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.
- “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.
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.
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, conceivably most, 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. It also seems that most guys comply with female demands and just 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 you hear sometimes online), I think most guys eventually want kids. Typically this seems to happen around age 35 – 40. A guy who has been in the game for 5 – 10 years often tires of it… while f**king hot chicks never gets old, at least for me, it can get repetitive and unsatisfying, for lack of a better term. Many guys come to yearn for something more substantial in their lives than slagging randoms until the point 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 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.
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, though. 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 in my view is long overdue.
I wonder if more couples would 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.
Overall, I just don’t think humans are good at long-term monogamy. 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.
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. Well, maybe if you have the money to hire a full-time nanny or something like that, but apart from corner/edge cases it’s not 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.
I’m interested in co-parenting because it seems obvious to me that a) traditional marriage doesn’t work but all that b) having kids is important and meaningful. How do you 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 is also 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.
That matches my intuitive sense and what I have been trying to convey. There is some trade off 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 just a fact. 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 to this. The exceptions make great stories.
It’s really difficult to predict how women respond to being a parent. They seem to have all kinds of responses, many of them 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 also 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 make sense, too. 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. While that’s true, it’s also overstated, especially for guys looking for a longer-term chick. For a guy looking purely for hookups, it’s pretty much all about the hotness. For a guy evaluating a longer-term deal, though, then her own psychology, earning power, etc. become much more important in the evaluation. In the modern world, a chick without a job is sending a terrible signal about herself.
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 too. So women ideally learn how to cook, at least, and ideally learn other useful skills too. It seems that most women underestimate how much that can make them stand apart.
In some ways this is a lame essay, because I don’t have great answers to the problems of childbearing and long-term relationships. This is the Internet, so I know I am supposed to be the God-like guru who KNOWS EVERYTHING. I am not, though, 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.
So, like I said at the beginning, I don’t have a final answer and am suspicious of those who claim to. I think that consensual co-parenting is a smart route, but most chicks are not going to go for it both because of cultural conditioning around marriage and because the marriage contract gives them an option on the guy’s financial resources. Chicks are also 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.