Unifying the ladders

Following my post on Alonso and delta hedging, I’ve been involved in excellent conversations with a number of friends. I’ve got loads of advice, mostly solicited, on how I should go about the blading process. And there have been a number of other insights also, with a lot of theories having been generated on the Ladder Theory. Note that a working knowledge of this theory is a pre-requisite to your understanding the rest of the post. If you don’t know the theory yet, I request you to read the Wikipedia entry on the same right now, before you continue to read this.

I’ll start off with some insights from a few recent conversations

  • Anuroop says at the very top the two ladders converge.
  • Vyshnavi concurs. She says that one way of getting into a relationship is to climb the wrong ladder, and then hope that you get invited across the bridge.
  • I told this to Baada, who says that the funda of two separate ladders is not part of Indian culture, and that the ladder unification thing is true, and this is specific to India.
  • A while back, Nityag had told me that she would rather marry a friend rather marrying a raondom guy whom she met at the arranged marriage market
  • Earlier today, MC told me that she was scared about the arranged marriage market. That she was scared about committing to a stranger, scared of marrying someone she wasn’t in love with.
  • One of the rumours floating around regarding my cousin’s broken engagement is that she called it off after she got psyched out by the idea of marriage, and marrying someone whom she had met only a couple of times before.

Ok, now that the background has been set, here is the theory. What sets the scene in India apart from elsewhere is the presence of the arranged marriage market here. Here, if you have failed to find yourself a partner by a parental deadline, you are entered into the great arranged marriage market (in fact, occasionally you can be entered into this market even if you’ve found yourself a partner, but let’s not go into that). The thing about this market is that you need to make your decisions quickly, without giving or receiving much blade. It is likely that when you do commit, you are effectively committing to a stranger.

If you are a guy, you are in the arranged marriage market because no one who was sufficiently high up on your ladder (remember you have only one) was willing to marry you. Similarly, if you are a girl, you are in the arranged marriage market if no one who was sufficiently high up in your “good” ladder was willing to marry you. But what about your other ladder ?

Isn’t there a set of friends on your “friends ladder” who, if given a chance, would love to marry you? Isn’t there a subset of this set who are high enough on this ladder that you won’t mind sharing a house with them? Wouldn’t it be possible for you to convince yourself that you would be able to sleep with a subset of this subset? If this subset of a subset is non-null, then I think you are in luck. You do have hope.

Don’t you think it’s better for you to marry a friend rather than marry a stranger? Aren’t the odds of making the relationship work with a friend so much better than those of making things work with a stranger? That he is your good friend means that there is a certain basic minimum level of compatibility between you guys. Are you sure you can say that about the guy you meet in the market, after you’ve talked to him once, or maybe twice? If you are still reading, it is likely that you are going to accept the unified ladder theory.

So, my dear girls, what I’m saying now is not at all in my self-interest but I think it will be useful to you. Do enter the arranged marriage market by all means, but it would help if you could make a small list of boys high up on your friends ladder whom you won’t mind marrying, and who won’t mind marrying you. Use them as a benchmark while you evaluate the guys in the arranged market. And remember that you are more certain regarding compatibility with respect to your friends than the person you are meeting in your market.

Use your friend as a benchmark and all your doubts will melt away. If you do find a truly exceptional guy in the arranged marriage market (trust me there will be some; there will be at least one really exceptional in the market in a year or two) nothing like it. Else, you can think of “cultivating” the friends. Extend a ladder bridge to them. Convince yourself that it is ok to be in a relationship with them. And let them know the change in your stance, that you are willing to give them a bridge. Adn start this process early enough, so that even if all your friends ditch you, there is still the arranged marriage market to fall back on.

Anuroop, Vyshnavi, Baada – what you guys say is right. The ladders do converge at the top. But only in India. And I think i have the reason for that.

Kodhi, and all you others who consider yourselves to be master at being GBF* – there is still hope. This theory shows that there is still hope. Bless the arranged marriage concept for that. There is still a small chance that your GBF^(-1) might want to marry you. Keep up the good efforts. And never lose hope. There can be a bridge high up on the ladder.

*GBF: gay best friend. Refers to guys who are really really close to a girl, without any realistic chance of sleeping with them.

7 thoughts on “Unifying the ladders”

  1. a variant of the ladder theory –
    men also evaluate women on two ladders, and not a single unified ladder measuring overall desirability for women.
    they have two ladders.
    ‘main’ ladder – measuring desirability of women on both acquaintance and physical attributes – so, they’ll hang out and sleep with anybody who is sufficiently high on this ‘main’ ladder.

    ‘Marry-able ladder’ – on this ladder they’ll place only a very few women with whom they’ll be willing to enter into a Long Term Relationship, or Marry.

    The difference between men and women, as should be evident, is that while for women on the ‘inferior’ ladder, only marriage is off the table; for men on a woman’s ‘inferior’ ladder, both marriage and a physical relationship are off the table.

    Now, the options for a woman in the indian context would be, in case she does not have anyone high enough on the superior ladder, to either marry someone from the arranged marriage market who “appears promising” based on 3-4 meetings, or to marry someone reasonably high from their ‘friend’ ladder, as you suggest.

    So its either enter into a high risk, high reward transaction based on incomplete information, or enter into a transaction which you reasonably expect to give mediocre returns. And, this mediocre return transaction, i.e. marrying someone from the friends ladder, will work only if the woman is on the male friend’s ‘Marry-able’ ladder.

    Now, the decision will only depend on the probabilities assigned to the stranger from the marriage market actually turning out to be promising, and the degree of mediocrity expected from marrying a friend.

  2. what if a girl’s parents are super traditional and the girl is being told from when she can remember that arranged marriage is the only option n anything else is like bringing shame to the family!so even though she thinks falling in love with someone n marrying is a better better option, for the love of her parents she does not get into any relationship n waits for the suitable boy to come! now is she right?

    1. repeating from the post:

      in fact, occasionally you can be entered into this market even if you’ve found yourself a partner, but let’s not go into that

  3. Dont believe anyone. The ladders dont merge – India, Africa or Antarctica. Every case can be explained by the ladder theory. I say this as an expert on the topic of the Ladder Theory. Cant debate more on blog comments. Mail me for more questions.

  4. @JD: I dont think you have understood the LT properly. There is no ‘Marryable’ ladder. The ones on what you call the ‘Marryable’ ladder happen to be top of the one single ladder men have.

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