“If you want to be happy for the rest of your life, never make a pretty woman your wife.”
The above will work, but it’s not Chateau recommended. After all, peace of mind, while nice, is not a formula for true happiness. Gazing into a pretty girl’s eyes, drilling the holy hell out of her, and basking in the warm energy of her insuppressible love… now that’s happiness.
However, the song does illuminate age-old wisdom about the nature of the sexual market. If one partner in a relationship has more options in the sexual market, there will be more instability in the relationship. Options = instability. The legal and social bindings of marriage are a buffer against exercising those options, but not a protection against the existence of the options themselves. A husband or wife with a large enough customer base that wants their genetic product will find it extremely difficult to resist the temptation of exercising his or her options. Virtue is not achieved except in the crucible of alluring vice.
Furthermore, there is an inherent sex difference in the destabilizing force of increased options. A man with more options than his partner is a less destabilizing force to his relationship than is a woman with equally more options than her partner. This phenomenon results from the greater hypergamous drive of women, who are less satisfied than are men with sub-par lovers, and from the biological reality that risk of female infidelity is a graver threat to relationship harmony than is risk of male infidelity for which there is no chance of “reverse cuckolding”.
Think of the relationship permutations this way:
Man with options + woman with fewer options = man with peace of mind and wandering eye + happy but anxious woman + lovingly prepared home-cooked meals.
Woman with options + man with fewer options = unhappy woman with wandering eye + happy but anxious man + microwaved dinners.
Man with options + woman with options = stable relationship. Both are happy and infidelity or rupture risks are minimized.
Man with few options + woman with few options = stable relationship. Both are unhappy yet infidelity or rupture risks are still minimized.
This is all classic, straight-up, shaken-not-stirred Chateau Heartiste wisdom. Now ♥SCIENCE♥ has bounded into the arena to lend confirmatory support. A recent study found that relationship length is partly a function of the attractiveness of the woman’s face.
Men looking for a quick fling prefer women with more “feminine” facial features, said a study Friday that delved into the evolutionary determinants of the mating game.
Feminine features like a smaller jawbone or fuller cheeks are closely linked to a woman’s perceived attractiveness, which in turn is taken as an indicator of health, youth and fidelity and other traits, it said.
Feminine features are associated with a higher level of the female hormone oestrogen, which is also linked with reproductive success. [...]
The preference was especially high among men who were already in a steady relationship.
“When a man has secured a mate, the potential cost of being discovered may increase his choosiness regarding short-term partners relative to unpartnered men, who can better increase their short-term mating success by relaxing their standards,” wrote the study authors.
But in making long-term choices, men “may actually prefer less attractive/feminine women,” they added.
Previous research has found that attractive women are likelier to be unfaithful, particularly if their partner is ugly.
“If his partner cheats on him, a man risks raising a child which is not his own,” explained the authors.
You have to read between the lines of this study a bit to get at the underlying truth. What is happening is that beta males — and the great majority of men are beta males by definition, as are ostensibly the men recruited for these studies — are choosing peace of mind over elevated cuckoldry risk when they settle for a less attractive woman with whom to invest in a long-term relationship. It’s not that these men “prefer” less attractive women for LTRs; rather, men *settle* for less attractive women for LTRs because they don’t have the goods nor the game to lock a more attractive woman into a long-term partnership. They seem to grasp on a subconscious level that a long-term strategy with a hot babe will give them more grief than they can handle. Options = instability.
Women also employ this bifurcated mating strategy, but since women are more hypergamous than men — i.e., more compelled to date up — they are less likely than are men to curb their instinct to shoot for the moon. Many women try for LTRs with higher SMV (sexual market value) men before giving up on the project of commitment extraction when the first bricks of the sexual worthlessness wall crest the horizon.
Men who have options will, naturally, exercise them, which means in practice that a man who is good with women will be satisfied with nothing less than the romantic best, whether his favored idea of romance consists of short n sexy flings or long n loving mergers.