Athol Kay's post today at MMSL (Yay, more blog posts!) "Everything Is Better Except I'm Not In Love Any More" concerns what I suppose I should call a Side Effect of Long Term Use of the Red Pill.
The question revolves around what happens when you take the Red Pill, institute the changes to your home and life that are needed, redefine your relationship with your wife . . . and it works.
That's amazing enough for most Red Pill dudes - after all the years they spent shuttling between Mars and Venus looking for the answers, when they stumble across a skillset that actually produces tangible results it can come as quite a shock. I consider that first year the "Superpowers" phase, when you start understanding everything under the influence of the Red Pill.
But then a kind of complacency settles in. When you get to the part Athol talks about, where you have incorporated so much of the Married Game skillset into your relationship that it is automatic and you’re looking around going “okay, I’m getting laid like Hefner, now what?”, the next step can be a renewed cultivation and appreciation of your marriage.
When you realize, much to your amazement, that the issues that use to preoccupy you constantly ("Is she mad at me? What did I do wrong? Am I getting laid tonight?") no longer occupy any of your attention, then you may well find yourself puzzled with what to do with the spare capacity . . . and you may realize that some of the perverse fun you took out of your Blue Pill relationship was the constant sniping. It was how you interacted back then, and when you no longer spend all evening arguing over who was funnier on Seinfeld, you might find some of the enthusiasm you once had for your relationship has waned.
Part of it is the Red Pill. Once you have a proper understanding of Love, you lose the Mystery of it. That can be depressing, because everyone wants to believe in Love as a cultural constant. Knowing it's a chemical soup of hormones and psychochemistry makes some of the magic fade even as you use your knowledge to improve your life. Kind of like discovering a Santa costume in your dad's closet when you're 11. You still like the presents, but the mystery is gone.
But that's not the end-game of the Red Pill. The second year, as your family adjusts to its effects, is when you solidify the foundations and make a concerted effort to not just enjoy the benefits of your marriage, but to actively pursue renewing your interpersonal relationship with your wife. You can engineer your way into falling back into love, if you approach it right. You can re-ignite love in your life after the Red Pill – hell, you can realize heights and depths of love (and it has both) you never imagined, post-Red Pill.
The key is novel shared experience. As comfortable as your marital routine is, it’s routine, even after the Red Pill. Complacency is the enemy of Romance. While the Red Pill might show you the unpleasant innards of the beast, it also informs you that adults need novel stimulation in order to maintain a healthy level of attraction to our mates. There's research aplenty on this, and its supported by fieldwork. In order to burn some new and exciting pathways, it’s essential to indulge in novel experiences together, from the utterly mundane (say, churning butter on an Amish farm) to the fantastically exotic (say, “churning butter” . . . in the couples room at the Bunny Ranch).
An active approach is best. As much fun as watching television or movies together can be, it’s also essentially passive. Going panning for gold together? Much more active. Seeing a Broadway show in New York? Much more active. Taking fencing or dancing lessons together? Much more active. Taking a Introduction to Mandarin course together so you can talk dirty to each other in Chinese in front of the kids? Much, much more active (h/t Firefly).
Or be utterly daring. Crank up the kink. Indulge in that most intimate of connections . . . the creative collaboration.
It doesn’t have to be good, it doesn’t have to be artful, but if you work together on a shared vision, help each other create something, and do so in a context that is personally meaningful you help re-ignite that sense of individual ego that’s essential to developing the mindset you need to spark “in love” again. Most of us are amateur artists of one sort or another, and most of us have at least one artistic talent we want to explore . . . but never had time to.
So challenge each other. If your wife used to paint, then dig out her easel and draw a pencil sketch for her to paint. Bonus points if it's erotic. If you used to write, then start a dirty story, get it to a really good part, and then have her do the next chapter. If both of you are interested in sculpting then buy five pounds of clay and get really dirty and really creative. Construct a vibrator shaped like your penis using Adam & Eve's Clone-a-Willy kit together. . . and then make another one for your recently-divorced sister-in-law, just because your wife likes to brag.
And everyone can fingerpaint. It takes no talent, and no one expects great art. Try doing a fingerpainted portrait of your naked spouse while they do the same, and then enjoy the result. Tack it up in your office. Hell, post it on your fridge. It'll screw with the kids.
This is important for a couple of reasons. Being creative accesses new parts of your brain, and once accessed, they're open for new experience . . . all new experience. If your brain is open to the idea of sculpting, it's also open to the idea that your wife's eyes look dreamy when she's thinking really hard about something. Indulging in a mutual creative project gives you both the opportunity to appreciate new things about your old spouse, or discover capacities you never imagined they had.
Creativity – art in particular – is all about ego. Collaborative art is about vision, compromise, and communication. It doesn’t have to be good art – and it won't be - it’s the process that’s important, not the product. Making art is an investment in your personal culture, an opportunity for you to be both manly and communicative, subtle and bold, playful and serious . . . all of those hard Alpha traits that dampen panties like a wet bus seat. But more importantly, it's art. It doesn't have a purpose. You can't fuck it up. You can throw it away afterwards (Art Is Not Forever), or you can frame it as an heirloom of your house.
And that's important to remember, too: using art as shared experience to build both attraction (Alpha) and a sense of shared vision (Beta) is an ideal way to open your heart and mind to the inrush of yummy neurotransmitters that we pretend is a noble and timeless emotion. The art produced is thus not merely a decorative piece, it is a physical testament to your ability to inspire, teach, and learn from each other in ways that we don't often get otherwise.
It's also important not to be too critical -- it's supposed to be fun. If it's not fun, then you won't get the positive novel experience you're looking for. Don't take it too seriously, and if it gets fucked up cheerfully chuck it in the trashcan and laugh about it.
That's the kind of thing that helps someone fall in love.