Saturday, June 17, 2017

To love and to serve

Liberals sometimes express their ideal as being the individual pursuit of happiness. But such a pursuit is likely to leave many people feeling uncommitted in life, as if they were merely treading water rather than plunging in. Perhaps that's because humans have a powerful impulse to love and to serve, so much so that this is felt to be one necessary part of a truly committed and meaningful life.

I don't think we can ignore this impulse to love and to serve, as it is an aspect of life that needs to be carefully ordered. It very easily goes wrong.

With men, the easiest focus of this impulse is to love and to serve a wife. The service here is not to something intangible, but to a person who is real and immediate, and who draws love not only by her own individual feminine attractiveness, but by a man associating her with a perceived feminine essence of beauty and goodness. A man feels elevated in his own feelings when making this kind of commitment, particularly as in doing so he draws on, and exercises, his own stronger masculine qualities.

So how does this go wrong? You get a hint of the problem from what went wrong in the Middle Ages. The literary tradition of courtly love was about men becoming lovesick for a noblewoman and pledging their service to them as a way of winning the lady's love. The men were expected to grovel and abase themselves as part of the process. The outcome depended on the whim of the lady - she held the upper hand throughout.

A commitment to serve can be thought to give power to the person being served. In modern marriage, this can mean that a man's willingness to commit to marriage and to work to provide for his wife and children can be perceived by the woman to make him "beta" - and therefore sexually unattractive, making for a less than happy outcome for both husband and wife.

The solution? One part of the solution, in my opinion, is for men to have other outlets for the "love and service" impulse and not to rest everything on the marital relationship. A man can love and serve God, his nation/people/country, and his local place/community. Saint Thomas Aquinas thought that the focus on the larger communal life, in being oriented to the common good, was the highest natural fulfilment of men:
Whereas the residents of the village better serve their individual interests, the goal of the political community becomes the good of the whole, or the common good, which Aquinas claims (following Aristotle) is "better and more divine than the good of the individual." (Commentary on the Politics, Book 1, Lesson 1 [11]). The political community is thus understood as the first community (larger than the family) for which the individual makes great sacrifices, since it is not merely a larger cooperative venture for mutual economic benefit. It is, rather, the social setting in which man truly finds his highest natural fulfilment. In this sense, the political community, even though not directed to the individual good, better serves the individual by promoting a life of virtue in which human existence can be greatly ennobled.

The further advantage to a man of dedicating part of his life to the larger community he belongs to, is that it practically repudiates the impression that he is merely a servant to his wife.

However, for this to work, it needs to be built into the social arrangements. Despite not finding "servant men" sexually attractive, women still tend to jealously guard their monopoly over men's time and resources. It's difficult to ask a solitary man to break through this alone; better if it is normal within a society for men to spend part of the week doing church activities, or contributing to some sort of cultural or political organisation.

And what of marriage itself? It's common for men to think that women will appreciate the sacrifices they make by going out to work to provide money for their wives and children. But women are strangely unaffected by this. In a woman's mind, this is just something that men do. Maybe this is women not wanting to think that their husbands are doing "servant" work as this would make the husband unattractive. Or maybe it reflects the long human prehistory when men went out to hunt, leaving women's minds focused on their relationships with other women and with children.

Sacrificing as a breadwinner does not rebalance the marital relationship. It might be thought that the solution then is for women to also love and serve their husbands. It's true that this would help. It also seems to be true that Western culture used to encourage women to do this: think of the advice to wives to cook something nice for their husbands, or to give him a warm and welcome environment for him to return to after work.

On the other hand, women are more likely to be focused on a "love and serve" relationship with their children rather than their husband. It's noticeable that a husband's love for his wife is likely to be constant, as you would expect when someone makes a commitment to love and to serve. Similarly, a mother's love for her children is also usually constant. But a wife's love for her husband is likely to be inconstant - a woman might even say things to her husband such as "I don't even like you right now".

What would help most is if the roles of husband and father had more power, authority and prestige associated with them. Then a man could love and serve his wife and children without the negative implication that he was thereby submitting to his wife, rather than leading in a masculine way.

But this cannot be a pretend role, a role that we pay lip service to, whilst the same old dynamic continues on as before. A husband has to be trusted to exercise real authority within his family and he should not be undermined by family laws which make it extraordinarily easy for his wife to strip him of children, home and income.

We could decisively reject some of the egalitarian ethos. My own father used to sit at the head of the table; be served first; and read family prayers. The point of this is not power for its own sake, but to embed the dignity of the office itself - which is necessary for a system of marriage to work. It is a pushing back against the strong forces eroding a man's position in the family, including a wife's perception that her husband is there to serve her and is therefore lowlier than her, and that she is in the position to easily control him, which kills her respect and passion for him.

20 comments:

  1. No human emotional love is "constant". Love defined as a behaviour has consistency but love defined as emotion has no stability. Human emotions fluctuate and are fickle. Intense emotion fades. No man loves his wife all the time, no woman loves her husband or her children all the time. Human emotion varies in both quality and intensity with respect to other beings and to God. Just as one cannot define religious sentiment in terms of emotions which vary in intensity, one cannot define human relationships in simplistic emotional terms.

    Emotion is neither the meaning or purpose of marriage. Marriage is a commitment to a higher good, the service of God and one's people. A man and his wife commit to serve God, each other, their children and extended families regardless of whether they love them. They will love them some of the time, but not all of the time. The essence of the relationship is the strength of commitment to serve in the face of changing emotions, irritations, frustrations and at times hostilities. Life is not plain sailing and the true test of a marriage is in its strength of commitment and not its emotional intensity.

    The point you make about women who "jealously guard their monopoly over men's time and resources" is a direct consequence of marriage in the west being a function of emotion rather than settled commitment. Women in the west are insecure, constantly anxious that their husbands may walk out of the marriage and leave them formally by divorce or informally by the polygamous relationships with mistresses or girlfriends, which are tolerated and consume the man's time and resources depriving the original family. Women therefore seek to minimise their insecurity by monopolising and controlling the man. This situation cannot be addressed whilst women are permitted to "select" their husbands giving them an automatic upper hand in the relationship which they seek to continue by controlling the man's time and resources. Women should be given in marriage by their fathers to a husband to whom they will commit.

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    1. Anon, you've misread a little. I was saying that men are oriented both to love and to serve their wives, i.e. not just following impulsive emotion, but as something "settled in the will". Most women have the same commitment to their children - but not to their husbands. (It's true that a woman might not love her children with constancy, but she nonetheless remains oriented to their care and to her position as their mother - women don't have the same constancy when it comes to their husbands.) So there is an inequality here that puts men on a weaker footing, particularly as women can interpret a man's willingness to serve as a man being her subordinate - as him existing in a depersonalised way to be her servant, which is a terrible dynamic for a marriage - and yet one that is accepted in certain quarters, such as many evangelical churches - see Dalrock.

      If men are to love and to serve their wives then it can only be in a masculine way, with the offices of husband and father having the weight in society that draws respect, i.e. that a woman might look up to and recognise as an expression of masculine strength.

      Marriage is a commitment to a higher good, the service of God and one's people. A man and his wife commit to serve God, each other, their children and extended families regardless of whether they love them.

      That is well put. It would help a great deal if women had genuine religious belief and commitment to their tradition. I do think then that marital stability would improve considerably.

      That is one reason why it would be better if men did not spend all their time and resources in the provider role (serving their wife), but had time and opportunity to support the religious/nation building aspects of their society as well.

      One quibble. I do think you can be oriented to love somebody. If you are ready to forgive their transgressions; if you look upon their finer qualities rather than dwelling on their poorer qualities; if you are determined to build the relationship you have rather than wondering about opportunities elsewhere, then the act of supporting each other, of building a family together, of bonding through sexual relations and so on - should at least create some sort of positive connection between a couple. It is not impossible for humans to pair bond, even for extended periods of time.

      There may be something to your last point, in the sense that a woman's inbuilt sense of insecurity may lead her to want to monopolise and control her husband. I think that may just be a feature of a woman's nature rather than anything to do with particular social conditions. But it is irrational and harmful to society, as men are needed not just in the family but in the "polis" as well.

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    2. Anonymous has been preaching arranged marriage for some time now. Frankly I'm sick of reading about such an absurd practical impossibility. Whatever virtues he can say it has, it is _impossible_ to bring it about.

      So, with a view towards putting a little reality into the question, I ask the following:

      What are you going to do, anonymous, to bring about arranged marriages? Are you going to:

      1: Start arranged marriage rallies?

      2: Run for office and try to pass a 'paternal consent' bill?

      3: Write books to try to convince people of the virtues of arranged marriages?

      4: Make speeches on street corners preaching the virtues of arranged marriages?

      It's all well and good to climb up on your digital soapbox and preach to a handful of people. But what are you actually _doing_ to make it happen? What _can_ be done to realistically make it happen?

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    3. In Western tradition mostly nobles only arranged marriage. We are descended from a long line of as sorties maters. Parental input is helpful but matchmakers have no tradition for us.

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    4. "Anon, you've misread a little. I was saying that men are oriented both to love and to serve their wives, i.e. not just following impulsive emotion, but as something "settled in the will".


      I didn't misread. You reduce marriage to a conditional arrangement. Love and service are not the same as commitment. You can love and serve an employer, a company or a boss for a while. Marriage is about more than just love and service. It is a lifetime commitment to a higher good. A man who becomes ill or suffers an injury may no longer be able to serve his wife and children. Does that mean the marriage should end?

      The purpose of the commitment is that it transcends personal feelings and desires to create a social institution which serves the needs of society first and the individuals second.

      Women will have religious belief if men have religious belief. Churches are full of women, men are conspicuously absent. Atheism is a male ideology. Women just followed it.

      Love develops over many years through shared experience when people have commitment to the marriage and support from extended families. Without commitment and support, marriages often fail.

      The female insecurity in Western societies is unprecedented and matched only by the insecurity found in formally polygamous Islamic societies. When women are secure in marriage, they don't monopolise a man's time. In fact the opposite. Women in secure marriages encourage their men to spend time with other men whilst they spend time with their female friends. In traditional societies men and women socialise and spend free time separately coming together only for family meals and occasions.

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    5. "Anonymous has been preaching arranged marriage for some time now. Frankly I'm sick of reading about such an absurd practical impossibility. Whatever virtues he can say it has, it is _impossible_ to bring it about."

      Rightwinger - you are evidently a loony left winger who thinks the state, politics and the law can create society. All traditional people know and understand that the family is the basic social institution which creates the culture, politics and law of society. You have liberal politics and liberal laws because you have liberal families.

      Arranged marriage is the traditional form of marriage in Europe, until the First World War lead to the collapse of European civilisation. It still exists in Orthodox and Catholic Europe and among many of the elites. It exists in immigrant communities in the West.

      The purpose of commenting upon this is to create understanding that all families can arrange marriages and create the social networks on which stable family life, preservation of culture, morals and wealth depend. It is entirely achievable.

      This is a position which is positive unlike your own self defeatist ideology of expecting the political parties and lawyers to sort it out for you whilst you continue to rant about feminism and fail to take responsibility for your own life.

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    6. Anon, first, I considered not publishing your comment because of the insult directed at rightwingfighter. But I thought he might nonetheless want to read your response.

      I don't think you adequately answered his question. Arranged marriage in Anglo countries has not been common from at least the early 1700s. For an interesting summary of the situation in colonial America see here:

      http://www.history.org/history/teaching/enewsletter/volume7/mar09/courtship.cfm

      You are asking parents to organise with each other to arrange spouses for their children. Why would the children cooperate when it runs so much against the cultural tradition? This is especially problematic given that men generally don't marry until they have established themselves (mid-20s). How many sons will still accept the decision of a parent by this age?

      I do believe it would be a good thing if there were more of a parental filter. But this would need to be embedded in the wider culture, it can't suddenly be forced in isolation by one father on his adult children.

      Anon, you speak of a failure of people here to take responsibility for their lives. But rightwingfighter asked you a question you haven't answered. What have you yourself done? How far have you succeeded in reordering things via networks of families creating an arranged system of marriage?

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  2. Mr. Richardson

    Here you are discussing the nature of the two sexes.

    The male is basically stable, as a rule unemotional and constant. He does not have great swings in thought or emotion as part of his normal everyday life.

    For the female this is not true, emotions wash over her regularly. She changes her mind and feelings rapidly and often. For her this is natural as emotions are a constant presence. But emotions can be positive or negative, sometimes both, so it is not always observable that she is experiencing these emotions.

    Over the long term unfortunately familiarity breeds contempt and it plays into womens need for stability. For a women stability doesn't mean consistency it means status. Will this man provide the things that I feel I need, you or I would say want but she would not, if she feels he cannot then she starts to lose respect for him. She thinks, illogically, that the relationship is holding her back, that it is stopping her from getting what she needs so she ends the relationship.

    But this feeling will pass and in the past there did not exist any other option so she stayed married. Today of course there are, so women foolishly take that option. It will rarely make them happy and it will rarely give them what they believed they needed. She then does not look at her own thinking but instead finds all of a mans faults and blames them for the failure of the relationship. I am amazed at how many women have told me that their ex-partner was the worst man alive, it obviously cannot be true but they are convinced.

    Mark Moncrieff
    Upon Hope Blog - A Traditional Conservative Future

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    1. She thinks, illogically, that the relationship is holding her back, that it is stopping her from getting what she needs so she ends the relationship.

      But this feeling will pass and in the past there did not exist any other option so she stayed married. Today of course there are, so women foolishly take that option.


      That is well described. The sobering thing for men to realise is that "the love of a good man" is often not sufficient to prevent this from playing out. A woman might even be blind to it, her logic might go "I feel a diffuse sense of not having what I thought I would have, my husband is supposed to love me and give me this, therefore my husband doesn't really love me, he is denying me things and wants to hold me down."

      And, yes, even though a woman won't find her barely articulated wants with another man either, even though she is likely to take a step or two backwards (albeit with cash prizes from the divorce) she is still likely to see her ex-husband as "the big mistake" (I have also met women who carried this thought around - the second man gets credit as the good guy even if the circumstances of the new relationship are much worse than the original one.)

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    2. Yes, and the state 'has her back' and will force the very man she leaves to subsidize her economically.

      SEe this for an excellent review: Rotating Polyandry—& its Enforcers

      https://www.counter-currents.com/2011/06/rotating-polyandry-and-its-enforcers-part-1/

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    3. Cecil Henry, in the first paragraphs of the link you provided is an assertion of something I have been trying to point to in this discussion:

      What, then, did she learn? First, women are more likely than men to con­fuse sexual attraction with love. The sexes speak differently of the feelings associated with the early stages of a romantic affair:

      "Most men I have talked to call it infatuation, but most of the women I have talked to call it being in love..."

      Women in particular may believe that, if they find the right person, intense feelings can last. They’ve been taught to believe that they should only want sex with someone they love. So when a woman desires a man, she thinks she is in love, and when the desire fades she thinks she is out of love.


      This is a problem, isn't it? For women, sexual love (eros) is what is understood by love. Men have at least some ability (admittedly blurred to some degree) to distinguish sexual attraction and love.

      But this makes relationships difficult. First, a woman is more likely to feel sexual desire for an unattainable, dangerous, player type man. So, left to themselves they will spend the most important years of their lives as "playgirls" for these men.

      Second, even if women felt erotic love for a more stable kind of man, it will be unstable because they associate "love" with "intense erotic desire" - if, for instance, after a few years they run into another man and feel intense desire for him they might assume that they then no longer love their husband, and given that modern marriage is based on the idea that you stay together only while you love each other, this signals the end of the marriage.

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  3. Here's something that I'm burying in the comments as it is a thought experiment more than anything else.

    Let's say that a man can love a woman not only sexually (eros) but also as an embodiment of feminine beauty and goodness. A woman, though, only responds to men in a primal, sexual way.

    Nonetheless, a woman is driven to be in a relationship with a man because she has a powerful instinct to demonstrate attractiveness - i.e. she needs to demonstrate, to herself but more importantly to other women, that she can attract a man sufficiently for him to commit to her, and the higher status and harder to attract, the more she demonstrates this.

    This explains two things about women. First, the kind of novels women read in which some unattainable, high status male nonetheless falls for the heroine. Second, something that is bizarre to the male mind, which is the female focus on weddings. Women will actually buy wedding magazines - they are thinking about the wedding itself rather than the husband or the marriage. This makes sense if the point of it all is to proudly announce to the world that you have attracted a man's commitment. Note too how stories aimed at girls end at the wedding - there is little interest in what comes after.

    But what then happens after the wedding? The woman has already accomplished her goal of demonstrating that she can attract male commitment. I think some women find "what happens next" confusing. They don't easily see the point of sex with their husbands as they have already secured his commitment. They feel trapped or confined, even more than a man would, because they can no longer pursue that powerful instinct to attract a man's commitment - they are "stuck" with the husband they have.

    Obviously, the best thing would be for the woman to then have children and to feel a need for her husband's support in doing this. Hopefully, too, the woman would manage to pair bond with the husband over time - though the risk here is that the woman feels something more like a friendship warmth for the husband rather than the kind of "lover" response that men would ideally want from their wives.

    Some women might be tempted to think "Well, I have got commitment from this man with this status level, my prime directive now is to go one better and see what I can do with someone else." Or perhaps some women might fantasise about attracting the attention of a bad boy, dangerous, hard to tame type, where she again is thrillingly challenged to prove her ability to attract. Such a woman might feel stifled by domestic routine and not value, or even be attuned to, the circle of family love that is created within the home.

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    1. It all goes back to Eve coveting what wasn't for her to have. It is a sin to be discontented with what the Lord provides for you.

      Practicing gratefulness could help women. Everything we have is from the Lord. If we dislike elements of our life(husband, boringness of modern life...) we dislike the situation God put us in. Very dangerous.

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    2. I do think that gratitude is a core aspect of a genuinely spiritual life - for men as well.

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    3. The source linked to by Cecil Henry supports the point I was making in my comment:

      Much uninformed and superficial commentary on the sexual revolution assumes that “men want sex while women want marriage.” Langley draws a valid distinction: women want to get married, not to be married. They often love not so much their husbands as their bridal-fantasy in which the man serves as a necessary prop.

      "Females want to wear the dress and have the wedding. Many women have looked forward to that day their whole lives, which ultimately sets them up for a huge crash.

      Most women are happiest when focused on fulfilling some part of the get-married-and-live-happily-ever-after fantasy. They are content, even in relatively unfulfilling relationships, as long as some part of the fantasy is left to play out. . . .

      When a woman wants to get married, she will usually overlook a lot, and at times allow herself to be treated pretty badly. After she gets married, not only is the excitement of pursuit over, after a few years of marriage the attraction buzz has dissipated too. At that point, many women may find that marriage hasn’t even come close to meeting their expectations. Some women feel stupid for having wanted it so badly in the first place."

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  4. Weddings are about a show of power, wealth and social status for the elites. The cinderella syndrome, extensively pushed by hollywood and other media including wedding magazines, brainwashes women into thinking they can all be elites with a grand wedding. It is a business in which many women go into serious debt organising grand venues, extravagant food and wine and dresses which they will never wear again.

    The wedding, to most women, is not about commitment to marriage. It is about a fantasy of being a princess for a day, just like Cinderella.

    Women are more materialistic than men and less romantic. Women dream of luxury goods and rich men. The media pushes the dream that every woman can have a Louis Vuitton bag and a rich husband. The commonest cause of female bankruptcy is debt from purchase of these same luxury brands. One of the common reasons women divorce a man is to look for a richer man.

    Women don't marry a man to relate to him in a "primal sexual way". They marry him for money and go out to seek the best deal available at the time. That is female nature. It cannot be changed, only restrained, traditionally by a formal social hierarchy in which marriage is restricted to social class and Cinderella can never marry a prince.

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    1. Women don't marry a man to relate to him in a "primal sexual way". They marry him for money and go out to seek the best deal available at the time.

      I partly agree with this. Women treat a man who is there just for play, differently to a man who they think of as someone who will give commitment. The play man gets a freer expression of female sexuality. The commitment man triggers something more serious in a woman, in which sex is restrained and becomes more strategic - it is not freely given as the relationship is not conceived that way.

      My original point was that when a woman falls for a man it is not because she loves him as an idealisation of masculine character. She falls for him because he is "hot" or because she feels a "click" - it is something primal and sexual.

      Or, as you point out, she might see him as a catch, as a "keeper" - because he has status, resources - or simply because she perceives that he is a stable kind of man who is willing to commit to her - she might accept him on this basis, but it is not love as men would want it to be.

      The difficulty for men who want to be husbands, and who want something other than the sexless beta dynamic, is that they have to trigger not only the "keeper" instinct in women, but also the primal sexual one.

      I do not claim to be an expert in how to achieve this. But I suspect it involves:

      a) muscularity - most women will not admit to this, but muscularity in men triggers a response in many women that bust and hips on women do for men

      b) play - "boring stable husband" doesn't do it for most women - it's as if men have to pretend that they are the single guy at the party having fun with the single girl - to have a "not serious" dynamic of a man who is bent on nothing more than some casual fun - women repeat over and over that they want a man who "doesn't take things seriously" and who is fun and playful

      c) power - power seems to be an aphrodisiac for many women - I don't even think a man has to bear real power in society, he just needs to act in a way that triggers this response - wear a well cut suit, be in charge of his life, have a take charge attitude, be in charge of his environment, associate with other men who are also muscular and self-confident, be socially adept, demonstrate an ability to work a crowd e.g. with charm or humour.

      d) sex This is perhaps the most difficult one. One part of the wife will want to keep the marital dynamic beta in which sex will almost have to be prised out of her because it is thought to be something strategic and therefore "reserved" rather than a spontaneous expression of self.

      Somehow, the husband has to break through this, and not by brinkmanship. I do think there is one part of the wife that wants him to succeed, but she won't make it easy for him.

      But if he can do it, then sex itself could help establish and maintain the right kind of masculine/feminine polarity.

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  5. "She falls for him because he is "hot" or because she feels a "click" - it is something primal and sexual".

    You seem to be guessing at female psychology. The reality is that women do not fall for men in the way that a man can fall for a woman. Women are more cautious and calculating in their approach to a man. The process of engagement can take a long time and is very rarely instant.

    A woman may have an interest in a man but her approach is generally cautious until she establishes facts. What is his job? His education? His family background? What are his prospects? Is he well connected? Does he possess significant assets? Is he a good catch? A man alone is never enough, it is his status which attracts women. In other words, the personal qualities of the male are of secondary importance to his family background, social status and resources. A woman who responds to a man in a primal way is impulsive and uncontrolled. A man may feel flattered by the attention but its an indication of psychological disorder and spells trouble later on. Recklessness in a woman is abnormal. Reserve, caution and mystique are normal.

    One can observe the nudity and drunken behaviour of women in large cities in the anglosphere. Nights out with scant clothing, public nudity and large uncontrolled consumption of alcohol resulting in stumbling, slurred speech, falling over and frequent accidents, followed by promiscuous sex is highly abnormal female behaviour. It is a culture of recklessness and degeneracy which puts its adherents in considerable danger. Contrast this with the opposite extreme of the mohammedan women with their modest attire, floor length clothes and veiled faces, their refusal of alcohol and public male intimacy. Whilst the abaya and hijab are extreme, the modesty and restraint of conduct and personal dignity it confers are more normal female characteristics. Therefore a normal woman is modest, cautious and restrained in her approach to men. She should have a dignified distance and mystique.

    Men have to be realistic in understanding that their attractiveness to women is primarily a function of their social status. In the anglo countries, an ugly and nasty lawyer, doctor, business man or aristocrat will always attract women and a handsome, decent ordinary man will always struggle. That is human nature and human nature is resistant to change.




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    1. Anon, I am not guessing. Read the link another reader provided:

      https://www.counter-currents.com/2011/06/rotating-polyandry-and-its-enforcers-part-1/

      From a survey quoted in the link:

      What, then, did she learn? First, women are more likely than men to con­fuse sexual attraction with love. The sexes speak differently of the feelings associated with the early stages of a romantic affair:

      "Most men I have talked to call it infatuation, but most of the women I have talked to call it being in love..."

      Women in particular may believe that, if they find the right person, intense feelings can last. They’ve been taught to believe that they should only want sex with someone they love. So when a woman desires a man, she thinks she is in love, and when the desire fades she thinks she is out of love.

      Women often speak of seeking “commitment” from men, but this would seem to imply a preference for marriage-minded men over others. Langley observed the very opposite tendency in her interviewees:

      They often form relationships with men who are emotionally inaccessible. Instead of choosing men who are interested in developing a relationship, these women choose men who make them feel insecure. Insecurity can create motivation and excitement. Women who seek excitement in their marriages (and many do) will often forego the possibility of real relationships for the excitement of fantasy relationships. . . . It’s not uncommon for women to pine for men who shy away from commitment, while they shun the attention given to them by men who are willing and ready to make a commitment.


      The complication is that many women decide to "settle" for a family/provider man who they establish a "beta" style relationship with. In this case, they are cautious and reserved and strategic and serious about establishing a commitment. And, yes, status and an ability to provide do count in these considerations.

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  6. Thought this interesting:

    François Fénelon, Archbishop of Cambray, in his Instructions for the Education of a Daughter, translated into English in 1713, warned of the dangers of girls reading "romances" and then being "astonished, not to find in the World real Persons, who may answer to these Romantick Heroes."

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