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Kids, the player, and the Red Pill: Comprehensive statement
I don't have good answers or solutions to questions around how players who wants kids, should go about having them (and I think most guys should have kids... MOST is not ALL, so you may be an exception). I'm skeptical of the "Just do THIS, bro" stories I see, most of which reduce to a couple scenarios:
"Just marry the RIGHT woman:" while screening women is helpful, it is not possible to know how someone will evolve three years, five years, ten years later. You are still gambling when you marry a woman. Over time we might evolve into co-parenting becoming more common, however strange the idea is today. Many strange ideas have become normal ideas, and some normal ideas have become strange over time.
"Just marry and hope for the best." This is a good way to lose half your assets, and to pay alimony in addition to "child" support.
"Just have a kid with a woman in a non-committed relationship and keep your harem going." Most women won't agree to this. In an age of reliable birth control and abortion, she is not likely to go for this by accident. This scenario is not impossible... just not common.
"Just have a kid and then leave the woman." This is very bad for the kid and also hard to set up and execute. Ask your friends whose fathers abandoned them what their lives were like growing up, and then ask yourself if you wish to do that to another person. If you do, I can't help you, maybe God can.
In my view, guys in their teens, 20s, and early 30s need to have experience with a wide array of women BEFORE they attempt to set up a family, otherwise they are likely to fail, or end up destroying their families to chase p***y. Resentment towards your family is poisonous.
Most women are ill-suited to relationships and family and most modern women under the age of 27/28 are not actually ready to have kids, even if they think they are. Many women who have kids younger than that age stay with the father for a couple years, then divorce / leave him for one last big ride (not all, but a decent number). It also seems that most guys comply with female demands and wander into marriage because they don't think they can get another girl; while this is a terrible reason to marry, it's also super common.
I encourage you NOT to sleepwalk into marriage. One way to know whether you should stay with a woman is to ask yourself, "Can I get another woman at least as good as this one if I want to?" If the honest answer is "Yes," then you should consider staying with her. Only stay with her if you have options. If you don't have options, you need to up your value and game.
Despite all the pleasures of being a player (it has NEVER been a better time to be a player, despite what's sometimes claimed online), most guys eventually want kids, and, for most people, the parent-child relationship is the most meaningful, important one of their lives. Typically the “time to have kids” thing seems to spike around age 32 - 39. A guy who has been in the game for 5 - 10 years often tires of the game... while f**king hot chicks never gets old (for me), it can get repetitive and unsatisfying, I guess, though I don't know the proper words for the spiritual malaise that sets in.
Many guys come to yearn for something more substantial than slagging randoms until they no longer can. If you're a committed player for life, that's fine, this is not for you and I wish you good luck in your endeavors. This piece is for guys who start thinking beyond the next bang. I spent a long time thinking about the next bang, so, again, I'm not opposed to that view... but I think I'm growing away from it. Jordan B Peterson has a bit where he talks about "the second half of life," and he has a video about how "Modern People Never Think About The Last Half of Their Life." Essentially, hedonism and immature narcissism can work pretty well for the first half of a life, say up to age 35 or 40... but those things work increasingly poorly in the second half of life. What matters for most people at that point? Their families.
If you're like me you've seen people in their 40s, 50s, even beyond, still trying to live a youthful, hedonistic life, and it almost never works for them, or for anyone around them. What does work? Family. Building or helping the next generation. The midlife crisis has a single answer: "The key to navigating this stage is to understand that the word 'useful' has a very specific definition and can only be fulfilled through limited ways: it has to serve the next generation." More:
"Most people get through this [mid-life period, or crisis] by raising kids (not just having them), teaching them things, 'getting them into college,' passing on the culture. The more you feel responsible to this process the easier mid-life will be."
That is what Jordan B Peterson has also figured out, and what he talks about. It’s what most older guys will talk about, if you’re in a position to ask. I know all about the horrors of modern divorce and hypergamy and all the other stuff guys talk about, all that is true, nonetheless there is only one true answer here, and failing to find it means flailing and perhaps failure.
Modern marriage doesn't work because it's a high-risk contract with little reward for the guy. In our society we link sexuality tightly with raising children. Is it possible to separate those two, despite the way marriage co-mingles them? To have a kid, but also to have other partners, consensually? It seems that very few people think about this, let alone try it. Yet many people end up doing it: they just marry, have kids, then have an acrimonious divorce, which is in effect a parturition of sexuality and child rearing. What if you skip the acrimony and the false till-death-do-us-part thing? I don't see how people can make till-death-do-us-part promises with a straight face today, despite the regularity with which people do just that.
I'm interested in co-parenting as an alternative. Very few women have heard of co-parenting, yet, as of this writing. The conversation about co-parenting is just getting started, and it's more common than it was ten years ago.
It's also apparent that most sexual relationships lose their sexual component over time, and that's part of the reason I'm interested in consensual non-monogamy. Consensual non-monogamy is hard, and many people are inclined to succumb to the power and lure of "new relationship energy" (NRE), instead of investing in their previous relationship(s), which they have already hedonically adapted to.
I've been talking more w/ women (and some men) about co-parenting, since, it's clear that the "we're going to put our entire sexual, economic, and child-raising eggs in one basket" system hasn't been working very well for decades. Is it possible or conceivable that we can have a consensual, intelligent co-parenting system instead? It doesn't seem totally impossible to me, and some people are (finally) talking about this, which is long overdue.
Could parenting work better w/ something like a child-raising and care contract? A lot of the successful couples I see seem to either be post-sex (weird to me, but whatever), or have quiet side arrangements. Problem for guys is that "quiet side arrangements" are much easier for women to arrange than guys to arrange. Just like a woman who writes on a dating app, "In a relationship and looking for something casual" will be inundated with sex requests while a guy who does the same will... not be. That's why I'm more fond of the sex club situation, where extremely direct reciprocation is the norm.
Humans aren’t good at long-term monogamy, and something closer to “serial monogamy” might have been the historic norm. Even in the days after the Industrial Revolution and before reliable birth control, the likelihood of relentless, back-breaking labor and the possibility of early death means that it's possible not that many people did modern long-term monogamy. Co-parenting separates out sex, love, and childcare, in a way that traditional monogamy bundles togethers. Some VC said that there are two Internet business models, unbundling things that used to be a bundle and bundling things that used to be separate. Co-parenting is the first.
Today, I'm envisioning something like a five-year shared-resources contract, the purpose of which is to have two kids and remain romantically entangled. Then, after, you can re-evaluate the contract and decisions. Or a contract might specify that you're going to have kids and do 50/50 custody and not leave the metro area. We're pretty far from having this conversation, but many people are already doing something like this, if you look at the divorce rate.
Realistically, it is also very difficult if not impossible for most guys to have very small kids and be anything like a player. Maybe if you have the money to hire a full-time nanny, but, apart from corner/edge cases, being a true player isn't going to happen, if you're also dealing with kid stuff. The people who think otherwise either haven't been in the situation or just abandon Mom/kid, which I also think is bad. For a lot of people who have two kids two years apart, they spend six years in "kid world" dealing with very small kids. Some have families who assume part of the burden. Some pay for child care. Some do both. Many just work their way through it. I recommend buying kettlebells and doing kettlebell workouts.
It is possible to have somewhat older kids, when they are more autonomous, and split time w/ the Mom and be a player. Most guys just don't do this, or can't. Housing costs are also very high in the United States, which is a poor policy choice but one I can't personally change.
Co-parenting seems obvious to me in that a) traditional marriage doesn't work but also b) having kids is important and meaningful. How to square that circle?
For a guy who makes a really large amount of money, it's possible to deal with "child" support and the family-law system. It could also conceivably be possible to hire nannies, etc. and still be a player. I'm saying "possible" because I don't think I know anyone who's done it (though I'm not sure I know any true players anyway). For most people, kids, especially when young, just take a lot of time and attention, in a way that's not very compatible with sleeping around.
I mentioned that many guys eventually get bored with being a player. I think we have been psychologically selected in part for having and being around kids, and it is very hard to get over our evolved psychology. The "grandmother hypothesis" asks if women experience menopause and cease reproduction, yet keep living for decades after, as an evolutionary adaptation to help their daughters's grandchildren. While older men may still be able to have children, it's not obvious how often men age 50+ actually did so... men may also be psychologically primed for leadership roles and to help their grandchildren. If so, then failing to set yourself up to be able to do that may be setting yourself up for psychological disappointment.
I like citing evolutionary biology and psychology, and those fields may have implications for stage of life. We look to them as players because they provide a theoretical framework for what chicks are into. But we can also look to them for other virtues, like how to think about age and family. Many families and communities are fractured by travel for jobs and by simple social dysfunction.
If our psychologies are primed for children/grandchildren, that can explain why so many people (including guys) without kids seem pretty f**ked up and bitter. There is a mismatch between what their deep psychologies want them to do, and what they have done or are doing. That mismatch is hard to reconcile.
It seems there's a difference between a "happy" and "meaningful" life, which many of us intuit.
Satisfying one’s needs and wants increased happiness but was largely irrelevant to meaningfulness. Happiness was largely present oriented, whereas meaningfulness involves integrating past, present, and future. For example, thinking about future and past was associated with high meaningfulness but low happiness. Happiness was linked to being a taker rather than a giver, whereas meaningfulness went with being a giver rather than a taker. Higher levels of worry, stress, and anxiety were linked to higher meaningfulness but lower happiness.
There's tension between having the best immediate experience RIGHT NOW and building a life that is "meaningful," "substantial," choose your word here. American society tells us we are supposed to be "happy," which sounds a little like consumerist advertising bullshit to me.
One player I know wrote,
The firm subtext I have with any girl I date now is outcome indifference. She can more or less come and go as she pleases and I am fine either way. Once you have a child I do not see how you can become anything but outcome dependent. How would you handle that loss of leverage over her behaviour?
When you have a kid, you're very likely going to be less outcome independent with the woman, but you also have to remember that, if she wants to leave and sue you for child support... she will. That's a sad fact. Feminism has won and feminists hate marriage and family. But most normal women want a partner and a father for their child, so, typically a man's leverage increases in the first few years of the child's life, as normal women want to be subsidized financially and want their child to have a father.
You can of course find exceptions, and the exceptions make great stories.
It's difficult to predict how women respond to being a parent. They seem to have all kinds of responses, many unpredictable. In some sense you are tied to her for the next twenty years. But, in another sense, you still have to be ready to leave, or to have her leave; the main way to be outcome independent is to be prepared, psychologically and logistically, for what will happen in the event of a split.
The negative and the positive are both parts of life. Dwell too long or too far on either, and you will not be a complete person, in my opinion; complete persons have to embrace both. I like to think that I do, though I may be deluding myself.
Functional women try very hard to make sure they are NOT going to have a kid with a deadbeat, a lackadaisical guy, or even a player who is going to abandon them. Women who are functional today get an IUD and, even if they get pregnant by a non-investing guy, they are not going to keep the baby. Obviously, many women are dysfunctional, but I'm not convinced it's a great idea to have a baby with a dysfunctional woman. In an era of long-acting reversible contraception, separating sex from reproduction is easy and functional women do it.
There is also a stage-of-life question to the woman or women a guy is dating. Most chicks under age 22 – 25 DO NOT CARE about your career, your intellect, etc. They are in it for the hot guys, the feels, and the excitement (mostly). Chicks who pay their own rent, often evaluate guys on other factors in addition to hotness and feelings. There is a big gap between chicks who are being heavily subsidized by parents/state (via student loans) and chicks who have to pay their own way. The latter usually get MUCH more interested in a guy's career and intellect, as those things directly affect his ability to keep roof over head. This is much harder than many chicks realize.
This is not universal, and some 18-year-old chicks will be very intersted in earning power and some 31-year-old chicks won't give a f**k. But it is a strong correlation. It makes sense from an evolutionary and cultural perspectives... while there is a lot of stuff in the Red Pill about how chicks's sexual market value (SMV) is predominantly determined by looks and youth, and that's true, it's also overstated... especially for guys looking for a longer-term chick. A guy looking purely for hookups is all about the hotness. A guy evaluating a longer-term deal will also consider the woman's own psychology, earning power, etc., as they become much more important in long-term mating contexts. In the modern world, a chick who is out of school and without a job is sending a terrible signal about herself, and she is signaling her dysfunction in a way that most guys with their own shit together will notice.
Furthermore, a chick's looks will fade over time, but her good fitness / nutrition habits will slow the fade. Her good work habits will contribute to household finances. Her good mood/positive temper will make her a better mother. Etc. Over a 5 – 10 year relationship that includes having a family, her raw hotness is unlikely to be the most important thing about her, for most guys. Most guys likely have some minimal level of attractiveness, but once a woman has exceeded that, other factors become important in long-term contexts.
Chicks also have their own game... chicks realize early on that they are competing against other chicks, and that, if all she offers is f**king... well, lots of other chicks can and do do that effectively. Spreading her legs, bending over... it's good, but it's also common, especially for the high-status men women most want. So women ideally learn how to cook, at least, and ideally learn other useful skills too... most women appear to underestimate how much that can make them stand apart.
As you can see from The Politics of Procreation, most women say they want a family. "A 2012 National Health Statistics Report found that barely six percent of childless American women under 44 were 'voluntarily childless.' The vast majority of millennials, meanwhile, want to get married and have children." Saying you want a family and taking active steps to have a healthy family are very different, obviously. In life we rarely get everything and most of us must choose somewhat between the hottest sex, the best mother/provider, the family, the career, etc. Women who truly want a family are repelled by players and find guys who will enable them to have a family, while women who say they want one but really want to chase the hottest guy do not get there.
I don't have great answers to the problems of childbearing and long-term relationships, but because this is the Internet I know I am supposed to be the God-like guru who KNOWS EVERYTHING. I am not and I don't know everything, and some questions are unanswerable. I see that the old structures don't work anymore and have been killed by feminism, despite the many men who are still foolhardy enough to sign the marriage contract. Almost no one is talking about the new structures (if you know someone who is, please tell me about them). So where does someone go who does want a family but also sees conventional marriage as fucked? We have to write a whole new playbook from scratch, which is pretty uncommon. Many of the suggestions I have read are either unrealistic or assume a massive amount of income/wealth, which is itself unrealistic for most people. Yes, I know the Internet has many people making $250,000/year in location-independent income, and they are willing to show you how to do it too for the low low price of $995... but that is atypical. If you genuinely have it, good for you, but most people don't.
Chicks also go through the epicycles men do. A 35-year-old woman who just got out of an eight or ten year relationship might be ready for some hot guy casual sex. Or a 45-year-old woman for that matter. The woman I call Low-cut top girl is younger than that and didn't have as long a relationship, but she is/was in that phase. These epi-cycles are why marriage is so foolish for most men. A woman may love a man for ten years and then leave. Why give her half your money too?
This piece has probably taken a longer time than anything else I've written, and it still feels very incomplete to me. The whole Red Pill world feels incomplete to me at times... I saw a smart Tweet on the subjet,
The root cause of the brain drain in the PUA industry post 2010s.
The pick up guys who are cool and intelligent stay hidden because they have professional and business reputations to maintain.
The end result is the PUAs that go public are mostly unsuccessful weirdos.
Most guys with things going for them, would have to be nuts to come out. At some point, (almost) everyone needs to change pace. From f**king tons of chicks to building a substantial contribution. From writing online to living in real life. Not everyone... but most of us.
There is also a thing in modern upper-middle-class culture called "helicopter parenting" or "snowplow parenting." If you work with Gen Zers in the 18 - 23 age bracket you may have seen some of the results. This kind of parenting is crazy, time-intensive, and leads to neurotic parenting and kids. Most amusingly, it does not work. How your kid turns out is largely not up to the parent, within reason. Jocko Willink has said that he lets his kids fail (in non-physically threatening ways). It's important to know the strategic mission that the family is trying to accomplish. A lot of contemporary upper-middle-class parenting is about doing everything for the kid, destroying the adult's life and not letting the kid develop. Don't do this, although your peers might be doing it.
Most women are profoundly changed by having children: their priorities shift, especially in the early years. Like former f**k-doll Lily Allen says, "Having children triggered responsibilities." This is also why a lot of companies are leery about hiring women in their late 20s/early 30s who just got married... that usually means a baby will be along shortly, and the baby will alter the woman's priorities. That will be blindingly obvious to anyone old enough and social enough to know a lot of women with children. Women also don't divorce guys in the first few years of the child's life, if they can at all avoid it... the divorce spike usually happens around age 5 - 6, when the kid starts school.
Social life changes with age. By age 30, a lot of the most emotionally and psychologically healthy people have kids, and they hang out with other parents. Have you heard people over age 30 complain about how hard it is to make friends? That's because normal people in their age group have kids and are hanging out with other parents. The childless are left out of that whole world. I'm not saying you should have kids merely so you can have parent friends, just that you should understand the dynamic.
This piece is pretty blue pill, but it's true that “We Don’t Really Have Language for Telling the Truth About Parenting.” It's hard to have a meaningful second half of your life without having a family. Talk to guys age 40+ and especially 50+.... the one with families are almost always doing better than the ones without. Your average guy in his 20s needs to develop better sex and relationship skills before he marries, if he ever does... but among players, the temptation is often to defer having kids indefinitely, until it's too late, or simply dysfunctional. Parent-child and sibling relationships are among the few non-commodity relationships left. If all your other human relationships are commodity ones, ones that can be discarded and replaced, you are probably not going to lead a psychologically whole life, even if you succeed in being a mega player.
To repeat, I don't have a final answer and suspect those who claim to, and I think that consensual co-parenting is a smart route, but most chicks are not going to go for it because of cultural conditioning around marriage and because the marriage contract gives them an option on the guy's financial resources. Chicks are driven to find a guy they think is higher than them on the social totem pole. But there is a limit on how many guys are up there, so a lot of chicks end up becoming cat ladies instead of having families. Sad, but that is modern society. Chicks don't learn femininity and then are surprised guys don't respond to them... guys don't learn masculinity and then are surprised when chicks don't respond to them. The chicks who learn femininity aren't online feminists... the guys who learn masculinity aren't online PUAs. You see through the system, then you figure out who and what you really are. You figure out the final answers given by gurus are wrong or incomplete. You see that there is only the struggle. Eventually all of us lose the struggle and die... to live is to struggle.
I saw a tweet that said,
Getting married sounds stupid as fuck until you see a single man in his 60s
Go home alone, read a book, only one light on in the house, no goofy kids visiting for the holidays
Suddenly a dumb argument with a pleasantly plump aging wife twice a week doesn't seem so bad
The guy can't punctuate his sentences but he has a point. What time horizon are you operating on? If you have no idea, that's a huge oversight, and a huge problem.