The Playboy's Playbook: Avoiding The 'Marriage Zone' If You're A Guy And Overcoming It If You're A Girl

by Date Master Dan

Readers of this column undoubtedly have heard the many wonderful reasons to be a healthy, gainfully employed 29-year-old single male living in New York City. My money is my money, I can go where I want, do as I want, but most importantly, my access to women has never been higher, and increases on a daily basis: let me explain.

Fellas, remember freshman year of high school? Wasn’t so great. At first, you find yourself hanging out with a whole new bunch of girls, but that excitement fades quickly as the girls your age ditch you for older guys with cars.

If you were like me, you spent most of freshman year in your buddy’s basement with eight dudes playing Mario Kart or walking to the corner strip mall trying to get older people to buy you cigars.

But those latter high school years were your glory days. You owned the school, could drive anywhere you want and hang out with girls in all grades.

The same cycle replays itself in college and post-college. After a quick start up period, the girls your age are off with the older guys again, but at least this time your social universe is a bit bigger than it was in high school.

And again, you get your payback. Come senior year, you’re still going to the bars with freshman and sophomore girls, that same bar that girls your age won’t dare walk into knowing very well they aren’t getting that attention anymore.

Enter post-college real world. As you start graduating from school or entering the work force, you are a small fish in a huge pond, trying to figure out where to go on the weekends and how to date and hook up.

You probably go to a lot of pre-games and group dynamics typically dictate your social calendar and agenda. Your access is pretty low, and for the men, it’s going to take you some time to develop resources that women find attractive. Ladies, it’s great to be alive at this age, relish it and live!!

The marriage zone is the point in life where a man and a woman’s access intersect, which typically happens at age 27-29. It’s rough out there for the females -- they get lied to and are told to put marriage and kids off, to focus on a career, to date multiple people and to worry about starting a family later in life.

This advice is great when you are 22-26, but things quickly turn around at 27, the point where she has to get him to commit before he realizes that his life is just beginning. Ladies, your clock is ticking, and fellas, you’re finally turning that job into a career, getting a bit smarter and have more options because of your increased success.

Although women are still relatively desirable at this age, they’ll start to notice their options are dwindling and they aren’t quite getting the same level of attention from men that they used to.Ladies in your early twenties -- remember that nice guy that keeps trying to take you out but you keep blowing him off?  In about five years, you’re going to be wishing that same guy was still around.

Mark my words, the clock will not stop ticking and soon it will be “about that time,” but unfortunately he probably won’t be interested in you anymore after you’ve made your long run through the club scene and have been plowed through by who knows what. Lock it down while you can and thank me later.

Guys, if you are lucky enough to make it through the marriage zone without a wife or a kid, congratulations! It’s truly a remarkable time to be alive. The world is your oyster.

You’ve got it on both ends of the spectrum: 21-year-old senior at NYU?  No problem, you’re a young 29, have your own apartment, you know how to speak in hashtags and you love EDM!!  She’s 38? Piece of cake, you’re a mature 29, hang out with your older co-workers, you’re over the club scene, love to cook and have other random hobbies that accentuate your maturity level. Your market value increases on a daily basis.

I remember taking a run at a girl when I was 24 who lived in my building. She wasn’t anything special, a solid 7, but we would walk to work together every once in a while and I thought she was pretty cool.

She was never around for a real date, and was increasingly hard to track down on the weekends. Sure, we made out a few times but I never was able to make much out of it.

Fast forward 5 years, we match with each other on Tinder, start chatting and make a plan to get drinks later in the week to catch up. We’re having a good time, making out, and she says to me “this is so great, why wasn’t this happening 5 years ago…?”  I said, “excuse me?  I remember trying to make some moves and date you like a normal human being, but you were a little bit too cool for me back then.”

She agreed with me that she had a little attitude, and I could see it in her face that she knew that those nice guys that were calling when she was 23 and 24 (me) aren’t knocking down that door at age 29

Her access had greatly diminished, while mine was at its peak. When we first met on her side of the marriage zone, she held the power and was negotiating from a position of strength, but I got it on the flip side after crossing through that marriage zone unscathed. Oh, I never saw her again after that night...too many younger, more fun, less-run-through-girls for me to try and chase.

To my gentlemen, avoid the marriage zone at all costs. Stay sharp, stay in shape, stay the course -- you’re doing fine. Don’t pay attention to all your friends engaged at 26 because their college girlfriends gave them ultimatums. Don’t get discouraged by your lack of success in your early twenties -- it will get better, trust me, do not settle for someone out of fear of being 30 and single. That should be your goal.

Ladies, either lock it down before the marriage zone, or get ready to recalibrate your expectations later in life. Be nice to those guys you think you’re better than now and show a little humility.

Until next time, avoid the marriage zone!