A certain variety of common dating advice can be quite harmful in the long run because it requires a woman to treat herself as a commodity in a market-driven singles scene. The problem is that while a market-driven approach might get you the guy, it is unlikely to build the foundation for a strong, durable relationship.
"Why buy the cow if you can get the milk for free?" is a common admonishment delivered to women. It is premised on the belief that if you "give it away for free" you are allowing yourself to be treated as a cheap sex object.
You should demand commitment in exchange for sex, so the thinking goes, to encourage your man to accept marriage as the price he has to pay for sexual access. This strategy can result in major problems down the road even if it is successful, because it requires you to objectify yourself to make it work – after all, a cow is a cow regardless of whether anyone purchases it or not. Using sexual access as a bargaining chip to secure a commitment merely transforms you from a cheap sex object into an expensive sex object – and you might find yourself put out to pasture about the time you turn 40.
The enlightened alternative is to insist on marrying only a man who values you as a person, not a cow. Enlightenment doesn't necessarily mean that you can't delay sex until marriage for religious or emotional reasons. It simply means you won't use sex as leverage to secure a commitment, because you prefer to wait for a man who doesn't have to be coerced into monogamy. Choosing this alternative isn't easy, however. Indeed, given the reptilian character of many of the men who populate today's dating scene, the road ahead is likely to be perilous and uncertain.
True love is hard to find, and the harsh reality is that there aren't enough good men to go around. Nevertheless, as difficult as it is to find quality, it's better to live lonely and proud than to languish in a marital barnyard as an expensive cow valued only for its milk.
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