This is a spectacular article: The Ladder Theory.
The problem arises because a woman never lets a guy know which ladder he is on. Obviously there is a huge difference, or gap between these two ladders. It is in this gap that kisses of death are delivered and intellectual whores are made. All a man can do is “go for it” and make a move on a girl; ask her out, try to kiss her, write her a love note or whatever. If he’s on the good ladder fine. If he is on the friends ladder this is a case of ladder jumping. The man is trying to jump the gap from the friends ladder to the real ladder. The girl has two choices at this point: she can let him on the ladder and all is well, or, more likely, she can kick him in the head, and off the ladder. If you look you’ll see that below the ladder is the Abyss(what was it Nietzsche said about a man being on a rope stretched over an Abyss?….well it’s worse than he thought; there is no rope.) So the man falls into the Abyss. The Abyss isn’t really as bad as it sounds. Mostly it’s a period of self-loathing, embarrassment, and of course utter awkwardness with the girl in question if they are talking at all.
Now this is a fairly accurate description, and is essentially accurate. It misses a number of fine points. By defining the 40% block as “looks” the theory had originally assumed that looks were influenced by factor’s other than just phyical attraction. For example, a guy who is a complete asshole to a woman seems to somehow look better to them. It soon became apparent from peer review that the term looks was inappropriate and has been replaced by the more accurate “attraction”. The new chart then looks like this.
Previously it had been assumed that looks was fundamental. That is, that it could not be broken down any further, and that a score was assigned based on whatever biological principles made women attracted to men. Through extensive research we have been able to discern the inner structure of attraction. A chart will illustrate a very close approximation of the inner structure of attraction for the female. Commentary to follow.
The article goes on to describe “competiton” as what unenlightened boys call “game,” but in fact, it’s just that girls just want boys that want cute girls.
My take on all of this is pretty simple, and maybe more earnest than you’d hope: I think the key to a relationship is that each partner has to want to be the thing their partner hopes to find. Everyone just wants to be loved for the reasons they love themselves. This may include but is not limited to a high, tight rear. So when the majority of a partner’s admiration comes for that rear, it gives the whole thing the flavor of faking.
This also explains my perspective on the “competition” part. We want to be loved for the reasons we love ourselves. So if we see a boy chasing another girl who has qualities we would like to have (she’s cute, or smart, or whatever) then we want to secure that boy both as a way of imputing those qualities to ourselves AND because then we expect that his affection will come for those same qualities he chased in the other girl. This can be complicated though, bc as the graphs indicate, girls see another girl and think: Sassy! Smart! And we aspire to emulate those qualities. But what I’ve learned from those graphs is that the boy is looking and thinking: High! Tight!
So what a tangled, tangled web we weave.