Note: This is another article I wrote some tie ago. It was originally intended as a follow-up to my classic post The Biggest Dating Mistake Women Make. It’s been almost four years. Well, let’s just say that I’ve been very busy.
In my last article I argued that women should try to find a partner in their early 20s at the latest to avoid being left over and having to settle for someone they don’t feel attracted to a decade later just to have kids. Now let’s talk about the shelf life of guys.
There were some excellent comments about the last post, so I’ll just expand a little bit on them. Martin wrote:
“The biggest mistake men could make is settling down TOO SOON. Unlike women, a guy’s market value will generally increase with age, which begs the question why a guy would ever want to conform to the still rather widespread custom of settling in his mid-20s or early 30s with a woman more or less the same age.”
This is spot on. A guy you should find a balance between focussing on your studies and/or career, and partying, but there is absolutely no point in picking someone your age. One reason is of course that women age faster, but it’s also important to note that men need more time to mature. No, this is not meant to be in the feminist sense that we’re “man-children”. For instance, did you know bone growth in men only ends in the mid-20s?
As a guy you can freely experience in your 20s. Try different careers if you need to, or spend a year backpacking around the world. If you’ve got the money, you could even do something irrational like going to art school to follow your ambition to become an artist, and if it doesn’t work out, you can just start over. You’ll be young for quite a long time, and if you take care of yourself, you’ll easily look five years or more below your age. With the right genes and smart lifestyle choices you’ll have no problem looking like 25 when you’re 30, or 30 when you’re 40. Many guys choose a life of debauchery, or have soul-crushing jobs, which makes them look much older than they are. Thus, I’m not sure whether it’s correct that you can look younger than you are. Maybe it’s just that most people neglect their body and therefore look much older than they otherwise would.
Age is just one aspect. It’s also important to consider the different effects aging has on the sexes. A woman’s fertility peaks in her early twenties and from then on rapidly declines. A man, on the other hand, only experiences minuscule decline in fertility. Fathering a child at the age of 40 is not uncommon at all. Heck, you could have kids when you’re 80. On the other hand, a woman getting pregnant at age 40 is quite rare. I know it happens, but then it often happened only due to in-vitro fertilization or hormonal treatment. If you’re in medical school and want to become an endocrinologist, this is what you’ll mostly be dealing with: women past 30 who have a hard time getting pregnant. (I learnt this from an endocrinologist myself.)
Apart from age there is also the financial aspect. When you’re in your early 20s and attend college you probably don’t have a lot of money. This reasoning doesn’t apply to people who view student loans lightly, but for others this might matter. However, as you get older your financial situation normally solidifies. We’re not all going to become CEOs and presidents, but you’ll probably be able to have an apartment, enough money for food and clothes, and with some discipline a steadily growing nest egg. It isn’t always like that with women. I don’t think I ever met a guy who was completely reckless with his finances. You may have been a broke college student, but now you can at least pay your bills on time. On the other hand, women often move on from being broke college students to getting a job and living from paycheck to paycheck. It’s not black and white, though, but it seems evident that on average women handle finances worse than men.
Nature is kinder to men than women, and as a consequence there is no need to settle down to soon. I would only start consider that option once you’re in your late 20s. Being in a relationship does have some benefits, but there are a few things you’ll probably have to give up, so enjoy your 20s while you can. This may sound cryptic, so let me elaborate: A big limitation is that a relationship may pin you down when you have not yet found your place in life, which means that your personal and career development may be severely affected. Maybe you want to live abroad for a while, or just move to a different city, take a year off traveling the world, or work like a maniac for the first few years of your career to see whether you can make it in a hyper-competitive field. With a supportive partner, all of this would be possible, but chances are that the bitch you ended up with will throw a massive fit if you dare to improve your lot in life. And even if you don’t have any grand goals for your 20s, spending a few more years learning from the mistakes of other people will save you a lot of time, money, and headaches.