An examination of Male vs. Female dominance in the formation and continuation of relationships. Which structure leads to a preferred outcome? Which structure is more God honoring?
Date of Study: August 18 to October 3, 2018
This essay is comprised of the following sections.
- Introduction – Two Contrasting Models of Courtship and Marital Structure
- The Power Game
- The Power Structures
- A Comparative Physiognomy of the Structural Models
- Differences between the Two Models
- Strengths and Weaknesses of the Courtly Love Model
- Strengths and Weaknesses of the Tingly Respect Model
- Courtship Models vs. Marriage Models
- The Transition from Courtship to Marriage
- Which Type of Courtship Model is More God Honoring?
1. Introduction – Two Contrasting Models of Courtship and Marital Structure
“Courtship” is a term I’ll use loosely in this essay, referring to the social selection process leading to a matrimonial union. There are generally two types of courtship models, corresponding to which sex holds the majority of power in the interaction. The first type of pseudo-traditional courtship model, in which the female holds power, is known as the “Courtly Love” model. The second type of time-honored traditional model, in which the male holds power, is apparently lacking a formal name, so here I’ll offer the moniker of “Tingly Respect” courtship (for reasons to be explained later). I’ll go further with the creative labeling (if only for the sake of humor), and say that a marriage based on the Courtly Love model is a matrimony, whereas a marriage based on the Tingly Respect model results in a patrimony (for the children).
These two models have been described and discussed in snippets from varying viewpoints within the Manosphere. However, I don’t believe a meaningful connection has been made between them. So the larger goal of this essay is to draw knowledge about the two different power structures into one concise comparison.
Of note, Dalrock has written extensive descriptions of modern courtship dynamics in the following posts. A few of the most representative posts on the subject include the following.
- Cane Caldo: This Weekend on: What’s the Real Tradition? (April 7, 2017)
- Dalrock: A shortage doesn’t indicate a buyer’s market. (August 17, 2018)
- Dalrock: A challenge to traditionalists. (August 20, 2018)
- Dalrock: *Real men* confess their love to the gas station attendant.(August 21, 2018)
- Dalrock: The wages of wooing. (August 22, 2018)
- Dalrock: Returning to a Past that Never Was (September 11, 2018)
- Dalrock: Empowered to Avoid Responsibility (September 12, 2018)
- Dalrock: Feminine Wiles (September 13, 2018)
In the first post listed above, Cane briefly describes the two different courtship models addressed here in this essay. He wrote,
“According to traditionalists (and others): Men are supposed to chase, and women are supposed to be caught. Or they might say: Men are to initiate, and women are to respond. Imagine a party. There are single men and women. The traditionalist wants the men to pick a woman, and then woo her. Then he (the trad) wants her to respond with a Yes, or No, or Show me more. That traditional mating ritual is wrong and foolish. Roissy/Heartiste’s maxim that ‘Men display, women choose’ is much more true. Go to a party and see for yourself.”
In the second post, Dalrock describes the Courtly Love model, as well as a point of confusion between these two models as follows.
“[The idea] that their unmarried daughter is in a great position to find a husband because she’s not remotely interested in the kind of men who express interest in her… [is related to] the erroneous idea that the Bible teaches that men should pursue and women should judge the performance. But it isn’t the Bible that teaches this ethic, it is the religion of Courtly Love that teaches this. Think of the only two women to have books of the Bible named after them. Both Ruth and Esther pursued their eventual husbands. […]”
“But since very few Christians can separate Christianity from Courtly Love/Chivalry, there is a widespread belief that Courtly Love is God’s model. In the Courtly Love model a man selects a woman and sets out to prove his worth to her in the hope of winning her heart. The woman’s only job is to keep being awesome while deciding if the man’s performance is worth rewarding with a token of her favor. This is what so many unmarried women and their fathers are so loudly complaining is lacking today. It isn’t Christian, but it is a religious expectation.”
The third post revisits Cane’s original post (1) and asserts that the model that is commonly held to be traditional is backtually bass ackward.
In the fourth post listed above, Dalrock further explains the similarity between the Courtly Love model, and modern Christian sensibilities. This comparison would be hilarious, if not for the obvious (and evil) inversion of the hierarchy.
The fifth post compares, with striking similarities, the nine stages of Courtly Love with the modern Churchian sensibilities of courtship – offering further evidence that the traditional model is backward.
In the sixth post listed above, Dalrock describes how the Courtly Love model has been entrenched in the stereotypically conservative Greaser culture since the mid-20th century, and that because of its long revered history, has somehow created the misleading illusion that it is essentially God’s model applied to the modern MMP. I will add here that the Greaser sub-culture of the 1950’s actually precipitated the onset of the sexual revolution in the 1960’s, which led to Feminism in the 1970’s. (This argument remains to be explored in a future post.)
In the seventh post, the Tingly Respect model was described by Dalrock as follows.
“She can subtlety indicate interest to the kind of men she thinks would be a match for her, men she is attracted to. If her standards are too high and the man isn’t interested, or is only interested if fornication is on the table, her ego is bruised but she has retained deniability in her expression of interest. As her over inflated ego is reduced to reality, eventually she will be able to feel attraction for the kind of man who wants to marry her. Internalizing responsibility creates a mechanism for her to both get real world feedback on her self-perception, and for her to be able to become attracted to the kind of man she can attract for marriage.”
One important factor which I’m sure Dalrock agrees but fails to mention here, is that she must resist the urge to fornicate with any man she might take an interest in. Remember, women are the gatekeepers of sex, so to speak.
In post number eight, Dalrock highlights a successful example of the Tingly Respect model offered by a reader, Joe. I encourage readers to consider this post as an example of how this model quite often leads to marital success and satisfaction.
2. The Power Game
Far from being the state of “equality” that feminists purport endorsing, the two courtship models discussed herein, are actually two different power structures. This should not be surprising to my regular readers, because I have described ethical structures in several past posts. To briefly reiterate a conclusion of my past studies on this topic, Feminism has adopted a Power vs. Fear based ethical system.
Now, when we talk about the basic power structures of courtship and marriage models, of course, we mean the visceral power. In every relationship, there is always one person who has the ability to shake up the other’s world by inducing strong somatic emotions, and thereby incite that person to change their mind and cooperate. This power is often expressed in a relationship in the way one person has the final decision-making authority, and the other person continually strives to “get with the program” defined by the other. Moreover, the person holding more visceral power is the person who defines the structure and goals of the relationship.
As reviewed in a previous post, Conflict Structure and Marital Satisfaction (November 15, 2017), the person in authority is apt to make demands on the other, and the other person must either (1) comply, (2) fight to establish himself as the one holding power, or else, (3) fold and bow out of the relationship.
As we well know, in modern Western Society, men tend to do (1), while women go for options (2) or (3). The large scale frequency of this dynamic indicates that women hold more power than men, in relationships, and in society.
The next section will take a closer look at the balance of Power.
3. The Power Structures
Aside from any religious misgivings, the real difference between the two aforementioned models is how the power game is constructed. In the Courtly Love model, the woman holds the lion’s share of power, whereas in the Tingly Respect model, the man holds the better portion of power. Again, power in this sense, is mostly attributed to the visceral power that dominates the emotionally charged motivations of the relationship interaction.
Interactions in which both the male and female truly hold equal amounts of power, as promoted by Feminists and Complementarians, is here presumed not to truly exist except in theory-isms. In reality, one person always has more power than the other, although the forms and expressions of each individual’s power may vary.
However, there is one interesting caveat in the Tingly Respect model. Here, men retain power, but women have an advantage in the way of choice. And we know how women have an addiction to choice. Because choice is the deciding factor in the establishment of the relationship, this model is fairly well balanced, in terms of influence. The woman trades her choice for the benefits of a marital commitment. The man may then consolidate his power, and establish order in the newly formed family. (At least, that is how it should work.) The woman also benefits from this arrangement through gaining the freedom to focus her energies on the home and family, if she should wish to do so.
The weak link in the chain is not so much a lack of courage or righteousness in the man’s authority, but in the willingness of the woman to continue in a posture of submission.
Women who pine for power, but who fail to achieve it in a relationship, often resort to cheap but greatly annoying substitutions of pseudo-power. This situation is especially prone to occur after a woman loses her SMV/MMV power (AKA “hitting the wall”), while her male counterpart is reaching his peak SMV, which further enhances her sense of insecurity and powerlessness. Typical expressions take the forms of women nagging, issuing various threats such as divorce, playing jealousy games, and setting themselves up as the egotistical judge of the man’s character and worth. If the woman feelz led to take this behavior to an extreme, then it has the potential to upset the relationship, as is well known.
In fact, modern women have become adept in using this underlying weakness of the marital bond to intentionally destroy the relationship in order to gain various social and material advantages, such as attention, affirmation, enjoying the continued exercise of willful, wanton choice, divorce settlement and alimony, AKA “frivorce theft”.
However (and this is a major point in this essay), there do exist unique situations in which one gender holds the majority of defacto power, but still chooses to conform to the structural model in which the other sex holds authority. Examples of crossovers from both types of structures are prominent. As of late in western society, men who hold the upper hand often willingly choose to defer to women, merely to fit into the Courtly Love model, which they presumably believe is the better model. Here I wish to emphasize the alternative, that women who hold the upper hand, especially young women in their peak SMV years (18-25), can willingly choose to fit themselves into the Tingly Respect model, and obtain the related benefits thereof, such as retaining their purpose and relevance to society after their peak years have passed, and their power has waned.
Within the community of those subscribing to the Courtly Love model, there are obviously many blue balls pilled men who are confused about the proper sex roles and expressions of power. Even for those who hop on the Tingly Respect model, it is not uncommon for a bit of mock chivalry (an expression of the Courtly Love model) to be displayed by the man out of respect for her ‘weaknesses’, including a formal, down-on-one-knee marriage proposal. It is presumed that this is due to ignorance on the part of men, concerning the differences and dynamics of the two models.
For those who are interested in further exploration of the two different types of models, the discussions under Dalrock’s posts listed above provide more detailed illustrations of the contrast between the two social dynamics surrounding “courtship”.
4. A Comparative Physiognomy of the Structural Models
Since we are talking about visceral power in this essay, there is necessarily a full spectrum of responses correlating to the power structure.
- The Emotional response – Tingles (in women), Anxiety (in men)
- The Physical/Biological response – Increased pulse rate, an erection (men), the slop spilling out of her shorts the moment he enters the room.
- The Psychological response – Self-Consciousness, Scrambled Thinking.
- The Relational response – Admiration and Respect (women), special consideration, Pedestalization (men).
- The Spiritual response – Love, Joy, Humility, Deference.
If the man displays the cues listed above, and the woman much less, then it is obvious that the female has visceral power over the male – and he becomes a simpering, starry eyed fool. This is the case with the Courtly Love model.
If the woman is experiencing the above responses, then it is the male who possesses visceral power over the female – and she is loving every moment of it! This is the case with the Tingly Respect model.
All these conditions are cofactors of a healthy relationship, and ideally, both partners should experience these responses. So the models presented here express the general overall nature of the interaction.
For those of you who are having trouble visualizing what this difference in structure appears like to the eyes, Rollo offered a concise comparison of Body Language (September 26, 2018), in which the visceral difference can be felt by the reader. The poses he labels as “Lean In” (by the male), “Lean Out” (by the female), “Mate Guarding” (by the male), and “I Love Mommy” (by the male), all illustrate a relationship structure in which the male is pursuing the female’s adoration and attention. All these types of poses are characteristic of the Courtly Love model described by Dalrock. Rollo describes the physical display of the Courtly Love model in terms of Frame as follows.
“…the lean-in is a physical display that illustrates how a man’s subconscious has decided that his woman’s Frame is the dominant one in the relationship. He feels the compulsion to put himself into her space as his natural impulse.”
“A (Beta) man leans in to find inclusion and acceptance in a woman’s Frame while her own hindbrain instinctively reacts and attempts to lessen any inference of intimate acceptance to a larger audience.”
Rollo only offers one section entitled “Alpha Tells” in which the opposite structure, Tingly Respect, is depicted.
“…a natural Alpha man is almost never aware of his own Alphaness and that’s what really stands out in these photos – the men aren’t trying to evoke the reflexive responses of the women. They fluidly (almost Zen-like) prompt these reactions in women. There is no pretense or the obvious mugging for the audience that you see in shots where the Frame is clearly being directed by the woman while the hapless Beta tries to prove how in love he is by kissing on her while she finds something more interesting to occupy herself with. When a woman admires her man he is literally all she can think about.”
It should be noted that the male may not necessarily be an Alpha for this structure to be manifested, but only that he is the dominant visceral power figure in the relationship. Lost Patrol adds,
“It’s just more confirmation that there is no such thing as the equal partnership most women claim to want. When you’re talking about men and women, somebody is operating within the other body’s frame.”
Next, let’s review some major points of contrast between the two models.
5. Differences between the Two Models
In the Courtly Love model, the man is overcome with emotion, and openly pursues the woman. In the process, he loses his sense of his God ordained purpose in life, becomes the plea bargainer, and plays a submissive role to the woman – all done in an effort to “win her love”. This is an inversion of God’s ordained hierarchy, and is well known to produce sin and ungodly unions. The results are catastrophic, not just for the man and woman involved, but for others as well. Dalrock has written a multitude of posts to this end. To offer a few Biblical examples in which the man pursues, or is subject to the woman, we have David and Bathsheba, Amnon and Tamar, and presumably from the context, Ahab and Jezebel.
It has generally been implied that the Tingly Respect model of courtship typically involves a situation in which the man is just doing his thing, and the woman picks him out of the crowd and offers IOI’s, which the man either takes notice of, or misses. If he can read them, then he either accepts or rejects the further development of the relationship. If he accepts, then the relationship proceeds. Dalrock suggests that the Biblical examples of Ruth and Esther fit this model.
With the Tingly Respect model, it is assumed that the woman naturally chooses a man who consumes her with the Tingles, and is thus more open and pliable to his wishes. Since the man holds the veto power in this case, then he is the one who is ‘in charge’, and she is blissfully wrapped around his finger.
Conservative feminists and complementarians have attempted to blend certain aspects of these two models into a hamsterbating hybrid, appealing to large numbers of females with a glutton for wealthy, masculine, chiseled-torso, servant boys who deliver Tingles, and who willingly overlook any obvious shortcomings, such as disrespect, on the female’s part. Manospherians know that this fantasy doesn’t work because it poses real world contradictions. Notably, high SMV men will never submit to a woman’s’ preferences, and that’s partly what makes them tingle-inducing, high SMV men. Also, high SMV men (as rated by women) are exceedingly rare (i.e. the 80/20 rule), so the probability of capturing one in marriage is slim indeed. Sorry ladies, you can’t have the best of both worlds!
The next two sections will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of both the Courtly Love model, and the Tingly Respect model.
6. Strengths and Weaknesses of the Courtly Love Model
The strengths of the Courtly Love model, in which the man vies for the attention and favor of the woman, include the following.
- The woman is more likely to attract men who possess an equitable SMV/MMV with hers, and therefore present a proper and willing matrimonial match for her.
- The vast majority of men who engage in the Courtly Love model are likely to have sincere convictions about committing to a LTR or marriage. Such men, typically referred to as White Knights, are not likely to be Alpha Chads, who are merely looking for a pump-and-dump.
- Within this model, the man’s honor is assumed and taken for granted, and this setup allows the woman to call the shots. Therefore, the woman need not fear getting burned in love by being rejected by a man, no matter how immature, contentious, and disrespectful she may be. It is left to the man to ‘prove his manhood’ by doing whatever backflips are necessary to deal with the problems she creates. (This male behavior is defined as ‘love’ within this model.)
- The Courtly Love model has been very popular for the past few decades in western societies, so you may enjoy the immoral support from your friends and family, and need not risk being ostracized or labeled ‘too conservative’.
The weaknesses in the Courtly Love model include the following.
- The hierarchical structure is an inversion of the Biblical analogy of a marriage between a man and a woman, and therefore fails to resemble the relationship between Christ and the church.
- Marriages in which the woman is the dominant player have been shown in many studies to be less happy, and at greater risk of divorce.
- Men who have serious intentions of marriage when engaging in the Courtly Love model are not likely to be top quality men who have the ability to instill the blessed Tingles, known to yield life-long loyalty and admiration (or pining alpha widowhood) on the part of the woman.
- This model presents frustrations concerning the feral inclinations of the flesh. That is, the woman can have her ego stroked, but not her Tingles. Her desire for Tingles remains as a continual temptation to engage in extramarital affairs. Meanwhile, the man gets to binge on lust, but cannot fully enjoy the consummation of a female rapture within his reduced domain of power and authority. Both of these situations weaken the marital bond.
- Women who hold more power and authority than the man tend to be less passionate and satisfied with marital lovemaking. Over time, this condition leads to the dead bedroom syndrome. Women who get their orgasms from power trips usually have no problem with this situation, but the men suffer greatly.
- Steadily increasing dissatisfaction on behalf of the male tends to erode the power and authority of the female’s dominance. Men learn to be more resilient to female dominance over time, usually by ignoring her demands, or simply disappearing for a few hours, or days. Some men learn game techniques, or they might even venture into an extramarital affair, just in order to get a taste of sexual satisfaction, normalcy, and respect.
- Female belligerence and kick-@ssery tends to grow more pronounced with each recurring success in embarrassing the male, especially after an Alpha enwidowment.
- Children growing up in this environment experience less of the power and Kingdom of God within the family environment, inhibiting confidence, and developing into less well-adjusted adults.
Concerning the Courtly Love model, the strengths largely encompass the indulgence of fantasy, thereby feeding male lust and catering to female insecurities, while the weaknesses of the model penalize the male and weaken the marital bond.
7. Strengths and Weaknesses of the Tingly Respect Model
The strengths of the Tingly Respect model of courtship, in which the woman presents herself to be ‘taken’ by the man, include the following.
- The hierarchical structure conforms to the Biblical analogy of a marriage between a man and a woman, resembling the relationship between Christ and the church.
- This model accounts for the feral inclinations of the flesh. That is, the woman can have her Tingles stroked, while the man gets to enjoy the power and authority.
- Children growing up in this environment tend to become happier, more wholesome, more Godly, and better adjusted adults.
The weaknesses in the Tingly Respect model include the following.
- The woman may foolishly choose a man who far outranks her on the SMV/MMV scale, and thereby does not present a proper and willing matrimonial match for her.
- The man may have no deep seated conviction to man up and marry that feverishly Tingulated Christian gal, and may very well use the opportunity to simply sow his wild oats, and prance off to the next future.
- OTOH, the woman may be so contentious and disrespectful, that she essentially invites a rejection from the man, regardless of the man’s honor or the model chosen. In truth, a woman who does this is begging to switch to the Courtly Love model, in which she can call the shots. This hang-up tends to grow more ostensible with each recurring round, especially after an Alpha enwidowment.
- If the above conditions hold true, then one high SMV man is likely to spin off a series of Alpha Widows using this model, which we know from modern clinical studies to be very unlikely to form successful, Godly marital unions. Rather, unions with Alpha widows tend to regress into a dark bitter chocolate semblance of the Courtly Love model, complete with furry mammal accomplices.
- The successful application of the Tingly Respect model strongly depends on the propriety, respectability, and honor of the sought after male. Simply put, with power (high SMV) comes responsibility.
The strengths and weaknesses of the Tingly Respect model are both very significant. It should be noted that the weaknesses of this model are most paramount in the courtship selection process, while the strengths come out in the LTR.
8. Courtship Models vs. Marriage Models
As discussed before, the power game takes the form of selecting who defines the structure of the relationship. In this view, Dalrock et al. got it right, en large, but they have overlooked a major point in the application. That is, when courtship is first instigated, the participants may or may not know which power structure model they currently adhere to, or actually prefer to develop. You know the reasons: blue balls, thinking with the little head, Satan’s deceptions, blindness, ignorance, generational curses, etc. As a consequence, most young people instinctively, and blindly, follow the type of power structure they are most familiar with, which is most likely the one they experienced while growing up in their family of origin.
This is an important distinction, because if this power structure is not settled early in the relationship, then as the relationship continues over time, a battle to determine the power structure will develop. I would guess that this is the root contention of the vast majority of marital conflict. But if a person’s preferred power structure could be clearly determined from the outset, then a lot fewer mismatches would be made in the heat of the moment, and a great deal of marital conflict, affairs, divorces, and unhappy childhoods, could be avoided later on.
9. The Transition from Courtship to Marriage
Following the courtship, no matter which model of courtship is employed, and upon the establishment of a formal marriage, there remains the task of working out the power structure that will be habitually used in the relationship.
A previous post discussed three general avenues of finding a partner. These three methods included,
- “Love” – Passionate, blind, feral instincts: e.g. Jacob and Rachel, David and Bathsheba, Amnon and Tamar. Also, ONS’s, hook-ups, etc. which develop into LTR’s might fall into this category.
- Arranged – The union is proscribed by parents, family, authorities, a decree, or by social customs, such as Judaic law: e.g. Jacob and Leah, Ruth, and Esther, Chinese filial piety, Indian match maker, etc.
- Contrived – God plays a direct or indirect part in bringing two people together. e.g. Isaac and Rebecca,
Upon reflection, it should become intuitively clear that the third method, Contrived by God, is uniquely based on a higher authority, reminiscent of the Tingly Respect model. Although an Arranged marriage also depends on a higher authority, there is no guarantee that this authority is masculine in nature. So unless one finds a partner through the third method of trusting God, starting a relationship may be somewhat different from maintaining a relationship.
Concerning the first model of courtship, feral attraction (AKA “Love”), it appears difficult to transition into the Tingly Respect structure of power, unless the attraction first began on that foot, and the male possessed the honor and foresight to take the necessary responsibility for the relationship in the form of a commitment. However, in the second and third models of courtship, a male dominant power structure is more likely to prevail.
Of course, certain exceptions may apply within any arrangement. One onerously common example is when the family of origin is a defacto matriarchy, and the mother-in-law continues to exert the dominant hand in the marriage. However, a strict adherence to a Patriarchal structure of power will slowly erode this influence, as Dalrock describes in his post, A wife’s best defense against a troublesome mother-in-law. (March 13, 2013)
10. Which Type of Courtship Model is More God Honoring?
“Godly” or “God honoring” is a Christian buzz-term which is meant to convey an idealized image of a large number of preferred conditions. These conditions in a marital setting include qualities such as emotional openness and intimacy, honesty, confidence, faithfulness, and sexual passion, as well as longitudinal security and stability. Overall, members of a God honoring family should happily have their individual needs met, experience joy, healing and spiritual growth, while the family enjoys a sense of unity, belonging, harmony, and purpose. Granted, this is a tall bill of sale, especially in this day and age, but the goal here is clearly to achieve a solid nuclear family which offers a home environment free from harmful or dysfunctional interactions and inordinate amounts of confusion, which are especially harmful to the healthy development of the children’s psychology and spiritual well-being.
Dalrock, et al. have established that the Courtly Love model is not a robust Christian model. Dalrock implicitly assumes that the Tingly Respect model is the “Biblical” or most God fearing model. Deep Strength has several posts that describe the Biblical structure of authority in a male-female union, which parallels the Tingly Respect model. However, it is evident that many males are not fully convinced as to whether the Tingly Respect model is truly God’s best model for courtship or marriage. This post has offered the reader some helpful guidelines in making this decision. It is hoped that this might clear up any confusion of the matter, and encourage the reader to come to their own conclusions on how to best approach courtship and marriage.
Since the focus is on building a God honoring marriage and family, this article has not explored the dynamics of non-heterosexual relationships.
It should be clear to the reader by now, that the most “Biblical”, God glorifying power structure typifying a Christian marriage would be the Tingly Respect model, as suggested by Christianity and Masculinity, Dalrock, and Snapper. Most Christians should agree that within a long term Christian marital relationship, the Tingly Respect model delineates the preferred power structure.
The courtship model doesn’t seem to matter quite as significantly as the power structure shown in the relationship, although there is typically some degree of correlation or causation between the two.
Being aware of which courtship model you are engaging in, and which type of power structure you wish to achieve in your relationship, should significantly enhance your success in achieving the type of relationship you desire, minimizing marital conflict, and reducing the chance of marital catastrophe in the future.
- The Illiberal Liberal: What would a World where we “Believe All Women” look like? (October 2, 2018)