As might be expected yesterday’s post regarding the love differentials between men and women drew a lot of commentary. I probably should’ve added the caveat that readers have a look at Women in Love as a prelude to reading Men in Love before posting it, but by far the most disconcerting part of Monday’s revelation was in my outlining exactly how men expect to be loved prior to actually entering into a love relationship with a woman.
Generally people of either sex don’t like to have love defined for them. The concept of love is loaded with subjectiveness, and not unsurprisingly you’ll offend people’s interpretations and sensibilities by trying to contain their idea of love in a defined box. This is one of the reasons love is such a great and human idea, but its ambiguity is also the primary cause of much of the human tragedy and suffering we experience. We see love in religious contexts, personal interpretations, philosophical essays, biological dynamics and a whole slew of other arenas, so it’s very easy to understand how universally convoluted, manipulative, and yet also how binding and nurturing love can be according to how well, or how ill our concepts of love aligns with that of others.
In outlining (not defining) a male perspective of love in contrast to a female perspective it’s necessary to understand how a man’s understanding of love shifts as he matures. A lot of commenters wanted to find the base root of that concept in their relationship with their mothers. As Freudian as that rings I wouldn’t say it’s a bad start. Men do in fact learn their first impressions of intimate, physical and nurturing love from their mothers, and this then forms the foundation of that expected love from their potential wives (or lovers). Even as children are unable to think in abstract terms, there is an innate, base understanding of the conditionality that must be met in order to maintain that motherly love. Yohami posted a great illustration of this with the still face experiment.
Yohami breaks this down thusly:
That circuit gets printed before we learn to talk = before we are able to form abstract and concepts. It’s a basic four piece, emotional / behavioral circuit.
There are many ways that circuit can be imprinted “wrong”. One is to have the mom (or dads) on the receiving end, making the kid the giver. Other is having him owning the frame. Other is to have the mom (or dads) respond only when the kid acts out. Other is making the kid act out and then silence him / punish him for it. Etc. Shortly, the kid understands the game and starts to play it.
And then you build everything on top.
Your experiences from ages 12-21, of course helped forming you, because you’re 35 now and this is a sum accumulative game. But honestly, what happened to you from 12-21, are the same mechanics that were already happening, only adding more external world influence, sex drive, and additional pressures.
Im trying to locate the source of the pain, and is this: like a compass or a geometrical piece that wants to find equilibrium, the pain wants to find the “good” again (from the good the bad and the ugly), but it only knows to reach that “good” by balancing violently between the bad and the ugly and episodes of rage and if that doesnt work, splitting / self mutilation ( cutting out the undesired parts of you, your past, identity, emotions, people, relationships, blocking stuff out, etc)
It’s a constant look out for the elusive “good” part of the dynamic.
Yohami continues (emphasis mine):
[But] you werent confident / self reassured about your needs and wants, because you were still negotiating how to even feel “good” and safe, so you didnt develop game nor saw girls / relationships for what they were – but you just added this to the previous unresolved mix, like, seeking the “good” (basic, maternal, paternal love where you’re defenseless and you’re intimally loved and taken care of and safe) from girls, mixing the defenseless and the sexual aggressive drive and the long time affection longing and the sense of dispair of never feeling safe, etc.
From the moment we’re born we realize love is conditional, but we want for it to be unconditional; our idealized state is unconditional love. To be a Man is to perform, to excel, to be the one for whom affections are freely given in appreciation and adoration. On a base level it’s this constant striving for that idealized love-state that helps us become more than we started as, but it comes at the cost of a misguided belief that a woman is capable of, much less willing to love us as we think is possible.
A Place to Rest
Peregrine John summed it up best on Jacquie’s blog comments recently:
We want to relax. We want to be open and honest. We want to have a safe haven in which struggle has no place, where we gain strength and rest instead of having it pulled from us. We want to stop being on guard all the time, and have a chance to simply be with someone who can understand our basic humanity without begrudging it. To stop fighting, to stop playing the game, just for a while.
We want to, so badly.
If we do, we soon are no longer able to.
This is a realization that men don’t make until they are in a ‘love relationship’ with a woman. For men this is (should be) the catalyst for maturing beyond that want for an idealized unconditional love. At that point they come full circle and understand that the conceptual love they’d hoped they could return to (or could be) with their mother doesn’t exist in the woman he’s ‘in love’ with, and ultimately, never really existed between he and his mother from his infancy to adulthood.
There is no rest, there is no respite or reprieve from performing, but so strong is the desire for that unconditional love assurance that men thought it prudent to write it into “traditional” marriage vows – ‘for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love, cherish, and obey, forsaking all others until death do you part’ – in other words, a pledge of unconditional love in spite of all circumstance. Those vows are a direct plea for insurances against a female hypergamy that would otherwise be unfettered were it not made in the context of being before God and man.
In my post What’s Your Problem? I mention a 65 y.o man whom I used to counsel who’s wife had emotionally blackmailed him for over 20 years. He’d been married once before and divorced from his first wife after 12 years due to “not living up to her expectations” of financial provisioning. He never made the connection that the women he was ‘in love’ with had different concepts of what love meant to him. Rather, he evolved his previous concept of love wholesale to match that of women he ‘loved’, and thus his idea of love was one based upon an endless quest for qualifying for that love. In the first year of his second marriage he lost his job, and was unemployed for about 5 months, leaving his wife as the only revenue source for them. At the end of month 4 of his unemployment, after returning from an interview, he came home to find the locks changed on his home and two duffle bags “full of his shit” were waiting by the door. On top of them was a note written by his 2nd wife which, to the effect, read: “Don’t come back until you have a job.”
I remember him proudly recounting this story to me at the time, because he said, as pissed off as he was at the time, he was ‘grateful’ for her kicking him in the ass to be a “better man”. By this point his concept of love had been completely altered from his almost identical experiences with wife number one into a model that was entirely dependent upon his capacity to earn his wife’s love. Gone were the idealizations of unconditional love for the sake of love, to be replaced with the tactical, opportunistic concept of female love of his new wife. And, he was grateful for it.
After 20 years, at 65 (now 69) and in failing health he had come to realize that his efforts to secure her ‘love’ indefinitely had never been appreciated, only expected; so here he was facing the very cruel reality that he was losing his health and thus the means to maintain that incessant qualification for her love and affection.
I get a lot of email and correspondence about the ruthlessness of my, I guess seminal, War Brides post. Guys have a hard time accepting the amorality of women’s inborn capacity to bond with their own captors as a psycho-socially adaptive survival trait, and how this evolved into women’s pronounced facility with which they can ‘get over’ former lovers so much faster than men seem to be capable of. Women don’t like me detailing this phenomenon for obvious reasons, but I think men dislike the notion of their easy ‘disposability’ because of that same inconsistency in gender concepts of love. Even as martyrs, even in death, that unconditional male concept of love is rebuked by women’s, by-necessity, fluid and utilitarian concept of love. As I stated yesterday, coming to terms with this is one of the most difficult aspects of taking the red pill.
I get that this seems overly nihilistic, but that’s the point. All of the very positive, very beneficial aspects of accepting a red pill reality come at the cost of abandoning the blue pill idealisms we’ve been conditioned to for so long. Leaving behind that polyanna, expectant, blue-pill dream seems like killing an old friend, but unlearning that old paradigm allows you to benefit from a far more hopeful red pill existence.
I’m not debating the genuineness or sincerity of women’s capacity to love. What I’m positing here is that women’s concept of love isn’t what men would be led to believe it is.