Dalrock tells a story that I hope is imaginary:
The other day a woman mentioned her frustration with smartphones to my wife. The woman’s complaint was that her husband would play or read on his smartphone while she browses through stores. My wife asked why that was bad, and the woman explained:
Because now he isn’t miserable.
I hope the story is made up, but let’s assume it isn’t: why would any man go shopping with a girlfriend or wife? When I’m with women, the only shopping that includes both of us together involves groceries, sex toys, or, rarely, lingerie. If women want to shop for anything else they can do so on their own time, because I don’t contribute anything, and I don’t like wasting time. I don’t stop at malls and don’t go to any generic clothing stores.
This really strikes me as an epidemic of guys who are unable to say “no” and mean it. Guys who can say “no” have entirely different lives than guys who can’t. Being able to say “no” is linked to an implicit willingness and ability to walk away, if you must. It’s not an ultimatum but it is a different condition than the one most guys seem to inhabit.
I’m not a tyrant (women don’t like tyrants, and the ones who do aren’t the best ones), but I have boundaries, and I enforce them, kindly for the most part, and without rancor, but they are there and they exist. Women who want to go shopping, should go with their girlfriends, not me. I’d prefer a book, or to work out, over shopping. Consumerism and materialism may be baked into the current culture, but just because they aren’t doesn’t mean we can’t say no. Learning to fix something is better than learning to buy something. The character in the book THE AVERAGE AMERICAN MALE goes shopping with his girlfriends and lets his relationships go stale.
One of many reasons not to get married: being married inhibits your ability to say “no” and mean it. Marriage doesn’t remove that ability, and arguably married guys need to be able to say “no” even more than single ones, but it can inhibit it.
“Exit” is the only real tool modern guys have in relationships. Remove or make it more costly, and guys pay. A book I read recently got me thinking about how I should write a post on why exit is so important for modern guys, despite many modern guys being pussy whipped in unattractive ways that makes their wives’s desires for them shrivel.