Friday, October 23, 2009

More Questions Than Answers

The Toronto Sun reports that married men are apparently much more attractive to women than single men. Sounds like a recipe for heartbreak to me:

According to a recent study out of Oklahoma State University, the urge to lure away a married man is a real phenomenon known as "mate poaching."

For the study, men and women were asked to describe their ideal romantic partner and were told they'd be computer matched with someone who met their criteria. Half of the participants were told their matches were involved with somebody else, whereas the other 50% believed them to be single.

Here's where things get sticky. When researchers described a man as single, just 59% of the women expressed interest in him, but when he was considered off-the-market, a whopping 90% were eager to get their hooks in.

Men, however, showed no preference for women in relationships.

I never would have expected those results. I honestly would have thought people in general would look for someone unattached so there's fewer complications.

I pointed the story out to a friend of mine at work, and she explained that if a man's married at least one other woman thought he was a good catch and at least he's willing to make a committment. Once a guy gets past a certain age she figures there must be a reason he's still single.

I definitely appreciated her insight but I'm still left with more questions than answers:

Why do women and men think so differently about this?

Aren't women who pursue a married man just setting themselves up for heartbreak?

Shouldn't married men be more aware of this to better guard their hearts and remain faithful?

Is it possible that I'M EVEN MORE ATTRACTIVE than I thought? ;P


Tripper523 said...

I should move to Oklahoma. It's precisely that I AM still technically married that nobody attempts to "poach" me...

Kerry Forrest said...

Think about it this way. When you where a kid, which toy was more interesting? The one left on the floor or the one your sibling was playing with?

Women seems more attracted to attached men because the fact they are attached means there must be more to them then a typical single guy. After all, some other woman went to the trouble to get attached to that man.

It isn't obvious to a poor woman which man will commit, a guy with a ring proves that he did commit at least once in their lives.

Further, an attached man is often more confident in the world. Single guys are often on guard because they want to make a good impression on women, while an attached man isn't worried about that, he's already got a mate, so he is just himself, comfortable in his skin. Women are attracted to confidence and a man that is sure of himself.

So to me, its not surprising that this is the result of the study. But the main point remains, pursuing the attached male does lead to all kinds of heartbreak regardless of the final result.

Girls, I know that older married guy is a hottie to you, all confident and sure and has nice things as a product of a stable life and a wife to keep him on track, but the truth is if you wedge in there and disrupt that, he's going to be just like that cute single guy beside him.

The divorce will shatter his confidence, take his stuff and the life change will corrupt his path. Get to know the single guy, and stand with him and one day he'll be just like that hottie because you stood with him.

Build better men women one single guy at a time, and leave the attached ones be.

Tripper523 said...

Very well explained and totally logical, Kerry. For the older, attached hotties (or coldies), they can become singularly born again by annulling their marriages, but should do so independent of any potential outside relationships or influences, ie. possible new hook-ups as a consequence of dissolution. You're correct in declaring that these women whose tendency to pursue married men are in for nothing concrete.

Anonymous said...

So true, even for single guys. The guy with a woman seems to get more interest than the single one often. (real conservative)

Patrick O'Neil said...

Kerry. I just gotta say you're spot on throughout your comment. Definitely one of the most thoughtful comments I've read on this blog over the years.