I haven’t discussed this much before, but it’s one of the big things discussed in No More Mr Nice guy. The concept of it has caught on a lot in various parts of the sphere, and I want to analyze it a bit more.
Essentially, a covert contract is something that a person — not necessarily a man or woman — makes in their head. It’s entirely based in a works mentality and often goes something like this:
- If I do X for that person, then that person will do Y for me.
The reason why it’s covert is because you’re not doing any negotiation. You’re thinking in your head that if you do X for that person, they will do Y for you. However, you do not tell them about that you want them to do Y for you in response to X. Indeed, it’s a contract that only exists inside your head.
You typically see this play out in romantic scenarios. “Nice guys” will typically do all of these special things for women with the expectation that she will be attracted and like him more after he does those things. When the covert contract is not fulfilled — for example, he bought her flowers and then finds out she is not interested in him romantically — he responds negatively with usually childish anger and venting that she was supposed to like him.
The friend zone is always a manifestation of a covert contract
I’ve talked about escaping the friend zone before; however, I haven’t discussed in depth why the friend zone occurs. If you’ve followed any part of social media for the past couple years, you’ll know that there has been a huge backlash against “nice guys” and for good reason. However, the backlash against “nice guys” usually involves women supporting the friend zone and denigrating nice guys. There is an interesting post about a day ago that inspired me to write about this:
For men, friendship with other men is a brotherhood with no value on it other than trust and loyalty. For women it is something that is given as a commodity to the peons she collects. Now, were’s that quote I was talking about? The group, Third Wave Feminism via Feminist United on facebook recently shared this and somehow through mutual tagging it ended up to one of my feed. It’s as follows(I won’t waste your bandwidth with the picture) “Stop thinking that what people so loathingly refer to as the “friendzone” is some sort of purgatory women put “nice guys” into. My friendship is not a crappy consolation prize that you’re left with if I deny you a sexual relatoinship- and my body is not your reward for good behavior” Further, more this image I Found after doing research only highlighted part of the quote for whatever reason. Here’s the full quote in context
“But most of all, stop thinking that what people so loathingly refer to as the “friendzone” is some sort of purgatory women put “nice guys” into. My friendship is not a crappy consolation prize that you’re left with if I deny you a sexual relationship– and my body is not your reward for good behavior. Thinking that simply being a “good guy,” whatever that may mean, entitles you to unlimited sex with the girl of your choice shows that you don’t truly believe women should be in control of, and have full ownership of, our own bodies; instead, it shows you think we should use them like doggy treats whenever you do the human equivalent of a jumping trick. If you treat us as humans, that’s fantastic, but we do not owe you for it.
One of the worst outcomes of the “but I’m a good guy” phenomenon is that it overshadows the many, many men who don’t think this way and instead realize that if we don’t want to go out with them, that’s our choice and we most likely have a good reason for it, even if we don’t feel like sharing what that reason is. The word “friendzone” has crept into the vocabularies of even the most respectful, enlightened men, and I think it’s time we push back. Why not call it something more poetic and accurate, like “unrequited love” or “unreturned affection?”
~Taylor Callobre, The “Good Guy” Myth.
What does that sound like? Rejection.
So when a guy is told he’s a friend, if he accepts he’s basically selling himself into slavery. It’s right there, written between the lines. You get nothing from her, yet she get’s to use you for every whim and emotion her heart desires. She’ll bait you, leave gaps, and twist your personality to fit one of the many accurate defentions of slavery. Can men and women be friends? I’m not smart enough to answer that question. Sometimes, slaves were raped by there masters. Given accommodations and even had kids and families out of the wedlock. You know what that sounds like? Marriage.(it’s even called a contract for a reason. Civil Marriage that doesn’t respect the man is slavery) Another thing to generally stay away from.
Both the author of the post and Taylor Callobre in the Good Guy myth miss the real problem. When you look at it in context, the woman’s response is perfectly reasonable. There should be no expectation of X, Y, and Z exchanges based on people doing something good or nice for another person. However, the problem isn’t that women don’t have control of their own boundaries rather that the man has formed improper boundaries that he is typically unaware that he is imposing on others.
This is precisely why nice guys defend themselves: they aren’t consciously attempting to impose a measure of control on a woman, but they are interested in getting her to like them. They just go about it in the wrong way.
This is the covert contract that many immature men run. They think that if they trade emotional support, helping out a woman with things, complimenting her, sending her flowers, or any other “trade of good deeds” will get her to like him more.
This is the road to destruction. If you act this way with a woman it will surely work if you try enough. Most of the women who are feminine will be turned off though. In the end you will only attract a woman who likes the power and control of men doing things at her whim because she likes nice things. In other words, by using this approach you end up with a woman who likes to manipulate men and who is materialistic. This is not exactly something that most men are aiming for; nevertheless, when you examine their behavior of attempting to trade affection or works for a relationship this is what you end up with. Sucks to be that man who ends up with that.
The overt form of this that manifests is negotiating desire which Rollo is fond of saying. Just as you can’t covert contract your way to get a woman to like you the same is true for overt contract your way to get a woman to like you.
For example, if you want more sex with your wife you cannot make a woman desire more sex with you by negotiating or bargaining with her. She may end up giving you more sex, but she generally won’t be enthusiastic about it so you have defeated your own point right off the bat. Overt contracts are a form of obligation and obligation generally destroys desire.
Obligation should not destroy the desire dynamic, but it does because humans are often prone to give into their fallible human desires. This is why women want men to “just get it” as if someone tells you about an issue that you should be aware of and take heed to they FEEL that they are influencing your behavior. If people feel they need to influence your behavior by saying something, they also feel that you aren’t doing it solely out of free will.
Free will coupled with desire and enthusiasm is extremely attractive to most people, not just in a romantic way.
- Romans 5:8 While we were yet sinners Christ died for us.
- John 13:34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
- A man who’s wife wants to enthusiastically have sex with him without him telling her to.
- A volunteer who enthusiastically chooses to go help the poor and homeless with their time and money.
Paul describes the particular attributes that make this appealing in 1 Timothy 1:
1 Timothy 1:5 But the goal of our [a]instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.
True desire — love as an action — is given purely from the heart, from a good conscience, and a sincere faith. This is why a wife who enthusiastically wants to have sex with her husband is so enthralling to men. This is why the poor woman who gave her last coins to the temple which Jesus commented on is immortalized in the Scriptures for her charity because she gave out of the little she had. This is the love which God uses to tug on the hearts of those around you. This is what makes Christians different from the world. But many Christians still fall prey to the works based mentality instead of the desire.
Overt contracts are good for business deals, but they are not good for relationships.
Now, in the past post I criticized the fact that removing bad behaviors is good but it is not enough. You have to consciously replace bad behavior with good behavior.
First, it is important to realize where the works and performance end and desire begins. This is where the secular manosphere fails. Although they understand that performance does not negotiate desire, they are still stuck in a works based mentality of losing it all. You need to keep being attractive enough otherwise your women will lose you.
Obviously, this is a gross characterization, but at the core of the philosophy is the fact that you can lose it all if you don’t perform or something bad happens to you. I’m not naive enough to ignore the fact that most people operate from this mentality and people are fickle. However, getting embroiled with this mindset will lead to inevitable failure somewhere down the road.
The fact that if I get married that my wife may leave me at any time does not phase me at all. Although I will vet a woman 100% of the way to ensure that she is respects and submits to God and myself, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that divorce is in my future. Maybe God uses that divorce to help me win tens or hundreds of men to Christ. Bad potential circumstances should not phase you. Transcend your circumstances, and do not not worry about bad circumstances that do not exist. I wrote the next couple of paragraphs as an e-mail to a reader, but they’re worth mentioning here:
It sure is frustrating to see [bad circumstances all around you, and it seems like it should make you cynical and bitter]. But at the end of the day all you really have control over is yourself. You’re the only one you can reliably influence 100% of the time. Sure, you can influence others, especially through God’s love and power, but even that influence is limited to the amount that their heart is open to. Therefore, God’s hope needs to be in you to love and to honor and to change your environment.
It’s a hard road when everyone is going in the opposite direction, but Jesus promised that life would be hard and that we would be persecuted for what we believe. We as Christians like to think we’re insulated from that but that is a lie.
If you know things are going to be difficult you will go in with the mindset of a warrior: putting on the armor of God and being able to resist the enemy and do what is right in the midst of difficult circumstances. But if you go in thinking that life gets easier you are in for a rude awakening and your faith will be shaken like so many.
Changing mentalities with women
For those of you that are single looking for a wife your mindset needs to go under a radical shift.
In general, I would say do not go out of your way to listen to or talk about your emotions with women nor help them out with personal matters. Discussing your emotions with women especially if you are interested in her is something that women do with other women. By doing this early on you are telling her that you’re her friend and not a romantic prospect. Hence, often times said women get angry when they find out later you are really interested in them.
This is one of the classic covert contracts that I discussed earlier. Men think that supporting a woman emotionally and helping her out much like a provider would will make her like him more. In reality the opposite occurs: your actions tell her that you are her friend. When it is revealed that you like her she feels used that you were trying to gain her attraction and affection through underhanded tactics. Although that may not have been your intention it comes off that way. Likewise, such men feel hurt because they actually thought it would work that you could buy her affection.
This mentality needs to go. We could talk outcome independence, confidence, boldness, and assertiveness, and all of the other traits of masculinity that attract women, but that is somewhat peripheral to the mindset that needs to be disabused.
The true mindset that you need to take when interacting with a woman that you are interested in is: will she be a godly and effective wife? Therefore, it is your job to find this out. See, timeline and how to find a wife for more details.
The very act of assuming that this is the main question to be asked puts you in the right mentality for confidence, boldness, assertiveness, and other masculine traits. You are going to be able to ask her questions to challenge her viewpoints. You are going to start leading the relationship inadvertently with your presence because you know what you are looking for. The key is always the mentality and not the traits. The traits come with the mentality.
Beliefs form mentality, mentality forms attitude, attitude forms character, character forms habits, and habits manifest in traits, and traits manifest as actions.
Therefore, disabusing the incorrect beliefs you have about performance and works in accordance with covert contracts and overt contracts with women is the first step toward becoming more masculine. Likewise, it is important to be in right standing with God.