I actually had another post warming up for this week, but I received the following correspondence from a reader whom I’ve promised to keep anonymous. I don’t do ‘guest posts’ on Rational Male, however I do repost some comments and email I receive on occasion, and in light of the recent discussions on the male concept of love and shit tests I thought I’d let this stand on its own today:
I know it’s been a long time since you posted your piece, “Soldiers”, but it struck a nerve with me. I’m not sure what kind of new insight (if any) you can get from my experiences, but I left the Air Force 6 years ago and have found the transition to civilian life much more difficult than I had expected. After reading your post and reflecting, I also realized that the values the military instilled into me set me up for a lot of difficulty with women down the road. I only wish I had something like your blog as a resource when I was 21.
I went to one of this country’s military academies at the age of 17. I am 31 now and am still friends with some of the guys I went through basic training with. The basic training experience was 6 weeks long, and physically and mentally very tough. At the academies this environment gets drawn out (in modified form) through the entire first year, where we are plebes and function as sort of second-class citizens beneath all upper classmen. There is a lot of adversity, a lot of animosity directed at you in such a system, but you come to realize later on it’s a kind of “tough love”. These experiences forced us all to bond with each other, and help each other out through some very rough times.
I spent too many years of my life hoping that I could find a relationship with a woman that would be on par with the relationship I had with my male military friends in terms of honesty, loyalty, trust, forthrightness. I ended and/or sabatoged a number of relationships with women because I was looking for this kind of “love” I had for my brothers and could never find it. I had always assumed that I would find a form of “love” that rivaled all other relationships I’d had previously. Loyalty was (and is) a major virtue for me, and I never felt like I was finding that with the women I dated. In the military I developed a pretty keen eye for bullshit, and every relationship I had with women, even the best ones, I found my bullshit alarms going off at some point. Now I realize what was tripping my bullshit alarm—hypergamy. Hypergamy is directly opposed to the concept of loyalty. I could tell when women were being shifty.
Part of the reason I could tell is because I had actually swallowed a version of the red pill as a cadet, though I’d never actually heard the term before. A few of my friends are what they call “naturals”. They helped to undo a lot of the extreme blue pill notions that I had been raised with.
Years of movies and TV and guidance from authority figures had trained me to look for “that special girl”. One of my friends in particular introduced the idea of being “kind of an ass” to girls, and only showing the nice side later (because I really was a nice kid). Never lead with your nice side, he advised me.
We also fucked a lot of girls with boyfriends. I saw some of the most disloyal and underhanded behavior out of women during that time. I remember when my friend was urging me to make a move on a girl we’d been talking to in a bar for some time. I said, “oh she has a boyfriend”. He asked, “well did she bring him up in conversation? Unless she brings it up it’s fair game. And you don’t address it either. Don’t say anything about the boyfriend, just keep the conversation elsewhere for the entire night.” It worked. Tactics like these worked over and over again, and while I enjoyed the hell out of this new found power, I was becoming more uncomfortable about the nature of women. It’s only due to my sense of morality and loyalty to other men in arms that I didn’t fuck the wife of an army guy who was deployed. I felt too disgusted with myself to go through with it… she, however, didn’t seem the least bit troubled by her marriage.
Fast forward to my adult life, I decided that I should be looking for a good woman to settle down with. See, I had never swallowed the Red Pill completely—I resisted the harsher implications of it. I told myself, NAWALT, and that I just needed to look for a good girl. The One. I understood so much that so many other guys don’t get, but I was still holding out hope for The One. I figured I would find this One at some point in grad school. After all, this is where all the smart, motivated, good girls are, right?
In two relationships the girls wanted to be exclusive with me. I said yes quickly, because exclusivity was what I wanted too. It wasn’t too long after that that my bullshit alarms got set off. One girl, leading into Christmas break, said she was going to a techno show in a city about an hour away from our school. I was planning on studying for a final, so I didn’t bother trying to go. As the date neared I realized I felt comfortable about the final and I wanted to go out that night. I asked to go with her—she said no. And this is where I could see the hamster frantically spinning its wheel.
All her reasons were obvious bullshit. I know when a girl is seeing another guy, because I’ve been the other guy. I know what the stories are like. I ended it. I was heartbroken. I wondered constantly whether I had made the right call. I missed her desperately, and I constantly questioned whether my radar had been off. My male friends (now thoroughly blue-pill, as I was attending a liberal civilian grad school) told me I was overreacting and being paranoid and jealous and not respecting her space, blah blah blah… A whole year later a girl I was friends with let slip that my ex actually was meeting another guy in the city, and fucked him the day after I dumped her.
No surprise—but I was quite upset that a few other girls I was “friends” with had known and never told me. They could have saved me a lot of grief. But then again, they were women—I don’t quite get it, but it’s like all the girls were sticking up for each other and covering for each other, even though they weren’t really close friends. It’s almost as if they felt they needed to cover up the tactics that women use, and keep the men from knowing about them—as though there was a driving need they had to keep men in the dark as to the true nature of women.
In fact, I have never been steered in the right direction in relationships by any woman. And this will bring me around to my next point—the feminine dominated civilian environment—especially academia.
The second grad school relationship followed a path that was remarkably similar to my first—in fact, looking back, I have had three major relationships, with girls who wanted to be exclusive, and they have ended because the girls were becoming involved with other men.
University life was especially difficult to adjust to. There was a lot less voicing of opinions and a lot more concern over offending others—that was one of the first things I noticed. I also noticed that many of the men seemed timid compared with my male military friends. See, this grad school was almost an extension of high school.
Approval by the females was very important, you could not anger them. The men were incredibly concerned with their popularity, and with getting to know the right people. I figured out early on that pissing off one of the cuter girls could lead to social death. And even apart from the girls, the men didn’t seem to act like men I had known.
There was a hierarchy in the school, and these young men followed the rules of this hierarchy. They would not challenge any male who was deemed to be “socially superior”. This blew my mind, because my military friends would never have accepted such a thing. We had a group, a crew, and we could always stand our ground, and if push ever came to shove then we might have to fight someone—if it meant protecting our dignity. I also figured out that physically standing my ground wasn’t socially acceptable in this environment.
I realize I may sound like some sort of thuggish asshole with a persecution complex, but I was responding to some blatant disrespect that shocked me. In the military, the men I knew wouldn’t openly disrespect or ridicule a man—unless they were looking for a fight. Actually, in the military I recall a lot more general respect between the men than I found in grad school. The grad school men felt like women to me—gossipy, petty. Overall, the male virtues that I had learned in the military became unimportant in the culture I found myself in.
Other values took priority, and I think this may be the Feminine Imperative you spoke of. Conflict was always to be avoided. Drastic effort must be taken to avoid offending others. Most of the men were willing to undercut each other for just a chance to be with one of the prettier girls. And the pretty girls—they walked on water, constantly had a harem of beta males tending to them. Actually, I watched several of these girls cheat on one boyfriend only to begin dating his friend. The social power of the prettier women cannot be overstated. I dated and dumped two pretty girls in a row (for the reasons I stated above) and quickly found myself on the outside of most social events.
I saw a lot of truth in your thoughts about military men. Some military men are some of the most Alpha dudes I’ve ever met. My military friends changed me from a dyed-in-the-wool beta to an Alpha that could fuck other dudes girlfriends with far too much ease, and stand up for himself (a modified pseudo-alpha, obviously I wouldn’t need to write this letter if I was a true natural alpha). But a lot of military men, Alpha though they are, have not actually swallowed the red pill completely. Somehow, I’d like to be able to get that message across, because there’s still a lot of NAWALT and One-itis in the military culture, even though it is a predominantly alpha culture. I am just grateful that I came across your blog.
After two failed relationships I was feeling like shit. I had tried looking for The One, and tried to have an Open and Honest relationship with lots of Communication and it failed dramatically. Now that I’ve found your blog I’ve come to terms with a lot of what had been plaguing me about women. I’m back to spinning plates, and I really do think it’s the best option for any male in today’s society. I’m still a little bitter about these red pill truths, but I’m no longer trying to fight against them.
I have a good correspondence with men in the military and it’s one of the more humbling aspects of writing what I do. I’ve had men on deployment send me pictures of their worn copy of The Rational Male on the barracks bed and I get chills. I’m glad I can help these guys transition from the idealism they have in the military to the often tragic Red Pill realities they encounter when they’re discharged.
This reader makes an interesting point I hadn’t considered in the Soldiers posts; there is a modicum of loyalty and respect men develop amongst themselves (even between different branches of the military) while enlisted that they believe will be relatable and respected by the women they encounter after their time in the military. They believe that the idealistic male concept of love (and in this case love for their military brothers) is the same concept women will share when they enter civilian life.
Young men entering into military life out of high school have (in most cases) 4 years to learn an idealism based on the Old Set of Books, is it any wonder they become suicidal after they are forced to come to terms with the disillusionment of that idealism in the face of the feminine-primary reality they enter when they’re discharged?