Choosing love

15 Feb

manMap finds love on a Glebe footpathMany years ago I sat at a private table opposite a kind, attentive man. He wasn’t attractive but he was certainly fascinating. I listened carefully to every word he spoke while he held my hand, because I knew what he said was just for me. I tried my best record each word, knowing I’d want to savour them later, that they’d be something I’d turn over again and again. Some of them have slipped away from me or become lost in my mental archives, but one thing I still remember clearly:

“It’s the man’s right to ask, but it’s the woman’s right to choose,” Psychic Carl of Penrith told me, glancing at me briefly while his divining hands continued to tap mine. It was an empowering (if not slightly terrifying) statement, especially since it came from a happily married man with eight children. It was enough to make me feel the $40 fee and the long drive out west had been worth it, whether Carl was really psychic or not.

On Sunday I opened the Sunday Life with trepidation. The Valentine’s Day Issue: way to sour my weekend, Fairfax. I’m having enough problems adjusting to living alone after travelling with friends for a month. I don’t need reminding that Cupid’s arrow has still failed to hit me. But Mark Gimein’s article A few good men provided me with a delightful explanation as to why I’m single. And it was all based on the same theory as Psychic Carl’s maxim: that the woman is generally the one who chooses whether a man will marry her. The man asks the question. The woman decides and answers.

Gimein believes this convention is the reason there are more eligible women than men out there (his words, guys, not mine!). He likens the situation to an auction. Women who are confident that they’re good catches (or ‘strong bidders’) hold out for a really great deal, because they feel they have qualities that provide them with more choice. Less confident women, the ‘weak bidders’, think they’re the underdog and so bid more aggressively, often clinching the deal while the strong bidders are considering their options.

Now I don’t believe Gimein’s theory explains why I’m single, although he does argue a strong case. But I’m perfectly happy to tell myself that the reason there was no Valentine’s Day date for me this year is because I’m a strong bidder. Gimein’s philosophy might not have the resonance of Psychic Carl, but it’ll get me through the week until the Cupid decorations come down.

I’d love to know what you think of Gimein’s theory. Drop me a line and let me know.


In the spirit of anti-Valentine’s Day, I’d like to share with you something I hate. I HATE cricket. I don’t understand it. I don’t want to. I don’t want to even pretend I want to. To me, it just looks boring and drawn out and like an ineffective marketing campaign for wearing zinc. I realise there are many people who LOVE cricket, particularly eligible young men, and that’s fine with me. As long as no one expects me to watch cricket. Ever.

Ironically, one of my favourite pubs in the inner city is the Cricketers Arms in Surry Hills. I was mapping there on Saturday night and I can tell you ladies, if you want to be in the minority, go there. I think I was one of maybe six women in a pub filled with men. So thank you to all the great guys I met on Saturday night. You were all very entertaining and helpful. I really felt like I was the guest of honour at your happy little local. 🙂


11 Responses to “Choosing love”

  1. beachblogger February 15, 2011 at 6:12 pm #

    I like the comment! Makes sense. It’s a nice way of saying we’re choosy … that used to be the old put-down of single women … ‘she’s too choosy’ …

    • Lucie Stevens February 16, 2011 at 8:27 pm #

      Yes good point BB! Bet you’re happy it’s summer now!!

  2. Sebastian February 15, 2011 at 8:01 pm #

    I like zinc, and hate that it’s associated with cricket.

    • Lucie Stevens February 16, 2011 at 8:27 pm #

      I quite like zinc too Sebastian…stops me from getting colds!!

  3. Stuart February 16, 2011 at 11:32 am #

    While I think using economics to gain insight to dating/relationships can be useful (have you checked out I don’t think this auction model is a good one. It assumes that the ‘weak bidders’ have sufficient information about the market that they modify their bidding behaviour. Whereas lack of knowledge about the market seems to be more common.

    You could empirically test this model: it would predict that couples that marry young would more predominantly be ‘weak bidders’ (I guess that means less attractive?) matched with desirable men, with the opposite being true for those that marry at a later age.

    That doesn’t seem to match with my subjective experience.

    • Lucie Stevens February 16, 2011 at 8:30 pm #

      Hi Stuart,

      Thanks for reading – I’ll have to check out that link. I don’t actually think this theory is true either, not for me anyway. But sometimes a single girl needs a little bit of delusion just to get her through the day!
      At the end of the day I think it’s a matter of meeting someone you click with at the right time, getting to know them and falling in love, regardless of age.

  4. Paul February 17, 2011 at 7:45 pm #

    My friend calls valentines day ‘Singles Awareness Day’, LOL.

  5. Ferret March 21, 2011 at 11:51 pm #

    I don’t know if it will make any difference, but not all Aussie men like cricket. It bores me. So does ball sports in general. So you don’t necessary have to pretend to like ball sports to get on with all male Australians! 😉

    • Lucie Stevens March 22, 2011 at 6:57 pm #

      Thank god for that Ferret – you’ve given me hope!


  1. Tweets that mention Choosing love « My manMap -- - February 15, 2011

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Lucie Stevens, Lucie Stevens. Lucie Stevens said: My latest blog post: a fab reason why you're single plus mapping success on the weekend. […]

  2. A bit of bait « My manMap - February 22, 2011

    […] was good though. Thinking back on last week’s experience when I met heaps of single guys at the Cricketers Arms, I felt a renewed faith in manMap. I summoned my flagging energy and got to […]

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