Love is a Limited Resource.

It seems to be assumed by many that because we can feel love infinitely, we can also give love infinitely. In principle, the idea that love (the feeling) is infinite is not all that harmful. But love is not a feeling. Love is a verb, an action. You can claim to love someone even when you do not support it with your actions, and everyone will agree that is not love. Therefore, in reality, love is the act of loving, not the act of feeling love. And the act of loving is a limited resource.

This is evidenced by people who claim to love infinitely.

Parents of many children claim to love every child, but eventually hit a point where their children are suffering the compression of their homes and their days.

Radical vegans claim to love all animals and to wish harm on none, but will cause another human vast amounts of pain for not agreeing with them.

Animal hoarders claim to love every animal they own whilst simultaneously making all of them ill and even killing some of them.

Polygamous people claim to love many sexual and romantic partners “the same”, but will readily reduce their exposure to all their partners to accommodate a new love.

Hippie types claim to love all people, but will distance themselves from people who are violent, the very people who would most benefit from their world view.

Humans simply cannot love infinitely. Our love is a limited resource. Why? Because the ways in which we show love are physically restricted.

Time.

Our time is limited. If we have six hours a day to dedicate to socializing, then every person we add to that list reduces our ability to socialize with the others. There is a reason we value having a few close friends over hundreds of distant ones. It is simply easier to love and be loved by someone you see and talk to for an hour a day than by someone you see and talk to for an hour a month.

Resources.

We show our love also by sharing resources with others. Whether it’s taking someone out for a fancy meal or simply feeding our children the bare basics they need to survive, the more mouths we add to our list to feed, the less we can feed each of them. Whatever you offer someone as a token of love, every person you add breaks it in half.

Energy.

And we also only have so much energy to invest in people. Maybe we do have six hours a day to dedicate to socializing. But that also involves the energy expense of moving to see people, engaging in actions and, for introverts, just putting on our social faces. The more people you deal with, the less energy you have to deal with each of them. So you could theoretically throw a party every night and socialize with a hundred and fifty people per night. But it will drain you.

Quite simply, we have so much to give. And we need to be aware of that. Otherwise we end up in a family of fifty with nothing to eat, or hurting a friend to prove we love an animal, or adopting three cats into a deadly environment, or seeing our partners rarely to keep face with other partners, or pushing away people who need our help to encourage good feels.

Our resources are limited. We cannot love everyone. Instead, we need to allocate some of our love to everyone of value in our lives and prioritize who gets the most of what we have to give. Otherwise we end up with nothing left to give and nobody to give it to.

TTFN and Happy Hunting!

 

For help starting out homemaking, check out The ESSENTIAL Beginner Homemaker’s Guide. For help budgeting all your everday and not-so-everyday essentials, from food to transport to clothes, check out On A Budget: The good homemaker’s guide to economizing.
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Blue Pill behaviour puts magic before accountability.

Whether it’s in the form of feminism, Marxism, or what the Red Pill describe as “Beta”, Blue Pill behaviour seems to be born of blind idealism. They deny reality for pleasantries that defy reality. However, I put it to you that blind idealism is not completely blind. Instead, it is a sort of casual self-deception, a willful ignorance designed to protect oneself.

Take, for instance, the concept of a “soulmate”, ubiquitous wherever Blue Pill mentality emerges. Whilst it is indeed possible to be in a relationship with someone you are highly compatible with, and even many more realistic people will accept the possibility of developing a unique bond from which a couple may enable each other, it is only under Blue Pill mentality that the soulmate becomes:

  • ineffable
  • unconditional
  • eternal
  • predestined

Thus, the assumption is that your soulmate was chosen for you before you knew about it, cannot have a flaw, will love you forever and no matter what.

The reality of “soulmates” is that you chose your soulmate, that you crafted each other into what you needed, that your love is conditional and that whilst you accept their flaws, you can still see them… even if they are not flaws in your eyes.

The reality requires you to work hard. You must be a desirable person to the sort of person you wish to attract. You must accept their flaws – whether you personally take issue with them or whether they are flaws on a societal or cultural level. You must be open about your own flaws. You must accept their conditions for love and they must accept yours.

But that isn’t pleasant, or easy. The Blue Pill ideal of love is almost parental instead. They want a sexual partner who loves them intrinsically and unconditionally, for their shining, eternal, invisible, intangible soul. Thus, a “soulmate”, to them, is someone who requires no work to conquer, to love and to care for. Someone who brings no grief, no worries, no conflict, no pressure, intentionally or incidentally, for better or for worse.

When they see a pair who have achieved a balance through hard work and focus and deep love, all they see is some magical aura which unites the two, a red string between their fingers, a zodiac alignment, a mystical bond. They seize this as proof that soulmates exist exactly as they would define them.

Because to accept that everyone who has something good, on some level must work for it, is to accept that they are not putting in the work.

And that might require them to change.

TTFN and Happy Hunting!

 

For help starting out homemaking, check out The ESSENTIAL Beginner Homemaker’s Guide. For help budgeting all your everday and not-so-everyday essentials, from food to transport to clothes, check out On A Budget: The good homemaker’s guide to economizing.

Bait, Bid, and Bite, everyday affections.

The flip-side to last week’s post about giving time and space, I would like to take the time this week to address the “bait and bite” of comfort-seeking behaviour in relationships.

In CBT this behaviour is referred to simply as “validation”, although it’s not exactly what we think of when we generally hear the term. In relationship psychology it’s called a “bid”. And it goes a little like this.

One member of the couple experiences something.

They feel an urge to share it with their partner.

Their partner acknowledges the vocalization and the experience.

It seems simple, and it is, but it makes an enormous difference.

When we reach out like that, regardless of whether we are pointing out a cute dog, explaining what went wrong with our work day, discussing something we read or looking for confirmation that what we witnessed did, indeed, happen, we are comfort testing our partners. We are saying “this is my life experience, and I want you to also experience it”. We are saying “please see what I have seen and tell me it is valid to you as well”. We are saying “this is what matters to me right now”.

And all we need is for our partner to acknowledge what we said and acknowledge our experience. That’s it. They don’t need to agree with us, to share our emotions, to continue the conversation. All they need to do, in essence, is say “yes, I can see the dog”, “I’m sorry your work day was bad”, “that book sounds interesting/not my thing”, or “I saw it too”. It’s that simple.

We “bait” our partners with actions that are designed to captivate attention and words to draw their attention to things around us. If they “bite” and acknowledge the bait, however minorly or however personal or weird their reaction is, we feel acknowledged, wanted, respected and loved. If they ignore us and react passively or dismissively, we feel insecure. It’s the ultimate comfort test and all humans do it, introvert or extrovert, male or female. It also directly correlates with relationship longevity.

Example of positive, comforting “bait and bites”:

Him: “Wow, look at that truck.” “Look there.” “Truck ahead.”

Her: “Pretty cool.” “It’s red.” “Is that a toyota?” “Not my thing.” “Where?” (Typically with some emotion in voice or on face, turning to look at what he is pointing out.]

All acknowledge what he has seen, what he is saying and establish some sort of personal connection. On the other hand, a negative, worrying “bait and bite”:

Him: “Wow, look at that truck.” “Look there.” “Truck ahead.”

Her: “Huh.” #silence# “Wait one moment.” “I’m busy.” “Sure.” (Typically in a flat tone, whatever is said, without turning her head to the truck.]

None acknowledge what he has seen, all refuse to share the moment or indulge in a personal moment, all focus entirely on her.

It isn’t about talking more, or forcing yourselves to talk about your day or to do things together. It’s more about the responsiveness percentage when you share information with each other. The more bait goes unbitten, the more detached a couple become. The more bait we bite, the longer the relationship lasts. So skip the candlelit dinner or the relationship adviser if you want to revive the spark. Perhaps first try and look at your partner, respond to their comments, and invite them back into your world.

TTFN and Happy Hunting!

How often would you say you make a bid of your partner? How often to they bite the bait? How often do you respond to their bids? If you’re not sure, try and keep a “bid diary” for a bit and tally up how much you share each other’s world.

 

For help starting out homemaking, check out The ESSENTIAL Beginner Homemaker’s Guide. For help budgeting all your everday and not-so-everyday essentials, from food to transport to clothes, check out On A Budget: The good homemaker’s guide to economizing.

Can We Both ‘Marry Up’?

It is a common assumption made by most dating resources and, indeed, most people, that relationships are a zero-sum game: that someone has to be better for having the other, and that for that to happen, the other must therefore be worse, having made a sacrifice to improve their partner. But I have already discussed why this is not necessarily the case.

What I’m getting to today, thanks to an interesting post by IB last week, is the mentality that brings about this assumption. Because there actually seems to be a step in between “I observe that most relationships are unbalanced” and “therefore there has to be a loser”. And that step is “everyone wants to marry up”.

In and of itself, the statement is innoccuous: of course everyone wants to marry up. We want the genetically fittest partner we can get, as well as a compatible one, so we look out for one who is generally an improvement on us. Sexier, richer, younger, more mature, more famous, brighter, etc. Thus, we look for something better. But the implication is that for someone to be better than us, they must be “hyper”, or “above” us. Thus, we win and they lose.

But the reality is that we also seek compatibility in our genetic fitness. The masculine seek the feminine, the feminine seek the masculine. The creative seek the scientific, the scientific seek the creative. The doctors seek the nurses or the patients. The artists seeks the muse, the model an artist. We want someone who can do what we cannot, what we either do not have the time or the energy or the skills to do. If it had a term, it would be “paideiagamy”: the pursuit of someone who rounds us out, who makes us a complete unit of society.

And this is where we find that middle ground of “marrying up”.

You see, there are two ways of marrying up.

The first is when partner A is clearly beneath partner B. Not just in one aspect, but as a sum total of their desirable qualities. In these cases, only two results are possible. Either partner B becomes idle, and lets slide the characteristics that made them better, causing an evenly married couple where partner A resents partner B for “bait and switch” and partner B resents partner A for “ruining B’s life”. Or partner B continues to work on improvement, or at least maintenance and grows distant, causing partner A to become insecure about the quality gap, causing anger on both sides. In short, you cannot just “marry up” and rest on your laurels.

But there is another kind of marrying up. This is where the partners are either equal or equivalent. Equal in that they are approximately the same in all desirable qualities. Or equivalent in that, despite specific differences, their sum total of desirability is even. However both partners are focused on improving themselves and extend that efford to each other. In working to improve each other, they end up with a continually better partner: one who gives them better access to that which they desire. But they are also improving, incentivizing their partner to also invest in them. Through this process, each member of a couple will appear to have benefitted greatly from the relationship. Their friends and family will compliment the quality of their partner for “fixing” them. But in reality both have improved.

Of course, the second kind of marrying up is all an illusion. Neither married someone objectively better than themselves. You’ve just married your approximate equal and both encouraged each other to improve, giving the impression to everyone but yourselves that one of you struck gold. But “true” marrying up is as much a recipe for failure as marrying down, or being lazy in a relationship are.

So the answer is: Not really. You can’t both marry someone better than you, not in absolute terms. But being unable to both “marry up” does not lead to “zero-sum game”. You can just as easily marry an equivalent, a slight superior or a slight inferior and end up both vastly better off for it. Which may make others assume you married up after all!

Ultimately, you can only win at the game when you play it together.

TTFN and Happy Hunting!

What is your perspective on improvement through relationships? And what would your paideiagamy look like: focus on complementarity, on similarity, on contrasts, on better qualities..? Do you think there are any more steps to the disillusion->marry-up->zero-sum-game mentality?

 

For help starting out homemaking, check out The ESSENTIAL Beginner Homemaker’s Guide. For help budgeting all your everday and not-so-everyday essentials, from food to transport to clothes, check out On A Budget: The good homemaker’s guide to economizing.

Bonus: The Valentine’s Day lunchbox.

Because Jon is working tonight, but he still deserves that extra special treatment. If anything, he deserves it all the more for working so hard! 🙂

The Best Lamb Burger Recipe

Sweet Hearts Jam Tarts and Brazils to snack on.

For dinner a heart-shaped lamb burger; mushroom, spinach and garlic fry; heart mushrooms cooked in lamb fat; beans, for some carbs; carrots, beets and courgette as hearts too.

Plus a bowl of turkey and sausage stew for his lunch, which was not pictured because it was still cooking when I did the photos.

He mostly wants to stay lower carb than usual, but not VLC, so plenty of veg to balance out the sweet things.

Who said cute bento (lunch) boxes were just for Japanese moms and girlfriends?

 

For help starting out homemaking, check out The ESSENTIAL Beginner Homemaker’s Guide. For help budgeting all your everday and not-so-everyday essentials, from food to transport to clothes, check out On A Budget: The good homemaker’s guide to economizing.

How To… female dread.

There is a concept in the PUA and Red Pill communities called “dread”. The basic idea is to do just enough to make a woman “dread” leaving you. Maybe she’s losing appreciation and he’s showing her how valuable he is. Or maybe she’s losing focus and he moves quickly out of her life to show he’s mobile. Or maybe she thinks he’s locked down and he’s illustrating that he is not focused only on her. To many women these behaviours may seem cruel. And oftentimes they feel cruel or even are cruel. But they are also natural and often necessary to give a man leverage in his relationship/s.

Likewise, if you are a man reading this, take this post calmly as, however cruel it may seem to you, these are natural ways a woman can ensure her man is focused on her.

1: Accept that you are living, breathing dread.

As a woman you are automatically a desirable partner, to some degree, to every heterosexual man on the planet. Quite simply put, in evolutionary terms one man is enough for hundreds of women to reproduce, but hundreds of men and one woman does not a tribe make. So we have evolved to place a base level of automatic value on a womb.

This means that whilst men need to work to remind a woman that they are valuable, most women are automatically valuable to most men. He is probably already afraid that you are too valuable for him, that you have options and that you can leave.

2: Do not threaten or corner him.

Threats are superflous as male relationship anxiety is internal. Dread on females is external because our romantic choices are external. Allow me to explain.

As women inherently have value, a man’s selection criteria are purely based on his own sexual and emotional desires. Who he wants to reproduce with is an internal process. It doesn’t matter if every man in his tribe wants woman X, if he is wired to fancy woman Y, he will fancy her. And, as long as both are fertile, it doesn’t matter that he chooses Y. Over the years, men have developed some shared preferences (hourglass figures, squishy thighs and buttocks, young face) and some personal preferences (red hair, long toes, shorter figure). But all these preferences are an inbuilt mechanism.

But as men do not inherently have value, women need to select men based on their added value, their external value. In one tribe, they may subsist on fish and need many fishermen. The women who select the best fishermen as partners bring more children to adulthood and their children also do better in life. But if a hundred years later the tribe finds masses of rabbit warrens, that generation of women needs to find the best rabbit hunters. Our desire has some internal basis, but, in principle, we desire partners based on external factors.

Therefore, when a man threatens with leaving or corners a woman emotionally, he is showing off. He is showing that he has external value that makes him better than the next guy. You know, in case she was thinking of leaving. He is basically saying “I can leave, I have options, don’t think you can crawl back to me when you make a bad decision”.

But the same doesn’t work for the woman. Because a man knows his woman has options. By virtue of existing, however apparently infertile she is, there will be someone who wants her. Because her value is internal to the man observing her.

By threatening, a woman isn’t saying “I have options”, he already knows she does. She is saying “I am taking another option”. Therefore, threats and cornering won’t just make a man closer to you, they could trigger extreme jealousy, anger or even make him give up, because you’ve clearly found someone better.

3: Do not withhold or control resources.

Another way a man can employ dread is by limiting a woman’s access to resources. If he is the main breadwinner, his status is greater than hers, he gets free perks or he is her only source of sex, then withholding these things sends home a message. It reminds her of everything she would lose were she to stray, that she is not entitled to anything he offers and that he is willing and capable of removing it at a moment’s notice.

Women rarely have the upper hand in terms of resources because, by our very nature, we usually get those resources from men. Even when a woman has her own resources, sex, food and status are easily attainable to many men. Men can even do with very little or without some resources, if that means they have more freedom and opportunities.

When a man withholds sex, a woman either must leave or win him back. When a woman withholds sex, a man starts looking elsewhere.

When a man withholds money, a woman must either leave or win him back. When a woman withholds money, a man starts making his own.

When a man withholds status, a woman must either leave or win him back. When a woman withholds status, a man would rather go without.

Whatever you take away from him physically, he will either do without or find elsewhere. By putting up that barrier you are encouraging him to turn away, not to climb it.

So we’ve seen what we can’t do. But what can a woman do to remind her man of her worth, of her freedom to leave and her needs and desires?

4: Keep calm and polite.

Being standoffish, aggressive and selfish will not make you look like a girl in demand. You are a girl in demand because you’re a girl. That won’t be the first thing he thinks when you get angry. It will just make you look undesirable. Why does he want to be with a girl who snaps over the smallest thing, or insults him over every argument? He can surely do better than her.

However, turn that around. If you can remain calm in almost every situation and master your emotions to a point where even you, yourself, stop caring so much about minor things, then you become more desirable. Who is this girl who can take a joke, go through some pain and still smile and relax at the end of the day?

If you are always polite and courteous, then he will not end every argument thinking he can do better than you. You will possibly even stand out as one of the few women he’s dated who can take an argument seriously without throwing ad hominems.

By making sure you are relaxed, balanced, polite and gentle at all times, he will not harbour any memories of the pain you caused him. He will instead be able to appreciate your efforts towards the relationship.

5: Nurture.

Another thing women are often very good at, but that we’re losing a little is our nurturing nature. Whether it’s a child, a cat or even a work project, we care for things closely, tenderly and carefully to ensure they fully develop.

And that is most men’s most intimate non-sexual experience of women. From his mother and grandmothers, to teachers and mentors, men grow up around women who nurture them to help them grow and develop. Some even become dependent on this nurturing to work hard and fail to thrive when there is nobody to congratulate and reward them.

Many girlfriends and wives fail to nurture their partners. In part, this is instinctive. We would, in a wild world, have babies and elderly parents and livestock that needed our nurturing more than our husbands. And men don’t really need to be constantly nurtured. They are well-equipped with a desire to better themselves for its own sake and a fear of failure.

But when a man is motivated by more than fear, he will often throw extra effort into his entire life. By nurturing your husband, keeping him relaxed, happy, fed and motivated to grow, you are making sure his quality of life improves dramatically. And he will associate that change with you and want to keep you around.

6: Be available.

Whereas men often withdraw resources such as sex, money, emotions or safety so as to remind a woman that he improves her life, we can benefit more from doing the opposite.

Men already know full well that women don’t need to provide. In fact, their many experiences and observations on women have already shown them that most women don’t want to provide or are even averse to it.

By doing your best to meet his needs, provide for him and give him everything you can you are telling him that you are different. And you don’t even have to actually give your all. Something as simple as listening to him complain about a day at work or making his favourite dinner will already tell him that you stand out. When so few women take a single step in this direction, being the one to go the whole mile often makes you by far his best prospect.

7: Be attractive.

Men are primarily attracted to our looks. It is their internal desire, the love that motivates healthy reproduction. So take care of those looks.

If you let yourself go he may start taking you for granted. This is literally the only situation where a man can undervalue his woman’s ability to find a new partner. When she gains an extra 20lbs, cuts her hair a way he doesn’t like or stops wearing makeup, he sees her as less attractive and this makes him assume that other men will see her as less attractive. He assumes that as he doesn’t want to work to keep you, other men won’t work to get you.

By keeping as attractive as you can, you keep him on his toes. Regardless of what you look like, how old you are, what you wear or where you come from, if you

A: try and be as attractive as possible to him and

B: put in a little effort each day

you will get complimented on your looks, your efforts, your style, etc. And he will like you. Combine the two and he will be reminded that you are still desirable and that thousands of men across the world would gladly replace him if he needed replacing.

8: Be gregarious.

The final step to female dread is to be gregarious. That is, to meet people, see people, talk to people and have fun. How you do this depends on you and him. Something like inviting his friends over to dinner and letting him see them compliment you and your cooking could be a firm reminder. Or he may need to see you dressed to the nines in an upscale bar with guys fighting to buy you drinks. The key here is that you don’t need to do anything on top of that. Just be your usual self, plus what you do for him. It will be enough to attract some attention and he will, trust me, definitely notice that his woman is getting attention.

And that is how a woman can apply dread. Skip the threats, the online dating accounts left open, the withdrawal of sex or the long nights out. Instead, be a joy to be around, an asset to his life, the easiest partner he’ll have (only once he has you, mind) and someone attractive and desirable to him. He will dread leaving you.

TTFN and Happy Hunting.

Disclaimer: Yes, it’s a little cold and cruel on the surface. The concept of dread is inherently troublesome to men and women alike because it kills our illusion of choice.

Using female dread as the example: a woman buys her husband a stash of his favourite chocolate bars, this makes him like her more.

He likes to think that she did it because she just felt like it and that he chose her out of his own free will. When he is aware of female game, he starts questioning it. Perhaps she did it because she consciously knew it would make him more attracted. Perhaps she is making him choose her. The illusion of choice is killed. This can even make something nice, such as getting his favourite chocolate bars, seem unpleasant.

When we are unaware of dread it’s easy to just think of such things as natural, loving, automatic behaviours. But when we are aware of dread, we realize that either on a biological or a conscious level, our partners are manipulating us into loving them.

It hurts to accept. But this is how it would be, whether we knew about it or not. And by knowing about it we can better use dread to our advantage.

How To… sell yourself like coffee?!

We’ve all heard that you need to sell yourself. To employers, friends, universities, partners… everyone, really. The fact of the matter is that everyone wants to exchange with you. Your employer wants to exchange money for your skills and time. Your friends want to exchange their time for yours. Universities want to exchange an education for your money and rating. Partners want to exchange your time and body for their time and body.

But many people have a hard time selling themselves properly to anyone. So here is how to sell yourself, in coffee terms.

1: You are in control of the market price.

Let’s say you’ve just opened your coffee shop. Sure, demand and customers are the most important things. But coffee is always in demand and this is an area with high footfall. So you set the price, not anyone else. You can set the price wherever you like, really. Is it too high or too low? We don’t know yet. But it’s in your hands, nobody else’s.

2: Observe other sellers, but don’t copy.

Watch what they do. What sort of coffee are they selling? Is it good coffee? Is the price reasonable? Do they get many customers? Do they cover their rent? How much coffee do they sell?

Don’t copy what they do, just watch and take note.

3: Stand out.

You want to be different to the other sellers. Most people think the only way of doing this is lowering the price, but this isn’t true. You can sell better coffee, sell different coffee, sell it with a gimmick, try and be friendly to your customers. You can stand out from the other coffee shops in many ways and each way will attract a different type of customer.

4: Set your prices.

Now’s the time to decide what your price will be. Your price has no upper or lower limit. But if you price your coffee too low you won’t be able to pay for your shop or new stock and if you price your coffee too high then you may go a long time without customers. You can choose to sell highly exclusive or accessible coffee, but know your customers.

5: Advertise well.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re selling accessible or exclusive coffee, what sort of coffee you’re selling or how you’re standing out, if you don’t advertise well, then nobody will know it’s there. Advertising well isn’t really about advertising widely. For very little money you could probably drop fliers for your coffee shop all over a Chinese city, but unless your shop is in that city you won’t be reaching your target market. Think of your target market, their habits, where they congregate and advertise wisely. Make sure the advertisement is in the right place, catches the target market’s eyes and tells them what sort of coffee they will find at the coffee shop.

6: Freebies and sneak peeks.

It’s fine to offer free coffees or snacks, sneak peaks and events from time to time if you aren’t quite reaching your target market. But don’t offer too much for free too often.

If you offer a lifetime supply of coffee then you can’t offer it to just anyone or to a regular customer, or else you won’t get paid for your coffee and the gimmick won’t work. If you offer free coffee to just anyone then word will get out that there’s free coffee and people will feel cheated when they have to pay.

Some people may offer a lot of free coffee, but their business practices shouldn’t dictate yours. They will eventually shut down or lower the quality of their coffee to keep up with demand. Don’t try and set your price lower than everyone else’s, rather, offer a few exclusive freebies or sneak peeks to customers in a way that will advertise your coffee shop well and attract the right sort of clientele.

7: Wait it out.

If you want a certain type of customer and have done all the above, be patient. They will eventually come to you when you’re doing everything right. On the other hand, if you change your mind about the target market quickly and often, you might lose a lot of customers who would have stayed around and wind up selling a type of coffee you don’t like at an unreasonable price to a clientele you didn’t want. Instead, keep advertising to the right clientele, keep making coffee and wait until the clientele shows up.

And that’s how you sell coffee. Or how you sell yourself to employers, friends and partners.

TTFN and Happy Hunting!