This post is inspired by some of the commentary over at Donal’s End of the Year off topic post.
A correct understanding of relationship dynamics is very difficult to see if you’re a man who is not conventionally attractive to women and charismatic. Thus, I’m going to outline some concepts about the correct frame of view.
The “blue pill” / false reality
Nemesis’ post is something I am intimately familiar with. I admit fully that this is how I understood things until I was more educated in relationship dynamics from the Scriptures and seeing the most successful relationships:
Okay here is the thing about power dynamics in a relationship. The person who has shown the most interest and investment in pursuing the relationship is placed in the position of less power and must work to attain the other person’s interest. The other person is put in the position of being the chooser. Now in the secular realm, the level of interest and investment see-saws between the male and the female like so:
First, a guy approaches a woman and asks her out, or sometimes if they know each other, he attempts to kiss her. At this point it is the girl who is in the position of chooser.
Second, if the girl accepts and all goes well, eventually the girl sleeps with the guy (either with or without “commitment” in the form of a prior offer of a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship). After this point she has invested more in the relationship and the guy is in the position of the chooser.
Third, if the relationship continues well, the guy proposes marriage, once again putting the girl in the position of chooser, as she now has the ability to accept or turn down marriage, and is the one to generally exercise subsequent power of divorce if she so chooses.
Now, if we’re talking about a chaste guy who is waiting-till-marriage, this see-saw doesn’t occur. He is placed in the position of pursuer throughout the courtship and must constantly work to demonstrate himself as a suitable mate to the girl who can sit back and decide at each point whether to continue the courtship or reject the guy’s advances. The only way the guy can have any semblance of power in the courtship process is if the girl showed clear signs of interest prior to him asking her out.
I contend that those of you who avoid showing IOIs to guys do so not out concern that it puts you in a dominant frame and the guy in a supplicant frame (it does not). Rather, you do so because you prefer to have the position of power and choice and don’t want to have to put yourself on the line. You wish to make the guy do all the work in courtship.
Although this view is false, for men who were raised by weak fathers or absent fathers this is absolute incontroverible a fact of life. Most of us men came to understand this world of view:
- We had to “risk” rejection to put the ball in the woman’s court.
- We had to romantically attract the woman with flowers, gifts, and the like.
- We had to continually pursue her in some neverending chase.
- We had to “risk” rejection again asking her to marry us.
- If the woman is unhappy she can divorce (or in Christian circles the husband is blamed for marital failures and told to do better).
- And the like.
However, this is false given what we know of women who are indisputably attracted to their man. It only describes the feminist’s fantasy: the so-called egalitarian relationship. In this, there is the guise of “equality” but in reality as you see by the bullet points the woman has all of the power while the man is qualifying himself to her. If this is your reality or how you perceive reality, you are already operating from the wrong perspective.
If you’re stuck in it then you’re doomed to repeat it.
The “red pill” reality and Christian’s the Scriptural reality
First, let’s look at the most successful relationships. This is the case for the type of man that most women want:
Women desire an “alpha” — a man with perceived value above hers — to court her. Depending on the woman she may or may not feign having the “choice” to choose whether she accepts him or not, but it is the man who has the real power because he can just move on and choose another woman and she knows it. All of the other actions are just superficial games to play, but the man has the real power always.
If women want an alpha they have to have the personality and ability to bring value to the relationship. Bringing value to the relationship is different between the sexes. But we already knew this. If women who are dating an alpha don’t meet or exceed his expectations he’ll just dump them for someone else.
I discussed this in I want you versus I need you. The beta NEEDS the woman. The alpha wants/desire the woman, but doesn’t need her. One is unattractive and the other is attractive. I’m sure you can guess which is which.
For Christians, the Jesus-Church relationship is one of headship-submission as is the husband and wife. This is reflected in the above where the man is the alpha: she may or may not feign choosing him, but all of the power resides with Jesus or the man (who will become the husband).
Thus, we understand that if a man is ever in a relationship with a woman where he is worried about if she wants to be with him and desires him then he’s doing it wrong.
This being the critical part for most Christian men to realize. If you don’t have that knowledge — with the knowledge being power in this situation — then you’re in trouble. Also, this must be tempered by the fact that this knowledge should not lead to puffing up but to actions of love.
However, let me first go back to one of the finer points that most men don’t realize about rejection.
The rejection in which a man approaches a woman to ask her out is not indicative of a loss of power. Rather, it’s the extension of a desire. It’s fine if women reject your desire to get to know you better because it’s not a loss of anything at all. Desire is just that: it is not always met kindly by others except for God. Where a man’s power resides in elsewhere.
A man’s power resides in his commitment.
This should be an obvious analogy for Christians. Those who are committed to following Jesus are going to forsake everything they hold dear for him. No one is going to be more important than Jesus. Not a woman, not a girlfriend, not a wife will be more important than Jesus. Asking a woman out is in no way committing you to anything. You aren’t risking anything of value to ask a woman out.
If anything, it is only in an engagement and marriage where a man is risking anything because that is where the commitment is involved. However, at this point the man should have the correct frame of reference above. If a man does not know if the woman he is with will absolutely 100% say yes to a proposal then he is operating from that incorrect frame of reference. A man should know that she wants to be with him and desires him. Thus, the commitment is truly trivial at this point.
Attitudes belie actions
To understand this we need to look past the actions and at the underlying attitudes in people. A woman who truly wants to be with a man will display it in her attitude and by extension of her attitude her actions. The attitudes you will typically see of women who strongly desire to be with their man are:
She may do the right thing in a relationship, but if she is not displaying these attitudes then her heart is questionable. In a godly marriage, the attitude of respect towards the husband is what facilitates submission. If you truly respect/reverence authority then you will submit to it.
Of course, the direct analogy is that these are also good traits to look for in Christians who are willing to serve God. Christians are to act out of humility, respect, gratefulness, appreciation, enthusiasm, and desire toward God to love and serve others.
This, of course, is not a coincidence but rather an intention creation by God. The Father gives men the experience of the Christ-man relationship in order that man might be able to experience and see the cultivation of characteristics that he should be looking for in a wife.
Having understood this false reality before I truly encourage Christian men desiring to marry to read and reread if necessary to understand both what the Scriptures say on the Christ-Church relationship and the husband-wife relationships.
If at any point in the relationship where there is any question to who is in the headship seat or understand of who weilds the authority in the relationship then there is a massive black hole issue. Any man who ignores this ignores it to his own detriment. Women with control in relationships will almost invariably become the rebellious and nagging type.
Look for these attitudes both in women, and in your own relationship with God as a Christian:
These characteristics tend to let you know if you’re on the right track. It will reveal those who are earnestly seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. And it will also reveal the type of attitude you should be looking for in a wife. These types of women will bring the most value towards the marriage, just as a Christian who operates in humility, respect, gratefulness, appreciation, enthusiasm, and desire to God will be fruitful for the kingdom.
- Behavioral cycles and Identity
- Identity – Foundations
- Identity Part 2 — Subtle Rebellion
- Identity Part 3 — Internal and External
- Identity Part 4 — Submit to the process of loving yourself
- Identity Part 5 — roots and heresies of identity
For Christians, this is why identity is important. Our identity is solely in Christ, and all of these things come out of Him. This way, we understand that we can operate in accordance to women from desire rather than need. If you haven’t been following I would suggest reading the whole series.