In previous posts, I wrote about laws and policies that could level the playing field somewhat between the sexes. Although those things are possible, I do not hold out much hope for them happening. Men should do what they can to protect themselves – their wallets, their hearts, their bodies, their autonomy - based on the way things are NOW.
Here are my suggestions:
1. Come up with a plan for your life. What are your priorities? What are your goals? What is your dream? What do you want to accomplish as far as family, friends, career, and hobbies? What kind of lifestyle do you want to have?
This will determine what you do and how you do it. Plans can change, but it is important to have a plan. If you want to serve God and get married and have kids, you are going to do things differently than if it want to travel as much as possible for pleasure, or if you want to reach the top of the corporate ladder.
There is no right or wrong answer to these questions – only what you need and want out of life. Don’t let other people tell you what you need, what you want, what you like – even if that other person has a vagina and is really, really hot. Only YOU know those things. One way for you to know is to look at your life so far and figure out what you have liked and what you have not.
If you want a career, pursue that career. If your highest priority is a career, serious, exclusive relationships can slow you down. They can distract you, take your time and energy, keep you from going where you need to go, putting in the hours you need to put in, socializing for the sake of networking, etc.
Plus, the more successful you are, the more options you will have in dates/finding a partner. Marriage-minded “ladies” like the security that comes with a man who is successful. “Golddiggers” are turned on by a fat wallet. Either way, it basically boils down to $$$.
2. Do not fornicate. The most basic thing an unmarried man can do to protect himself is to refrain from fornicating. Fornicating can often lead to disease, out-of-wedlock pregnancy (very expensive if she doesn’t choose to kill the baby and decides to raise the baby), emotional entanglements, and other complications. It can harden your heart. (Most of all, it is against God's will.)
Now, I’m not naïve. I know most men aren’t going to heed that advice, especially when there are so many women who will throw their naked bodies at a man with little effort on his part and no strings attached, ready to try out the latest suggestion from Cosmo or something they saw on MTV. There are still things guys can do to protect themselves by minimizing risks and costs and retaining as much control over their own lives as possible (aside from abstaining).
3. Get a vasectomy. If you’re fairly certain you’ll never want kids, get a vasectomy. Pulling out is not effective. Condoms are not always effective, women have been known to poke holes in them or retrieve the contents, women have tried to get themselves pregnant via “outercourse”. So, if you’re really certain you don’t want kids, get that snip and make sure your sperm count is zero. Even then, it is still good to use a condom to reduce your chances of catching an STD, if you are unwilling to ensure you avoid STDs by abstaining.
4. Use a condom. If you do not want to get a vasectomy, use a condom each and every time – your own condom – one that is fresh. Make sure that it is disposed of properly. It can cause overflows in toilets. If you place it in the trash, it is a good idea to keep a small bottle of Tabasco or habenero sauce handy to spoil the contents. Women have been known to retrieve the contents, and if your partner tries, you’ll hear about it the moment she does if you have spoiled it with sauce. Please, ladies, no complaints about this tactic. A woman who tries to impregnate herself when the man has made it clear he doesn’t want to conceive deserves the result of this tactic. And yes, women have suffered as a result of trying to impregnate themselves with Tabasco-laden ejaculate. Even if you’ve had a vasectomy, a condom can help reduce the risk of getting an STD. You do not want to make babies out of wedlock. You don't even want to donate sperm under any circumstances. It is too risky.
5. Verify paternity. Check paternity with an over-the-counter DNA kit. The child’s mother never has to know, unless you find out that you are not the biological father.
PLEASE NOTE: Since I wrote this, "ancestry" DNA testing services have become popular and are advertising everywhere. NEVER submit your DNA to one of those services. Doing so could bring trouble out of the wookwork. You might find out you have half-siblings, siblings, or other relatives (or worse, a child) you never knew about. These people will be complete strangers to you, but could disrupt your life, making claims to your inheritance or your money, or even becoming obsessively infatuated. NO THANKS!!! It really doesn't matter what the services says about your ancestry. You're building your own life. "Proving" who your great-great-great-great grandparents were is of little benefit to you.
6. Never tolerate abuse. If she hits you or throws something at you, leave and don’t come back. Or, if it is your place, have her arrested, then kick her out. Prosecute her, if at all possible. If you have children, get them away from that dangerous woman.
7. DO NOT SHACK UP. Shacking up is one of the most common mistakes men make these days. If you want to get married, the research shows that shacking up is actually counterproductive to having a lasting, happy marriage. I know this sounds strange, but it is true. If your priority is sex or career or something else, shacking up is also counterproductive to those things. Also, living with a woman makes it harder to break up with her even when you know you should. If you “must” shack up, make sure it is at YOUR place – your name, not hers, will be on the rental agreement, lease, mortgage, deed, or whatever, and your name will be on the utility bills. If you own the place, make her sign a quitclaim before she moves in.
8. Keep dating cheap. If she needs a man who spends a lot of money on dates, let her go find a sucker. You’re better off without her. It is better to save your money. If you want to get married, the kind of marriage-minded lady you should be dating should appreciate a frugal man who is smart with his money. saving it for marriage. If you’re just looking for sex, you can get it without spending much at all – if she’s going to fornicate with you, she’s already decided to before you’ve spent a dollar on the date. In those cases, it is best to try to meet after dinner - for drinks, or wine and a movie at her place. Also, we no longer live in the Dark Ages. Women make their own money now and they can pay if they want something expensive. Why is her time more valuable than yours? Are we equal or not? A woman who expects to be materially compensated for her time with you should either be your attorney, medical professional, counselor, or some other employee, or a prostitute.
9. Do not date single mothers. This will help keep dating cheap (you won’t have to pay for babysitters, and later, for her kids’ meals/entertainment). More importantly, if you’re looking for a wife, it is better to find a woman who does not have children living at home. Such women should be focusing on raising her children anyway, not finding another honey. If you’re just looking for sex, why date a woman who gets pregnant by the wrong men (some widows being the exception)? You want a woman who uses contraception effectively.
10. Avoid exclusive relationships if you do not want to marry or are not ready to marry. Women in exclusive relationships tend to want to shack up, get married, or have babies, and that’s not what you want. Don’t go steady with a woman unless you have good reason to believe it could lead to marriage. Date as many women as you want until you are going steady. When it is obvious that you could not marry a woman or that she is not marriage-minded, stop seeing her. It’s a waste of time and money.
11. Save, invest, insure, own. This should be a lot easier to do if you aren’t spending a lot of money on dates or a girlfriend. Stay out of debt, other than a reasonable mortgage (save up and pay for cars in cash). Spend less than you make. Build up a cash “forget you!” account that will allow you to be without a job for at least six months. You should be saving and investing for large purchases and retirement. It is better to buy a home than rent.
12. Consider remaining unmarried. Marriage isn’t for everyone. If you don’t want kids, and you don’t believe sex is for marriage, I don’t see much reason for getting married in this day and age. I personally believe marriage to the right woman is a huge blessing and that sex is for marriage (and I wanted kids), so it made sense for me. But it seems like there are fewer “right” women out there than ever, and most people have no idea why they want kids – they think they are just a part of life. Even if you agree that sex is for marriage, you need to weigh the guilt-free sex against all of the other things that come with marriage. Before deciding you want kids, you should also try babysitting kids of all ages for friends or relatives for a couple days at a time and imagine what it would be like to have those children 24/7/365, being completely responsible for them for 18+ years – paying for their food, clothes, medical care, and toys; keeping on top of their education; disciplining them.
13. Wait until you are ready spiritually, psychologically, professionally, emotionally, socially, and financially before going about choosing a wife. You should be at least 25 and have achieved your dream (if you have one besides being a husband and father). I know there are happy married couples who married young. And there are people who survive drunk driving, too. You should have any significant psychological problems or character flaws under reasonable control (just as she should). You want to be sober-minded when looking for a wife.
14. Choose a wife wisely. It is the second most important thing you will ever do (the first being deciding about God). Based on what you know about yourself and what you’ve learned from dating and family situations, come up with a profile of what you need in a wife, taking into consideration such things as height range, age range, and anything that is important to you. Do NOT get attached to a woman who doesn’t fit this profile, nor waste your time, money, or energy on her. It’s not fair to her or to you.
As I wrote earlier, do not shack up. Spend a lot of time with her, yes. See how she lives, yes. See how she treats people and gets along with her family, yes. But do not live with her before you are married.
There should be no red flags.
You should be able to look across the table at this woman and be ready to lay down your life for her. You should be able to say to yourself, without regret, “This is the best woman for me. I couldn’t ever do better than this.”
She should respect you.
15. Get a pre-nup. This must be done before you give her a ring or set a wedding date. She must have a lawyer, and you must have a lawyer. Hire a (retired) judge to lead a RECORDED ON VIDEO signing session in which the judge verifies she understands exactly what she is signing and she is doing it willingly. If she refuses, she’s saying she’s happy with letting strangers decide what will happen if the marriage has trouble – and you should not marry her, should not propose to her, because those conditions are stacked against you. Pre-nups can protect her as much as they protect you, and can prompt discussion of important matters many couples do not discuss (enough) before they marry, including finances, goals and expectations, living arrangements, who will work, etc. Financial accounts, credit scores, employment history, education record, medical history (including mental health history), driving record, criminal record, civil judgments – all of that should be out in the open between the two of you. She should be perfectly willing to show you her bills, bank statements, credit card records, etc. If not, something is wrong.
16. Treat your wife kindly. If you’ve made the decision to get married to her, she must be a special lady. Treat her like it. Seek to meet her needs. Protect her. Honor her, love her, cherish her (like the marital vows say). Forsake all others.
I hope I have been of some assistance with these suggestions. You, your brother, or your son could benefit from these considerations.