6 introspective insights that might explain why.
Theme: Risk Assessment
Length: 2,500 words
Reading Time: 8.5 minutes
Back in January, we had a glimpse of The Mystery of Marriage (2022-01-07), and then the rest of the month followed with all kinds of reasons why the Mystery is unachievable for most men. February followed with all kinds of pitfalls that come along before a man can even arrive at the Mystery.
The typical approach of the Manosphere is to analyze the nature of things, and the causes and effects. Usually, it is found that feminism, or progressive elements in society, or wimmin, or weak men who conform to the gynocentric order are largely at fault. But we seldom assess where good willed men drop the ball.
This is unfortunate because change begins with men. Men should make themselves well aware of how they themselves may be increasing their own risk. So this post will cover six factors that are causes or vectors leading to higher risk in love and romance (as opposed to consequences of risk, which have already been rather well covered).
1. Foolish Ignorance
First and foremost, Discernment, knowing one’s self, and knowing how things are supposed to be are all necessary elements for exercising wisdom, and are all extremely important for delineating one’s life plan and one’s personal modus operandi. Humility (which is necessary for experiencing love) and morality are also bound up in these faculties, and so the importance of establishing these foundations cannot be emphasized enough. Without wisdom, one is relegated to a life of foolishness, and then disappointment, frustration, strafing heartache, and failure are more or less inevitable. Furthermore, wisdom is crucial for determining both “good” risk and bad, as Red Pill Apostle pointed out in An Analogy of Risk Management (2022-3-7).
Discipline is what sets apart the successful man from the average man.
The Manosphere has covered a multitude of masculine disciplines, including building Frame, health, fitness, developing good habits, and commissioning a productive routine. Here are a few.
- Return of Kings (feat. Quintus Curtius): The Battle To Maintain Frame Control (2014-2-24)
- Σ Frame (Jack): Profile of an excellent leader (2014-12-22)
- Return of Kings (Fernando Devasquez): 5 Ways to Develop Discipline Instead of Just “Getting Motivated” (2015-4-29)
- Return of Kings (Aurelius Moner): Why Theology is a Man’s Discipline (2015-11-6)
- Return of Kings (Avery Hayden): How To Develop A Rock-Solid Frame That Women Can’t Resist (2017-7-10)
- Return of Kings (Roosh Valizadeh): Don’t Let A Girl Assert Frame Over You (2018-3-13)
- Return of Kings (Mo Saleem): The Ultimate Morning Routine for Higher Testosterone Levels (2018-6-5)
- Return of Kings (Mo Saleem): The Pussification of Western Society and How to Overcome It (2018-8-21)
- Σ Frame (Jack): Tips and Tricks to Time Management (2020-12-7)
The Christian RP has added to these disciplines by emphasizing elements that are conducive to one’s spiritual health and vitality.
For example, in the Bible, sex is presented as a fleshly appetite. Like any other appetite, it must be controlled, regulated, and highly restricted in order to make it an engine of blessing. But in addition to many strong motivations to cast off restrictions over sexual conduct, most people are not very well aware of how to restrict their own sexuality properly in order to avail of and maximize its blessings. This ignorance of human nature was one of the problems with the Purity Movement.
The point is, a man with more discipline is going to accomplish more, and get more out of life. A lack of discipline will remove or exclude him from many opportunities, including chances to meet more and better women.
3. A Preoccupied Focus on the Flesh, not on the Spirit
In general, the Men’s Red Pill movement offers an accurate understanding of the dynamics of intersexual relationships, but it’s obvious that the primary goal is good sex. It is apparent that some authors have discovered that having satisfying intersexual relationships (including a good sex life) is a side effect of walking in faith, but it is described in terminology that is unmoored from faith, such as Abundance Mentality, Charisma, Detachment, Dread, Frame, Game, Focusing on one’s Mission, etc. Even Christian Red Pill writers tend to miss this point.
As such, a lot of the heartache and frustration that men face in the realm of love is not merely because love is fraught with all the difficulties often mentioned (e.g. attaining LAMPS, being “invisible” to women, hypergamy, maintaining frame, managing impressions, SMP competition, etc.) but simply because men don’t have the faith to apprehend love as part of the domain of their spiritual inheritance.
Most people, especially young people, are living in the vanity of their minds, and have a predominant focus on seeking to gratify their fleshly desires (Ephesians 4:18). They are not paying attention to the deeper characteristics of their respective natures and how that might play out in a long-term relationship. I described this in Looking at the Essentials (2020-06-12).
Also, and this even applies for those who are fairly successful in keeping their minds set on the spirit, it is not uncommon for them to find that something deeper lurks in the heart which takes one “by surprise” when the urge to merge kicks in, and this seems to happen whether one agrees with it or not, and also whether one likes it or not. People have different methods of dealing with this, but there are two ways in general.
- Some try to deny it and avoid it all together, and thereby condemn themselves to slog through a frustrating existence.
- Others “go with the flow”. They either get sucked into it against their will, or willingly dive in for the apparent benefits of ego affirmation, social relevancy and sexual interaction.
Few people, even Christians, have the self-awareness necessary to view one’s self objectively as one independent character in the game of life, and to conduct themselves along the lines of what would enhance that character, fulfill their mission, glorify God, and bring them what they desire most in life. I surmise that the reason is because this character is, in fact, one’s identity in Christ, and the awareness of this is not achieved until the rather late stages of Christian maturity. Other reasons are because…
- It is easily misinterpreted by others who are carnal minded.
- Working out the details can be embarassing and messy.
- It is difficult and tiresome to do.
- It enhances temptation.
- It brings persecution.
4. False Concepts and Ideals
The church is overflowing with teachings that cater to worldly sensibilities and only serve to cloud and confuse the concepts of covenant authority and Headship. Deep Strength recently covered this in The Lie of Servant Leadership (2022-3-5), which was a succinct summary of a sit down chat between Doug Wilson and Aaron Renn on the lie of servant leadership. I encourage readers to spend the time to digest this discussion, as it sums up the the main issues underlying the most significant problem concerning marriage today (i.e. the lack of Headship). (I may write a commentary on this talk in the future.)
In addition to the confusion surrounding authority, there are also many other false or misleading concepts and ideals, including many of the Blue Pill variety. Outright lies about intersexual relationships, attraction, and female nature may not be directly taught from the pulpit, but are nevertheless floating around in Churchian circles and adopted by young people as the gospel of sex and marriage.
To pick out one egregious example, the Christian Manosphere has profusely tackled the topic of attraction and how this relates to godliness.
- Donal Graeme: The 5 Vectors of Female Attraction- A Restoration (2013-3-10)
- Donal Graeme: Going APE- What Attributes do Women Find Attractive in Men? Looks, Athleticism, Money, Power and Status (LAMPS) (2013-7-21)
- Christianity and Masculinity: Understanding Attraction (2014-1-31)
- Christianity and Masculinity: A Christian understanding of attraction — Part 1 (2014-6-15)
- Dalrock: Don’t blame Heartiste for the equation of Alpha with virtue. (2015 June 13)
- Christianity and Masculinity: A Christian understanding of attraction and the role it plays in marriage — Part 2 (2016-6-29)
- Christianity and Masculinity: Complementarianism – holding to a form of godliness but denying its power (2020-9-29)
- Christianity and Masculinity: Relational archetypes and more insight into the false godliness of complementarianism theology (2020-12-1)
- Σ Frame (NovaSeeker): Deciphering Concepts of Attraction (2021 April 19)
- Christianity and Masculinity: A Christian understanding of attraction, and the role it plays in marriage — Part 3 (2021-7-11)
- Truth and Tolerance: Godliness is not Attractive? (2021 August 10)
- Christianity and Masculinity: Complementarian “agreement as godliness” is the same concept as liberal tolerance (2021-9-9)
- Σ Frame (Jack): How is Godliness Attractive? (2021-9-1)
- Christianity and Masculinity: Trust is earned and an expression of the character of godliness (2021-12-20)
- Adam Piggott: Masculinity does not lead to Godliness (2022-1-11)
In summary of all these posts, there is a connection between spiritual maturity and attraction, sex, and love, but the connection is abstract and therefore not clearly apparent. From my own attempts to sort out some of these false ideals, I’ve come to the following general conclusions:
- Christianity as a whole has an extremely poor (if not heretical) concept of godly masculinity and masculinity in general.
- Christian circles commonly purport that godliness is attractive, but most of what is commonly touted as godliness within the church is far from attractive, and in some cases it is the diametric opposite.
- Some aspects of true godliness are attractive, while others are not.
- Some attractive traits are rather godly, but are not recognized as such.
- Overall, the Red Pill has a more accurate assessment of attraction and the nature of women than anything found in churchian circles.
In The Law of Reciprocality (2015-08-20), Deep Strength goes over the Reciprocal Rule, which is basically the idea that like attracts like, and that people self-select for others who are much like themselves. For example…
- Abusers attract abusers.
- Promiscuity attracts promiscuity.
- Manipulators attract manipulators.
- Chastity attracts chastity.
- Faithfulness attracts faithfulness.
Deep Strength covered a video from Lori Gottlieb on the reciprocal rule (2021-08-06) which is an insightful post that explains the trajectory of Reciprocality. (Click on over to his place to see the video and read his full post.) DS summed up one of Lori’s main points as follows.
“…men and women have general childhood trauma or pick up from their parents different dysfunctional patterns where they look for the same in the person they want to date. Even when they notice something is wrong and they try to date someone who isn’t dysfunctional, they will start to feel uncomfortable because they’re not used to someone who isn’t dysfunctional in that particular way. Because of this discomfort, they stop or avoid dating the functional people and go back to the dysfunctional people. Hence, to get them out of that cycle, they will have to do some introspection and address their own dysfunction in order to have healthy relationships and avoid the dysfunctional people.
[This is a] Fairly good way of explaining why people tend to continually date people with certain dysfunctions, but it also leaves out the fact that people are indeed looking for multiple things in a relationship (including attraction).”
Obviously, any Christian who is stuck in this generational cycle of dysfunction is at a severe disadvantage in regard to the risk of making poor decisions in the arena of love. This is partly because dysfunction clouds the process of finding and pursuing one’s mission, so not only does it hold the man back in life, but it also prevents a mission minded gal from identifying him as a potential life partner.
Alain de Botton’s speech brought up the topic of “types”, which is a topic I have never seen discussed in the Manosphere outside Σ Frame. Essentially, “types” are a classical subset of Reciprocality. The difference is that Reciprocality is based on one’s spiritual/psychological disposition which can be either healthy or unhealthy, whereas “types” are rooted in personality formation which is morally neutral for the most part. Each of the various “types” are a composition of values/traits in which a person is soft-hearted/mature in some areas, and hard-hearted/immature in others. For example…
- The “jock type” values competition, discipline, and popularity, and rejects compassion and mercy.
- The “athletic type” values physical aptitude, form, and expression, and rejects abstract mysticism.
- The “nerd type” values mastery (e.g. academics, gaming, technology, etc.) and rejects popularity.
- The “playboy type” values material comforts and pleasures, and rejects responsibility.
- The trendy “dandy type” values self-image and self-esteem, and rejects practicality.
- The “silent loner type” values peace and inspiration, and rejects social interaction.
- The “cad type” values principles and rejects trust.
Of note, cliques form out of people with shared types.
People experience attraction to a particular type when the collection of values/traits resonates with one’s own spiritual disposition. I wrote about this in Birds of One Feather Flock Together (2020-10-26).
The “type” of person who incites feelings of love and humility tend to be unique for each person, but early in life, we tend to discover what our respective “types” are. De Botton said that the particular “type” of person we find attractive is a result of formative experiences in childhood and adolescence. He said these “types” tend to instill those peculiar sorts of sufferings which we are most familiar with. We are drawn to this because those sufferings are necessary for us to feel that love is real, although we remain ignorant of this aspect of suffering and idolize the person instead. As a consequence, one’s own particular “type” invariably proves to be challenging for one to deal with and manage. We have the idea that we should try to change the “type” we are attracted to, or change a particular individual we are attracted to into being someone fundamentally different. But instead of doing this, de Botton suggests that it may be wiser to learn how to deal with our type in a more mature way.
De Botton’s advice sounds good and right, but after thinking it over, I am not convinced that it really works like de Botton intimates, at least not in every relationship. I can see how choosing someone in terms of one’s “type” can be deeply moving and humbling, and I think for certain types of people, finding a mate who is very similar to one’s self may be a smoother path towards finding emotional intimacy, love, mutual understanding, etc., and making progress towards certain aspects of maturity.
However, clinging to one’s type also tends to lock one into the same old trains of thought and interrelational habits that one is accustomed to. The problem with this is that in some cases, this doesn’t necessarily lead to maturity. Instead, one gets wrapped up in the drama and itinerant emotions, and never attains an objective view of one’s self or the relationship.
So how then can one learn to “deal with their type in a more mature way”? The only way is to go through so much heartache and frustration that one is forced to grow out of that particular “type”, and that way of relating to another. This doesn’t bode well for the relationship.
To further my point, people who marry for love often choose their respective “type”, whereas arranged marriages focus on more foundational characteristics, and therefore tends to view one’s attraction to a particular “type” as a passing growth phase. As we know, arranged marriages have a better chance of longitudinal success than marrying for love.
So I think a more mature conceptualization of “types” is to view it as a phenomenon that reveals some of our own inclinations, weaknesses, and hangups. The key is to understand what it is about one’s type that draws one in, and try to comprehend the ways in which it is a limiting microcosm, whether it is unconducive towards one’s spiritual maturity or making progress towards one’s mission.
It is probably good for one to explore relationships with one’s preferred “type” as this will increase self-knowledge and perhaps even self-love, but I don’t think it’s a good move to marry someone only because it offers a comfort zone in which that person perpetuates those same inclinations, no matter how familiar and exciting it might feel at the time. Again, this varies by individual.
The Red Pill has made us aware that the world we live in presents many challenges to a man seeking to find a wife and establish a family. But in the final analysis, each man is responsible for himself.
All of the topics discussed above help to explain why so many men (and women too) are unlucky in love.
- Ignorance and Foolishness.
- A lack of Discipline.
- Focusing on the flesh, instead of the Spirit.
- False or unrealistic ideals.
- They attract and are attracted to others who are much like themselves (AKA Reciprocality), and they self-select for the same.
- Choosing mates according to one’s “type” without really understanding themselves.
As you can see, a big piece of the puzzle lies in our faulty conceptualization of attraction, authority, love, and romance, and how we use these false concepts to go about identifying whether we have “found love” or not.
- Catacomb Resident: Christmas Message 2021 (2021-12-25)