Navigating the Biblical basis of attraction and marriage with others

I’ve already written on a Christian understanding of attraction, a Christian understanding of relationship dynamics, and Donal’s PSALM/LAMPS model accurately describes what we for attraction in women.

In general, I’ve had a lot of difficulty discussing these concepts with Christian men who aren’t familiar with RP terminology as I’m sure many of you have experienced. Namely, it tends to be politically incorrect to say that women are attracted to money and/or crass to call them gold diggers. Lesser examples that still bring up offense are to say that women are attracted to status, looks, or any other “superficial” types of things. Obviously, calling these things superficial or shallow is false humility and/or virtue signalling, but that’s a bit beside the point if you can’t effectively communicate to men in the first place. Likewise, it’s hard to get past the whole “being Christian = attractive” trope that is repeatedly laid in front of mens’ faces like godliness is attractive.

Hence, what I’m discussing here is not necessarily “new” but an easier way to talk to Christian men and women about how attraction works without ‘offending’ them into refusing to listen to the Truth.

Terminology that works

I’ve come to the conclusion that the easiest terminology to use when discussing what is “attractive” to women are based primarily in the roles of protection and provider that the husband brings to the family. Thus, the vectors of attraction which fall under these two categories are:

  • Protector — power/personality (e.g. dominance & charm), status (e.g. leadership roles vs low key roles, talents), athleticism (e.g. musculature, ability to fight), and looks (e.g. genetic profile, testosterone levels, fashionable)
  • Provider — money (e.g. shelter, food, and clothing), status (e.g. parlayed into resources)… for the wife and family

Status can be hierarchical in nature which falls under the realm of protector via leadership, but it can also be part of provision as status can often be parlayed into resources or social value which women prize. This matches up very well with the observed dualistic mating strategy that women tend to employ, colloquially and crassly termed AFBB — alpha fucks/beta bucks or the slightly neutered alpha fux/beta bux.

To summarize previous posts, ideally women look for both of these attractive traits in one man as AFBB is not mutually exclusive. However, in worldly terms most tend to settle for one or the other. The reason for this is because masculinity is demonized in our society. Thus, those who go against the feminized system tend to be the only group that actually grows in masculinity and displays protector, masculine traits (e.g. attractive bad boys) whereas those who abide by the system tend to be more feminized into provider traits (e.g. boring beta bux providers).

As a reminder, traits that are good to have such as good with children, kindness, and other things like these tend to be classified as ‘beta traits’ but are not mutually exclusive with so-called ‘alpha traits.’ This is why I don’t classify traits according to “alpha” or “beta” but rather sexually attractive or not because there is too much confusion:

  • “beta” sometimes refers to ‘money’ as in the example of beta bucks,
  • “beta” sometimes refers to ‘traits’ that are not sexually attractive like kindness,
  • “beta” sometimes refers to ‘overall hierarchy’ that exists for men along the lines of alpha, beta, delta, gamma, omega.

Although you typically don’t want to be on the end attraction spectrum with money, it is an aphrodisiac to women as women with wealthy men have more orgasms. Both AF and BB (where BB is specifically about money) are sexually attractive to women, but AF predominates over BB all things considered equal. Hence, the dualistic mating strategy that skews toward AF in the absence of AF and BB in one man.

From my experiences discussing these topics, the husband’s protector and provider role are almost universally acknowledged by Christians and churchians alike.

Thus, this categorizing language can be used as an in specifically in order to get past feminized guard walls to discuss what is actually [sexually] attractive to women. This is especially important when trying to mentor men and/or discuss these topics with pastors regarding the traits that come with developing leadership and the roles and responsibilities of the husband in marriage.

It is also important to note part of the relative extinction of the provider role due to numerous factors. For example, the government and well-to-do families have taken over as a large role of the provider for single, young women. Likewise, women entering the workforce in droves mean that being a provider is not as important as it was in the past.

Socioeconomic factors as it relates to marriage prospects

I haven’t written on this topic much either, but there is some good information that needs to be categorized correctly.

Overall, the richness and comforts of a well-developed society tends to make the role of provider relatively extinct, except for women of lower socioeconomic status. This is the reason why you hear women complaining that they can’t find an attractive man who holds a good job and/or who will commit. Generally, such women are in similar social groups of lower class men who are masculine but tend to buck the system. Thus, they are attractive to women, but they often cannot hold down jobs because women will go out of their way to support an attractive man if she can be with them. Hence, such women decry the inability to find an attraction with a job. Additionally, since these men are pursued by many women, they will often not commit as they can often hold soft harems or jump from woman to the next much like how women use serial monogamy as a tactic to satisfy their hypergamy.

For women of higher socioeconomic status, they are primarily looking for raw masculinity through power/personality, status, athleticism, and looks in terms of marriage prospects due to the fact that they tend to already hold good jobs themselves. Likewise, since providers tend to be of higher socioeconomic status, you tend to find that the complaint of these higher socioeconomic status women is that there’s no good men left. Thus, as long as you can get a decent job, the protector role is the one that should be focused on cultivating for Christian men who desire to marry.

The vast majority of Christian men who find it difficult to go on dates with women should be counseled to learn to be a dominant, charming leader who lifts weights, knows how to fight, cultivates various talents (for example music or other hobbies), and takes care of grooming and fashion. A solid but decent job is still important but secondary for a man of higher socioeconomic status because prospects are typically already good, but overall income that a potential wife makes must be taken into account because women tend to not like marrying men who earn less than they do. A solid job is more important for a man of lower socioeconomic status. The man of lower socioeconomic status must also find a way to root out gold diggers because many women just want to marry for the benefits. Yes, it’s harder being poor.

Thus, depending on the population and area you live you may have to cater a bit in terms of finding solid marriage prospects due to the nature of how socioeconomic factors play into the role of what women are looking for at each level.

Created this way

A Christian man may ask why is the Protector role more valued than the Provider role.

I think this a question with a myriad of factors playing into it. It’s not always this way, so I’m going to discuss a lot of what plays into womens’ preferences. As we already mentioned, the state and well-to-do families tend to replace the role of the provider in rich society. For those of us in first world countries, this is crystal clear.

However, in second and third world countries, women who have very little provisioning or are from very poor families with few a provider extremely gratefully. Many men who have ventured overseas have seen this first hand. Obviously, it ‘feels’ to many men as disheartening and jading to the soul (of men who ignore reality), but it clearly makes sense. Women want to secure provisioning for themselves and their family.

Evolutionarily speaking, the Protector role is more important than the Provider role because it keeps the family together. A man that has “Protector skills” or the ability to fight and/or hunt will also have provider skills. Both these skills in hunter-gatherer tribes were virtually trained simultaneously as the men went off to hunt for food with bows and arrows, spears, and swords (provision), and this also served as practice for fighting techniques in warfare to protect from surrounding tribes (protection). Indeed, even within a single tribe the fitness and status of a particular man is related to protection and provisioning ability: the more dominant, muscular, and ability of a man to fight and/or hunt will garner increased attention from women.

This plays out similarly in our modern culture. Women love high status, dominant, muscled athletes and/or fighters who are the epitome archetype of Protectors. Women love very rich men who are the epitome archetype of Providers. Ideally, they want the same in one man. The one additional factor in play is if they are dominant with women: charming and charismatic.

At similar socioeconomic levels and if you can only choose one, the Protector is always valued more than the Provider. However, at differing socioeconomic levels, the Provider may hold more value than the Protector. There are some exceptions — a woman that marries for love — but not many. Most of these cases are where a rich young woman marries off to a low socioeconomic manly man. You pretty much never see this with a poor, young women marrying a low socioeconomic manly man. Poor women tend to want to marry up in status and money as opposed to a protector. I believe the reason for this is because of ‘civilized society’ devaluing the role of the protector too. If it was total chaos or anarchy the protector role would be valued more because the protector role tends to be beneficial for both protection and provision (using force to obtain resources).

A solid Biblical example of this is David and Bathsheba. Uriah was no slouch. He was one of David’s mighty men. However, Bathsheeba baths on top of the roof in front of the palace thereby tempting David who falls for it to commit adultery. Uriah was a strong Protector, but Bathsheba wanted to trade up in status and socioeconomic level to King David.

Thus, we can reliably say that:

  • Protector + Provider, ideally
  • Protector > Provider, other factors being equal.
  • Provider > Protector, if a woman can noticeably jump in status and socioeconomic level
  • Provider OR Protector > Protector + Provider, if fame is involved. Branch swinging and/or serial monogamy or flings with celebrities, famous athletes, and the like.
  • Dominance with women is the X factor. If a man is charming and charismatic with women he will tend to have many suitors regardless of a mediocre or potentially non-existent Protector and/or Provider.
  • Potential confounding factors may be the overall stability and socioeconomic level of the background culture. For example, in a culture with more anarchy a Protector may be valued more than a Provider because the skills inherent to a Protector can generally reliably secure more provisions through force. On the other hand, a strong enough Provider may be able to secure body guards or force through provision.

This is an overall solid general view the godly and ungodly preferences of women that aligns with the Scripture and how we see women act in our culture.

Christian women who want to be married prefer the ideal Protector + Provider. However, if they can’t get both, they tend to divert to serial monogamy with a man as [the placeholder] or protracted singleness to find the Protector + Provider. All things being equal, they aim for the Protector over the Provider (e.g. middle to upper class women willingly marry slightly ‘down’ for a masculine man), unless they can marry up in socioeconomic status though this may lead to unhappiness and divorce in the long run anyway. If they hit the wall, then they unwilling marry a Provider and are generally dissatisfied with their marriages. This leads to the 40% divorce rate of Protestants and 30% divorce rate of Catholics in the US.

In Churches, women gravitate to leadership positions with status. For example, leader or player in the worship team as opposed to the greeting coordinators unless they are charismatic. Pastors, youth pastors, mentor, and other types of leaders. Leaders tend to be associated with Protector status through various mechanisms.

This tends to explain why pastors and/or other leadership tend to have no clue what your average congregation man goes through when he says women aren’t attracted to him. For someone who is already attractive such as those in leadership positions, they just need to be around women and not screw it up. However, for men that are not involved with leadership positions and are not very masculine, they will have trouble asking women out and going on dates because of rejection.

Conclusions

Generally speaking, you need to use the right language when discussing attraction and marriage prospects with Christians and churchians alike to get past the feminist filters that are ubiquitous to our culture. Typically, these need to be geared toward roles and responsibilities of husbands in marriage. These are:

 

  • Protector — power/personality (e.g. dominance & charm), status (e.g. leadership roles vs low key roles, talent), athleticism (e.g. musculature, ability to fight), and looks (e.g. genetic profile, testosterone levels, fashionable)
  • Provider — money (e.g. shelter, food, and clothing), status (e.g. parlayed into resources)… for the wife and family

Likewise, when talking with men about the factors that surround marriage you need to take socioeconomic status of the man and the potential group of women into account because of risk factors and biasing toward provider or protector traits that inherently affect viability of the man as a suitable candidate.

Thus, we can reliably say that:

  • Protector + Provider, ideally
  • Protector > Provider, other factors being equal.
  • Provider > Protector, if a woman can noticeably jump in status and socioeconomic level
  • Provider OR Protector > Protector + Provider, if fame is involved. Branch swinging and/or serial monogamy or flings with celebrities, famous athletes, and the like.
  • Dominance with women is the X factor. If a man is charming and charismatic with women he will tend to have many suitors regardless of a mediocre or potentially non-existent Protector and/or Provider.
  • Potential confounding factors may be the overall stability and socioeconomic level of the background culture. For example, in a culture with more anarchy, a Protector may be valued more than a Provider because the skills inherent to a Protector can generally reliably secure more provisions through force. On the other hand, a strong enough Provider may be able to secure body guards or force through provision.

 

This is an overall solid general view the godly and ungodly preferences of women that aligns with the Scripture and how we see women act in our culture.

Christian women who want to be married prefer the ideal Protector + Provider. However, if they can’t get both, they tend to divert to serial monogamy with a man as [the placeholder] or protracted singleness to find the Protector + Provider. All things being equal, they aim for the Protector over the Provider (e.g. middle to upper class women willingly marry slightly ‘down’ for a masculine man), unless they can marry up in socioeconomic status though this may lead to unhappiness and divorce in the long run anyway. If they hit the wall, then they unwilling marry a Provider and are generally dissatisfied with their marriages. This leads to the 40% divorce rate of Protestants and 30% divorce rate of Catholics in the US.

 

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19 Responses to Navigating the Biblical basis of attraction and marriage with others

  1. Wizard Prang says:

    Is it me, or is the last section repeated?

  2. @ Wizard Prang

    Copy pasted the important parts of last section into the conclusion.

  3. donalgraeme says:

    I don’t have much in terms of sample size to back me up, but I suspect that this is more of a problem for Protestants. You folks push that “Godliness is attractive” crap a whole lot more than we seem to. Although I will be the first to admit that I am out of the loop among large swathes of the Catholic Church now.

    My own efforts to explain this to young men have not met with much opposition at all. In fact, several I’ve talked with seemed to get much of this already. Of course, my explanation was helped by the fact that the young women around affirmed the truth of what I was stating.

  4. @ donalgraeme

    Good to know.

    It may be that it’s also generally cause it’s rare(r) for Protestant Churches to actually speak about the passages on marriage in the Scripture because they’re too “uncomfortable” per se.

    From what I can tell with the hard line stance on marriage, it’s much easier to talk about what goes into roles and responsibilities. That would keep the Church much more grounded than what we have currently.

  5. donalgraeme says:

    The Catholic Church doesn’t talk much about those, either. At least, outside really Trad circles it doesn’t. I’ve noticed that the language used by Prots is different from what I heard growing up at times. I suspect that with different lingo there are also different ideas introduced. Frankly, I don’t think Catholics really talk about the subject at all. So ironically we have less to overcome there.

  6. @ Donal

    Hmmm, that’s quite interesting.

    Maybe it’s cause we got the old “complementarism” deal instead of Patriarchy then. Although, I’ve never heard of the Catholic Church sticking with the Patriarchy over anything else.

    Without firm doctrine and enforcement I think the cultural slide just happens more rapidly.

  7. donalgraeme says:

    The only place where I heard Catholics talk about Patriarchy was at Eastern Catholic or Latin Mass parishes. Regular Catholics? Nope. The whole area is simply ignored.

  8. Pilgrim of the East says:

    Solid article, although I think that word “biblical” in the title is kind of superfluous*, as the only biblical example here was Bathsheba.

    I’ll definitely bookmark it for possible sharing with others (after some gentle introduction, because considering usage of terms like “hitting the wall” it definitely needs it)

    *(as is the conclusion part)

  9. @ Pilgrim of the East

    Yeah, I probably should’ve used more examples. Any come to mind for you? My brain isn’t making associations well at the moment.

  10. Coastal says:

    I’ve found that nonbelievers as a whole have a better understanding of male/female attraction than Christians do. I can discuss RP concepts with folks in various avenues and a decent number of them will “get it”. Around church folks, it either falls on deaf ears, or the people that do get it won’t say anything as to not offend anyone.

    It’s extremely rare that singles are given practical advice in regards to attracting a spouse. Women are told to pray for a husband, but very little is said about the importance of appearance and how proper diet/nutrition factor into that. Men are told to keep serving in church and God will eventually bring them “the one He has for you™”, but nothing is said about leadership roles being more attractive, general masculinity, LAMPS, etc. If a male worship leader is viewed as attractive, it must be because of his godliness, not the fact that his SMV/MMV is naturally high due to status and charisma.

  11. @ Coastal

    Yeah, God is used as a crutch in the “one He has for you” to just do nothing about it.

    That’s not to say that sometimes it actually does happen like a woman or man falling into someone’s lap. For example, my friend on the real life Ruth post. But those cases tend to be outliers not the norm.

    I still wonder about the attractive factors. Does it all really go back to the “godliness is attractive” because they *want* it to be… is it just a combination of lots of different things like cultural drift, applying feminist concepts to the Bible, decreased emphasis on permanent marriage, etc.

  12. Coastal says:

    Yeah, God is used as a crutch in the “one He has for you” to just do nothing about it.

    That’s not to say that sometimes it actually does happen like a woman or man falling into someone’s lap. For example, my friend on the real life Ruth post. But those cases tend to be outliers not the norm.

    I’ve also seen it get used as a smokescreen for people that have dealbreakers. Case-in-point, a group of friends and I (all guys) were talking about dating, and the subject of sexual history came up. Someone asked the group whether they would marry someone formally promiscuous came up, and I casually mentioned that sexual history would be a dealbreaker for me. One of the guys quickly disagreed and fired back “but what if that the person that God has for you?” It’s this unbiblical ‘soul mate’ theory that I’ve run into a lot lately.

    I still wonder about the attractive factors. Does it all really go back to the “godliness is attractive” because they *want* it to be… is it just a combination of lots of different things like cultural drift, applying feminist concepts to the Bible, decreased emphasis on permanent marriage, etc.

    I think it’s an overshoot of not wanting to look like the world. People will read the scripture “man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart”, and then apply that to dating/marriage even though the original context is about Israel choosing a king. Outside of that, I’ve found that Churchians don’t like practical advice because it simply doesn’t sound ‘spiritual’ enough. Voddie Baucham did a really good analysis of this in one of his messages (skip to 52:50).

  13. @ Coastal

    One of the guys quickly disagreed and fired back “but what if that the person that God has for you?” It’s this unbiblical ‘soul mate’ theory that I’ve run into a lot lately.

    “Then he’ll have to tell me straight up like Hosea.”

    I don’t particularly see a lot of Hoseas.

    Also, very good points about the outward appearance/heart and Voddie on the ‘will of God.’

  14. donalgraeme says:

    @ Coastal

    One of the guys quickly disagreed and fired back “but what if that the person that God has for you?” It’s this unbiblical ‘soul mate’ theory that I’ve run into a lot lately.

    “Then he’ll have to tell me straight up like Hosea.”

    I don’t particularly see a lot of Hoseas.

    I second Deep Strength on that. That will be my response. In fact, it has been my response.

  15. @ Donal

    Funnily enough, I went back to Hosea to read what God actually said.

    Hosea 1:1 2 When the Lord first spoke through Hosea, the Lord said to Hosea, “Go, take to yourself a wife of harlotry and have children of harlotry; for the land commits flagrant harlotry, [a]forsaking the Lord.” 3 So he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son.

    God doesn’t actually tell Hosea *who* to marry. God instead gives Hosea only the guideline to “pick a wife of harlotry” not specifically Gomer.

    That said, God can do anything He wants, and He could tell someone to marry a specific person. But I’m going to need a sign on that given that virginity in the Scriptures is prized.

  16. donalgraeme says:

    DS, good point. It might have meant that Gomer was a daughter of a harlot, or an idolator (although that is usually referenced with adultery). Whatever the case, a direct sign is not too much to ask for.

  17. Pingback: Random Musings and Links- #8 | Donal Graeme

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  19. Zhuo says:

    I hope this isn’t late, but I am still learning about this myself – in fact, I wish I would’ve learned this a bit younger (although I’m still young!). Very insightful, going to have to come back to learn more, especially when it comes to thinking about weightlifting. I lift a lot of weights. My health-care practictioner tells me that I should just do weights and no cardio. My body is designed for building muscle, but at the same time, I don’t want to focus on just my muscles. I don’t want to be a lobster – body full of muscle, head full of crap (got that covered, I’m a philosophy major as well, haha!).

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