That may seem like a whacky thing to hear from a dude who prides himself on taking a Red Pill approach to life -- but the Red Pill isn't about just the harsh, stark realities of life, it's also about being honest about the good things in your life.
Take a step back and think about it for a moment: the idea of the Red Pill is to substitute, as much as possible, an Objective perspective ("how things actually are") for a Subjective perspective ("how things seem to be through our own perception filters") when collecting data and making decisions about your life. That means ALL things, not just the stuff we're buggin' about.
Now, I'm not running down the power of the Subjective approach to reality. There are whole vistas of human endeavor that depend utterly on our ability and willingness to set aside the Objective facts and substitute a Subjective perspective that proves more useful. Hope, for instance, is predicated on the idea that even though things are shitty, that things will not remain shitty . . . without any shred of evidence that is, in fact, true.
Similarly, Fortitude is based not on the idea that you can, objectively, make it through a crisis, but that you, subjectively, WILL make it through a crisis, even though the objective facts of the matter seem to run counter to that proposition. Hope, Fortitude, Courage, and dozens of other facets of the human condition require a Subjective approach to reality in order for us to overcome our perceived weaknesses and achieve.
Blue Pill reality happens when you put all your chips on the Subjective, and discard all but the most glaring elements of the Objective. You not only believe in the power of Love, you're willing to use it as a justification and rationalization for the most foolish and self-destructive behaviors. You not only believe in Fairness, you assume that everyone else also believes in Fairness and is trying to promote it just as fervently as you. You not only believe in Equality, you insist that you're getting Equality, even when you are unfairly penalized by a system or culture that determines that your group, for whatever reason, is less equal than others.
That Blue Pill overdose leads to irrational idealism. The Red Pill overdose leads to hopeless cynicism.
Neither one of those things leads to actual happiness.
Athol makes an excellent point when he discusses the need for the Blue Pill, despite the number of ardent Red Pill proponents who insist that Love is a fruitless endeavor undermined by the "Red Pill Reality". The Red Pill can be a heady experience, don't misunderstand - it will open your eyes to see the social universe in a whole new perspective. Once you understand the underpinnings of modern social/sexual behavior through the lens of the science of evolutionary biology and neurochemistry, the impulse to reduce everything to those terms is almost irresistible
But while the Red Pill shows you the stark reality of the dating arena in this day and age, it should also point out the fact that yes, Love still exists in the world, and it's possible for any human being to find it. Hopelessly shmaltzy? Or pragmatic observation? Attend:
Love, as we understand the base emotion, can be loosely defined as "the emotion of feeling another person's happiness and well-being are a precondition of your own".
Mother love, Caritas, first results when a mommy fulfills her baby's vital need for comfort and sustenance, and that emotional transaction continues to be replayed throughout our lives.
Philios, "brotherly love", first results when we are children, and we develop empathy and sympathy for our playmates. We don't want our friends to get hurt, and we don't want our friends to hurt us. Those who take Philios to extremes often find themselves tirelessly devoted to improving the welfare of their fellow man even at the expense of their own well-being, using the buzz of Universal Compassion as their justification.
Agape, the love between Man and the Divine, is exercise of self-awareness and an existential development of a total psycho-spiritual response to the Universe. It can develop in anyone, at any time, and be either profound or fleeting or both.
Then there is Eros.
Our conception and perspectives on Eros develop at adolescence when our child bodies are subjected to the forge of puberty and we start noticing the opposite (or same) sex in a sexual manner. "Sex", of course, is the goal. Sex for reproduction, sex for pair-bonding, sex for recreation, sex because the cable is out again.
But Sex is not Eros. It's merely a component -- albeit the essential component -- for Eros. The motivation for Eros may be Sex -- 'cause orgasms are cool and all -- but Eros encompasses a far wider field than the mindless rutting implied in hook up culture. True Eros is the combination of Sex with a deeper understanding of the soul of the Other Person. True Eros is the institutionalization of a mutual feeling in which each party's happiness and well-being is essential to either and both.
True Eros happens -- and keeps happening -- because our sexual feelings become entangled with our compassionate feelings, the whole thing gets washed out in a wave of oxytocin and serotonin and vasopressin, and somewhere in our neurology a switch gets flipped: we make the emotional decision, quite apart from the objective situation, that the Other Person's well-being is now essential to your own. Every aspect of their well-being.
The gratification we get from the experience can be completely one-sided. I've seen cases when unrequited love, instead of turning sour, was enobled by sacrifice and higher purpose. I'm not saying that those people went on to be happy, but they did feel the satisfaction of seeing the Other Person thrive and prosper which, to them, was reward enough.
But usually Love - Eros - the love between (for about 75-80% of the population) a man and a woman for the implied purpose of pairbonding and reproduction is mutual, at some point, in some form or fashion. It may be unequal, it may be toxic, it may be abusive, but there is a reciprocal element there. She loves me, I love her. Or "My happiness is predicated on her's, and vice-versa". That's Love. And when that Love is Eros, then the implied responsibility for that Love takes us into some very intimate areas, places where the other forms of love - Agape, Caritas, Philios - cannot touch.
Eros implies a pairbond, a mutual exchange of compassion, fulfillment and caregiving at the most intimate of levels, an exchange that benefits both parties. The benefits may not always be equal in strength or capacity, but it is the reciprocity that is the key element in true Eros. Following your wife around, kissing her ass and begging for sex Blue Pill style is not true Eros, because it has lost the reciprocal element. Similarly, demanding sex from your wife regardless of her feelings in the matter might be pure Red Pill, for some people, but it is not true Eros.
There is balance in Eros. Equilibrium. Rarely is their Equality, simply because relationships are dynamic things and the notion of "equality" is highly contextual and idealistic. Balance and Equilibrium are pragmatic concerns: when your wife is sick, you tend to her, you don't order her to clean the house. When you lose your job, she should tend to you, not berate you for your failure. True Eros implies not just the willingness to put another person's well-being as conditional to your own, but the willingness to adapt and modify your personal behavior to improve the nature of the equilibrium.
True Eros means you don't kidney-punch in an argument. True Eros means you don't call each other mean names. True Eros means you recognize and acknowledge the vulnerabilities of your mate, and while you are not obliged to "fix" them, you are obliged not to damage them further or put them in a position where others may do so. True Eros means you are not just each other's intimate lover, but also their guardian, defender, and protector. True Eros means that you hold each other to a high standard of accountability, but don't dwell on failures except as they serve as learning experiences. True Eros means withholding summary judgement, considering your partner's perspective thoughtfully before acting, and being willing to sacrifice on their behalf.
That last part usually makes people squirm. Thanks to 2000 years of Christianity (no offense), the idea of 'sacrifice' has been kicked around so much and in so many arcane directions that we often forget what it means, at its root: to give something meaningful up to the Sacred. It doesn't have to be your life, it can be a goat, a cow, a car, a belief, a cherished heirloom, a perspective, a prejudice, an ignorance, a purpose, a plan, a vacation, a dream. Because of the Big Sacrifice implicit in the Passion, too often Christians (and our Christian-influenced secular culture) misunderstands the nature and utility of sacrifice, seeing it only in its most stark and mortal terms. They often miss its pragmatic nature.
Yet if we consider our pairbonds sacred, see our marriages as holy rites implicit with sacred responsibilities, if we accept that we are the priests and priestesses serving the higher purpose of establishing Eros - the basis of the Family - in our sanctified unions, then we alone are responsible for its success or failure . . . and far too often the abortive marriages we see in our society are due to the unwillingness of one or both parties' willingness to sacrifice for the benefit of the greater entity.
Western consumer "me" culture has taught us to ask "what's in it for me?", and then reduce the answers down to the absolute most objective elements, making a relationship a cost-benefit analysis, first and foremost. Women shop for husbands like shoes, these days, trying on one after another and then changing their mind in a fit of hypergamous indecision. Men shop for wives like cars, finding the shiniest, prettiest model they can afford and then being all-to-willing to swap it out for a newer model if he can afford it.
Neither approach leads to true Eros, and those who seek "love" through a numbers game or based on superficial issues are almost always doomed to disappointment. True Eros isn't just passion -- we can just about bottle and sell passion these days. Yet true Eros is in scant supply. True Eros isn't about "variety", it's about interest. True Eros doesn't come and go; it's hard to start, it's difficult to encourage, it's fiendishly tricky to maintain, and it takes skill and talent to sustain over the years.
True Eros implies trust, and that's a hard thing for a battle-scarred Red Pill veteran of Combat Mating to generate, when every member of the opposite sex is viewed with automatic suspicion. True Eros implies compassion, and that's hard for a Red Pill man or woman to indulge in without being critical - for we are compassionate when the Other Person is damaged or weak or unfortunate. The Red Pill often reveals to us just why they got that way, and it becomes all-too-easy to dismiss their pains and anxieties as "their own fault", which is the antithesis of compassion.
True Eros implies Respect, and the Blue Pill is far too ready to lend itself to a condescending, disrespectful, or obsequious pattern of behavior. When we are too idealistic about how things should be, we hold out unrealistic expectations for our partner, which leads inevitably to disappointment which leads - too often - to disrespect. True Eros implies Devotion, and the Blue Pill seeks to bury both the intensity and the commitment intrinsic to that impulse under the weight of "independence", as if Eros could exist when either party is more devoted to their own happiness and well-being than that of their mate.
Trust. Compassion. Respect. Devotion. These are the things that contribute to the Love that is true Eros: the real True Love, leading to the real Happily Ever After. Those are the ONLY things that can get you there. If you don't have all four, then you don't have true Eros.
But to get there, as a priest or priestess devoted to the sacred nature of their union, you must sacrifice your mistrust, your vulnerability, your disdain, and your selfishness. That may seem contra to the Red Pill philosophy to some, but I argue that the Red Pill insists we see things as they are . . . and the objective fact is that there are plenty of people who achieve true Eros, even in our damaged and evolving society.
The Red Pill Fact is that it isn't impossible to trust, respect, love and devote yourself to a person and not be betrayed. While we see plenty of examples of total disasters, when it comes to marriage and relationships, if we look objectively we can also see quite a few examples of folks who, through talent, trial and error, or luck, got it right.
Love, true Eros, isn't impossible under the Red Pill. Indeed, it is the ultimate fulfillment of the Red Pill, if you have found and vetted the Other Person to the point where you trust them, feel for them, respect them, and can comfortably devote yourself to their well-being. That doesn't mean harboring illusions about their personality, mental and emotional state, or other issues, it means acknowledging the problems, being dedicated to the solutions, and being willing to weather a tempest or two while you come to that equilibrium.
Athol says we need both the Red Pill and the Blue Pill, the ALPHA mode and the BETA mode to be in a fulfilling Red Pill marriage, and I cannot disagree. Vox adds, cogently,
"I don't recommend choosing illusion over reality, but it is also important to understand that the potential for doing evil is not the same as actually committing it. And experiencing temptation is not action. Knowing that a woman does not belong on a pedestal is not synonymous with believing that she dwells in a sewer."
I will go one further: you cannot discard the possibility of true Eros, of Love fulfilled, even of passionate and exciting Romance, and hope to find happiness with the Red Pill. Contentedness, perhaps, but not happiness.
There are no guarantees, and the cynics who abound in the Manosphere desperately want some. That's their fear talking: fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear of judgement. They deride the idea of love because it's naturally safer for them to do so - without expectation, there can be no disappointment Love, even the possibility of true Eros, is a very scary thing regardless of your gender, and often it seems just more sensible and reasonable to abandon the idea altogether -- hell, it's very tempting. Athol, Vox and I get that.
Seriously. It's implicit to a mature masculinity that good men are willing to take risks. Hell, taking risks is the male prerogative, it's our forte. Yet men who would put their life savings on Black and spin the wheel with abandon won't even approach women because of the "risk" of their hearts and wallets. Men who would gamble that they can draw just a little bit faster than the other guy don't want to risk their feelings being hurt by rejection. Guys who are willing to borrow extravagantly to fund an enterprise with little hope of a return aren't willing to consider that maybe -- just maybe -- all women aren't there to take them to the cleaners in a divorce. That all women aren't unfaithful.
You men who feel that love is beyond your reach due to your culture, your era, your society, or the vagaries of feminism . . . stop being such a pussy. Take a risk. That doesn't mean you have to be stupid about it, blinded by love and led around by your dick, but right now you sound like the whiny kid who always stands on the sideline during Dodge Ball because he's scared to get hurt. Yeah, love is scary. Get over it and take the hit like a man.
The Red Pill didn't promise you Love, it merely shows you the schematics. It didn't make you divorce-proof, it merely gave you some skills to deal with the possibility. Vox can't tell you how to find the perfect woman, and Athol can't tell you how to have the perfect marriage, all they can do is point you in the right direction. It's up to you to take the risks, make yourself vulnerable, and open yourself to the possibility of trusting a woman . . . because there are dudes out there who have made it work, and work well. It's not impossible. We're not fooling ourselves. Yeah, we're lucky . . . but we were also smart enough to know when to sacrifice what was needed for the greater glory of our union. We have taken upon ourselves to be the priests who do what needs to be done to keep the union sacred, and part of that is the risk of being hurt.
That's why a lot of us Old Married Guys (defined these days as anyone who has made it 10 years -- yeah, we know, we're depressed by that, too) who have taken the Red Pill and are running and enjoying Married Game shake our heads at the MGTOW who are so vocally anti-marriage. Because taking the calculated risk of finding and loving someone who will, likewise, trust, love, respect, and devote themselves to you IS a perfectly valid way for a Man to Go His Own Way.
The key is to keep an objective eye on everything, the bad and the good, and a subjective perspective in your heart that knows yourself well enough to recognize a good thing when you see it.
Look, if you really, truly aren't "the marrying type" or genuinely recognize that you truly aren't that interested in pairbond in general, if you are preoccupied by your profession or your vocational passion and you feel that splitting your focus would detract from that, if you just don't think that romance, love, and Eros are that important . . . dude, I hear you. Quit talking about how the rest of us are doomed idiots. Go your own way with our collective blessing secure in the knowledge that you have made a conscious, informed decision . . . for you.
But if you harbor secret longings for true love and romance and a woman who will stay steadfastly by your side, devoted, loving, capable and as respectful of your masculinity as you are of her femininity . . . then don't look at the Mating 2.0 world as a disaster. To do that is to admit defeat and concede that you have abdicated the quest for greatness, and have clung instead to the flotsam of mediocrity. If you look at the women of the world and recoil in fear and horror instead of preparing yourself for the challenge of finding a superior mate -- and in the process make yourself a superior mate -- then you've already lost. You're spiritually soiling yourself in front of ancestors who tamed the wilderness, crossed the oceans, built mighty empires and defeated insurmountable foes . . . because you can't handle the idea of losing something you don't even have yet.
Now go out there, learn some Game, inform yourself, hone your skills, take a fucking risk . . . and quit being such a pussy about love. This isn't rocket science. This isn't a marathon. This isn't a fiendishly clever international plot to turn you into a mindless ATM machine . . . believe me, feminists just aren't that bright about that sort of thing. Yes, the weather conditions could be better, but a man doesn't shirk from cloudy skies when sunshine might be over the horizon.
Love is a human universal -- not just sex, but true Eros. It occurs in every human culture, and is the basis for some of our most powerful myths and legends. Many, if not most of your ancestors knew of love, even when they were terrible at it. This is something that men have mastered for thousands of years . . . and your whining and despair about how awful it is right now insults your ancestors and undermines your own self-respect.
That's not how a mature, masculine man reacts to danger. He educates himself, understands the risks and the rewards, he prepares, he trains . . . and he at least makes the best attempt he can.
No Guts, No Glory: Either get in the game or quit yelling to the rest of us from the sidelines that we'll get hurt . We know the risks, we know the dangers, but we know the rewards possible, too. Assuming that no men are capable of managing a successful relationship just because you can't - when it's pretty clear that quite a few of us are - doesn't make you more wise, intelligent, or Red Pill-astute. It just makes you look like a pussy who's just scared of getting hurt by the ball. So get over it.
You're embarrassing us.