As a few of my readers know my daughter is presently a sophomore at college. Every time she reaches a new milestone in her life I have a tendency to mentally go back in time in my own life and consider how utterly different her experiences are in comparison to my own. At 19 the thought of being as organized and honestly well off as she is in life now would never have occurred to me. For a very brief moment in my life back then I’d kept a journal of what it was I was doing and thinking at the time. My first ‘real’ girlfriend had given me this blank journal (she was one of those girls who wrote diaries) to write my thoughts in and being the Beta I was then most of it was filled with my Blue Pill frustration with girls. She’d gifted me this journal, I found out later, as an effort to absolve her of all the guilt she knew was coming her way for having cheated on me and deciding that, at 18 herself, she wanted to move on into her Party Years without the baggage of a dutiful Beta who thought he was going to marry her.
This was 1988 and the then 19 year old Rollo Tomassi was very much a typical Blue Pill Beta. I sometimes read back through the dozen or so pages I actually took the time to write back then to remind myself how I thought back then. I was very much and idealistic Beta back then, but I had several other friends who subscribed to the same Blue Pill delusions; and now with hindsight I realize this phase in a Beta’s life is one that was around long before and long after I went through it. This was the ‘Break Phase’ I outline in Preventive Medicine.
As it turned out, the girl who I predictably developed ONEitis for, the first girl to spread her legs for me (‘enthusiastically’), the girl I thought had to be “quality” if she appreciated a guy like me, was every bit the ‘play the field’ skank I would’ve never called her because it was what a “typical male” would say about her. At one point I had thought I’d want to marry her. My Blue Pill conditioning had taught me it would be the right, “supportive” thing to do; marry her and support her ambitions and goals (it’s what good Blue Pill boys ought to do) at the sacrifice of my own. And as directionless as I was then, that was an easy decision to make.
My daughter recently informed me that her boyfriend’s best friend just proposed to his girlfriend at 19. Both this guy and his girlfriend are also sophomores at the same school and this is what triggered the reminiscing for me. At 49, and having lived the life I have and the experiences I use on this blog today, I’m very glad my first girlfriend dumped me. That’s hard to say sometimes, particularly when I think back on the pit of misery years I spent with the BPD girlfriend I’d gotten involved with later, but I’m thankful for those bad experiences as much as the good ones. So, it’s really difficult for me to tell my daughter’s friend “oh, congratulations”.
It’s very difficult for me to endorse anyone getting married at so early an age these days or when I was 19. Modern marriage is a menagerie of horrors for today’s men. People say, “Rollo you’re married, how come you’re so hard on marriage?” It’s either that or they presume my marriage is a shit show and I’m venting like a petulant boy. When I’m critical of marriage it’s in spite of my own (very happy for 21 years) marriage. But I cannot condone it for men today – not in its present state. Hardline MGTOWs and PUAs agree on one thing, if you ever consider marriage you’re Blue Pill. I’ve written in many prior posts that I don’t necessarily agree with that assessment, but I do understand it. The risks today far outweigh the rewards, but still there are men who, even with Red Pill awareness, will still take it on.
There’s a running debate I have going on with Hunter Drew (The Family Alpha) and Tanner Guzy (Masculine Style) about how marriage is a lifestyle decision, and depending on how informed a man is about the risks he assumes and when he decides to get married, this decision is literally a question of life or death for that guy. Both these guys married early in life, both have kids, and both will have far different experiences than myself in this respect. Both of them and myself have assumed the risks and sacrifices this entails. I’m fully aware that my wife can detonate the marriage at any time. I’m sure both Hunter and Tanner are well aware that their wives also have the right to have them removed from their home and take their children away from them for any reason. But we’re all married, and as I wrote in Surrender, we have all willingly put ourselves in the most vulnerable position a man can be in; we’ve bet our lives, livelihoods and the future health and happiness of our kids and families on what today is the ultimate suckers bet for a man. And what’s worse, we cannot ever expect women or our wives to ever relate with just how dangerous a position we willingly put ourselves in.
So I’m thinking about all of this after my daughter tells me about this 19 year old kid proposing to his girlfriend. Statistically his marriage will end before he’s 28. I would also bet that, like myself at 19, he’s making a decision that will affect him and his fiancé’s based on Blue Pill idealism – an idealism that’s informed by the Feminine Imperative and delusions of egalitarian equalism. Naturally I can’t possibly think this is a good idea. If I were this boy’s father I’d strongly advise against it, but there are others in the manosphere who would encourage this.
There’s an old saying that goes “marriage is our last, best chance for growing up”. I also disagree with this from the perspective of today’s version of marriage, but I understand how homey platitudes like this are appealing to a social order of men who it seems don’t want to grow up. It’s becoming a new way of AMOGing (particularly in religious circles); if you’ve got your shit together enough to see the wisdom in being married and starting a family you’re a “better man” than the ‘boys’ who they believe want to extend their adolescence. It’s really nothing new.
According to strategic pluralism theory (Gangestad & Simpson, 2000), men have evolved to pursue reproductive strategies that are contingent on their value on the mating market. More attractive men accrue reproductive benefits from spending more time seeking multiple mating partners and relatively less time investing in offspring. In contrast, the reproductive effort of less attractive men, who do not have the same mating opportunities, is better allocated to investing heavily in their mates and offspring and spending relatively less time seeking additional mates.
This is one half of strategic pluralism theory for men. Men who invest themselves in the long term aspect will always look for ways to validate their inability or unwillingness to pursue multiple partners. It’s easy to think that these men make their necessity a virtue, and that may or may not be the case, but what’s undeniable is that investing themselves in a one-mate strategy necessarily selects them out of experiences with women that would otherwise aid them in vetting a woman as a good long term prospect. The Blue Pill has always subjugated men to be predisposed to the one-mate investment strategy while simultaneously encouraging women to adopt a multiple mate strategy. That may seem counterintuitive, but when we look at the Sheryl Sandberg plan for Hypergamy we can see that what they believe is prudence is having a large selection of potential husbands from which to choose.
In Trad-Con manosphere thinking it seems like conventional wisdom to encourage men and women to marry younger. Look at where we’re at today; women forestall marriage – ostensibly to further a career, but really to falsely extend their Hypergamous decision making years – until their Epiphany Phase (29-31) or even beyond by freezing their eggs. Men take much more time to mature into their peak SMV potential, but what’s the common complaint? These men aren’t “being men” by preparing themselves for a life of family and marriage. They aren’t catering their lives’ decisions to fulfill women’s sexual strategy, and really what incentive do they have to when women are following the Sandbergian path of Hypergamy? Men and women marry later and later – if at all. Women unmarried by the time they’re 34-35 are likely to never marry in their lives.
So it seems like wisdom to tell this kid, “good on you”, in spite of all the odds staked against him and despite the Blue Pill idealistic delusions that are prompting him to propose. Trad-Cons love the idea of a return to something resembling “traditional values” in order to save western culture from itself, but it’s important to remember that those old books values are really just leverage in a new books world.
Marrying early, as I said, is usually the result of Blue Pill naiveté. Both young men and women are still ignorant of who they are or who they have a potential to become. I see a lot of early-marrieds originating in religious circles because this is their only means to “legitimate” sex, but there are the guys who see marrying early a better way to ensure ‘permanent’ sex for themselves. In some respects it’s almost a blessing that women at this age are so anti-marriage – most young men on the investment side of strategic pluralism are far too willing to kill their own dreams to accommodate their investment.
Marriages that begin between 20-24 are almost 39% more likely to end in divorce. A lot of this, I speculate, is due to women feeling like they need to make up for missing out. The idealism of young Blue Pill men marrying early has one big obstacle and that’s the influence of Hypergamy on their wives. In Preventive Medicine I made the case that no matter the woman’s choices she makes or has made for her in life, it will not negate Hypergamy’s influence on her. Yes, that influence can be mitigated culturally (laughable in western societies) or personally, but it doesn’t remove the evolved influence. By the time that 20 year old mother and wife is 30, she’s had ten years to develop the resentment of her choice by living vicariously through her single girlfriends’ experiences. The context may change, but Hypergamy doesn’t.
Early marriage limits a man’s potential. Trad-Cons will fight me on this one, but the responsibilities of marriage and parenting will necessarily limit a man from opportunities he would otherwise have were he single. Aristotle said, “The Ideal age for marriage in men is 35. The Ideal age for marriage in women is 18”, not unlike my sexual market value graph, but the reason for this is because it takes much longer for a man to establish himself as a man. The simple truth is that part of the sacrifice of being married means a man will not be able to capitalize on opportunities he would have were he single. Some opportunities may never even be made available to him because of him being married. This isn’t something most early-marrying men consider.
Men who marry early and stick it out through their peak SMV years often feel the mid-life crisis (epiphany) years much more acutely. This is kind of the man’s making up for missing out resentment a wife may feel as she becomes more and more aware that she can’t compete in the SMP for a better Hypergamous prospect. I don’t believe men have a “crisis” per se around this time, but what they do experience is a sense of introspection that’s colored by their now better capacity to understand the game they’ve been a part of with regards to women. When a man’s married well this is less of an issue, but there is a definite remorse over the “life he could’ve lived” if only he’d known better. This is an assessment of the sacrifices he’s made, how they paid off (if at all) and a sort of survey of his life up to that point.
The biggest ‘con’ to early marriage is that it’s always going to be a learn as you go prospect while trying to establish a world that a his wife of the future will want to defer herself to. This worked far better in a culture and time when women would be compelled to defer to a man’s mastery due to religion, social norms and respect. We do not live in those day anymore and women have actionable ‘outs’ of any commitment that doesn’t suit them, while men have more responsibilities to qualify themselves to suit women.
Early marriage has a few advantages, but all of these depend on the personal nature of the woman a man marries. That sounds kind of obvious, but if you go into a marriage with a solid Frame and a woman who expects to defer to your dominance, I think young marrieds might have a better shot at long term success. If a woman is a virgin, yes, this can be a real source of attachment for her if her husband imprints on her as solidly dominant Alpha. I always advise men not to get involved with a virgin girl if his only plan is to spin her as a plate. There is far too significant and imprinting with virgin women and sex with an Alpha man, or even a guy who seemed Alpha. This is the recipe for an Alpha Widow, but in a marriage it can make for a strong bond.
As has been mentioned countless times, the most stable and healthy way to raise children is in a committed marriage. This might be the only advantage marriage may have for a man today. In an early marriage I would think that a woman being at her sexual market value peak, combined with following her true biological clock (her prime fertility window 22-26) the odds of having happy healthy children are improved. I have a cousin who spent more than half his life building himself into a millionaire architect, but at my age (49) his children are 5 and 7. I can’t imagine living this life now. I suppose money might make it easier, but evolutionarily speaking he and I should effectively be grandfathers by now. I married at 28 and there are advantages and disadvantages to this as well, but I cannot imagine having young children at my age.
Finally, for the “well, duh” moment, it goes without saying that a young wife/mother should necessarily be playing on your team. The only possible successful prospect for a younger marriage to have any stability is if that woman understands what it is she’s sacrificing. Women likewise sacrifice their own personal potentials and later this becomes their source of resentment. The stakes are high for men, particularly if they aren’t Red Pill aware, but women too must understand her own sacrifices; I think this is the most difficult thing. Women’s solipsism, Hypergamous nature and a social order that ‘fempowers’ them to believe not only can they “have it all” but are entitled to it all makes this the bridge too far for young marriage.
In the Trad-Con sphere today there is a constant droning for personal responsibility on the part of men. There is little to none about the responsibilities of women. We’re constantly told that women are only the way they are because men have allowed it. I’ve written before that this is a cop out and an absolving of women’s complicity that mirrors what the Feminine Imperative has put forth. Women are taught not to do anything “for a man” and anything a woman does that might be expressly for a man is is conflated with subservience. Consequently we get generations of women who only indulge their natural solipsism and expect men’s sacrifices as part of the utilities. This is one of the primary reasons all marriages fail; there is no complementarity. Marriage becomes nothing but a naked exchange of resources on the part of the man and anything a woman might do ‘for’ him is frowned upon. And don’t think this is just limited to those blue haired feminists, you can find it at your church.
Women can only willingly want to please a man whose Frame is the dominant one. You’ve got to have that world established that she wants to enter and become a complementary, supportive (of you) and willing participant in. This world-building takes time. Women evolved to seek competency in men. Hypergamy cannot afford to bet all of a woman’s genetic legacy on a guy who has “potential” – they want the proven commodity. This is one reason women look for men older and taller than they are. More importantly, you need a woman who is playing on your team, not against you. And sadly this is the state of marriage promoted by the Feminine Imperative today. Egalitarianism doesn’t promote complementary cooperation, it promotes an adversarial state of competition between husband and wife.