂 ) As for the CEO you mention…HA yeah, soo many times over and so out of touch with reality! IT makes me think of UnderCover Boss….but that seemed more like PR for the company… does anyone ever check back with these companies?? I find it highly suspect!!!! I’ll raise you one about being treated like dirt and share at one bank where I worked years back the women there did not speak to me for over six months unless they HAD to give direction on something. I was bullied and then ignored when I spoke. I was embarrassed, felt like I was dirt under their feet, and was hated. It really plays on your psyche as a whole. What a bunch of vipers!!

              PS. Loved what you said about Freddy Kruger and Dracula in the other thread! That was a hoot and a very nice giggle. I was thinking about it going to the store last week.

              • Cinnamon


                It’s quite disheartening to see how commonplace workplace bullying can be. I do think groups of women are the worst perpetrators, and nearly always ganged up against one woman not in their little “clique.”

                Glad you liked the Freddie Kruger and Dracula story. It sure sums up the Manosphere doesn’t it? LOL.

            • Meow Meow

              Thanks for the thoughts from Sir Guy, Cinnamon and Surfercajun! just rambling but felt the need to respond however garbled—-

              About “Menial” jobs—actually hubby said it I’m just repeating it… A job that most people would not willingly take except for necessity? I’m sure there is a better word out there but I don’t know what….there is a stigma attached to the word but i certainly don’t attach it to the people I know who are doing these jobs just to get by….in fact these demanding, exhausting jobs should be paid FAR MORE then the ones we go to college for because they wear people’s bodies out so fast….(and yes many low income workers i know have tons more dignity and ethics flipping burgers or wiping butts then wealthy execs.) Heck one of my jobs largely involves cleaning sweaty gym equipment and picking up people’s used towels: it pays little but involves more human interaction and less stress than the job that I went to college for (paid my own way by working part-time during school also) Its a balance to my high stress, sedentary “educated” job.

              initially my hubby wouldn’t consider these low income jobs when he was downsized and it was a terrible, painful realization for him to learn that they were all he could get anymore. He had never graduated college and had worked hard to have gotten to such a good position in his former company over time. He tried to avoid taking the jobs on until our bank account was completely drained. By this point he had spent a few years sending out resumes for the “good/high paying jobs” that were now gone/had been outsourced/replaced by new programs. I had tried to stick it out working 3 jobs for years waiting for him to take action (I couldn’t believe what was happening and was trying to be patient) but finally became ill, snapped, and told him he needed to do something too, anything. He was fired from the first two for a poor attitude. As things got worse he got serious and started applying for all kinds of minimum wage/shift/temp work–but as an older beginning worker he got the worst most boring demanding shifts. One job he stood in a parking lot 9 hours a day rain or heat without moving or sitting. At another he was routinely threatened/cursed/spit at. At another he stress fractured his arm (overuse injury). But each job only lasted a few months despite his increasingly frantic efforts and trying to get noticed for diligence. He went to a job program and we spent the last of our savings on it but only younger workers ended up hired from the program….now even the part time jobs have dried up and heis depressed/angry and receiving unemployment and some money from his parents— for past few years again with an occasional job interview or a couple days temp work. So its a combination of things….as much as I appreciate his elderly parents helping us with our mortgage i am upset by it and I don’t know why! My husband has stopped making all plans for our future. i have sadness for this faithful, creative, once dynamic man but I feel like I am treading water at this point trying to keep us from losing our home. My field is very based in the area I live in but he says he has considered going on the road to find work.

              My family relies on me so much now for financial and emotional support that I’m exhausted/sleepless all the time. It is not even so much the financial circumstances as it is how we relate (or don’t) as man and wife that is so upsetting. If i felt we were united in our efforts somehow i wouldn’t feel so lonely! Sir Guy’s perspective is chilling and hard for me to imagine but it could be true. I feel more like a “caregiver” then a wife right now, and even if it wasn’t initially planned, we seem to have fallen into that rut. i need more time to think about that potential perspective and how to respond to that. It makes me very uncomfortable. I don’t like conflict and i think i didn’t stand up for what was right when the bad luck started happening. So hard to admit but I was too much of a “nice girl” I guess! i am thankful at least that i have work!

              Hope to do some soul searching soon about how to start dealing with role reversal…. i want to feel like myself again!

          • I love that you say, “He PLANNED it from the start” Guy. It IS a choice and a deliberate one (even when the excuses and words negate it). Believe what he lives, not what he says. It’s hard to come to terms with that reality but it’s better than losing your health and sanity supporting a man who refuses to do what is right.

  4. anonymous

    “That’s why manipulation and pushing a man to the altar makes a marriage short-lived. You have to let him determine his commitment, devotion, and proposal. To figure important things out himself is to confirm his sense of independence before he yields it to you.”

    Hmmm what do you mean by manipulation and pushing a man to the altar? I broke up with my then-boyfriend of 4 years because I did not want to remain in a stagnant long distance relationship nor did I want to shack up with no plans for marriage. I made him choose between possibly losing me (didn’t say we could never be together, just I was going to date other people until he could figure out his intentions) and stepping up to the plate. Some would call that manipulation. Some would also call no-sex-without-marriage manipulation. But where’s the line between self-respect and manipulation/impatience?
    I feel like too much patience reeks of desperation and crowns him king before marriage: if she’s willing to wait indefinitely for him it must be because she doesn’t think she will find someone else of his caliber. This attitude would cause both the woman’s self-respect to decline and his respect for her to decline, both of which don’t bode well for a permanent relationship. I agree she needs to give time for his devotion to develop without bringing up marriage specifically with him, perhaps a year or two. But after that he will know if she’s worth it or not, right? At that point, isn’t it up to her not to waste years of her life with someone who thinks she’s just good-enough-for-now?

    Your Highness Anonymous,

    Unsure I read you right. Oh, men can be tricked to the altar and that’s manipulative. I didn’t say a man’s walking to the altar is his being manipulated. Far from it. It’s his devotion without her interference that energizes him to proceed that way. He wants her and his curiosity and imagination push him that way.

    As for your boyfriend, it isn’t manipulation if there’s no intent to deceive him into coming back. You gave him options and choice to be his. If caused by impatience, I see no deviousness in that. The only true answer, however, lies in your heart.

    I’m sorry to hear of your breakup. You worked so hard for so many years.


    • I think this is a great post/question and am also awaiting the answer with interest….I have a couple of friends in this boat. I’m guessing (Sir Guy will surely affirm whether he thinks this is right or not) that if you wanted marriage with him at one point, but have become genuinely tired of waiting, and truly want to resume dating IOW not to purposefully pressure him into an engagement but because you feel you need to free yourself from a relationship that wasn’t moving towards marriage and date others, how can it be wrong? It’s honest if difficult and sometimes time apart allows you and the Boyfriend to reset and rethink your intentions towards one another. You risked losing him if he really hadn’t wanted to be with you any more. (After all he didn’t have to stay with you, he’s a big boy right?) You bet the house. You showed bravery by being willing to change a situation you weren’t happy with. Maybe he needed to see you could be happy with OR without him?

      Shacking up would have been even worse! it’s not that it’s immoral, but rather a logistical and emotional nightmare, almost a mini-divorce in a way, if it doesn’t work out. I have cautioned friends/family not to go that route—they think I’m being the “Morality police”, but I could care less about that—its more that you lose your freedom to see other people yet neither are you married (Of course, some people don’t want that anyways, I’m talking about those who assume it will be leading to marriage.)

      Marriage is its own thing, other kinds of arrangements are their own thing. You are not married, until you are….each living situation bearing its own advantages and trade-offs. And I love your lines “Too much patience reeks of desperation” and “Crowning him king before marriage.” There is a lot of that going on out there….can’t wait to hear Sir Guy’s comment on this!

      • Lyndeeloo

        I just wanted to jump in. I think you probably handled it correctly, anonymous.

        Steve Harvey has some decent advice on this issue. I think he calls it the “soft ultimatum”. If the time is appropriate (usually if it has been a couple years or more and a man seems to be dragging his feet or his intentions are unclear) and if the woman is truly ready to live with the consequences–whatever they may be, he suggests a conversation in which she 1.) builds him up by telling him why she loves him and their relationship. 2.) explains that she ultimately wants to get married and while she hopes it is to him, she understands that he needs to do what he needs to do, just as she needs to do what she needs to do in order to be fulfilled–and for her, that means marriage. 3.) be prepared to move on if marriage to him is not in the cards. If I remember correctly, this is what Steve Harvey’s wife did.

        Ideally, I think it is best if it doesn’t come to this, but I agree with MeowMeow that shacking up is worse!

        I’m also eager to read Sir Guy’s thoughts on this issue!

        • anonymous

          I came across a Steve Harvey video about the “soft ultimatum” after I had already done it. But yeah that’s what I pretty much did 🙂

      • anonymous

        “You risked losing him if he really hadn’t wanted to be with you any more. (After all he didn’t have to stay with you, he’s a big boy right?) You bet the house. ”
        Exactly, and I wanted to lose him if he really hadn’t wanted to be with me so win-win, right?

    • surfercajun

      Sir Guy,
      In regards to this statement….men can be tricked to the altar and that’s manipulative…. Me thinks this includes a woman finding out she is *pregoed* so he will marry her….of course he does not HAVE to…but this man is a gentleman I know and must be devoted to her or he would not have done it. Me also thinks she did this to capture him since she mention several times and encouraged me to say something to him….but of course I was thinking…… OH HECK NO!!! Even complained to me after they married that he did not (do enough for the wedding) but all the while i was thinking….. your pregnant!!! He even purchased a new car for her, baby-to-be and her two older kids to ride around…. what more could he have done? Is it wrong for me to be shocked at such ingratitude?

      I tell her hello when I see her but she looks at me smugly. *shakes head* Go figure?

    • anonymous

      Sir Guy,
      As much as I love the sympathy of a good man, I don’t deserve it in this case :p I can see how that was confusing. In fact, I I broke up with my then-boyfriend a year ago. We are now engaged with a date set in two months.

      I didn’t intend to deceive him into coming back, although my intuition told me he would (albeit I figured it would take him longer than 4 hours). Figured if he didn’t, he wasn’t devoted and I was right not to waste anymore time. Impatience alone wasn’t the cause. His suggesting shackup with no plans to propose was the primary cause. Like how dare he think I would be his shack-up-girl! No.Can.Do. That lead to impatience.

      But then, how would I have “deceived” him into coming back? How does one manipulate a man into marriage? Do you mean like intentionally getting pregnant against his wishes?

      • Cinnamon

        An inspiring story. Congratulations!!!!

      • Emma

        You did the right thing. There was no manipulation, you tried to have him make his mind w/o making the demands. I would think its exactly what Mr. Guys teaches here. The fact that your guy came back and stepped up proves the point. Sometimes guys think, why buy the cow when you can have it for free, until they meet the cow who charges for the free milk others are willing to give. Good girl and congratulations!!!

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