There is a certain formula most romantic comedies rely on to convey how relations between men and women ought to go. It’s an old formula, as in Shakespeare and Greek antiquity old. It goes something like this:
An avowed Alpha bachelor for life questions the existence and nature of love, the sincerity of women, the illogic of not living just for his own self-importance, certainly the institution of marriage and lives, according to his rules, a satisfying life. He rationally observes the “madness” of his friends and fellow men when they fall in love, and out of it. He either mocks their foolishness or is analytical to the core in understanding their madnesses. He is an elemental force of one – a captain controlling the course of his own ship. He’s not wrong in his estimations; they all add up, they all make deductive, provable sense.
That is until he meets her. The ONE special woman who miraculously, alone amongst billions, has the unique power to bring the facade of all that he thinks he is into stark, insightful self-realization. He’s bit by the bug, smitten by the only woman who could fatefully tame the arrogance of his otherwise cruel rationalism. It’s akin to a religious conversion; he’s seen the light, he’s in love and all of his former concerns are proven to be falsehoods – it’s the triumph of true love! The one thing he was missing (the one thing only a woman can possess of course), the last piece to a puzzle he didn’t know he was putting together, has been added and now he is complete. And they live happily ever after,…
Every writer from Shakespeare to Bronte, to modern writers, use some variation of this outline. The locations, time periods and actors change, but the basic story doesn’t. If you need a contemporary example watch Gerard Butler (King Leonidas, 300) in The Ugly Truth. The reason this formula is so successful and timeless is because it is essentially the fantasy of love and emotionalism trumping logic and reason. Women naturally love this because it puts them into the position of being the ‘cure’ to a man’s illness while making him look like a brooding, sulking, bitter child for clinging so tenaciously to his rationalism, when all he was really pouting about was feeling unloved.
All his intense powers of rationality, all of his implicitly provable facts, all of his monuments and achievements of deduction mean nothing without the only irrational thing a woman can uniquely supply – unknowable, fantastical love. It’s part and parcel of the Myth of the Feminine Mystique which makes women the gatekeepers of the knowledge of love; don’t try to understand it with your silly boy-logic, just leave well enough alone and be eternally grateful to whichever god you worship that a woman has favored you with the love you need to be perfected.
In this story, the build-up to men realizing this is what stokes the feminine indignation that sustains women’s interest, but the real satisfaction is summed up at the end when he finally concedes to the feminine imperative and drops all his pretense and submits to love.
The satisfaction doesn’t last long though, because it was the build-up, the tension, the anxiety, the want of a woman to scream at the TV, “SHE LOVES YOU!! JUST GET IT YOU STUPID MAN!!” that was making it at all interesting. Once he’s submitted and seen her light, all of that fades away to predictable, boring comfort. She’s done with that romance novel, puts it in the pile of them at the garage sale, and moves on to the next. And he’s left with all the echoes of his past rationalism, and explaining to all those he’s influenced and built his reputation upon, how love conquers all and how wrong he was all along.
For that man, it’s the last chapter in the vindication of feminine primacy.
And they lived happily ever after,..
For women, the only thing better than experiencing this script vicariously through movies and stories is to see it happen live. David D’Angelo, Tucker Max are a few manosphere notable who’ve played the come-full-circle surrender to the script. There are far more guys who play it in a more visual sense (the repentant ‘Womanizer’ episodes on the Tyra Banks show comes to mind), but no one really remembers them, and certainly not in the ‘sphere. While there’s a sense of vindication for women to have a guy surrender his anti-social (i.e. anti-feminine primary) lifestyle and beliefs in favor of a feminine paradigm, and “settle down” into a feminine framed, normalized monogamy, surrender is still surrender. Essentially the strong vibrant man who posed such a challenge to her, the one who’s steadfast determination and conviction made him a man she was hot for as well as one she could respect, loses his status.
He’ll say, hey, you don’t know where I’m at in life, you don’t know the experiences I’ve had, life has taught me the value of compromise. Women fundamentally lack the capacity to appreciate the sacrifices a man must make to facilitate a feminine reality, but if there’s one thing women outright despise, one thing men foolishly believe women should be able to appreciate, it’s a man willing to compromise the beliefs he’s established his reputation and integrity upon in order to facilitate her feminine reality. That’s the definition of a sell-out.
After the happily ever after comes the living. He can console himself in his new paradigm, he can hole up in a cocoon of domestication and simply not answer the phone calls of all his old friends who are also playing into the script, who are really only waiting to commiserate with him, but his new domesticity compromise wont allow him to. His old life is gone right? Love conquered him, made him a new man, ready to live up to the new, correct, feminine expectations he formerly railed against, but has been enlightened to and now calls his new masculine purpose. He’s been converted.
He looks into that girl’s eyes, the one who changed him for the better, but the memory of the urgency, the desire to tame him, the adrenaline he inspired all seem like an old song that reminds her of that thrill.
I would never wish ill on my fellow man, no matter his crimes, no matter his station, so I wont do so now. I sincerely hope nothing but the best for any man making this surrender, he will need every good fortune that comes along in the face of compromising his reputation and purpose in order to facilitate a woman’s primacy.
However, I’ll add that I also make it my policy never to speak ill of the dead.