Earlier this week I wrote about Romance as a form of male investment, and described how women generally have the option for sexual freedom or male investment, but very seldom both (at least in the long run). In that post I asked the question of why a man should be invested in a woman who wasn’t really committed to him, or showed from her history a lack of ability or likelihood to commit.
When I created the chart in that post, part of what I was thinking of was the R verses K reproduction strategies men can choose. If a man is going to invest in one woman to better ensure the success of albeit fewer offspring, he needs to have some confidence that his offspring will be his and that the woman shares his long view of high investment reproduction. If she isn’t on the same page, he is better off going for quantity over quality. So men with options are likely to show up at the marriage 1.0 section of the curve and the hookup section of the curve, but not as much in between. Women thinking they can hit the sweet spot in between are likely to be pulled down and to the right to the more stable hookup position. A few will overshoot even that and end up in craigslist status.
I think at some level men do consider this logically. Men are more and more starting to take into account a woman’s past sexual and marital history when deciding if they want to formally commit to her. But given that 90% of white women are still marrying by the age of 40, obviously many men still aren’t being very selective in that respect. The remaining 10% can’t all be promiscuous women. A significant portion must be either uninterested in marriage or have some non promiscuity related defect which makes them unmarriageable. Nor does it seem likely to me that we could squeeze all promiscuous women into the fraction of the 10% of women who don’t marry but are interested in marriage and not otherwise unmarriageable.
Plus, logic is rarely the sole motivation when we look at the behavior of large groups. Culture almost always has a powerful impact, although culture itself is often grounded in the wisdom learned over generations. But our culture has been severely disrupted as a result of prolonged feminist assault. If anything our culture now directs men to do the exact opposite of what would be rational for them. Men are told by our culture not to take into account risk factors like previous children, histories of promiscuity, or previous divorce. While men’s attitudes appear to be changing, the change is happening slowly.
I read an excellent and extremely funny blog post by Solomon II this week titled Drive Thru Boyfriends, which got me thinking more about the likely mechanism changing the attitudes of individual men. This in turn would then act as a force to change the culture of men. Solomon’s post tells the common tale of the carouseler who has a change of heart late in her 20s. However instead of showing her as hopping from one night stand to one night stand, she is hopping from short term relationship to short term relationship:
“Welcome to McFling’s. My name is Solomon II. May I take your order?”
“Uh, yes. I’ll have the three months of meaningless sex from the Boyfriend Lite menu, add extra self respect. Hold the judgment and consequences please.
“I’m sorry; we’re all out of self respect. Would you like to add a side of rationalization for only $1 more?”
“Yeah. That’s fine. Super size it please.”
“Thank you. Please pull up to the window for your total.”
While this may go against the more common perception of a carouseller hopping from alpha to alpha in a series of bar hookups, it does seem to better fit what I have observed. It also fits with the common desire many women have to trade “a little more freedom for a little less investment”, or having her cake and eating it too:
There she is driving down the road of life at her own pace. She’s young, independent, beautiful and has all the time in the world. When she’s horny, she swings into the closest drive thru and places her order. She does the same thing when she’s sad, lonely, happy, up, down, in, out, excited, needy, afraid, strong, weak, depressed, moody, joyful, exhilarated, stressed, etc. Any and every reason is valid because she’s being “true to herself”. Every three months on average she swings into McFling’s and orders up the best looking or most exciting thing on the menu (because she’s sooo selective). There’s also a couple of late night snack runs thrown in there for good measure, but not as many as some other girls, so you have no right to judge her.
If you imagine the men in this scenario, they aren’t the stereotypical bitter betas being passed over entirely. Nor are they the alpha player who defines the relationship on his own terms. These guys are somewhere in between. Alpha enough to be attractive, but totally at her mercy as to the terms of the relationship. She decides when it starts and stops, and her real level of investment in him is next to nothing. She demands investment from him, yet never considers offering it in return.
Over time, these guys have to be getting jaded. Not in the passed over bitter beta sense, but simply learning from experience that getting emotionally invested in women is a bad idea. Add to this the findings that men are more troubled than women by breakups, and I think the mechanism for men learning not to become invested in women who crave choice becomes clear. How many times do you have to smash your fingers with a hammer to learn that you have to be very careful driving in a nail? It isn’t bitterness towards nails or hammers, but just life experience. What these guys are learning the hard way is that for women just like men commitment is a form of investment; not just one form though, the single biggest form.
As a society we understand that commitment is a foundational component of male investment. But feminism has convinced the mass culture that it isn’t required the other way around. Married women openly engage in divorce fantasies, and feel entitled to do so. In reality, to the extent that the two are different commitment is more a sign of female investment than male investment. Like so many things, we have it backwards in popular culture.
But while the culture has it wrong the individual men are learning reality through life experience. This is probably yet another reason the unmarried women on Big Little Wolf’s blog post noticed a trend of less romance from men as time passed. As they got older the men they dated also got older. Available men therefore are almost exclusively going to be in one of four categories:
- Spent their dating career as takeout for generally un-invested women.
- Were married to a woman who they thought was invested in them until one day they learned the hard way.
- A player.
- An omega or lesser beta.
They would likely get all of the romance they can handle if they choose option four, but the rest of the guys aren’t likely to be naive when it comes to assuming a woman is committed to them. Add to this the fact that the woman finds herself uncommitted later in adulthood, and chances are she isn’t sending “I’m totally committed” vibes to the guys she is dating.
In other words; she isn’t invested in them, and they aren’t in her.