This article is bound to be seen by some women as women-bashing or “older-woman-hating” but it’s neither of those things. It’s my attempt to let women in their 20s know something that many aren’t being taught, and that many of their peers don’t know either - and so many don’t begin to take action until it’s too late. And that is: if you’re a woman, your 20s aren’t just for partying and having fun and being wild - it’s the time when you set up the entire rest of your life with a long-term relationship and children (if those things matter to you). Men, and older women - there’s good info for you here too. I’ll also add the caveat that while much of this is true everywhere, I’m focusing on western culture in particular, and that I’m going to follow this up with a male-focused article as well.
Let’s start with some background. We’re going to talk about Social Market Value (SMV) and basic biology, which are very closely linked. SMV is how the average person of the opposite sex values you as a potential relationship partner, which is ALSO an indicator of how much leverage and privilege you have with the opposite sex. SMV is not just about physical attractiveness, though that’s obviously a component, but it’s also about all of the other things you bring (or fail to bring) to the table as a potential relationship partner. As a man, I don’t get to decide which factors I’m judged on - only women can decide what they find important in men, and how they value those things. Likewise, women don’t get to decide which factors they are judged on - only men can decide that.
Biology plays a large role in this, as does age. Why is biology important? Because the majority of our romantic and sexual and relationship desires are heavily based on biology - on what helps us survive and what helps us reproduce. Whether you realize it or not, biology plays a huge part in who you find attractive and why, and in who finds you attractive and why. Why is age important? Because your age is closely linked (on average) to your biology and the value you bring to the table.
This is a graph of the average SMV of men and women based on age. As an average, this obviously means that certain individuals may be higher or lower, but the vast majority will be about average. You’ll notice that from the time women hit puberty, their SMV soars, far higher than men’s SMV will ever achieve anytime in his life. Adult men of all ages are most attracted to women in this age range, and the reason is obvious - and biological: these are women’s prime baby-making years. For men who want a family - which is most men - it obviously makes the most sense to prefer women who are near the beginning of the period of their life when they are the most fertile and most likely to bear healthy children. Women’s fertility peaks at 28, and after 35, things start getting far more difficult and much more likely to result in children with health and developmental issues.
Let’s talk about men for a second: men hit puberty, but their value is bottom-basement, and this largely continues through their 20s. Why? Again, biology. While women’s biological role is to bear and raise children, men’s is to provide and protect, and to do that, men need resources and status - and few men in their 20s, much less their teens, have much of either. Most men need until at least age 30 or so before they have a home, a car, and an income that can pay for those things plus have some extra left over. This is why men in their 20s are often not trying too hard to “settle down” - they know they don’t have the resources to pull it off yet.
And this chart reflect this reality: at around age 28, where women’s fertility peaks and starts to fall, her SMV begins to decline, with that decline accelerating rapidly into her early 30s, while at the same time, men are finally getting things together and are able to offer a package that women care about - and the SMV lines cross. After this point, for the average woman, who so far in her life has enjoyed an SMV FAR higher than most men could ever achieve, suddenly finds herself not just equal with men, but BELOW the average man.
For a lot of women - THIS DOES NOT COMPUTE. Just a year or two ago, she had endless offers from men, would never have to buy her own drink or wait to be served, had men eager to take her places and buy her things, etc. Now, seemingly overnight, all of that is gone. Impossible! But, she thinks to herself, I’d better hurry up and pick a man and settle down into a comfortable future. Unfortunately, these women are used to enjoying a high SMV, where they attracted tons of men, and could afford to be extremely picky, and who could blame them? Now, though, "there are no more good men around." She can’t seem to find any men who can meet her “requirement list” who are interested. For many women, they’re sure they know what the problem is: men simply aren’t willing to “step up” and date her and marry her and take care of her in the manner in which she rightfully deserves. Many women are far more realistic about this, for sure, but a whole lot can’t seem to grasp what has happened, and they give ZERO thought to what THEY bring to the table, or what MEN value, and in their mind, they’re practically a 10, no matter what their baggage or attitude or position.
Here are a couple of admittedly more extreme examples of this. I’m providing these exaggerated examples just to make the point.
After watching these videos, is it not obvious that these women still act and behave as if they were still in their 20s, with all the time in the world, and ENDLESS amounts of SMV leverage to make demands of the “marketplace” of men, when in reality, what THEY bring to the table is hardly what the men they are after are looking for. These same women, just a few years earlier, could have found men at least close to what they were looking for, because they were younger, had far less baggage, and thus had much higher SMV to offer - but now, in their mid-30s, their SMV has plummeted, their baggage has piled up, and they’re still expecting “millionaire lifestyle” on a McDonald’s budget.
The point of this article isn’t to make fun of these women, it’s to give younger women a glimpse of what it’s like when you fall from the massive heights of SMV that you currently enjoy in your 20s, and to encourage you to take relationships seriously in your 20s - especially starting at 24/25, and even more so if you want children, because even if you meet your future husband at 25, chances are that by the time you date, get engaged, get married, and have your first kid, you will be around 30, because those things take time. If you wait until you’re 29 1/2 to start looking, not only has your SMV fallen a lot, but by the time you are married at, say, 33, you potentially only have a couple of years for children, and you’ll be under tremendous pressure to hurry and have them, and any random hiccups (like, say, a pandemic) will put your plans at risk.
For women in their 30s and older who are looking for a serious relationship, my advice is the same as what I give guys in their teens and 20s: you need to learn what the opposite sex values - how they calculate SMV - and offer as much of that as you can, but you must also be realistic about the things you can no longer change. If you have kids from another man, if you have a bunch of debt, if you value your pets more than a man, if you are 50 or 100 pounds overweight, etc., then you aren’t going to have a high SMV, and so you aren’t in a position to demand a high SMV from men either - at least, until you improve what you have to offer.
I’m interested in everyone’s feedback, and will have the male version in the next couple of days.