On Modern Manhood, and Updates to Yesterday’s Post

The inimitable detiennui25 left some key comments on yesterday’s thread on breakups including this one:

“One of the services I think Badger is helping with here in the manosphere is to encourage us men that it’s OK for us to be men.”

I am hardly alone in this, but specifically, I believe that young men need to feel OK with putting their interests first ahead of a woman, as long as they are looking out for living a happy and productive life. A player puts himself first, but for a self-aggrandizing non-productive purpose; an unmarried good man putting his interest first doth not a player make.

Most men in the 80% “sexual desert” cohort are liable to be gripped by major oneitis because of the fear they’ll never attract another woman. Thus they think their life path has to be checked against her wishes at every point, from whether they should take a new job to whether they can go to the baseball game with the guys next weekend. This voluntary betatization is a crazy way for a capable man to live. And you’re more likely to attract a woman anyway if you’ve made the most of what you want to do instead of getting bent out of shape about what someone else expects of you – a man doing too much “sacrificing” for his lady’s good is going to lower his attractiveness to her by standing down from his position of productive leadership.

Feminism has told women they shouldn’t “sacrifice themselves” for a man. This has been twisted into all sorts of bogus corollaries to the point that if a woman does something nice for her man she’s selling out the sisterhood, but the basic premise is absolutely correct and it goes both ways (whether feminists want it to or not). A lot of guys have been duped, by culture and by their own brain chemicals, into believing that it’s their lot to make “sacrifices” on behalf of women, and that if a woman has sex with a man or gives him attention, he owes her an infinite annuity of deference, provision and forgiveness. Your job as a young good man is to put yourself in a position to continue to contribute goodness to the world for decades to come. Choosing the wrong partner will waste your efforts solving relationship problems you shouldn’t have in the first place, instead of contributing to society and enhancing the lives around you.

The fact is that marriage, or continuing a relationship, is not a reward for good sex, a woman being nice to you, a lack of “grievances,” or some other good or service. Marriage and commitment are for the purpose of integrating two lives for mutual benefit. If the mutual benefit is not there in an unmarried relationship, neither the man nor the woman are under any moral obligation to give any further “cause” for breaking up (although practically speaking, you need to be honest about your part in the decline and it’s highly advisable to give repairing things the old college try). In fact, all the demands for “cause” and “closure” just encourage rationalization by the initiator of the breakup, which doesn’t do anybody any good.

Men need to internalize this: if it’s not what you want, if it doesn’t enhance your life, move on. You will find another woman. Men have longer timelines than women, but they don’t have all the time in the world. That’s all the more reason to get out of the wrong relationship and find something that fits you.

UPDATES:

The commenter “Robinson” returned to Hooking Up Smart and further elaborated on his dilemma. Discussion got quite heated as it is wont to do over there. It sounds like he and his ex hoped to rub off on each other (he in loosening up, her in getting more stable), but she fell back into her old patterns and the mutual exchange failed. As I suspected, he sounds a lot like me in an earlier age. A bit of red-pilling about the reality of the SMP, internalizing that he is the prize and realizing it’s not his job to save a woman will do him well. Recommendations that he FTOW are silly – he’s probably not going to do it, and if he did it wouldn’t be good for him.

Also, the writer to Athol Kay gave him more information that was published yesterday. It sounds like his girl is, to put it bluntly, batshit crazy. He needs to heed the advice of Athol and what I’ve given above – he can’t allow his feelings of “love” and obligation to override the fact that sticking with this situation will ruin his life without any legitimate payoff.

I have a friend who recently broke up with a woman we are convinced was BPD, NPD or both. After a particularly nasty public incident, he cut off communication for a week, then called her to tell her it was over. Then shipped her stuff back to he to avoid seeing her face to face. Even in that obviously broken situation, he tells me he went through weeks of regret and loneliness. Breakups are tough.

Guys need to understand that there are going to be haters, and you are going to hurt. They need to have the strength to persist, to make the tough calls and follow through. Own it – living a good life is not the easy decision.

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25 Comments

Filed under beta guide, living a good life

25 responses to “On Modern Manhood, and Updates to Yesterday’s Post

  1. Mister Lettuce

    Setting up my own frame was one of the most important things I’ve learned thus far from Game. You can’t put your life on pause for someone to like you. You’ll be miserable.

    And ah yes, the old “saving someone” idea. You can’t save people – they need to want to make that change.

    Off-topic, but how are you holding up, Badger?

  2. Your job as a young good man is to put yourself in a position to continue to contribute goodness to the world for decades to come.

    I love this, as well as the corollary that if you’re with the wrong partner, your life becomes about that instead.

    Re Robinson, Athol Kay was kind enough to send him a PDF of MMSL. He is squarely in that corner – he’s made it very clear he has no intention of becoming someone to whom sex is purely physical. At HUS I suggested that he is the male equivalent of the woman who gets burned by a player. If he learns how to better disqualify unworthy women, he should be in good shape, and Athol should help with that too.

  3. Silly?

    “Go FTOW” is good advice. Eventually, he WILL take it.

    Until then, I think Yohami was quite pragmatic in advising Robinson to just “get out of his own head” and keep socializing.

  4. Bb

    I am hardly alone in this, but specifically, I believe that young men need to feel OK with putting their interests first ahead of a woman, as long as they are looking out for living a happy and productive life.

    Ah, yes. I was always uncomfortable when *I* became the focus of a guy’s life, rather than a part of it. I wanted a man to build his life, have goals, and ambition to reach those goals— and then see if our life goals aligned and we could support each other. I wanted to be a partner, not up on a pedestal.

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  6. detinennui32

    Bb: Thanks for this comment. As a younger man, I always wondered why my relationships failed. I was nice to the girls, I gave them whatever they wanted, I spent all my time with them, I excluded my male friends to be with whatever girl I was with at the time, I rushed into telling them “I love you”. My mom and sisters told me women want to be romanced, they want love and flowers and rose petals in the bed and carried across the threshold of the magical castle and large pecs and firm butts and expensive meals and a man who needs them and can’t live without them and “you have to give me whatever I want”.

    And then when I gave them that, they started not liking me, moving away from me, tolerating me, then saying “I don’t want to get serious” or LJBF or just blowing me off.

    So I would say “OK, she doesn’t like what I’m doing. I need to be nicer to her so she’ll like me again and I’ll get sex.” So I would be nicer and more deferential. This only pushed her further away.

    Why?

    Because she saw a whiny, needy man who couldn’t stand on his own. She saw a man who came on strong, but then as soon as she responded to my strength, I turned it all off to go beta. She said “This isn’t the man I thought I was getting. I don’t like this. I don’t feel safe. If I make a bad decision, he can’t protect me from it.”

    She wanted a man who lived his own life, had his own interests, did his own thing, had his own friends, could be self sufficient.

    They want to see a man who doesn’t need them.

  7. Lavazza

    “They want to see a man who doesn’t need them.”

    Well, that is not totally true. They still need the man to need them enough to give them what they want but not more than so.

    Or maybe they want men who don’t need them but still choose to behave as they need them to the desired extent.

  8. Bb

    @detinennui32, glad it was helpful. (Though take my feedback with a grain of salt because I’m a woman.) @Lavazza, to be more precise I think it’s more ” I don’t want a man who needs me. I want a man who wants me.”

    Need = everything in his life revolves around me and how I react. Too much pressure, and too much smothering. All his friends are my friends. All his family time is with my family. He can’t function without me.

    Want=I’m a part of his life, he’s a part of mine. We’re building something together and we’re both actively participating. He has his own interest, I have mine. We both bring something to the table.

    If a man needs me more than he wants me, it makes me feel like his mother. And doesn’t he have that already?

    I’m curious to know if it works the other way…if a man prefers a woman who needs him versus one who wants him. (Or even if there needs to be a distinction from the male point of view….)

  9. Your job as a young good man is to put yourself in a position to continue to contribute goodness to the world for decades to come. Choosing the wrong partner will waste your efforts solving relationship problems you shouldn’t have in the first place, instead of contributing to society and enhancing the lives around you.

    This is so good.

  10. You can’t put your life on pause for someone to like you. You’ll be miserable.

    Which is why PUA is misguided: You put your life on pause to pursue multiple someones in hopes they like you, not for your now-paused life, but because of the effort you invest in making them like you.

  11. Jimmy Hendricks

    Badger, you’ve been on fire lately. This is something every guy needs to be taught at a young age. Absolutely money.

    Coming to this realization over the past couple of years has been the biggest turning point in my life. I think it’s the best advice you can give anyone.

  12. Bb, good contributions.

    “If a man needs me more than he wants me, it makes me feel like his mother. And doesn’t he have that already?”

    Listen to her, guys.

    “I’m curious to know if it works the other way…if a man prefers a woman who needs him versus one who wants him. (Or even if there needs to be a distinction from the male point of view….)”

    My take is that only a small subset of white-knighting or fundamentally codependent men actually want/enjoy a truly “needy” woman. Gives him a way to feel needed and useful.

    Men of more conventional character are flummoxed by neediness. A lot of these men put up with it, because they might lack the stones to stand up to it, or they feel they “owe” it to her to support her and try to fix her (I hit on that in this post), or they might buy the cultural trope that women are “just like that” and they have to accept it and work around the problem. Although initially it’s exciting to be needed, it gets old sooner or later when you realize you are just keeping her head above water and not really helping her shine. And that she can’t make you shine because your energy is spent attending to her instead of being great. And she’ll resist you becoming great, because that takes your attention away from her and she “needs” it. Some straight up Norman Bates sh**.

    On wanting: to most men in the 60% middle of the bell curve, being wanted by a woman is a big turn on. To the 20%’s on the side, it hits either their self-loathing (I am unlovable, she is wrong to want me) or their narcissistic ego (womanizer).

  13. dannyfrom504

    i had my ass HANDED to me by this girl beth. i was totally bat-shit in love. didn’t even really date her that long. i was so crushed at the end of the relatoinship (she was active duty as well, and get sent back to LA) that i cancelled my shore duty to go to a ship in japan. took 2 years for me to start dating again. now we kept running into each other over the next 2-3 years. last year we gave it another shot, and I ended this time. i knew it was for the best. i love her, i do. always will, but realized the woman was going to be a drain, and in the long run she just wouldn’t be a decent partner. all my friends were surprised that i ended it. i was THAT into her. funny thing is, when i ended it…….i felt RELIEVED. it wasn’t easy to do, but i knew i HAD to do it. and i have no regrets.

  14. filrabat

    “I believe that young men need to feel OK with putting their interests first ahead of a woman”

    And

    “She wanted a man who lived his own life, had his own interests, did his own thing, had his own friends, could be self sufficient.

    They want to see a man who doesn’t need them.”

    Definitely agree right here. For a long time I saw this as an out and out contradiction, except in the cases of literally neurotic obsessive types of neediness. After all, if you don’t need something, why should you even bother wanting it. Although I came to see the difference between a need and a want on a strictly logical level, my reptilian and/or emotional brain had a lot of difficulty processing it – until I started leading my own life as I saw fit: Have my own hobbies and interests, activities, etc. Funny thing is that when I started doing that, a girl I liked about four to five years before my change gradually started talking in ways that signaled she wanted a relationship. Unfortunately for her, by that time (I was 30 by then, when the male sex drive is significantly lower than it is even four to five years earlier), I saw her as a good person, but I just had different goals in life – ones that would mean me staying in my home town (which I did NOT want to live in). Eventually, when she realized there was no stopping me from moving to the big city a six hour drive away, she did gracefully give up and wish me luck over there – even in the romance department (although women were no longer any priority for me by that time – especially given my committed child-free leanings).
    The point is that women ARE more attracted to men who don’t need them. But, if you have trouble distinguishing between needs and wants – the only way to decisively break neediness is to not want a woman in your life at all. Tough as it may be, that’s the route a needy beta has to go through. As I said countless times before on Susan’s blog, hobbies and interest that captivate your attention, plus mental and emotional energies is an EXCELLENT way to stop needing women – and perhaps no longer even wanting them altogether

  15. VI

    Recommendations that he FTOW are silly – he’s probably not going to do it, and if he did it wouldn’t be good for him.

    She was his first, take this in context, FTOW may very well be what he needs most. I doubt Robinson will react to FTOW the way a woman would to FTOM, he is still a man after all.

    No man ever went to his death bed thinking “I wish I had fucked fewer girls.”

  16. david

    kudos!…….happiness for me comes from within, my own sense of belonging and deserving to be here, being loved by the universe….a lifetime project …..how much of that sense of validation that i have, all on my ownsome, rules my relationships……when i feel it i make good relationship, when not, not….a sage was asked, ‘how do i find my soulmate?’…..she replied, ‘souls don’t mate’…lol……

  17. Bb

    As I said countless times before on Susan’s blog, hobbies and interest that captivate your attention, plus mental and emotional energies is an EXCELLENT way to stop needing women – and perhaps no longer even wanting them altogether

    @filrabat anecdotally, friends who have gone this route often find the person for their next LTR soon after. Happened to me as well.

    @Badger, thanks for the male pov re neediness. I do want to establish I’m talking about emotional neediness, which I think is a weakness in both sexes when it shows up, and an absolute time suck. You can’t conquer the world when you’re stuck at home, soothing someone’s frayed emotions!

  18. The modern man needs a revised definition: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_2LpLhOsc4

    [That video is hilarious.]

  19. Doug1

    For Robinson and his beliefs FTenOW is overkill. FTwoOW might well be the ticket though.

  20. Doug1

    So Badger, I’m new to your blog. What are your goals re: girls? Are you lookig to find the right girl, check her out while dating her, get married soon and have kids? Wait to do that and have several LTRs for awhile? Get better at game and go through a pickup phase? What?

  21. detinennui32

    Bb:

    I would not want a woman who needs me. I dated one like her once. She had no other friends she spent time with. She spent, or wanted to spend, all her time with me. I got to the point where I wanted to spend time with my own friends, without her. She would take offense or act hurt. I frankly got tired of it, and tired of the pressure of having to procide a social life for her. The only benefit was that she was quite sexually aggressive. I suspect this was a hook to get and keep male interest. But even the sex was not enough to hold my interest with an otherwise clingy, needy girl.

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  23. Jennifer

    I’m hoping you realize that putting the other first in marriage is part of a prerequisite? With exceptions, of course.

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