Question #1 (about how most women now live without a husband, and do men now feel they have nothing to offer?) -- I think most of you feel more women are just choosing to remain unmarried. This sounds about right and could simply be the end of it. Stuckey and mysmileisfake bring up a good point, which I missed, and that is this: guys don't think about what they are offering a woman until later in the game. This makes sense, since we all know that until they are successful, the only thing men are pondering is how to get you to remove all your clothing with them in a dark room. It's only after that they begin to wonder if they can offer a woman something.
Seems kind of backwards, doesn't it?
I'm just kidding. Har har. (Did anyone get that?? Maybe it's just funny in my head.)
And I do agree with my female readers that guys who feel threatened by independent women are not really the kind of men we're interested in, anyway. They can jump off a cliff for all I care. While they're at it, they can take all the submissive wives with them. Independent women are doing themselves a great service by holding out.
Like mysmileisfake said, our priorities have shifted somewhat. Our careers are important to both men and women nowadays, so we all like to get on firm ground with those before tackling the search for a life partner. We do college and careers for a while, then start thinking about having a family. Back in the day, I think it may have been the other way around. Hence the smaller number of unmarried women a couple decades ago. I am not saying one version is better or worse, I am just noting a trend. And TGOV, as usual, brings up a very good point about how there are good things and bad things about being an Independent Woman these days. I always appreciate her intelligent point of view. Smart lady.
I have a married friend who says that it's not about settling. It's about finding someone whose faults you can live with. Marry the one you can tolerate, basically. At first, it sounds depressing, or even like settling, but if you stop and think about it, it makes sense. WLF (my dad) was a total slob, smoked cigars like a chimney and spent money like it grew on trees. Did this bug The Czarina? Yup. Was it so irritating that it wasn't worth marrying him? Nope. That's why it's important, IMO, to really stop and think about the things you can live with and those you can't. Think about your values and which ones must be present in a potential spouse, which ones should be present, and which ones are just a bonus.
Then again, what the hell do I know? I'm single. This is just my plan. I haven't figured anything out. But I do believe that I'll know it when I see it.
Question #2-- About jock straps and cups. I am only slightly more clear about this whole thing. Men sure are secretive about it. Jeez. And yes, I grew up with 3 brothers, and I have seen jockstraps. But for crying out loud, it's not like it was a popular topic at the family dinner table.
"Mom, can you pass the salt and pepper? Thanks. So, Fat Dog, tell me about jock straps."
"Well, VB, what do you want to know?"
"Do they prevent saggy balls? Because they should."
See what I mean? Not. Appropriate. Sibling. Topic. Just weird and awkward, even in theory. What gives, guys? I mean, I can sit here all day long and answer your questions about bras and tampons. Assuming you want to know. I am just curious. Do guys have to wear jock straps when they go running? Are they uncomfortable to the point that your wiener could fall asleep? Because jock straps look a lot like girdles. Do they have underwires in them if you are...uh, blessed in that department? Because they should. Let me tell ya, it makes all the difference in the world if you're talking about support.
I am entirely too curious about jock straps, I think.
Question #3--Approachability. Stuckey has brought up something I've always believed: Guys will view you as more approachable if you seem to be having a good time already. There are several reasons for this: he doesn't have to work as hard to get you in a good mood, you seem happy and friendlier, you know how to have a good time...etc. I have always thought this made girls more approachable. It can be said for guys, too. Who wants Mr. Morose to talk to you? Any takers? Didn't think so.
I see there is somewhat of a disagreement here about whether or not to approach a girl who is part of a group (larger than 3). Let me explain. Because I can speak for all women around the globe, don't you know. (right...) The general rule of thumb is what Stuckey said: Three or less, knock yourself out. But if it's Girls' Night Out (often this would mean a flock of lovely women in a group of 4 or more), you should probably forget it. However, if there is a gorgeous specimen of a woman to whom you must speak, all is not lost. Your options include:
1. Figuring out a way to be introduced to one of the girls in the group (this is, obviously, easier in a smaller city) so that you may make a seamless transition into the group. If you are successful at this, keep in mind you are still interrupting Girls' Night Out, so you should move along after a few minutes. Meet, greet, get the digits and be gone. Please don't ruin GNO by not taking no for an answer. Just go. Away.
2. Catching the object of your desire as she is separated from the herd. This method is similar to the lions picking off the weak, sickly and young stragglers of a herd as they are fleeing. This does NOT imply she is weak or young. Or sickly. To act accordingly would probably get you ignored at best, and slapped at worst. Where was I? Oh yeah. So tap her on the shoulder as she's headed out of the bathroom. Notice I said "out of". Please don't make her choose between her bursting bladder and your adorable face. It's such a tough call. Or see if she heads to the bar to get drinks--this is a very good time to approach a girl, as she might need help carrying the drinks back to her friends. Thus, you are both cute AND handy to have around. Also, if the bar is busy, she will have about 10 minutes to talk to you as she waits. If she wants to continue talking to you, she will invite you to join the group (see #1). If she is really loving GNO, she'll say thank you, give you her number and go about her merry way.
3. Doing what Justin suggested: Grab your enormous cojones, walk up to the whole group and mack on her in front of her friends. This is, of course, the absolute most risky of all behaviors and should be attempted only by men who possess either incredible flirting skills or little to no pride. I highly recommend thinking of something immensely witty to say ahead of time. It should be blunt and funny. That is the only way to do it. If you are not the witty type, do as Justin did and just say something really incredibly sweet. Don't worry, if you are sincere, her girlfriends will be instantly on your side, egging her on to give you her number. So decide which method you will employ. With this one, you have about a 50/50 shot at making a total idiot out of yourself. DO NOT under any circumstances, attempt this after your third beer. You will just be "The Drunk Guy Who Hit on Amanda". Don't be that guy. Because that's what all of them will call you for the rest of your life. Not good. However, feel free to use your drunk friend as a prop in this method. For example, burst into their circle with your drunk buddy and say something like, "Excuse me, but I just found him on the bathroom floor. Does he belong to you?" At the very least, you'll be known as Random Funny Guy. This is good.
Hmmm...I don't know if there is a #4....those are all the methods I can think of at the moment.
But back to Stuckey's list of How to Be An Approachable Female. He says he needs an indicator. Good point. I have to say, this is probably something I don't use to the best of my abilities. Sometimes, I will encourage my group of girlfriends to shift our position closer to the cute guy. I figure, the closer I'm standing to him, the higher my chances. But some days, I just don't have the confidence. I will have to remember this and utilize it more fully. It's good advice.
I'm glad to read that men sometimes have low-esteem days, too, and just aren't up to hitting on anyone. This is a big relief. Sometimes I feel like women are the only gender with self-esteem issues.
And Stuckey pointed out that my list has more to do with the post-approach rather than what makes a guy approachable. To which I reply: duh. I don't hit on guys. I am Southern and old-fashioned. Maybe other girls feel comfy hitting on guys. I am not one of them. So no, I can't really tell much until they approach me. But I'm not interested in guys who don't have cojones anyway. It's a good screening method. If they don't like what they see enough to walk across the room and talk to me, they must not be that interested. I prefer to date guys who are interested.
Does this make me high-maintenance? You know what. Don't answer that. I'll discuss it in #8.