Thursday, 3 December 2015

Love is Conditional, Not Romantic

The single loudest-quacking canard in the entire therapy / self-help business is the idea that we can and should be loved "for who we are", unconditionally and despite our flaws.

I mean by “love” whatever feeling that makes you want to make serious and lengthy commitments of time, energy, support and resources to someone else, and care for and help them, and there must be sexual desire, and co-habitation or frequent contact. Absent the sex and frequent contact, and that’s “friendship”. Any other use of the word “love” is metaphorical on this core sense. Feel free to use your own word for what I’ve just described, and substitute it below.

You may feel love for a horrible shrew who refuses to have sex with you and disrespects you in public. But you really would be better off not doing that. Or to say the same thing another way: you should not do that. If you’re going to have those kinds of feelings, please have them towards a sane, attractive person who wants to have sex with you, spend time with you and feels the same way about you. If you must love awful people, do us all a favour and keep it unrequited.

We’re adults. We have bills to pay, a day-job to do, or clients to service; we have to buy and cook food, keep our lodgings in order, clean our clothes, exercise, keep up our social networks, and rest; we may have other people that we have to feed, spend time with and support. We don't have time to spend on losers, wasters and people who can't help us. Maybe if we were very rich we could or might need to, but we're not. Respect has to be earned, and love has to be deserved. (Desire is random, but has nothing to do with love, though love without desire is pretty bland stuff.)

Sensible adults have to do with people who can bring something to our table. Anything from jokes in return for sitting around shooting the breeze, to a straight exchange of money for professional services. There's always an exchange, because the other person is also a sensible adult who wants us to bring something to their table. This even applies to children: parents want their kids to grow up right (whatever that means wherever they are), be quiet when needed and not get into trouble, and in return the kids get fed, clothed, sheltered, trained, hugged and praised for their stick-man crayon drawings.

This is Life 101. Except in therapy-land. And if you've taken the Red Pill. Then it's treason to love someone for what they can do for you, instead of "who they are". Men love romantically, women love opportunistically. Men love the woman despite herself, women love what the man gives them (which could be anything from sick emotional involvement to an apartment in Monaco). Men love women, women love children, children love puppies. Who we love can never love us back. Women have an evolutionary-developed nature, and part of that is to regard men as resources to be exploited (the feminine imperative) to suit their needs (one of which is hypergamy). “Exploited” means that women expect men’s resources for free and don’t recognise reciprocal obligations nor feel the need to keep bargains. The core practical consequence is that as a man, you don't get a moment's rest in a relationship: you must prove it seven days a week, even in your sleep. Your wife and children are always going to be testing you and if you fail even one test, you will be consigned to a life of sexless irrelevance in your own house, which will no longer be your home, but a place you go to work to get away from. To prevent this from happening, you must be unblinkingly, unflinchingly Alpha, every second of every minute of every hour of every day of your life, and when you die, she will defile your memory, just to prove she can. That's how the Red Pill comes across. It's pretty darn bleak.

I don’t doubt for a moment that this describes the lives of a certain kind of men in relationships with certain kinds of women. Mostly men who are more occupied with their own thoughts and projects, who take up with women with the kind of family background, or genes, that produces shrews, bullies, drunks, addicts, narcissists, bi-polars, borderlines and other dysfunctionals, as well as the chronically insecure, cold or traumatised. These women are so badly damaged or just plain broken that no “Alpha” in the world can turn them into acceptable partners. These are the ill-advised partnerships that bring men to the Sphere.

In the ordinary world, the majority of women simply need to feel that they are being noticed, paid attention to, by their partners. This is a normal response when someone who is away from them, five days a week, for nineteen hours a day (eleven commuting and working, seven or so asleep, plus morning routine). Regular men understand this and take time to respond to her questions accordingly because they care. The guys who show up in the Sphere are probably a little more occupied with their own thoughts and less with the world around them, and treat those attention overtures as a nuisance. That's not a good feeling to give someone. Like Heartiste says, you must play with her mind, and if you don't, you're not going to have a good relationship.

Some people can't do math, others can't do backflips, and others can't lift really heavy weights. We don’t guilt-trip about that. Yet everyone is expected to do relationships, and if they can’t it’s considered a sign of a broken soul. It doesn’t matter if there’s a Just-So story to provide a rationalisation for that expectation or not. It doesn’t solve the problem. It's time we accepted that some people can manage long-term, live-in, high exit-barrier relationships, and others can't, and stopped expecting those who can't to suffer the costs of trying and failing. And it's time we focussed not on what's wrong with men, women or society, but on how to identify the walking disasters, and how we get our needs met whether we are wrapped up in our own projects or alive to the slightest emotional breeze from our partners.

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