A freebie? You’re auditioning for the lead role in her life. She is trying to choose someone to devote herself to in every conceivable way possible. If she chooses you, then you become her focus and your will becomes hers. She will do everything she can to make your dreams come true so that you can build a life together. If she has your babies, she puts aside everything – her body, her creativity, her ambitions, her life plans, her career – to be the best Mom she can for your kid. None of these things are paid for by the patriarchy and by having children, she will halve her retirement savings compared to yours, making it much harder for her to leave you later in life. So it’s important to get it right. When we partner, we give you everything as evidenced by the fact that single women are healthier than married ones and married men are healthier than single ones. Men almost always gain in a marriage, and women give up a lot and they give it all to you.

You are lucky to be in the running. But if you’re too much of a tight-ass to spring for dinner, then that’s a big sign that you won’t be much of a support as a father so you’re sending all the right signals to help women avoid you.

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I write about the end of illusions.

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