Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

My own concerns are different. I'm in my 50s now, happily married for over 25 years, with a terrific social life. I'm not at all lonely or isolated.

It's my children that I worry about.

They're boy/girl twins, now 25. My daughter is in the process of breaking up with the boyfriend she's lived with for the past two years, and moving back home to re-settle her life. She has a career, and wants to get married and start a family sometime soon. Her boyfriend is a great person to be around and she adores him, but... he doesn't want kids (and is actually freaked out by them). He doesn't want marriage. And he can't keep himself organized enough to uphold his financial/personal responsibilities in cohabitation. So where is she going to find a potential partner who shares her social values, and wants a life partnership and a co-parent, who can uphold their responsibilities? She doesn't even know where to look.

Her brother lives at home, and probably always will. He doesn't have a real career and can't adult well enough to live on his own, even if he had to. He has never been on a date, even, and lives for video games. What happens if he looks around one day and suddenly feels lonely for a family other than his aging parents? With no financial substance or adulting skills and no romantic experience, he's not much of a catch for partners his age. He'll have to take more family/household responsibility as he gets older, and that's fine, but what happens when his parents finally pass away and he's an old man?

As a parent, these situations worry me greatly.

Your son's situation sounds a lot like my own, but I am married and maybe am a bit more responsible than him. :)

So, we're a couple that doesn't want to / plan to have children and we've discussed the "getting old" thing before. What I regret about our American society is that it's no longer common to live together as an extended family. Why couldn't he live with his sister (or near her), after you're gone? What about other relatives?

I think it's possible that, in the future, we'll see more communal living situations because I have a feeling there's a lot of GenX and younger people who aren't going to end up having children. Communities can be remade if people make the effort to come back together and live around one another again. I'm thinking of communities like the elderly have in Florida, but maybe people will start living together at a younger age? Just some thoughts I've had.

I've seen the pain and the struggle around this (personally) and I'm hoping it's something that people start taking seriously soon.

I wouldn't be surprised if he winds up living with his sister someday. They're pretty close, really. We had a talk about wills with the kids last year, and one question was "What should we do about the house? Do you kids want to keep it, or sell it for the money?", and they were both adamant about keeping the house they grew up in.

In the meantime, part of my son's responsibility as we get older is taking care of his aging parents. Last summer, my wife had a serious knee injury that had her bedridden for a while and limited mobility for longer, and he had to step up then. We warned him that this was the first of many, and they'll get worse.

What has your son been doing since turning 18? Did you try to lay out a foundation in teaching him life skills/weaning him off of financial support so he can learn the value of a dollar?

I understand disabilities and disorders can hold adult children back, if that isn't the case I'm curious where things went off the rails, as a soon to be first time dad myself. This stuff worries me, that regardless of all the investment and good parenting in the world, that my kid(s) can fail to thrive.

Pretty severe autism. The main reason we never just kicked him out is because he really can't function on his own. He'd suck at being homeless. That was hard for me to get used to, as I've been on my own since I was 18. And his sister moved out as soon as it was practical for her, although she lives just minutes away and we see her at least weekly.

And if there's one piece of parenting advice I can offer, it's this... your kids are their own people. Parents only have just so much control. (The flip side is also true; at a certain point, you can't just blame your parents for your own life.)

> And if there's one piece of parenting advice I can offer, it's this... your kids are their own people. Parents only have just so much control. (The flip side is also true; at a certain point, you can't just blame your parents for your own life.)

My kids are still pretty young (<10) but this is something that I increasingly understand/believe the older they get. One of the most surprising things for me as a dad was seeing how different my kids are from each other, even when being raised in exactly the same environment. This has really reinforced to me the idea that people are really their own people, and there is only so much a parent can do to influence what they'll become later. (And yes, this has also given me reason to reflect on the idea that I can't hold my parents responsible for my life choices - definitely cuts both ways!)

I think you are so right. Society seems to think that how children turn out is fully the result of the actions of parents. Whilst this is correct to some extent, in most cases from the early teens children are distinct individuals who will make their own decisions and mistakes. I think this is even more true now than it was when I was a child, the diversity of information and views they have access to pretty much ensures that there would view will diverge from that of their parents.

As a parent, you can provide an example of behaviour and whilst the child is young provide restrictions and discipline as necessary, but beyond a point, your work is done and it's up to them.

I might have one like that, unless you mean the non-verbal type. He has to go soon, probably age 20 at the end of summer. He did just barely manage an AA degree, so perhaps he is better off than yours. He is sometimes wildly inappropriate.

He has to go for lots of reasons. One is that I'll have 11 other kids to devote my resources to. Another is that a bit more of a push might get him to fly. Another is that I've seen my two youngest brothers still living with my parents, and it horrifies me. While one of my brothers has an excuse (needs watching for schizophrenia medication), the younger of the two has no excuse: over 30, has an MS in computer science, badly addicted to video games.

The video games really do provide an escape from activities that would require learning social skills. If your social skills are bad, you might want that escape, but that isn't making the situation any better.

If you don't mind me asking, how did you get in the position of providing for 11 children? This sounds like a remarkable story.

It's not remarkable. I simply made them, with one wife, in the traditional way. In case you were asking about how I afford them:

I have a BS degree in computer science from UMass Lowell. I started the family, married, moved into a place of my own, and started an OS kernel developer job just a bit before finishing the degree. At that time, back in 1999, my starting pay of $48,000 ($73,628 in 2019 dollars) was more than my wife's parents made together. You can wait forever trying to get your life into a perfect state for starting a family, or you can just get on with it. Once we had two kids, my wife gave up on that same degree with 75% done.

I currently work for a government contractor, doing low-level software: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=20088647

I mostly stick to living in small affordable cities like Melbourne, FL. The area I'm in now is just large enough to have commercial jet flights, 4 each way with Delta and 3 each way with American. Houses have a median price of about $150,000 here. I paid about double that to have a big house (3500 sq ft, 0.39 acre) less than a mile from the beach. I paid it off in 8 years.

Unless you count opportunity cost, there are no child care expenses. My wife does that. The kids are homeschooled, with dual-enrollment providing free AA degrees that have fully transferable credit to state universities. There is a scholarship that should cover the rest, except that we botched the application for the first two kids.

Food is the big expense. We seem to spend over $40,000 per year on it. About half the time we hit the out-of-pocket maximum for health insurance, which is something around $11,000 if I remember right. (skull fracture, major rib cage surgery, more rib cage surgery) After that I don't know, but it might be electricity or home insurance.

My state has no income tax. I don't really pay the federal one, due to the kids.

Maybe the important point is that I just went for it. Sensible career and expense choices help, but the main thing seems to be this: You can wait forever trying to get your life into a perfect state for starting a family, or you can just get on with it.

Why did you decide to have so many children?

I didn't. The kids kept appearing! That damn stork...

Lots of little reasons add up. There was never a definite decision. I guess I got fond of having so many kids, and I got used to the chaos. I saw my wife's uncle fall apart after his only daughter died, so redundancy seems wise. My wife is hard-core Catholic. Making kids is fun. Maybe some will visit when I am old.

Tip for a fellow traveler: you might want to check out the Autism Advantage program. They give job training specialized for autistic adults so they can work in the SV.

Is there any potential for a group home situation for him that he could eventually transition to?

Is it necessary? I don't mind him living at home; I just worry about what will happen to him when his parents are gone, especially if for some reason we die relatively young.

I meant as a long-term situation that would give him a social support structure for when you are gone or can no longer provide for him. I see now you mentioned in another comment you wouldn't be surprised if he ended up living with his sister at some point and that she lives close to you, so if he has that option that might be the best.

Sounds like the best thing he could do for his son is give him the first month's rent on an apartment and kick him out. He won't like it, but isn't being a parent about making the hard decisions?

You gotta kick them out. Unless they get cancer or are struck by lightning this kind of babysitting of 25 year olds does more damage than good. And with Mom and Dad around taking care of things there is zero motivation to make mistakes, learn from them and figure anything out.

If I may comment as a young(er) generation (I am early 30s now): I met who I wanted to marry when I was 29, and proposed to her at 30. I think she will be fine. I honestly think your daughter having to re-settle her life to find someone who shares the same wants in life out of her will lead to longer term happiness. When I was 25, I was dating someone long term whom it was kind of similar, I adored her, but ultimately we were not compatible. I am much happier now with the person I adore and am compatible with.

"I think she will be fine"

What a ringing endorsement of your wife :)

(probably not what you meant though)

Hahaha sorry bad use of pronouns. I meant his daughter.

My fiancée on the other hand still has time to figure out she can do way better than me.

If it makes you feel better, I was still living with my parents at 24 and had never had a girlfriend and I am now happily married with two kids. Some people are late bloomers.

Moved from home early but didn't get a girlfriend until I got engaged somewhere after I was 25.

I've now been married for over a decade and we have more than two kids, - together ;-)


We've banned this account for repeatedly breaking the site guidelines. If you don't want to be banned, you're welcome to email hn@ycombinator.com and give us reason to believe that you'll follow the rules in the future.


My dad beat plenty of sense into me. What I learned was to stay the hell away from him and never treat my children the way he treated his.

edit: I haven't spoken to my father in over 20 years, and I probably never will again. What finally turned me to this point was having children of my own. I saw what he really was then, and I was determined that he would never have a part in their lives. They're adults now and are free to contact him if they won't, but they know what I've told them about him, and they choose to keep the separation.

I think you only got that reply because in your original comment you didn't mention your son's disability. I was wondering myself what you were going to have to do to kick his butt out until you mentioned why he's still at home. Makes a lot more sense with that detail.

I think I got a lot of hostile replies from people not stopping to think about why, especially people who have never actually raised children themselves.

This particular comment, though? Nah, suggesting "beat some sense into him" was out of line by community standards and common decency. And as someone who grew up bruised, it was a little triggery for me too.

Yes, that reply was incendiary and unnecessary, 100% concur. But I'm a parent of two kids and this did not make it any more clear to me ;-). I was thinking "oh my, I hope I don't find myself in that situation with my own son in 10 years, that's probably not going to be an easy problem to fix" not "the son must be autistic." Even though my best friend has a 25 year old daughter who's autistic and living at home (presumably for the rest of her life).

Just goes to show interpreting comments on the 'net without any context is easier said than done. I always try to keep positive assumptions in mind before I hit reply.

I try to not assume other people are either stupid or malicious, that if they see the world differently from me, they have good reasons. I think it makes me a better person, and it certainly makes me a more relaxed person.

Even without the autism, the only thing that 'kicking his butt' will accomplish is teaching him to despise his parents.

Thanks for staying on an even keel despite how frustrating some of these replies must be.

I keep telling myself I'm being criticized by a bunch of people who have obviously never raised children. :)

As someone much earlier than you in the process of raising children, I appreciate your insight and thoughtfulness. And as a human who was raised by people with similar insights and thoughtfulness, I appreciate you understanding and standing up for your kids.

My own parents were pretty horrible. I've been determined to do better. Part of that is respecting them for who they are, not resenting them for who I wish they were. As I've said elsewhere, I really admire my son's ability to focus on what actually matters to him, even if I also worry that it may cost him in the future.

You sound like a solid parent and a patient person. IMO it’s a meaningful achievement that your kids want to maintain a close relationship with you.

I am in similar marriage /w 3 kids, I have younger kids who I believe have values like your daughter but I also worry that it will be much harder for them to find serious partners.

My wife isn't worried, she believes things will work themselves out somehow.

I don't think people who don't have kids can understand how concerning shift in values and attitudes is and can be for parents.

Your son's issue may be exacerbated by video game addiction. As a game developer I know exactly how effective our methods are.

what are your thoughts on League of Legends?

Your son is 25. Shouldn't he have more responsibilities? Metaphorically speaking should you push him out of the nest? Or at least move towards that direction.

Seriously. With food and shelter always taken of, there's no incentive for him to get a job or "adult" at all.

That's a very shallow understanding of incentives.

Case in point - his twin sister moved out as soon as she got herself a steady income to live on. But she also chooses to stay in town, and spend time with us multiple times a week. Why is that? Why did she come out differently?

That's American culture for you.

Capitalists force a narrative that everyone is inherently "lazy" and will be good for nothing if not for the jobs/existential crises they so conveniently provided by the capitalists.

I relate heavily to your description of your daughter (and am also the same age!). I have a great career by most standards and am independent but also prefer to be home and near my parents/extended family whenever I can. Why? Mostly because I enjoy their company, but even just being in the same house feels nice.

In contrast the girls I have dated do not understand how I prioritize/spend so much time with my family instead of anyone/everything else. :shrug:

My daughter is actually one of my best friends. I'd hang out with her even if we weren't related. I sometimes joke that I diluted her mother's genes to perfection...

You're a wonderful person and you sound like a great parent. I have a good relationship with my parents today, especially my father. He and I are good friends. It's interesting, contrasted against the way he was raised and the relationship that he had with his father. Back then, the idea of a friendship wasn't even on the table.

Anyway, I have nothing to really add here. I just wanted to say... I'm on the cusp of becoming a father, we're expecting our twins this weekend. You've given me a lot to think about with your story in these comments. Thanks for that.

Not to discredit what you’re saying (because I think it’s valid!) but I’ve dated people that have had difficult relationships with their parents and I think being away from them has overall been a more positive solution for everybody.

That said, I love spending time with my parents, but I know it’s not a one-relationship-model fits all for getting the most out of life.

> people that have had difficult relationships with their parents and I think being away from them has overall been a more positive solution for everybody.

This describes me exactly.

My parents are just hideously broken people that passed their hang-ups and neuroses onto me in such a way that I was just a shell of a person until my early 20's when I realised what was wrong with me and made effo

Of course, there are layers to everything! I just wanted to provide a perspective that reinforces the OP's point -- different strokes for different folks.

Sometimes dudes need something to 'flip' them into activity, saying this as a dude myself, so I can't speak for the ladies.

A family member of mine smoked pot and lived in a van a skiied the backtrails for 10 years (!!!) and then poof got his CA way late in life and is not 'caught up' in his career.

Another peer worked in marketing, hated it, went to work stoned. Then one day 'poof' he got serious, was a manager (it was a rapidly growing company), Director then VP within a few years.

Sometimes I think 'guys need a reason', and for many it just comes along.

If your kids are safe, healthy, decent people and not in existential trouble with the law etc., consider yourself fortunate in a way, it could be much worse.

'20's are the new teens' anyhow. 25 is still very young.

Yeah. In a way, I really admire his focus. His life has everything he cares about, and he ruthlessly ignores everything that doesn't actually matter to him. And he's smart, capable of incredible focus, and can interact with people in structured ways (he works in retail and is actually good at it).

Maybe someday he'll decide to aim it somewhere else.

Your daughter is fine but unless your son is disabled / has other potential issues (like autism, severe depression) you need to get him on the right track. No 25 year old should be able to get away with the excuse of being unable to "adult well enough to live on his own". Your son of course has responsibility but that's really your problem to fix if he won't

He's pretty seriously autistic.

One thing having twins did for me was push me way over to the nature side of nature vs nurture. They're so different, and always have been. And I don't expect to have more control over their lives than my parents had over mine at that age.

What do you mean by seriously autistic? You said in another post he does tasks around the house and took care of your wife when she fell ill. A seriously autistic person would not be able to do that. A seriously autistic person would require constant adult supervision.

Are you sure he's not just under-socialized and addicted to porn and video games? How does he spend his days? He might simply be a western hikikomori.

Autistic enough to not function well in society. There's actually a middle ground between "just fine" and "has to wear a helmet".

I don't mean to pry, but I'm kinda curious. What do you mean by function well in society? Some people with down syndrome can still live a semi-normal life and be employed, are you saying your son is worse than that? Can he talk to people? Can he drive?

He still doesn't drive. He's resisted it (mostly passively) pretty hard. He even has his own car. But to him, it's an alien thing, something he doesn't want to do.

He can talk to people who share his interests at the moment, or in highly structured interactions (he works retail and is pretty good at it), but in free-form "polite conversation", he's basically paralyzed. I seriously worry about if he ever has to engage with the police, because I don't think he could obey their shouted orders.

I see, in that case his dependence at this stage in life is understandable. Still I hope he's able to overcome the difficulties being autistic presents and figure things out.

Maybe he would enjoy games like factorio or Shenzhen I/O, those games are pretty fun and are good introductions to learning skills very similar to programming

Is the boyfriend 25? It took me until 25 to start being open to the idea of kids. I'm 27 now and actually open to the idea. I had never spent time with kids really. Having a niece and nephew helped a lot because I realized kids, while a lot of work, can bring a lot of joy.

That’s really interesting. What made you feel that your mind changed? When I was 25 I was much more open to children, but now at 27 I’m very sure I don’t want to have them.

Getting to know my niece and nephew. And talking to my brother in law as the kids grew up. I remember asking, "Doesn't the crying annoy you?" And he said something like, "You know I thought it would but when it's my kid it just sounds different. I don't get annoyed I just feel for them and want to do whatever I can to make them feel okay again."

Conversations like that and the emotional connection I have with their little ones made me realize it might be worth it.

At 27 I feel even more strongly. I'm still not ready to have kids but I feel a draw to it now.

Should consider looking into an F3 workout group. Totally free men’s group.

25 is very young. You’re not going to find many urban, college-educated 25 year olds willing to start a family that early.

If starting a family is the goal, I don't think "urban, college-educated 25 year olds" are what you'd look for. That gets you fewer kids and a moderately high disease risk.

Optimizing for the goal of a family, you'd look for suburban people who will be reaching your jurisdiction's marriage age within a year. Secondary to that you might look for ones who are smart, but they'd have to prioritize family.

Not as far as fertility is concerned. 25 means only a couple of years left at peak fertility.

What is "Peak fertility"? That's at least 10 more years for women before they even become higher risk.

The period during a woman's life when she is most likely to have the least difficulty conceiving a child. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age_and_female_fertility

I'm not sure what you mean by "higher risk". The risk of a woman being unable to conceive increases each year after ~27-30, depending on the study.

It used to be a term used for women trying to conceive. Based upon your link it would seem to have gone out of style, which really is for the best. Even at 40 those aren't bad odds.

They are bad odds if having children is very important to you, and if you want multiple children.

You don't even know if you'd want multiple children.

I'll be having my 12th kid soon. That simply doesn't happen if you wait. At the start, I had no idea that I'd want so many kids. To allow for this possibility, you must start early. Ideally you'd start before age 20.

That is impressive. Congratulations on your soon-to-be newest addition!

> Ideally you'd start before age 20.

In college? Or high school?

Does it matter?

I think it is important to have some means of supporting a family, but that might not involve the educational path that has become our standard for the past 30 years. It only takes one good income, and paid child care is usually a terrible deal for big families, so there isn't a financial justification for paying for two expensive educations. If the degree costs time or money and wouldn't get used, why bother? Avoiding unneeded student loans is a sensible idea. The earlier you start, the larger your family can be.

The lines between college and high school are starting to blur. Dual enrollment (or equivalent) is offered in most states. This lets students take college classes early, getting credit for both high school and college. Here it can start in 6th grade. You can get a BS degree before completing high school.

The reasons to wait are legal (typically must be 16 to marry), medical (roughly similar), and the ability to find a suitable spouse. That last one is usually easier in college. It can be a challenge to get everything in order at a young age, but the payoff is huge.

at least 10 more years

More like 20. Women are safely birthing children well into their 40's nowadays. The old "safe" age limits (generally up to 40) are no longer considered to be relevant.

Some women can certainly conceive well into their 40's. Many cannot after 35. Each year after ~27-30 increases the chance that you will have difficulty conceiving.

Some can't conceive at all - the odds are still good well into their 40's, and no point scaring people into rushing into having kids when there's little evidence for it.

There is plenty of evidence that younger women (<35) get pregnant more easily, have easier pregnancies, and have lower risks of complications. After 27 or so, the odds of it all going well start to decline. After 35, which is about when women would be trying for #3 or #4 if they started in their late 20s, those odds start getting worse quickly. No point lying to people, unless for some reason you want the people listening to have smaller families.

Or, you know, you don't want to scare people into making poor life choices for themselves just to make sure they don't miss their "window".

Of course, but you also don't want to tell young women they have all the time in the world to settle down. If they want multiple children, and by the time they're 25 they still haven't found a man they expect to marry, they really need to get on that.

I guess we're thinking of children along separate lines - I see it as a potential outcome of a good, stable relationship, but you're defining it as a goal, where the getting a mate is a step in the progress towards said goal. It's just a different way of defining relationships and lives.

I think having kids is a goal for a lot of people, e.g. the girl that is the subject of this thread.

>She has a career, and wants to get married and start a family sometime soon. Her boyfriend is a great person to be around and she adores him, but... he doesn't want kids (and is actually freaked out by them).

You're right - downs syndrome chance does increase with age, but yeah, there's a ton of fertile years left. 25 is not nearing the end of anything.

>there's a ton of fertile years left.

There might be, there might not be. There will likely not be many years left where the woman is most easily able to conceive a child.

At age 35, there's still 84% odds over 5 years - that's still waayy in the majority of "going to have a baby".

A) 5 years is a looooong time to be trying to conceive. Trying unsuccessfully to conceive is quite stressful.

B) You can't tell when you're 25 whether you're going to be in that lucky group. If having children is very important to you, those odds are not great.

C) Many people want multiple children. They can't afford to wait until it's taking 5 years to conceive each child.

We’re not farm animals, peak fertility doesn’t matter.

It does if you're a woman who wants to have children. There are of course expensive ways to increase fertility after it has started to decline, but they're far from a guarantee.

The point, though, is that if a woman is still just looking for a husband at 25, when she is already nearing the end of her peak fertile years, she will likely be at the end of her peak fertile years when she gets married, so it's all downhill from the get-go.

25 is not young. I was married for 4 years (still married at 34 to the same woman), a one-year-old daughter, working as an air traffic controller for 7 years, deployed to the ME, stationed at three different bases, traveled to 12 countries (at the time), completed undergrad, and half-way through graduate school. The age appearing young is because society likes to make excuses on why people haven't gotten their act together.

"25 is not young"

really it depends on the person's fitness & genetics. its just a number. I know people who are 23-27ish, they either look like 17 year olds or 39 year olds.

Having a baby and getting married has nothing to do with getting your act together. If anything, having a baby before 25 is strongly correlated with not having your shit together.

Their mother had them when she was 24. It paused her finishing her master's degree for a semester. She went back to teaching college, then into IT, where she's a product owner for international e-commerce.

She's 25? I wouldn't be worried.

Your daughter will be ok. She can go anywhere and immediately find social groups and have no issues finding dates — if she gets online she can literally have hundreds or thousands of men ready to take her out. It’s completely opposite for most men — isolated and hard to find social circles.

It’s easy for women to find dates. Much harder to find competent potential life partners who want to start a family.

Well yeah, but... it's hard for men to find dates to begin with, and that's just the starting line for finding a competent potential life partner who want to start a family. I'm a parent of both a boy and a girl like OP, as well as a former single man - I do believe women have some disadvantages in modern society, but dating/romance is not one of them.

You’re making a fallacy here. You are saying “it’s easier for women to get 100 dates, therefore it’s easier for women to find what they want”.

Your OP is saying, it’s easy for women to get 100 dates but out of 100 dates only 1 will be a sensible life partner.

It may be harder for a man to get 10 dates than for a woman to get 100 but in those 10, half of them will be a sensible life partner.

It’s a little like an advertising funnel: women have a source for getting lots of clicks, but few will be well qualified for a sale.

Men have a harder time getting clicks, but generally when they do they are generally well qualified.

You’re just thinking about the clicks as if that’s the only equation that matters but it’s a multiplication of two conversion rates, not one.

You're assuming women are 50 times more likely to want to be a "sensible life partner" which isn't true, in my experience. Maybe it's just my age category (early 20s), but women and men alike aren't concerned with settling down.

Plus with the advent of online profiles, I don't have to go on 100 dates to figure out 50-90 of them won't work out. so if 1 out of every 10 dates I go on is a winner, and it takes me a week to set up those 10 dates, then it is still better than for a guy to spend a month setting up 10 dates, of which due to small sample size, there's a lower chance of the let's say 2-3 sensible life partners appearing.

I'm not sure how old you are, but among young men there is a big problem with sexlessness. I think I remember reading recently in the newspapers that 1/3rd of young men are incels nowadays.

Edit: found it https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2019/03/29/share-ame...

In other words, women get a lot of "date spam".

Imagine a heterosexual relationship dating pool of 100 men and 100 women. 40 of the men are date-spammers, and 5 of the women are date-spammers. They will all attempt a first date with anyone with a pulse.

So each woman in the pool can easily get 40 dates, and each man in the pool can easily get 5 dates. These dates will likely not turn into long-term relationships, as the indiscriminate selection protocol does not correlate highly with sufficient investment into any particular relationship.

In short order, each non-spammer semi-pool will adapt compensation and filtering strategies to avoid the date-spammers. As the women have a lower signal-to-noise ratio (1.5) than the men (19), their filter will be more brutal, and block more false positives. The hookup bros make it harder for the normal men to find dates, as they increase the strength of women's filters, and then they profit more strongly from mimicry of non-spammers in order to defeat the filters.

With this hypothetical dating pool, the normal guys could cartelize, and join a dating site where men are only allowed a first date after a timeout interval of N days. New accounts have to wait N days before setting up a first date or accepting a date. While dating is in progress, the timeout clock stops at N days, communication with everyone else is suspended, and either person has to click on a "relationship ended" button--which notifies the other person--to start them up again. The ToS can penalize users with multiple accounts. It's rate-limiting dates, to stop the spammers.

That seems heavily female biased. It's more realistic that 1/100 men is right for a woman and 1/100 women is right for a man, but the woman will at least meet a 100 men whereas the man will only meet 10 women. It would explain the amount of sexless young men.

The OP (Rayiner?) wasn’t making a claim about “rightness” they made a claim about readiness for a family.

So yes, that group is female biased. That was the whole point of his comment.

The kinds of things men are typically looking for are also in short supply in the median woman who will go on a date with them, but that’s a separate point.

(I feel like a lot of people in this thread read some implied moralizing here, like single men are bad for not being family ready, that it’s some sort of female supremacy argument, but no one said that. It just is what it is.)

>It may be harder for a man to get 10 dates than for a woman to get 100 but in those 10, half of them will be a sensible life partner.

That's probably the point of disagreement, I don't see any reason to think this is true.

If your standards are too high, you'll find it tough to find "competent" life partners who want to start a family.

Secondly, if I told you that there was a > 20% chance you were going to get run over by a car, would you cross the road? Even the best partnerships (statistically) have a 20% chance of divorce. "Hey 'incompetent' life partner, do you want to take a 20-50% chance of losing 60-80% of the assets that you build up over the next 10 years? Oh, how about a similar chance that you'll lose the relationship with your children?"

Men are not upset (in general) that they are single. It's women that are upset.

This is insane. I used to think this way in high school - "wow, girls have it so easy, every man wants sex and if girls want sex they just have to raise their hand, it's so hard for men!"

Then I lived in the real world and realized that, well, people don't actually want to have sex with anything that moves, and it's a gift to be a man who doesn't get dozens of sexual advances per day, and doesn't have to worry about what literally every person's intentions are.

> people don't want to have sex with anything that moves

> gift to be a man and not get dozens of advances a day

I am not sure if that’s true. Both my female cousins fit the description above, except they’re in their late 30s by now and still aren’t able to find partners for life. Sometimes I think maybe that’s the way it’s always been and that’s why there were forced marriages, which you might not have liked but in the end they made you happy through the family you’d usually had around you as you grow older. Don’t know

I've had some Indian co-workers in arranged marriages who think it's great, and are totally baffled by people who only marry for love.

Well of course, a woman's sexual value plummets after her mid 30s (also known as "hitting the wall"). However, 25 is still young and a 25 year old girl has an almost unlimited amount of options if she tries online dating.

>if she gets online she can literally have hundreds or thousands of men ready to take her out

Women have to actually filter out the serial killers you know. That's what they're doing on the dating thing.

I'm sorry to say this, but the tone in your voice towards your son sounds more detached than it should in my opinion. I mean, why would you let him slip into that bleak future you're describing for him? Shouldn't you be the one to wake him up, especially if he lives under your roof. I get it if you don't believe in discipline, but I think that's what is required here (or at least fatherly guidance).

I'm usually the biggest advocate for personal responsibility, reaping what you sow, etc. but I think you may be being too hard on the parent. For one thing, parents lose a lot of power as kids age-- how exactly do you punish a 25 year old living at home? Send him to bed without dinner? Take away his Nintendo Switch?

Also, reading between the lines of parent's post, I'm wondering if the son is depressed. Maybe suicidal? Trying to "light a fire under his ass" could drive him deeper within himself, and if someone wants to die, there isn't much you could threaten them with anyway.

I certainly appreciate the destructive feedback loop: failure contributes to depression, depression and idleness cause further failure. That lifestyle probably causes obesity, making everything worse. Then there's the datelessness, etc. But breaking the cycle requires, among other things, that the kid want to get better-- I mean really want it more than he's wanted anything in his life. Short of that, and unless you're willing to toss him out on the street and hope for the best, the options are not great.

A caring father can hurt the child's development by making him feel too comfortable. You can show that you care by putting boundaries. I'm not sure the age matters here. You can cut down the internet, or make him pay rent. You can be hard, and at the same time give him options. Show him somehow that the reality could hit him in the face really hard, if he doesn't change.

There always could be depression behind things, so one has to be careful. Maybe arrange therapy, if necessary. For a young guy to be able to open up to his father could be really hard, especially if he's in a pinch, but acting as if you were a bystander isn't the solution.

(It seems the kid has autism according to the father, so it changes things quite a bit.)

If they are mid-twenties they have probably heard it a million different times in a million different ways, what do you do?

Kick him out. Having my parents cut off financial support to me was the kick in the ass I needed to get into shape. Best thing that ever happened to me.

You talk to him. Drag him out to sit in the yard and talk for an hour. Demand he ride with you to the grocery store.

You listen to his reality. You ask him about what games he is playing and how they work. You ask him about what he wishes for more of. You respect him and love him and build trust.

You tell him hard truths, gently, when he needs to hear them.

You accept that he will need to wander in the desert to find his own truth, and might end up somewhere other than you.

You reach back out when you miss him.

You expect him to know things you don’t, and you take joy in discovering new things about him you didn’t know were there.

You tell him when he is hurting you, draw the line on abusive behaviors. Explain why his behaviors are wrong and describe what you need from him to feel great about the relationship.

You tell him about your own struggles and weaknesses. You talk about your hopes for improvement. You are self deprecating.

You laugh at his jokes. You are playful. You try to make him laugh even if he doesn’t appreciate your humor.

You treat him the same way you treat the adults that you love and respect most, so that he grows into one.

I know people like this - what's the solution? Do you just cut them loose and make them figure it out?

Tough love is sometimes the best form of love. Be prepared to be resented; be prepared for the child to cut you out of their life.

Accept it's their choice. You're probably giving them more choice than you ever have before. And it's scary for both of you. But it's literally the only way that some people can learn how to grow up.

Yeah can't you just... kick him out?

Sounds to me like your son needs to learn a trade.


If she is 20 years younger, then he will have to date her until she is 18 or so, but that's okay, too. Mother nature and the lawyers agree: A women of 18 is old enough to get married, have kids, and do well at both.

WTF is this comment.

Please do not take this advice.

Plato and many American states agree: A women of 16 is old enough to get married, have kids

Plato would even add the "and do well at both".

That is advice from a famous philosopher. He thought 16 was ideal for women, and 30 was ideal for men. I have no idea if he might have had a personal bias in that matter.

Luckily for us, neither of these are particularly good modern moral authorities.

While I place no trust in Plato's reasoning or evidence, I don't see the issue as "moral". Instead, I see the importance of good family formation, which the US is failing at (birth rate so low we are rapidly going extinct, literally -- the most basic failing of a society), and needing solutions good in all or nearly all respects.

Failing at family formation is no darned good and worse -- it canNOT last. On this point f'get about Plato, Fromm, or me and, instead, listen to Darwin -- yup, he's on the case.

Seriously. This thread has some fucking crazy people in it with very little self-awareness.

The combination of getting romantic advice from movies and the statutory rape vibes of this comment would lead me to suggest not following this advice, OP.

I didn't, and wouldn't, suggest getting "romantic advice" from movies: But it happens that some movies DO a good job illustrating some common, strong aspects of female emotions. That's not "advice" but just data from some samples. Partly the examples are in the movies BECAUSE much of the audience can or already does understand them -- so, indirectly what's in the movies is some of what is already commonly well understood in the audience. Besides, I explained that should take what was in common for the dozen or so women in those movies.

> "statutory rape"

Nonsense. 100% total nonsense. No where did I suggest or imply that they have sexual intercourse before she is 18 and married. And I would suggest that they not. If they don't have sexual intercourse, then there is no "rape".

You are profoundly confused.

You are also bitterly angry at me for NOTHING. I wrote calmly, rationally, clearly.

The Art of Loving was positively one of the worst books I have ever read. He was an unmarried, childless Atheist that wrote a book about love. As a religious, married man with children, his ideas on loving God, a spouse, and your children are almost completely wrong. It was like reading Ayn Rand, "true statement, true statement, true statement, completely illogical and nonsensical conclusion, unsupported by prior statements".

I'm not arguing against you at all in regards to your conclusion about the book (I haven't read it, and the previous poster has me concerned), but I'm a bit confused about the atheist bit here - do you take exception to their understanding of love, or just loving god?

As I posted in


the start is a person who feels anxiety from their realization that alone they are vulnerable to the hostile forces of nature and society. "Alone" is essentially as in this thread. Then how to respond? From Fromm, love of god is one possible response -- some people suppress a lot anxiety that way and, maybe, have some forms of bonding that can help them in practical ways. Another response is love of spouse -- that's what's central in this thread. A third response is to join a group, that might tribal in some sense, political, religious, etc. -- but being in the group can help do something, hopefully productive, about the aloneness, vulnerability, and anxiety.

A biggie point is Fromm's explanation of love of spouse as a response to the anxiety and not much like the pop culture version of love. To be blunt, porn is Fromm's (iv) and misses all of the benefits of his (i) to (iii). What they do in the porn shots is useless -- the actors don't even pay attention to each other, no kissing, bonding. It does nothing good and, of course, can do harm.

Fromm's book is short. Get some views of some of the clinical psychology or marriage counseling communities. Then, since the book is so short, just read the thing.

I'm just passing along what I learned paying full tuition, trying desperately to save the life of my wife, which I failed to do. Don't take my advice -- ask others as I suggested. Then, did I mention, the book is short? Again, did I mention that won't find Fromm's ideas in pop culture.

It's obvious where Fromm got his information and ideas about women, love, etc. -- from the history of counseling women, some very unhappy, in Vienna, going back to Freud.

Experience with just one marriage would not be nearly such good information or yield such good ideas.

I'm a boy, 24, and willing to have many kids, your daughter sounds like a girl I'd like to have.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact