Originally written in September 2013
“People should not bother about romantic love. Friendships and work are the things that bring most joy in life.” ~ Some dude on the internet
I think the above advice is truer than ever in the modern world which has largely become an unregulated sexual marketplace. Especially for young men today romantic love is downright pernicious. In this post I will give three good reasons for a young man to steer clear of romantic love. No, it doesn’t mean staying away from women or sex, just romantic love.
Reason # 1 – It is redundant
It is important to understand what romantic love is. Feeling romantic love for some woman does not mean that your destiny is tied with her, or she is your soul mate, or she is The One for you chosen by the universe or God or whatever. If one seriously believes in such bullshit than I would suggest some resources to learn about romantic love: Here, here, here,…
Romantic love is mating drive. For that reason I believe it’s a huge psychological cost to pay for sex today. Romantic love exists because in the evolutionary past sex meant producing an offspring whose survival was best ensured when the parents stayed together. Hence, the mechanism evolved which made the mating partners fall in love so that they could concentrate their mating energy on each other exclusively. That way while the mother would take care of the offspring, the father would protect them and bring food for them. This would not be possible if the mating partners didn’t feel attached with each other through “love”.
When we say it evolved, that means for those other partners who didn’t develop romantic love and attachment with each other and didn’t stay together to take care of the offspring, their offspring didn’t survive to carry their genes. So the people who developed romantic love got naturally selected in evolution and would have descendants. That is how evolution works. That is the reason we are wired to develop romantic feelings.
In our times, however, sex more often than not means pleasure, or fulfillment of bodily need – consciously keeping an offspring out of the way. Juxtapose this fact with the one mentioned above that the basic purpose of romantic love is the offspring’s survival. Now even when sex takes place for producing an offspring, the environment today is good enough for the offspring to survive without the parents being together.
This is not to negate the fact that an ideal family is a two parent family. Even though parents staying together is not necessary for the offspring’s survival today, it is till necessary for healthy upbringing of children. However, romantic love only serves the togetherness of mating partners in short term. Long lasting partnership can not be achieved with romantic love, especially on man’s part. Reason # 2 and # 3 will explain why.
Romantic love, therefore, is redundant. It no more serves the purpose in nature that it is evolved for, and rather disserves a man’s prospect of lasting partnership or marriage.
Reason # 2 – It hinders better pursuits
When in love, one becomes obsessed with the person of one’s romantic fixation. That is not a very healthy state of mind to carry.
Today we live in a world where we have many pursuits other than what the primitive men had. We live in a complex society which is built by virtue of man’s rationality, and consequently a man needs to be rational in order to function effectively within his social environment. When romantic love becomes an overriding obsession, it may harm one in studies or work by affecting focus, it can ruin a career,… or otherwise just not allow the person to grow in ways that will make him socially productive and successful – even that is a loss big enough. It’s a loss, because romantic love is not rational and serves no significant purpose other than providing temporary euphoria while incapacitating the person mentally to make rational choices about many an important aspect of life. When the person of romantic fixation becomes the center of one’s existence, it’s only natural that all of one’s life’s choices would not be optimal.
We don’t live in the same way that primitive men in the state of nature lived. Yes, romantic love did serve a purpose of securing the offspring’s survival in the evolutionary past but, for one, in the past there was no need for life-long partnership, marriage. Romantic love is not a permanent feeling. It wanes with time since it develops for the definite purpose of mating. The primitive men likely did not stay with their partners for life. That’s not the kind of society we live in, and I believe nor the kind that we want. We live in times where we have sophisticated needs from other human beings, and we have assigned roles to people get those needs fulfilled. Today we look for life partner not for mating or because we worry about the offspring’s survival but for the sophisticated needs that we have. These needs are peculiar to our kind of society, and can’t be fulfilled if we adopted the primitive lifestyle of when we lived in the state of nature.
Does romantic love help? Historically, in all religions and by all cultures romantic love has been condemned. It’s only very recently (probably after the growth of media, through romance novels, films, songs,..) that romantic love has come to be accepted as the valid basis for marriage. And it’s no wonder that marriages of the day are so fickle. Romantic love is not a valid basis for marriage. For it is only mating drive, and it is temporary. In almost all cases it would wane in a short span of a few years if not less. Marriage should be based on other, good reasons and practical considerations. Like matching thoughts and interests in partners is a solid reason to form a marriage than romantic feelings on which one has no control. Of course, along with good reasons when romantic love too exists, that’s an added advantage and there’s no harm in it. But marrying someone only based on romantic feelings is a recipe for disaster.
Life partnership is only one of the many spheres where romantic love doesn’t help.
To indulge in purely romantic love is to surrender whatever autonomy one has and leave oneself at the mercy of brutal natural/biological forces. For one doesn’t develop romantic love for reasons palatable to one’s mind, and one would lose the feelings in the same way too. Where the head doesn’t have a say, the indulgence is of animal nature. That’s why romantic love is such a waste of life for the creatures of intellect.
What about just the pleasure of being in love? It may not serve a purpose in nature it is evolved for. It may not even be helpful in forming a life partnership. It may hinder better and rational, and more worthwhile human pursuits. But then again, it may not be that harmful if one is lucky, one might think. The pleasure of being in love is perhaps second to none. Most people tend to disregard all advice just for the pleasure of love is so alluring. Here I want to caution men – especially the young men. Read on..
Reason # 3 – It’s a guarantee of failure with the woman
In the unregulated sexual marketplace, falling in love with a woman would likely guarantee that one will never get the woman one has fallen for. The reasons for this depressing fact lie in our sexual biology.
Women are sexually attracted to bad-boys with careless attitude. Narcissism, psychopathy, aloofness,… these are the traits that arouse women. A man with these traits is an alpha male. Women will not admit this, because admitting what truly arouses them would be to admit that they have a fucked up mind. Albeit it is not totally their fault, it is their biology. Women are attracted to such men because in the evolutionary past those traits conferred survival advantage on men, and those men would be better protectors of their women and children in the wild. Between an emotional, caring beta male and a psychopathic alpha, the letter was better equipped to win survival battles the nature subjected its creatures to. Hence, women who selected such men have got naturally selected in evolution and would have descendants. Today those alpha traits are not required, and are rather bad, negative qualities in men. But evolution doesn’t progress as fast as our world has changed. Women still fall for assholes out of their biological wiring.
The problem is when a man falls in love he stops being an alpha male. An alpha male is careless. Even when he loves he loves for himself, not for the woman. The woman never feels that she is the center of his existence. She always needs to be on her toes to please her alpha lover, with insecurity and looming fear of abandonment if she displeased him. This very insecurity excites her. In her deepest nature, a woman craves the rewards of the alpha male’s love to her endeavors. A man who gives his love to her without her working for it robs her of the romantic pleasure. She can not stay in love with such a man for long.
I read somewhere that once a woman gets the man’s heart, she would soon lose interest in him. It is true. A man who tells his woman how much he loves her has dug his love’s grave. Caring, dutiful, loving man is a beta male who is equivalent to an unattractive fat woman in an unregulated sexual marketplace.
To summarize: If one thinks that romantic love must serve a useful purpose in nature then no, it does not anymore. If one thinks romantic love may empower one in some way in the society, out the window goes that idea too. In fact, it will likely dis-empower one, cripple one’s rational prospects. If one thinks romantic love will give one blissful partnership with a woman one desires, alas, that may not happen either. Romantic love is out-and-out harmful today.
This post is especially meant for young men. One reason for that is because young men have most to lose by wasting their time on such a futile pursuit. Second reason is that the dynamics of sexual marketplace change after women reach the age of 30, more so after they cross mid-30’s, depending on the “market” conditions. As women grow older their SMV (sexual market value) declines and they look to nice guys to settle down with. For a nice guy who would find bliss in caring for, and dutifully loving his woman it may become easier to find “love” among the older women. So I think beta males who are past mid-30’s and in 40’s may find women they can show their love unrestrained. But then again, it’s always an unpredictable game. Too much show of love and care may ruin the relationship. It seems a modern man has to learn the game to be able to find proper balance of alpha- and betatude.
Note: In a regulated sexual marketplace, the picture is not so grim as I have painted here. Societies governed by traditional norms and religious wisdom still exist where beta males have a good chance. But the world is changing rapidly, and the future is the unregulated sexual marketplace where romantic love will be a disease, especially for men without the understanding of women’s sexual nature which is based on their biological imperative.