Uncle Yarv #4: straight edition
"If you want companionship, get a golden retriever."
Hiroshi from Lake Balaton wants to know:
I know it is a cliche to ask such a question in these circles, however, how the hell do I go about finding a decent woman to settle down with in our current climate? A woman that contains “trad” qualities, or at the very least, as many as can be expected these days.
I'm in my late 20s and had my fair share of flings and casual sex, but I'm getting to the stage in life where I want something more serious. I recently broke up with someone after 3 months, who I thought contained the “trad” qualities, but in the end was just another “thot” and it was a very confusing breakup. Admittedly, she was younger than me and there were red flags I did overlook.
I know we live in fallen times and we are all damaged by Progressive society in some way, but I struggle to see women who aren’t binge-drinking human fleshlights, who are hopped up on SSRIs and birth control, and only seem to care about the next exotic holiday.
Cliches are important, or they wouldn’t be cliches! Also, if I had a solution to the tradwife problem, I might not have an advice column.
Let me make a guess about your breakup: you and your ex feel a different way about the relationship. She feels she spent 3 months looking for Mr. Right, realized in the end he wasn’t you, but had a great time anyway and wishes you all the best.
You felt you put in 3 months of work trying to build a future and in the end it was all pissed away on nothing, probably for some incredibly sad, petty and embarrassing reason, by this person who you once thought was a genuinely serious human being who you were ready to spend the rest of your life with. Is that right?
One of the most remarkable things about our society is a dating culture which is almost totally useless and ineffective at its job, which is forming healthy, durable long-term relationships. Note that in the above narrative of Hiroshi’s story, which may or may not be true for him but has certainly been true for many, the male and female roles are reversed—the female is looking for an experience, the male for a future.
Sure—if her experience lasts forever, that’s her future. Given her “trad” qualities, that may have been her best-case scenario. But it is not really a “trad” way to think. One of the trickiest challenges is a woman who thinks she has escaped from modernity hell, but whose basic operating system remains formed by it—she will confuse you! And very likely also herself.
Since she was seeing you and no one else (one hopes—though there is that “thot” part), your gf probably thought of herself as dating monogamously. But as a very wise female friend, whom I’ll call “Mary,” puts it:
“Monogamous” implies that you pair-bond for life, not that you leave courtesy gaps in the 4th dimension.
Monogamy is not just about social distancing for STDs. (TMI: I have never once used a condom. But maybe that’s more an incel thing.) It is about the strength of the bond. If you are serially forming weak monogamous bonds, interspersed with “courtesy gaps in the 4th dimension,” you are not even getting practice in forming these real pair bonds. You really might as well be polyamorous.
The female (and sometimes male) attitude that creates these weak bonds is essentially a culturally-transmitted narcissism, centered on the search for an ideal partner. Watch this four-minute clip from “Up In The Air” (some spoilers):
Anna Kendrick’s character is not in any way a human fleshlight—she doesn’t even get it on with George Clooney. But she has the typical romantic perspective of a modern young-adult female: a concrete plan and a concrete timeline for the perfect romantic partner. Who even needs to have a tight one-syllable name like “Matt” or “Steve.”
Vera Farmiga’s character is not monogamous, but she has the middle-aged approach to dating. “At a certain point, you stop with the deadlines.” Middle-aged people who date in a functional way are looking to (a) find anything that works, and (b) work as hard as they can to make it work.
Because no one is actually perfect and anyone with any sense can quickly see anyone else’s imperfections, the Anna Kendrick mindset produces fragile relationships which never leave the courtship stage. These relationships have a “playing house” quality to them—one or both partners is charmingly pretending to be deeply in love. But it is just a game and hopefully both sides know it’s a game. As Mary wrote:
“Fake it ‘til you make it” isn’t the worst thing in the world, if the “fake it” is sincere in the sense that you actually intend to “make it” ASAP. But it’s a really dangerous strategy in relationships and should be curtailed quickly.
Courtship is a game that is supposed to lead into something that isn’t a game. If you don’t understand that these are very distinct relationship phases, you can end up “courting” for years, and you never understand why your relationships are becoming boring/transactional/resentful. In normie-world, you conclude that you just fall in love with losers or assholes. In the Bay Area, you might just conclude that you’re “not monogamous.”
Some people can play house professionally and it’s really hard to understand that you’re not in a relationship with them until some event forces discernment. It’s one of the shittiest aspects of modern dating. People think that if it walks and quacks like a relationship they can still have their optionality [ie, Anna Kendrick looking for the guy with the one-syllable name], without sacrificing the real-deal connection they actually want.
But no, it is very literally a different thing when BOTH people expect to start REALLY co-owning all property and making babies and holding hands in hospitals and maybe losing life or limb for the family and definitely sticking it out until death do you part.
Tell me about it.
The thing that really bugs me is that modern messaging implies that you shouldn’t even consider making a decision of that heftiness until you’ve spent a couple of years with someone, and by that time it’s an almost impossible decision to make unless you’ve already accidentally made it, long ago.
And a very serious problem with the culture now is that really any sort of purpose or real, material reason for a relationship stinks of “codependency,” unless specifically designed to “not trap” a partner, e.g. allow for a simple process of dissolution at will.
The problem is that very few of the things worth building with the immense power of a functional two-adult household are easy to dissolve. If you want companionship, get a golden retriever. IMO it’s a wasteful use of something as powerful as human pair bonding.
Insecurely attached people can do all the same things securely attached people do, it just sucks the entire time and is way more prone to collapse. Certain kinds of people (which include outright abusive and probably also just pathologically controlling) learn to entice the other partner into forming a one-directional commitment so they can obtain the gains of that while maintaining leverage.
A lot of the Bay Area relationship psychosis is just a confusing light show of commitment behaviors decoupled from commitments, and a whole lot of story-telling around sexual/romantic transactions that any moron in rural Alabama could tell you are obviously bad for at least one person involved.
You can be in a long-term insecurely-attached relationship if you want to. But why the fuck would you?
Which reminded me of a tweet I’d just seen about secure relationships:
Basically, both partners have to be fully engaged in a mutual fiction that there is no “end the relationship” option. Of course that’s not really true; it’s a free country. But when both choose it, the couple becomes its own organism & the nature of conflict changes substantially.
Otherwise—and this is true whether neither partner is willing to entertain that fiction, or only one partner is—no conflict is ever free of the question of leverage. And I’d argue that that question almost always dominates, even if obscured by arguments to e.g. fairness.
I mentioned this to Mary and was like:
It’s remarkable how much better things work if you move very quickly to that mutual fiction. This also comes with the mature recognition that NO ONE is the ideal person.
Yes! And honestly it was so far removed from anything remotely encouraged in my milieu that I only ever could have gotten there via true desperation, the realization that almost all relationships I’ve ever had ended because the “courtship” phase outlasted the clock always ticking toward “maybe we would actually be better off seeing other people.”
At a certain point I just HAD to try the real thing, even if recklessly and with no guarantees. Only via this process have I learned how totally and utterly inhospitable to love the standard modern female training is.
Before which, Mary was one of the most attractive single females in a world-class scene. She was what literally billions of women want to be. And the “standard modern female training” still fetched her up, in her early 30s, at “true desperation.”
But how does this help you, Hiroshi? Here is the silver lining in the modern shitshow, which is “totally and utterly inhospitable to love.” (Actually, in certain quarters, I think “love” may even be pronounced “codependency.”)
Essentially, this hellscape spawns functional relationships as women grow out of it, one by one, fast or slowly, usually in their 30s—for obvious reasons of “true desperation.” In our world, to be a functional partner, the female has to reject her standard training—or at least to make an unprincipled exception to it.
First of all, in their 30s, many, many women naturally do grow out of it. They retrain themselves. They stop being Anna Kendrick and start being Vera Farmiga—hopefully in their early 30s, but potius sero quam nunquam. Culture is powerful, but so is biology. And you can date 30-plus women in your 20s—I did. (If they’re really too much for you, just send them over here.)
Second, once you know that this rejection of the modern training is what you’re looking for—and it can take many forms, some secular and some religious—you have a better search criterion. Heck—send a girl this post, and see what she thinks. If it makes her want to run screaming, that’s one more bullet dodged.