Missing milestones seems pretty hard to overcome to me.
Readership: This insight is specifically for Christian men challenged with the task of choosing a suitable spouse. It may also be of interest to married couples or those interested in marriage or LTR’s.
Author Information: The compilation of this post was a joint effort by Scott and Jack.
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Scott made a video that is “sort of” a companion to the piece he posted on Monday, Probabilities (2020 February 24).
Have you ever had a Meet Cute?
Several comments about this video were extracted from the discussion under the post, A Response to Jason’s Comments (2020 February 21), and have been adapted below in an easy-to-read format.
To offer a heuristic comparison of the longitudinal results of a Meet Cute, based on how a man might react, Jack and Scott offer our accounts of how we responded, and how it turned out for us.
Scott’s Account of messing it up, but getting it right
I’m not exaggerating when I say I have never had to go more than about 2 weeks without an option placing herself in front of me. And my developmental argument stands – that started at 16 and never let up until I was married the first time at 23. My first wife (who eventually frivorced me) was absolutely crazy about me, and called off her engagement to another man the nanosecond she found out I was on the market again (after a breakup I had). What those experiences did for me is created what sociologists (and red-pill guys have latched onto) call an abundance mentality. It never occurred to me to go looking because I just knew that something would land in my lap. I just had to go about the business of whatever I was doing in the meantime.
What I mean is, feedback loops are real. You get good reviews in the form of IOIs right out the puberty gate and they build on themselves to the point where you just expect more of the same.
I don’t know what it is. I am not super model attractive. I am 6’1″ and I take care of myself, but I have the same insecurities and negative traits as just about anybody else. I’m goofy, sometimes self-deprecating, and am very quiet in social settings. I stand up straight, look people in the eye and speak in a pretty low, bass voice, but that’s about it. I just know my limitations and I am comfortable in my own skin.
All of this is why I am not tracking the “natural alpha” verses “learned alpha” stuff. I am a regular guy with what I assume are regular guy experiences. I win some and I lose some. I just never give up.
Jack’s Account of doing it right, but getting it wrong
After reading Scott’s post Probabilities (2020 February 24) and watching the video, I’ve done some reflection on my own experiences, and found similarities concerning the Meet Cute phenomenon. If she was really loopy in love with me, then it was really hard for that relationship to go south – all other things notwithstanding. Having sex with such a woman sets that in stone. Female infatuation (or whatever you want to call it) can be so strong that it can endure eternally! Even after I got married, a couple of my past lovers made it clear that they were only a phone call away.
As far as the man is concerned, as Scott and others have said before, there really isn’t anything he can do to create that initial attraction in a woman, and I’ll add that, according to my experience, there isn’t much he can do to destroy it either. It’s either there, or it’s not. The only thing he can do is to be wise in choosing a woman who joyfully flies in circles around him. This news is bound to be disheartening for most men.
In my case, I dismissed many of those relationships because they lacked certain other qualities that I believed were more important for a marriage. (These qualities concerned things like age, race, virginity, past experiences, our agreement on political issues and religious beliefs, among others). I also found her craziness (caused by being in love with me) to be embarrassing, obnoxious and troublesome.
I rejected these opportunities simply because (1) I didn’t see them as “marriage material” (according to the mental criterion I held at the time), and (2) I was afraid of fornicating with someone I couldn’t envision as a possible wife.
Now, 20-30 years later, I have many deep regrets about rejecting those relationships. To be graphically honest, I wish I would have taken advantage of the blatant sexual invitations those women gave me. But I chose not to do that because I believed it was wrong. I never thought I would regret doing what I thought was the right thing, and I know I shouldn’t feel regretful about that, but I do. I regret it to the point that the sudden recurrent memory of those moments startles me awake at night. So it continues to grieve and trouble me, even to this day.
I’m not saying that I should have fornicated. That’s not my point here. I’m saying that my fear of fornicating prevented me from exploring and examining those relationships as viable candidates for marriage, and now I regret missing those opportunities.
In all, I think the reason I feel regretful is because I was too particular (critical of both her and myself, too legalistic, too fearful of messing up, and not truly appreciating the women God brought into my life for what they coaxed out of me, namely passion, trust (confidence), and humility.
I didn’t understand how a vibrant relationship can lead people to mature, grow, and change. I didn’t fully understand what it meant to be “saved by grace”, and not by my righteousness under the Law. (I think I had this conviction because of my strict upbringing, and my involvement in the Purity Movement.)
I should have at least explored the possibilities a little further, experienced God’s grace in the matter, and learned something more from the opportunity. I am certain this would have contributed greatly to my confidence and maturity, even to this day. But as it turned out, rejecting those relationships really delayed my emotional maturity and hurt my spiritual growth.
The Importance of Reading IOI’s in Mate Selection
Scott: Rollo has retweeted my video on twitter and asserts that my line of thinking is the basis for the black pill. That is, I am telling men if you aren’t generating attraction right from the start, you might as well give up and “kill yourself” (His words).
I have spent an entire career trying to get men NOT to kill themselves, so that part was a little hyperbolic. However, I do get where the rub comes from. What I am wondering, out loud as I am apt to do, is can there be some focus on calibrating a man’s IOI detection apparatus? That part I think is lacking in much of this discussion.
Jack: A man’s accurate discernment of womens’ IOI’s plays a crucial role in determining the outcome of his socio-sexual life story. This subject is well worthy of a detailed analysis, and I expect it will not be a short one. It will probably require a large number of posts to cover it adequately.
Scott: Novaseeker would respond “Scott has had IOIs from attractive women, or at least women who are attractive to him which is why this is so confusing for him. And that’s fair enough too. So I spitball and brainstorm for solutions. Is the problem one of unrealistic assortive mating selection criteria? Do only the ones that are invisible to you show IOIs so you do not reciprocate? Or is it a little of both? (Not noticing, and not wanting it from the ones who DO show interest?)
I’ve come to see there’s an important, perhaps crucial element in courtship that I/we need to explore in future posts. That is, that the woman’s level of attraction to the man is a key factor leading to a stable, satisfying, successful marriage – not Alpha confidence, Beta provision, low notch count, game proficiency, or any of the other qualities that have been presumed to correlate with positive relationship outcomes. Of course these qualities play an important part, but they are not the “do all, end all” solutions to having a solid marriage. There is something else going on.
In my past studies, I’ve gathered that the woman somehow holds the keys to relationship success, but I’ve not been able to nail it down. I always assumed that the man had a more central role in choosing a mate, and that assigning too much selective discretion to the woman was a form of gynocentrism. There’s a very ephemeral illusion surrounding our understanding of these matters, made even more confusing by the feminist Churchian environment, and this is what is tripping everyone up.
So far, I think Ed got the closest to nailing it down with this statement.
Ed Hurst: Very few men in our society are trained to think in terms of having a mission in life that would outlive you. More to the point, they have no idea what it looks like in a woman, so they can’t identify a prospective wife who will be supportive of that mission far, far down the road. How I learned it as a young man, I’m not sure I can explain, but it was a major criteria when I decided to marry.
Of note, Scott and Derek agreed that Ed’s assertion applies to their own marriages.
At this point, I am guessing that spiritual maturity (discernment and wisdom), and sexual purity would be critical factors in helping a man identify those women that might offer a relationship with greater potential. Add to this, the man’s ability to read IOI’s and make a discriminating choice among these possible mates.
My hypothesis is simple but is complicated by factors in the environment that may be difficult to investigate and control for. I posit that one very significant factor associated with lifelong marital bliss is “how attracted was the woman to the man from the very start of the relationship?” I would estimate that higher her initial infatuation, the less lifelong difficulty a couple will have, and the easier time they will have in recovering from adversity.
The present culture assesses “marital satisfaction” according to feminized ideals of what that might look like. In the context of that culture, men are incentivized and may even sub-consciously self-sabotage accurate depictions of what a satisfying marriage looks like to them, in the service of what TRM calls “the feminine imperative”. They are likely to make efforts on self report scales, for example intended to make them appear sensitive and capable of something “deeper” than sex.
Most modern men are not comfortable admitting that such a satisfying marriage necessarily includes regular, passionate, enthusiastic sexual access to their wives. Doing so is to reinforce the negative stereotype of mens supposedly unsophisticated, selfish shallow inability to truly be intimate and express deep love.
- Christianity and Masculinity: The extent of attraction (2020 February 27)