In the past I’ve covered in various detail the utility of instilling dread in a woman both pre and post monogamy. It’s been one of the more contentious principles I’ve endorsed, with women tending to revile me for having brought men to the awareness of dread’s uses, and men concurring with, but often hesitant in applying dread for fear of the backlash for having used dread conspicuously.
In any relationship, the one with the most power is the one who cares the least.
As Roissy and many legitimate psychologists will tell you, the most secure relationships generally result from about a 1-2 point SMV imbalance favoring the Man in the relationship. In this imbalance, the actual strength of that secure feminine attachment to the man (both in and out of a monogamous commitment) can be expressed as a soft, or passive form of dread. This expression of dread is still rooted in a woman’s imagination of emotional, physical and provisional loss, but just as the application of that dread is passive, so too is a woman’s progressive realization of that dread.
Mrs. Tomassi and I were recently talking with a woman of about 49. She’s the ever-present front desk host at our gym and a casual acquaintance and friend. She’s not particularly unattractive for her age, reasonably good shape from a body perspective – I can tell she used to enjoy a lot of male attention in her 20s and maybe 30’s – but now just this side of 50 she’s moved not so much into a regret stage, but rather a hopeful sense of well post-Wall self-remorse. That might sound odd, but she’s at least optimistic about her ‘chances’ of getting with a “good man” in the near future.
She’s quite upfront and honest about the Alpha Bad Boy Jerks she’s dated, married one and then divorced from her past. In fact she’s one of the more lucid women I’ve encountered about her present state and how she came to it. Although she’s the typical result of a hypergamous life prolonged past the “eating her cake too” phase, she owns her mistakes.
Although we generally hit Gold’s at different times, occasionally the wife and I go together in the mornings. It was on one of these mornings, and our friend at the counter stopped us to say,
“I love you guys, I really do. I see a lot of people pass through here but when I see you both together it gives me hope that I can have a good relationship like you two. You’re such a team, I really hope I can meet a guy I can connect with like that.”
We were on our way out, and she always has something else to say about her personal life so, while I guess I was somewhat flattered, I didn’t pay it much mind. That is until our ride back home when Mrs. Tomassi looked me square in the face and said, “I am so glad I didn’t end up like that!” I was actually kind of surprised at the tone of her voice. “Thank God that’s not me, how horrible to be in that position at her age.” I nodded my head because I knew she was expecting my usually analyzations of post-Wall women and the beds they make. Then, with a hint of a tear in her eye, she gave me one of the best compliments I’ve ever heard from her, “I hope Bebé finds and marries a Man just like you.”
That made me feel really good, and what I’m about to type here sound really shitty. After not a small swell of pride, I thought, while it’s nice to be appreciated in this respect, would this realization have come without the influence of our friend and her state of life?
You see, what I experienced that morning was a sort of de fact association of social proof. Granted, I’m not taking anything away from the love and solidity upon which my marriage and our relationship is founded on, but was I just the right guy in the right place for this realization to come to awareness? What I had just participated in was a form of soft dread. A dread that needs no emphasis or prompting from a Man, simply the occasion for it to come to the surface to be actualized.
When a Man’s status is long established it’s easy to take his qualities for granted by women. It takes another woman’s lack to bring that status into focus for her. In the same vein that women will pre-approve or pre-qualify you for another woman’s intimacy, likewise the personal state of other women will serve as a benchmark of social proof for a Man’s wife or LTR. I realize this has the potential to cut the other way for women who are more well off than others, but the dynamic is real. I’ve written in the past that women fundamentally lack the capacity to appreciate the sacrifices Men must make to facilitate their feminine reality, but if they ever come close to this appreciation it’s only at the prompting of women outside the relationship who can recognize it in the Men committed to other women.
The admittedly very rough graph I created to illustrate the contemporary sexual marketplace (SMP) is almost a manosphere link staple now. However, I’m going to reuse it once more here to illustrate another point:
When I wrote Navigating the SMP it was in response to a need for visualization of how men and women’s respective sexual market value (SMV) differentiate at different phases of their lives. Using this model it’s not too far a stretch to illustrate how dread plays a factor in women’s self, and relational awareness.
At their SMV peak, adjusting for the mean average, women’s potential for experiencing dread is as low as it will be in a lifetime. During this phase the potential for replacing a respective mate (or STR lover) is almost a nonissue. Even in emotionally invested relationships during this phase, the subliminal presence of a basic, unprompted, dread of loss is pushed into unawareness for women.
That dread of loss is replaced with the dread of insecurity as a woman ages toward the Wall. Before I continue here, it’s important to remember that security comes in many different forms – financial, emotional, psychological, spiritual and even self-esteem play a part in the totality of women’s security needs.
During the height of a woman’s SMV, men are scarcely aware of their potential value to a woman in the long term. Men’s recognition of dread is much more heightened when a woman’s SMV is peaking, while his is on a slow ascendency toward his late 20’s and early 30’s. He doesn’t want to miss his “dream girl” and she doesn’t want to sell herself short in the hypergamy gamble she’s playing.
As a woman ages to the Wall and beyond, and while a Man’s SMV accumulates into his 30’s, the role soft dread plays in the relationship is reversed. As women’s primary physical attraction decays, the subliminal dread of loss, and an ever decreasing ability to recreate her security, increases in her psyche. It may not be on the surface of her awareness, but there will be more reminders of her state with each passing year.
It seems unduly cruel to remind women of this dread; that’s not my intent with today’s post. In fact, just because I’m aware of the subtle reminders of soft dread women experience, I may play my relationship Game with a bit more sensitivity. That being the case, there’s no ignoring the reality of this dynamic and the utility it represents for a man aware of the state of women in various phases of their lives.
When I wrote Navigating the SMP the operative intent behind it was to make men more conscious of the predictability of women’s motives and behaviors at various phases of life – and plan their Game according to the signs they were seeing. In the case of soft dread, this realization may at first come as a hint of appreciation to the Man who’s dutifully persevered through his woman’s dominant frame for most of his LTR Marriage. It may come as a comfort for a guy who’s unused to sentimental declarations of appreciation, but it’s important to remember the why in that declaration, rather than the who in that declaration.