This narrow biological view of coupling by no means discredits the irrationalities and beauty of love, connection and lifelong partnership; it is just a facet and a tendency.

All things that matter are complex systems with infinite variability, with gatekeepers in place to keep the system stable. Nature implemented the same thing for its cornucopia of species, mostly exporting the gatekeeper role to the female sex. They are the ones holding the rods and deciding that some “shall not pass”. Heterosexual females of most of the higher species have this thing in common, they are the ones who choose what trails should be perpetuated in the next generation and what is undesirable, making them effectively the CEOs of nature. But humans are a bit different in comparison to other species so the selection process becomes that much more multifaceted and multidimensional.

The bad news is there will be a lot of men who will not have children but most women will have at least one, meaning that some males will be chosen over and over again. The good news is that human males have a far greater spectrum of criteria they can be selected on. Were you for example a female peahen you would judge your peacock mate solely on his tail and the ability to flaunt it. Were you a monkey lady you would mate with whoever chased the weaker males away. Were you a seal girl you’d be attracted to the enormous size of a male and his ability to win a fight and wouldn’t even look at the smaller ones. The larger the difference in a single characteristic of males and a female of the same species the more that characteristic plays a role in mate selection (usually of a male by a female). But being human brings about no “one size fits all” scenario. We do have a tendency of males to be a bit bigger and have about 30% more strength in their upper body, but all in all the differences are far less accentuated than in some other species and your man’s ability to open a pickle jar is nice, but not necessary. We are not heterogeneous and have no single marker for reproductive selection.

There is this thing called the Baldwin effect. Having nothing to do with the male specimens of the Baldwin brothers’ blood line, it refers to the evolutionary biologist James Mark Baldwin and it emphasizes the loop of enhancing a single trait or a behavior within species that affects its reproductive success and has a direct impact on the genetic makeup of subsequent generations. That would be the case with the peacock’s exquisite and elaborate tail but when ladies choose in a human domain it seems that one particular point of success is not that important. While men strive for perfection in one area, women strive for wholeness in their lives. As a man you will not be selected based solely on money, status, physiognomy, one skill or one trait. You will be selected based on all of them, and most crucially, on the potential you have to be successful – meaning intelligence, personality, knowledge, drive and energy. Since a human male cannot flash bright colors of his tail feather to signify he’s healthy he will do so by displaying energy which indicates good health and that he’ll have a chance to acquire success through life among other men. So no, current success or point in life, size, or power is not that important in the long run, but men are however taught to climb the male hierarchies and are naturally more oriented towards competition. They will be selected according to their ability and potential to climb not on their current ranking in it.

She will need you active and eager because most of the women with long term partners will go through periods in life when they are more vulnerable than a men ever will be – pregnancy, birth and caring for infants completely dependent on them. In short ladies’ choice (excluding the deliberate gold digging) will always be – “It doesn’t matter if you’re not there yet, it doesn’t matter if you don’t get it, but just don’t stop trying!”. There are many factors at play here and each couple is different but distilled truth is – effort is attractive.