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KevinD

Keeping Romance Simple

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Have you never had a woman not call you back, suddenly change plans or stop responding? No distancing behaviours once you're starting to get close? No picking fights or jealousy plots? No creating challenges for you?

I'm sorry? Delaney's ability to make claims without providing evidence for them is held up throughout this thread as some sort of gold standard... but any rejection of those same claims now requires evidence and argument? It figures! :)

But to answer your question? Of course I've known some women who've acted in those sorts of ways. And others who have not. I've chosen to spend my time with the latter, and frankly, I think that's worked out.

Good - I'm glad you are using your brain! That's fine to reject it. There are still many things unknown about psychology - it is not at the level of other subjects like physics or math.

If you're glad that I'm using my brain, why not join me and use your own?

And to clarify, I'm not simply "rejecting" Delaney's claims in some obscure and isolated way for myself. I'm saying that his claims are false. Untrue. Contrary to reality. Snake oil. Not to put too fine a point on it, bullshit.

But I think you owe an apology to Kevin and others in this thread of whom you've irresponsibly accused of mysticism... this is an honest discussion about the nature of men and women. No one here has asked anyone to take something on faith.

Oh please. Why can't I opt to take the method advocated in this thread of making claims without feeling it necessary to defend them. After all, the mysticism underlying the arguments in this thread is "obvious" in the way Delaney's claims about gender supposedly are.

Remember, as Nicky so sagely observed:

Just because someone doesn't respond to a specific criticism, doesn't mean he can't and that the critic is therefor right. Could be that he just doesn't want to respond, because the criticism sucks too much to be worth it.

But if you're sincerely interested in knowing? PM me and we can discuss why I call these arguments mystical in nature.

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I'm sorry? Delaney's ability to make claims without providing evidence for them is held up throughout this thread as some sort of gold standard... but any rejection of those same claims now requires evidence and argument? It figures!

The evidence is from being alive and interacting with men and women everyday. If you disagree with these observations, why not bring up your own which do not fit with the pattern detailed in the OP?

But to answer your question? Of course I've known some women who've acted in those sorts of ways. And others who have not. I've chosen to spend my time with the latter, and frankly, I think that's worked out.

So you've chosen women who don't challenge you? Personally, I have never met any woman who does not find it exciting to challenge a man she is interested in. By the way, challenge does not always mean make unneccesary drama... it can mean asking a man difficult questions that make him uncomfortable, then measuring his reactions and how he deals with the discomfort. It's a process of getting to know someone by reading between the lines. The drama can act like litmus test. For example, when I openly disagree with him, how does he react? Does he get angry? Hurl insults? Appease me? Debate? or does he have a reasoned discussion with me? What kind of man is he?

And to clarify, I'm not simply "rejecting" Delaney's claims in some obscure and isolated way for myself. I'm saying that his claims are false. Untrue. Contrary to reality. Snake oil. Not to put too fine a point on it, bullshit.

That's fine, but can you explain how it is bullshit? I can understand that it may not apply to every woman in the world, but I think it rings true for 99% of the heterosexual women I know. Women learn about men by interacting with not just words, but through action and measuring a mans REaction. Some of the most effective actions are the ones which cause drama, tension, complexity, or confusion.. because those are a challenges to a man and his ability to deal with her. Again, those challenges do not neccessarily mean making irrational accusations, stating falsehoods, or behaving in an unjustified hostile manner.

But if you're sincerely interested in knowing? PM me and we can discuss why I call these arguments mystical in nature.

Why not just discuss it here? I think everyone is curious to know why you are so hostile to this viewpoint.

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Nah, forget it. DonAthos, I find you too rude to bother arguing with.

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It is only beyond argument when they dogmatically deny psychological differences between men and women, specifically the differences in how they come to experience sexual attraction/feelings of romance. I know this BECAUSE IT IS DIFFERENT!!! Just look at the way men and women dress differently, what the focus is on, how they accentuate certain features… this is across all cultures.

Those aren't such great examples. Yes, definitely, many cultures have focused on gender features. What of it? With regards to accentuating certain features, sure! There are physical differences, and it would be folly for anyone who cares about style or fashion to ignore any differences. In terms of psychology, this is nothing. "Differences" haven't always been a common viewpoint. Some people, in medieval time periods, thought that women were simply inferior to men. Not that they were more emotional even, just that they were simply inferior. Only after the Enlightenment did people really get talking about differences. That's when people started to say: "Women are more emotional, best fit for being a housewife. Men are more rational, best fit for public and scientific life". I do not think anyone here is claiming that, I'm only pointing out how the idea of psychological differences came about. Likely, there are some psychological differences, just as there are psychological differences between me and every poster in here. But which psychological differences actually contribute to perspectives or emotions in romance? And of any psychological differences, which come about because of how you were raised by your family?

Perhaps another way to look at my objections... I would not even want to pursue the type of woman mentioned in the OP. I do not care to put up with a game-like back and forth. Am I SOL, because I'm looking for someone that doesn't exist? Or is there different advice Kevin would give me?

Edited by Eiuol

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Let's go back to the main points brought up by Delaney in post #1:

Women run tests on a man to determine whether or not he is a henpecked husband in training...

All of a woman's tests involve the effort to persuade a man, in one way or another, to step off of the Simplicity Square — to accept confusion, complication, complexity and weirdness as if these were normal.

At some point in a romantic relationship, you can be certain that a woman will:

  • Raise a bizarre accusation, with the purpose of seeing if she can get you to defend yourself against it.

  • Attempt to incite an argument, to find out whether you can be suckered into fighting with her.

  • Try to change plans initiated and created by you, often at the last minute, effectively assuming control and placing herself into the dominant position in the relationship.

A woman's task in these moments is to try to make things complicated — to confound and agitate you, with the goal being to provoke you into reacting to her out of fear. Your job is to stand solidly on the Simplicity Square, politely declining all invitations to engage in unusual behavior, and calmly refuse to become embroiled in interpersonal conflict with her.

When you stand your ground in this manner, you maintain your dignity, and retain your personal power. This causes an extraordinary thing to happen inside of a woman: she experiences an erotic charge relative to you — the inevitable emotional reaction of her efforts to create drama, colliding with your backbone.

So he's claiming that:

1) Women purposely change plans at the last minute so that they can become the dominant partner in the relationship. (wtf? since when does changing or canceling plans have anything to do with being 'dominant'?)

2) Women purposely argue and 'attempt to incite arguments' with their partners to test them. (wtf? arguing and accusing men for.. what exactly? to see if they're dating a strong man?)

3) Women are erotically attracted to 'strong men' who don't give in to these totally ridiculous tests and 'maintain their personal power.' (wtf? what does personal power have to do with anything? if this strong man had any brain at all, he'd be asking himself 'why am i dating such a psycho?')

4) Women do all of these batshit crazy things to see if their man is a 'henpecked husband in training.' (wtf? so women do all these crazy things to see if their man can deal with all their drama without going completely insane.. and if they can handle it, their man is well-equipped to be a good husband?)

Sorry, but NONE OF THIS MAKES ANY SENSE.

Edited by mdegges
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The evidence is from being alive and interacting with men and women everyday. If you disagree with these observations, why not bring up your own which do not fit with the pattern detailed in the OP?

If my evidence is similarly "from being alive and interacting with men and women everyday," then why not hold me to the same demands for evidence as the original claimant? Why push for double standards? Why is evidence even necessary for a refutation when the original claims have nothing substantial backing them in the first place?

"That which is asserted without evidence..." -- yeah?

So you've chosen women who don't challenge you? Personally, I have never met any woman who does not find it exciting to challenge a man she is interested in. By the way, challenge does not always mean make unneccesary drama... it can mean asking a man difficult questions that make him uncomfortable, then measuring his reactions and how he deals with the discomfort. It's a process of getting to know someone by reading between the lines. The drama can act like litmus test. For example, when I openly disagree with him, how does he react? Does he get angry? Hurl insults? Appease me? Debate? or does he have a reasoned discussion with me? What kind of man is he?

I've chosen women who do not act in the manner described by Delaney, yes. Also who do not act in the manner described by Alfa, to whom that quote was addressed. That's the requisite context for my remarks.

Your "methodology," in taking out "challenge" and responding to that, as though it stands alone and means all that "challenge" might mean, is intellectually bankrupt. Why such dishonesty?

But if you're actually wondering for any legitimate purpose and not merely trying to sidetrack the discussion with veiled ad hominem, my wife "challenges" me in all sorts of wonderful ways.

That's fine, but can you explain how it is bullshit? I can understand that it may not apply to every woman in the world, but I think it rings true for 99% of the heterosexual women I know.

I won't argue with you if you want to say that 99% of the heterosexual women you know are as Delaney describes. I'm sorry for you, that such is the company you keep, but that's your business.

Why not just discuss it here? I think everyone is curious to know why you are so hostile to this viewpoint.

I am "hostile" (by which I presume you mean "unwilling to let slide without refutation" or insisting on calling a spade a spade, and Delaney's snake oil for what it is) to all falsehood and all dishonesty.

Further discussion as to the particular nature of Delaney's untruths (i.e. is it "mysticism"?) is interesting, but not so interesting to me that I want to proceed on the matter with someone who displays so little intelligence and so much dishonesty. Some folks here have claimed to have the "logic and evidence" necessary to support Delaney's false claims; I'd rather this thread were used for that purpose.

Though it doesn't honestly seem as though that "logic and evidence" is forthcoming...

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"If you disagree with these observations, why not bring up your own which do not fit with the pattern detailed in the OP?"

He has. So have other people in this thread.

"I can understand that it may not apply to every woman in the world, . . ."

I haven't seen the thread creator acknowledge this though, not without saying that if they don't that they can't be good.

Also, any kind of challenges to one's partners aren't what's disputed, it's 1) that the aim of the challenges is to cause emotional strife and 2) doing so as a test of one's partners' dominance or leadership or something else to do with power distribution between the involved parties 3) disregarding these challenges is the desired response 4) passing these tests is a turn on, failing to pass them makes one less attractive 5) this is supposed to be a secretive effort. Challenges of skill I think are a whole 'nother ball of wax with a different goal and desired result entirely. Challenges of skill I would say are much more common in my observation and often are not just done by one party. They're also done in a much more upfront manner.

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Your "methodology," in taking out "challenge" and responding to that, as though it stands alone and means all that "challenge" might mean, is intellectually bankrupt. Why such dishonesty?

This is an unfair statement to make towards Choo. Words like dishonesty and intellectually bankrupt are not judgments that can be made in this context. Perhaps there are flaws of reasoning that you notice, particularly relating to evidence. I agree with those flaws. But I would not go as far as to suggest intellectual bankruptcy. You need more evidence. I do not care to discuss this point further, but I wanted to at least address this.

If you still want to keep up with this thread, just as some counter-statements to Kevin's OP, in what ways does your experience with your wife contradict what Kevin says? Challenge has been mentioned, so, in what ways does she challenge you in ways that are not like Kevin describes?

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I was doing this, not intentionally, not with a plan, not knowing why, but subconsciously. I wouldn't be able to identify it explicitly like you did. Very stupid behaviour looking back. I think I learned those irrational ideas from the romantic sub culture.

I am not sure about the dominant male theory, though. Mutual agreement for mutual benefit should be the principle?

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I was doing this, not intentionally, not with a plan, not knowing why, but subconsciously. I wouldn't be able to identify it explicitly like you did. Very stupid behaviour looking back. I think I learned those irrational ideas from the romantic sub culture.

I am not sure about the dominant male theory, though. Mutual agreement for mutual benefit should be the principle?

I don't think Kevin is suggesting a "dominant" male. Would you consider the party making the reservations and calling the waiter over during dinner "dominant"? Or would you consider it playing a "masculine" role?

An imperfect analogy: let's say a boss and his assistant go out to a working dinner with some clients: the person running the show, more often than not, will actually be the assistant, not the boss. I know that I'd prefer it that way, if I was the boss and had a competent assistant. Clearly, that does not make the assistant dominant (or submissive, for that matter - the boss might be a mid level manager, and the assistant a student at Harvard and the son of the CEO, just getting his feet wet in the business). No, there's no dominant/submissive relationship: the two are simply performing their roles in the limited context of a professional relationship.

Similarly, a romantic relationship is a limited context: it doesn't even extend to the entire relationship between the two people, it just extends to the romantic aspects of a complex relationship. Just as the boss/assistant could the very next day end up going to a movie together acting in completely different roles (acting the way anyone acts with their friends, not even acknowledging that in a professional setting one's the boss), so could the man and the woman end up making a financial decision together, or raising their kids together, with both weighing in equally or the woman leading the process if she is better qualified to do so (she's a financial analyst or teacher, husband is an actor or baseball player).

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I was doing this, not intentionally, not with a plan, not knowing why, but subconsciously. I wouldn't be able to identify it explicitly like you did. Very stupid behaviour looking back. I think I learned those irrational ideas from the romantic sub culture.

Are you referring to "testing" a man in the manner I describe in my article?

I don't agree that testing is at all stupid or irrational. I think it's important that women test men. I believe it to be an essential aspect of romance.

I am not sure about the dominant male theory, though. Mutual agreement for mutual benefit should be the principle?

I'm all in favor of mutual agreement for mutual benefit. Do you see this as something different from what I have written about?

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I don't agree that testing is at all stupid or irrational. I think it's important that women test men. I believe it to be an essential aspect of romance.

Indeed, I have nothing. Less than nothing, in fact. :)

Whatever your belief, it doesn't matter, because you explicitly said you have nothing in regard to evidence.

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I don't think Kevin is suggesting a "dominant" male. Would you consider the party making the reservations and calling the waiter over during dinner "dominant"? Or would you consider it playing a "masculine" role?

For the record, I do advocate for the idea of a "dominant" man within the context of romance. The type of dominance I speak of is entirely benevolent, positive, supportive and kind.

I'm not in favor of role playing per se. I think that when you approach the issue in terms of "the male role" versus "the female role," you get yourself into trouble.

Some people say: "Act like a man." I say: Act as a man — recognize the fact of your maleness, understand what this means and entails, and move in a manner consistent with your nature.

A woman wants a man who is a man, who is aware of this fact, is comfortable with it and enjoys it. That's my idea of what it means to be masculine, in a nutshell.

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An imperfect analogy: [...]

Your analogy would only work if someone should be *in charge* of a romantic relationship, like a boss is *in charge* of their assistant. Do you believe that to be true?

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This type of man embodies respectful, benevolent, romantic dominance, which every (good) heterosexual woman deeply craves.

Erm . . . that's an excessive generalization. I know heterosexual women who don't have this particular type of craving. It may be a *common* value but it's not *universal*.

As for the whole "do women test men or not" thing . . . of course we do. Not necessarily in a manipulative way, it's just a matter of course. If you're in new a relationship with someone, you're going to have to react to tons of new situations, and if you react badly, yes, the woman will negatively evaluate you for it. If one of your friends makes an obscene comment in her hearing and she totally goes off on him, you won't negatively evaluate HER for THAT? Of course you will. Does it therefore mean you're being manipulative if you introduce your new girlfriend to your crude buddies? No, you're being polite, offering her an opportunity to see more of your life, etc.

It'd be manipulation if you introduced her to your crude buddies in the hope that they'd be rude to her so you could then present yourself as extra-reasonable in contrast. Doing this sort of thing will only lead to conflicts down the road, because she won't understand why a "reasonable" guy like you still enjoys hanging out with those crude jerks. And you, conversely, will think she's being a harpy when she doesn't want your asshole buddies in the house. Would have been better to find a woman who finds your buddies amusing, if they're so important to you.

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Erm . . . that's an excessive generalization. I know heterosexual women who don't have this particular type of craving. It may be a *common* value but it's not *universal*.

If it's merely "common," then I would say it's extremely, exceedingly common, if not quite universal.

If a woman does not want what I describe, that's OK — but a man would have no means of reaching her romantically. Such a woman might desire a kind of a friendship with a man, but it's impossible to drive this type of woman to the heights of romantic ecstasy.

Does it therefore mean you're being manipulative if you introduce your new girlfriend to your crude buddies? No, you're being polite, offering her an opportunity to see more of your life, etc.

Men: Keep your girlfriend far, far away from your crude buddies. More exactly, keep your crude buddies far away from her. Better yet, don't have crude buddies. Associate your personal brand exclusively with world-class individuals. Remember that everything your "friends" do and say reflects on you!

Edited by Kevin Delaney

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"If a woman does not want what I describe, that's OK — but a man would have no means of reaching her romantically. Such a woman might desire a kind of a friendship with a man, but it's impossible to drive this type of woman to the heights of romantic ecstasy."

So, do you believe a woman who does not want this is A) Not capable of romantic and sexual attraction to men, B ) In some way broken, she can't reach full romantic potential, C) Not "good" (you mentioned this one in an earlier post)? I contest any and all of these. If you had something else in mind, beats me what, you'll have to specifiy.

"I'm all in favor of mutual agreement for mutual benefit. Do you see this as something different from what I have written about?"

I do. Sounds like you've proposed and encouraged a lot of deception, sabotage, torment, unfounded assumptions, and disregard for the concerns and well-being of the other party. If anything is mutual here, it's mutual detriment.

Again though, you've admitted to having no evidence anyway.

As for what JMS said about reacting in new situations and such, I don't disagree with any of that, I just don't think it counts as "testing" because the female there did not set up and administer any test, it was just making judgments as you go along experiencing and learning like you do with anything else all the time.

Edited by bluecherry

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For the record, I do advocate for the idea of a "dominant" man within the context of romance. The type of dominance I speak of is entirely benevolent, positive, supportive and kind.

Can you explain what you mean by dominance here? Both partners can be positive, supportive, and kind.. but where exactly does the dominant part come in? In that Leykis clip I posted earlier, he agreed that being dominant had to do with being a man and acting like one. He basically said that women will want you if you don't ask them how they feel about anything (ie: don't ask for a kiss, take it. don't ask what she wants for dinner, just order something for her.)

I'd also like to know whether you think men are naturally more dominant than women in romantic relationships, or if it's a learned behavior.

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Can you explain what you mean by dominance here? Both partners can be positive, supportive, and kind.. but where exactly does the dominant part come in?

I've partly expressed my idea of masculine dominance in this thread, as well as the present one.

I also have a blog, in which I'm developing the idea in articles, and via live Webinars & podcasts.

Masculine dominance is a difficult idea to convey briefly, in part because it counts on a certain context of awareness in a person for the concept to make sense.

It also lends itself to gross (and apparently, hysterical) misinterpretation, so it can take a while to make clear what is not meant by it.

In basic essence, my idea of dominance has to do with a man accepting primary responsibility for the health, well-being and success of his relationship with a woman.

It means a man who accepts himself proudly as the initiator and prime mover of romance. If this sacred aspect of man-woman interaction is to be, it is up to him.

Dominance, as I describe it, is largely an emotional metaphor. It's has roots in the actual, but it's predominantly an issue of style; it is not meant to be taken totally literally.

Ultimately, masculine dominance pertains to the way a woman experiences a man — the presence he has in her life, the impact he has on her emotions, and the status he occupies in her mind.

In that Leykis clip I posted earlier, he agreed that being dominant had to do with being a man and acting like one.

I responded to the Leykis clip here. Leykis advises men to be a jerk and an "a-hole" with women. That is something quite different from my idea of a man.

I'd also like to know whether you think men are naturally more dominant than women in romantic relationships, or if it's a learned behavior.

Metaphysically, man is the primary actor in romance. However, man has no inherent understanding of women or of romance per se, so he has no choice but to learn it.

The average modern man, tragically, has no awareness of romantic dominance whatsoever. Most "romantic" relationships today are, at best, glorified friendships; there is no masculine leadership, and thus very little passion.

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Are you referring to "testing" a man in the manner I describe in my article?

I don't agree that testing is at all stupid or irrational. I think it's important that women test men. I believe it to be an essential aspect of romance.

I was referreing to the bad behaviours you described, such as changing plans at the last minute, acting inconsistent or making random accusations.

I have learned now that it's never as urgent to act as it seems. The more emotional I feel the more likely there's an irrational subconscious idea I'm about to act on and the more I need to calm down before acting. I need to ask myself "what do I gain in doing this" at all times and have a rational reply for it.

How is testing good in a relationship? It seems better that each person acts as honestly and benevolently towards one another.

I'm all in favor of mutual agreement for mutual benefit. Do you see this as something different from what I have written about?

I guess I misunderstood your dominant male premise.

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I recall a couple of good examples of testing from Atlas Shrugged. There are lots more, but these are fairly straightforward and seemingly simple. Both are between Dagny and John Galt in Atlantis. I don't remember them verbatim, but well enough to get the point across.

One is John taking Dagny to his house.

"Will I be safe?"

"Yes"

"I don't even know you"

"Yes you do. You named a railroad after me, remember?"

Imagine Dagny in that siutation. She's falling for him, big time, while she's also physically weak because of her injuries. Dagny is losing control. While certainly exciting, it's also a scary situation. She tries to break the spell and attempts a rational(or perhaps rationalistic?) response: "I don't even know you!".

Galt could have answered by trying to soothe her: "Oh, it's allright - you'll get to know me eventually". That would immediately have "killed the mood", bursting the bubble so to speak. So there's more to this guy? Perhaps even unpleasant surprises? Better put your defenses up, distance yourself, and atleast take it slow(or run away).

He could also have lost his confidence, getting defensive and trying to prove himself to her. That would have been a warning sign. Is there something wrong with the guy? What's he trying to hide?

That's actually a very common test: "I don't give my number to strangers", "who are you anyway?", "why are you talking to me?", "I don't even know you!". There are lots of variations to that theme. There are similar defenses when you lead things towards sex. In such cases she may not only be concerned about giving out personal information, talking to you or meeting up for a date. She may also worry about her reputation, that you'll still respect her and perhaps that you'll want more than sex from her.

Another example is when they're discussing where Dagny should stay.

"I want you to stay at my house. If that's what you wish"

"I'm you prisoner, remember? As long as i'm your captive I don't have any wishes. You decide"

"You just expressed a wish"

Dagny realized that had he responded in any other way it would have been over. Galt just proved that he was able to retain his strength and was able to call her BS. What if he told her he was prepared to hold her by force, or sacrificing what he really wanted by backing off? He chose neither.

My best friend and his girl often play that game: "oh no, you decide" and "if that's what you wish" etc. He's never lost. They'll be getting married this spring. I'm sure you can find lots of your own examples to relate to.

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Regarding dominance there's a metaphor I think works well for me.

I'm the ruler of my own kingdom, and I build that kingdom after my own vision. If I like her I can invite her into my realm and lead her into my world. She may choose to stay or leave. And if things work out really well, we can join our lands together and she can be my queen.

That metaphor pertains to more than just dominance. There's nothing like romance to test the integrity of your kingdom. Alot of young men learn that the hard way when they fall hopelessly in love with a woman.

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Can you explain what you mean by dominance here? Both partners can be positive, supportive, and kind.. but where exactly does the dominant part come in? In that Leykis clip I posted earlier, he agreed that being dominant had to do with being a man and acting like one. He basically said that women will want you if you don't ask them how they feel about anything (ie: don't ask for a kiss, take it. don't ask what she wants for dinner, just order something for her.)

I'd also like to know whether you think men are naturally more dominant than women in romantic relationships, or if it's a learned behavior.

I think Kevin makes a good point about responsibility. By asking a girl if you can kiss her you usually put that choice upon her(I say usually because you could make if playful and teasing, with a confident "may I?" when you go for it), making it her responsibility. If YOU want to kiss her, better make that YOUR call. She'll let you know either way if she wants it or not.

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If a woman does not want what I describe, that's OK — but a man would have no means of reaching her romantically. Such a woman might desire a kind of a friendship with a man, but it's impossible to drive this type of woman to the heights of romantic ecstasy.

I hope you respond about this eventually, as questioned in post #67. I hope you see how this part I quoted would be easily read as offensive.

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Eiuol et al: I don't understand how my statement could be construed as offensive, and I don't care.

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