I have some thoughts on marriage and long-term relationships… and many of them are not my own. I am going to curate a compilation of some of those thoughts, forging together notes from several points of view. I have a conclusion (which is also not my own) – and pays tribute to a fascinating article by Illimitable Man.
In the way of a brief introduction, I am 45 and not married (nor do I plan to be). I was once certain I would be married with kids. Today I will allow for the possibility (maybe in 10 years), but I am not at all tempted to get started anytime soon… at this point in my life, being a bachelor is too much fun.
As you might be able to tell, I am not trying to sell marriage here. Not really. I have a bigger, better axe to grind.
But I do wonder about this topic. For myself. For other men (not all of them are going to want the life of a seducer). And for society at large (which I happen to care about).
To begin to bring in the comments of other men, I’ll start here:
It has been interesting to watch the Renegade Playboy Troy Francis go off about traditional conservatives (TradCons), monogamy, and marriage. In many ways, I feel almost safe to let him speak for me on this topic:
Far from being meaningless, the player's life can be the most meaningful of all.
Without the shackles of marriage and domesticity, he is free to pursue artistic and creative projects to his heart's content.
— Troy Francis (@RenegadePlayboy) January 2, 2019
While I won’t claim that men in the Player Class find the most meaning in life, I like the thrust of his sentiment all the same. Not bad. But this piece is not about being a bachelor. It is about a more traditional path:
What if we did want to get married? For kids. For the potential fulfillment. For the legacy. For the promise of the “full catastrophe” of family life?
That is legit too. Despite what I write about here (and how I choose to spend my time) I really believe that.
I admire (strong) husbands and (good) fathers.
In fact, I am influenced by the values and strength of traditional men all the time. I am very much convinced that marriage and family is the best thing for Western Civilization… even if that isn’t true for what I personally want out of life (there is no conflict in saying that). It’s the best thing for kids. I admire all of that and I encourage it.
This week, a guy left this comment on my blog:
“This is more about being a good role model to my sons and creating a legacy to leave them, than it is about ‘me’ at this point. I’m quite a proponent of finding a true, meaningful vision greater than oneself and setting an azimuth to truly be a good captain. I suspect very few men can pull off a happy marriage in today’s age, but those who can will reap greater rewards due to the greater inherent risks.”
“To truly be a good captain.” I like that. And I think that is an example of a value system that is common in the best of traditional patriarchal men.
And yet, most of us are over-trained in the idea of sacrifice (even if we don’t practice it). It’s in the culture and it’s in our DNA as men… to protect and serve. I would not do marriage in the spirit of sacrifice. Full no to that. Children don’t need a martyr, they need a “good role model.”
If we retain the principle in Men’s Culture of the importance of “put yourself first,” we can still make a case for marriage that could co-exist with those terms.
Speaking of “what is in it for us?,” this post was inspired by the Tweet below from Ryan Stephens:
Married people in the West are happier, healthier, and better protected against economic setbacks and psychological depression.
They enjoy higher incomes and greater emotional support.
You don't need to disavow marriage.
You need to vet better.
— Ryan Stephens ? (@ryanstephens) January 19, 2019
That last line is important: “You need to vet better.” Hmmmm. Interesting. We’ll come back to that.
As for the rest of his comment, I am a committed bachelor, but even still I think Ryan is correct.
While divorce might be a death blow for many men, a high-functioning marriage could be nourishment for a successful life. It could serve as support for a man’s goals beyond his family (his art, his business, even his pastimes). The economic benefits (for the legacy of the family) is a solid argument.
Most of Ryan’s claims are true for most people. Marriage is not only better for society, but it likely IS better for most men (if you can hold it to a high standard). It is a better foundation for most of us than that of the “individual contributor,” for all of the reasons Ryan mentions and more.
(Of course there are many, many valid arguments for why you should NOT get married, but I’m not wearing that particular hat today. For more on that see TheRedQuest. He is also not wrong.)
The TradCons would support the argument Ryan is making there. Even as there is little about my lifestyle the TradCons would condone, I have a strong conservative streak in my thinking. I have many conservative values and I certainly have old fashioned discipline and that kind of work ethic. In another life, I would try to live as they do.
That is… assuming I could start with the right girl. Ryan talks about “vetting.” What would that look like? “The right girl?” This line of inquiry feeds us deeper into the point of this piece.
But first… a little counter-argument. To help round out this discussion, let’s bring in some representation from men that aren’t sold on the prospect of a lifetime with a woman.
Where dem quality women at? https://t.co/KYuw1aMroE
— Flat Lander ??????? (@flatlanderorg) January 19, 2019
We hear this a lot, right? No quality women.
Flatlander is not wrong. He is cynical… but he is not wrong.
There is an argument to be made that “quality” women aren’t easy to identify. Not in general. And are
especially certainly hard to find in the current culture. I’ll leave it to the #complainpill guys (led by false-heroes like Rollo) to bitch and moan forever about “muh feminine imperative.” As men, whining about the state of the culture (and nature, for that matter) is a waste of our time. But I can see what is going on. I know a lot of (otherwise) reasonable men feel that way.
I live in the US (for now) and don’t date American women. Like… never. I approach them sometimes (often as I don’t realize they are American). But those sets are never as fun as non-Western women. There is something there.
We have a problem in the West. With the girls… but also with ourselves as men (which is where I’d rather focus). I am hyper critical of men like Rollo – as I watch them trapped in a defensive crouch, like scared animals. Pathetic. Men like him lack any sense of charm or confidence, and thus won’t be able to lead themselves (or the girls) to a better place. Fear and defense. That is all that school has going for it. A clutch of intimidated men, clucking about politics… they have all but given up.
Say no to #complainpill.
There are solutions. And we’ll come back to that. That is what this piece about. But first, more comments from other guys.
Here is something from Janka (a hero of mine). Last I heard, he wanted to retire from his legendary tour of game and have a ton of kids:
“I am 34, my girlfriend is 22, I want a big family… I have an idea of being the leader of my family. For me, it’s important I have someone of very high character. I need someone I can rely on. A flimsy girl is going to breakdown underneath me. I need a strong woman of high character. I want her young enough that she has a lot of child bearing years ahead. At 22, she can have a lot of kids. And attractive, good sex.”
I like that too. There is a man that fucked over 300 girls. And he enjoyed himself. But he wanted to see the other side too. Good for him. He is not wrong.
And he wanted to be the leader of a family. That is a great way to say it. That is a spirit I can admire.
But notice he is looking for a girl of “very high character.” We are back to “vetting.” That is certainly part of the formula… part of it.
Let’s get back to Flatlander’s suggestion that this whole plan hinges on finding a quality woman. What is the way to find her?
And now I turn my focus to that essay by Illimitable Man I mentioned in my opening statements for this post: Women of Substance are Made, Not Born.
That is a red-hot title. And the words that follows it back up that claim very well. Excellent piece of writing. Well done.
I don’t know all that much about Illimitable Man. I have bumped into him a few times in the fray of Men’s Twitter. But I certainly like his thinking in the post I cite above. (And UPDATE: Krauser continues to quote IM, and via those quotes from Krauser, I’ve come to like IM even more.)
Let’s start off by letting Illimitable answer Flatlander’s question:
“If you want yourself a desirable woman you will have to cultivate femininity and desirability into her yourself if you deem she has the necessary raw material to become a desirable lady worthy of raising a family with, wife material.”
Hmmm, yeah. I like that. That line is doing a lot of things right. If you want a good wife… you have to build her yourself.
That’s heavy. And it’s genius. And it goes well beyond “vetting.”
“Heed me when I say that all red pill women are trained by men, they are not magically born out of the womb, a ‘unicorn’ is merely a high quality red pill woman raised, cultivated and overseen by men of value, integrity and intelligence.”
I see this in the girls I date (and quite often, in the men I work with). You can tell when some strong male presence has made a difference in their lives.
I am not (currently) trying to find or “cultivate” a wife. And I come from a school that is more into seduction than “being pilled” (a lot of “pilled” culture is the antithesis of seduction), but I see evidence of this line of thought in my own progress in game.
In recent posts about Pixie Girl and Baby Dragon, I talked about “training them.” As I talk about wrangling these girls I have been using phrases like “shaping her behavior.” In a recent post on Twitter I gave an example of “telling her what she thinks.” I believe I am in the spirit of Illimitable’s advice when I lead those girls in that way. I believe this is what the best men do with the girls in their lives.
And those girls blossom and glow in the light of that kind of attention.
I was not thinking of Illimitable’s thesis in any of those times… but at the higher levels of masculine psychology (and I think I am somewhere in the middle, but angled up, for certain), we are all starting to do the same things (in perhaps different ways).
I know a lot of guys that read this blog are not married. They are still trying to work up the nerve to talk to some girl on the street (and I seriously respect that stage), to boldly take her number (you can do it, man), to lead her through a date that ends with her ankles in the air (hallelujah)… or over the course of several dates, to establish these girls as happy spinning plates (=recurring revenue).
But there are deep parallels in the work we do as bachelors versus what Illimitable is showing us in terms of setting up the basis for a family… at the level of frames and the ability to wrangle the minds and behaviors of our girls.
We are talking about female psychology. And masculine psychology. Maybe especially our own minds. I will write soon about “do looks matter” (the fucking dumbest argument in pickup), and when I do, I will continue to hammer on the point that the meat and potatoes of what we need to learn in game is the psychology of it all. The power there is light-years beyond your pickup line, your “rescue text,” or the squareness of Chad’s jawline.
Chad can attract sumptuous pussy, but can he cultivate the behavior he wants in a woman? Can you see how those are night/day different skills? If he can “cultivate femininity and desirability” he is more than Chad. He is the man I want to be.
It’s about how solid you can make your own mind. So solid… that your command of the world infects the girls. Your world becomes calm and orderly. The reckless, testing nervousness within her relaxes into grace. Beautiful. That is her, but it is also your impact on her. We are talking about a kind of psychological work, but if done with art… this is all very sexy, indeed.
One of the most important parts of advanced game (and mastery of life, for that matter) is in the concept of “mental frames.” I won’t go into definitions here, but the idea that “good women are made, not born,” is itself a mental frame. Can you handle that concept? Do you believe it? If you do not, you will never be able to create that reality. I bet some of the guys that will read this have done this work in their lives already. For others, it’ll be shocking… or seem like too much work.
“For those of us who have neither the time nor the inclination to practice the patience required to effectively create our own red pill woman, indulging in the idea of red pill women is not an option.”
That’s right. But the default for most men is not glorious relationship. It is mediocrity, or worse. Most men were not supposed to breed, let alone lead (and those things are closely linked). There is alpha. But Sigma also leads. And Upper Betas do quite a bit of leading as well (within their own fiefdoms). These men have the best chance of making marriage work. And they are the men that hold society together.
At this point, we have gone beyond Ryan Stephan’s note about vetting. Vetting is a search for raw materials. From those materials… you begin to build what you want to see in the world.
And we have more than answered Flatlander’s question. For men with the POV he represented in that line, I’m not sure they’ll like the answer. They can’t wait (or hope or pray) for the “culture to change.” They’ll have to start with the best material they can find… and then build her themselves. They will have to make their own glory. And they will have to know what they really want.
Don’t kid yourself. It has always been so.
It might not be worth it to you. Or more likely, you might not have the stones and the force of will to make it happen. But if you choose to accept this mission, Illimitable has more for you in his post:
“Typically you want her to have had a father who was a patriarch, a dominant man who taught her discipline…”
Many men with insight into women’s heads know this is true.
“In essence, this is why women tend to look for ‘men who were like their fathers,’ they seek dominance in which they can trust, and it is this dominance which allows them to remain emotionally stable, offloading their neuroticism onto the stoicism of the man that they pair with.”
“Offloading their neuroticism.” Imagine a man so strong, he can calm her nervous system. A man so expansive he can subsume her entirely. No just for an hour (which is hard enough), but mostly eliminate that from her behavior within the structure of a relationship.
If you’re lucky, you inherit the “raw materials” of a proper “marriageable” women from another man that has raised her to be exactly that. Most likely her dad. Or perhaps a previous lover.
“[T]hey are guided by a social network of traditionally minded matriarchs…”
And perhaps from a family where mom “got it,” knew what a partnership with a quality man was all about, and helped shape her daughters for that role. Not to capture his paycheck, but to procure his patronage. These women are more common than we think.
“No matter the woman, she will test your patience; this is just women full-stop.”
Can you follow that? He is saying something really powerful here.
This is where the notion of vetting isn’t enough. Not only will you not find a “unicorn,” but even once you’ve shaped a girl into a pattern of relating that brings out the highest potential of her, yourself, and the coupling… “unicorn maintenance” will still test your capacity as a man… over and over again.
“All she does is devotion… then ‘fuck you!’… then devotion… then ‘fuck you!’ That’s the feminine.”
— David Deida
You have to build a relationship with a women to even create that state of devotion. And even then… that “fuck you” hiss of the chaotic feminine will be there to find you when you are not bringing your best game.
Are women an incredible pain in the ass? Yes. They are. But the same woman will be out of control for one man and submissive and sweet for another. Why? Because one guy is “better looking?” Hardly. This is about frame. And about having done your inner work so you shine through the mud of circumstance.
No one said being a great man would be easy.
This is a deep, deep answer to a puzzle many men will attempt to solve. Illimitable is laying out. He is pointing to where the responsibility lies. It starts with vetting, but then… it lies with you.
Femininity is like water, flowing over any circumstance or pouring into new life, refreshing and purifying the harsh landscape of life.
And without boundaries, containers, channels- a few chosen vessels, femininity risks being as useless as spotched puddles on a muddied floor.
— Rachel (@tradpoaster1000) January 23, 2019
h/t ^ Propatriarch.
How do you have a stable marriage? Or a zero-drama girlfriend? Or a solid date?
You make it so.
You do that through the mastery of the elements of “game” (the psychology) that extend into something as far reaching as marriage. Through your discipline, your wisdom, and the ownership of your own psychology, you provides a “nest” where her psychology can settle in, root down, and provide the radiance to raise delightful kids.
Before I go on… it is typical of the way I review a piece of work like a book or a product (or in this case, a post) that I include some criticism. And I will do that here, and in part, I already started when I talked about the impotent whining of men like Rollo:
“In today’s Anglosphere and western European civilizations should typically expect very little of women, so few are worthy of anything more than a rumble in the hay simply because they haven’t been raised right.”
I don’t totally disagree with that statement, but in lines like that one Illimitable sounds a little too #complainpill for my tastes. I’m not saying that men that go on about these points are wrong… I am saying that beyond a proper understanding of the features of female psychology (that, yes, are aggravated by modernity) we need to get to work on our lives, instead of playing the role of sad, ineffective analysts (cough cough Rollo).
Okay, there is my disclaimer about the first part of Illimitable’s post. There are more lines like that, but you get the point.
What I like about Illimitable’s piece is that it is much more than whining or angry posturing about “the wymens.” It’s actionable. We can create the world we want to live in. You are not only “at the effect” of culture, you build your own culture from the ground up. That is the part where we should focus our attention. That is powerful. That is a way forward.
Of course this idea didn’t originate with Ill. Lots of men have this kind of steel in their veins.
Women behave according to what you tolerate, not according to what you wish for. Set her clear rules, tasks, limits and she will blossom. Tell her how you want her to be. Be a man! pic.twitter.com/dXMJxgCOGp
— propatriarchy (@AerthoPhoriz) January 24, 2019
I can’t say enough about the calm, certain, masculine vibe coming off of Propatriarchy’s account. No complaining there. Only leadership. It’s inspiring. This is what I wish for men. For all of us.
I talked about Frames. It is my hope that we hold each other to this level of ownership over our lives. That we solidify the “frame” that we can start with a clean vision of what we want, what we expect of women in our care, and build exactly that. First, see it. Feel it. Then be it. Make that frame solid. Then push that frame out. Extend that level of consciousness with such certainty that the women around you feel you to your roots. Capture their attention and their faith. Then lead them. And they will melt inside the solid walls of your mindset, your dedication, your hard work, your wise decisions.
And they will love you for it.
“The biggest flattery of all to women, which only an intelligent woman will realise, is that despite the sheer frustration and pain she causes him with her volatile emotivity, is that such a man still chooses to stick with her and provide for her despite her shortcomings.”
— Illimitable Man
There is some cheerful misogyny right there and I like it.
It won’t be easy. But you can do it. She needs you to. So do your future kids. You need it (even if you’re only talking about taking a girl on weekend adventure).
Should you get married? Maybe. If you do it right, it will likely be the best thing you could do for the future (if not yourself). If you’re not rock solid yet, take on as much responsibility as you can carry, and before you try to lead a tribe… put yourself first. Fix yourself first. Work your way up to being a proper patriarch. That is my plan. In some ways I am already there. In other ways… I have much work to do.
And if you’re a player, you can take these lessons into how you manage your plates.
On a shorter timeline, you can shape the behavior of the girls you date, even within the space of a single date – I know this for a fact, I have done it. Over a few days, you can transform a girl’s behavior (at least in terms of how she shows up for you). Once this is established (“how it starts is how it goes”) you can have a happy, stable, no-drama girl on your hands.
Show her a man she has rarely seen. Demand of her a woman that is worth the care and attention of such a man. Be that man.
“Even single girls should have a male guardian, a reliable male contact person who advises them on their decisions and also confirms them.”
Quality women are made by men. This is leadership. And it’s beautiful.
Once again, much respect to all the brave, “tall” men out there leading women and children through the wilderness. I respect you. You hold much of civilization together. And I admire that very much.