The Ladder Theory of dating is a sarcastic, humor-based theory about why men and women cannot be "just friends." The inventor of this theory, Dallas Lynn, explains the details of his theory on his website in a bitter and bemused tone.
Men have one ladder. They rank the women they meet and place them on this ladder based on how much they want to sleep with that woman -- the higher you are, the more they want to sleep with you.
Women have two ladders. One is for the men she only wants to be friends with, and the other is for men she wants to sleep with. Men are ranked on both ladders.
Men and women cannot be friends, because men don't have a friend ladder. Women think they can be friends with a man, but this only works if he doesn't want to sleep with her at all, which rarely occurs.
What Women Want
Women want a man who is rich and attractive. Any other criteria falls far below this on the ladder ranking system.
The goal in every person's life should be to find someone higher up on the ladder to be with. Every new relationship should be with someone higher on your ladder than the person before them.
MIT student columnist Daniel Chai advises, "If you do get stuck on the friend ladder, though, there’s always the possibility of the 'ladder jump,' or to put yourself into consideration for sex. I’d be wary of this because the results could be disastrous. You could fall off both ladders, and then it’s just awkward."