An Unsettling Evaluation- Part 2

I want to thank my readers for their response in my post An Unsettling Evaluation. In my first post, I mentioned that I would create a post for my female readers, or those who knew women who might benefit. That is what this post is for. Here are the questions again, slightly tweaked:

  • As a woman, should you care if a man is settling for you, assuming that he has been chaste?
  • Does it even make a difference that he has been chaste?
  • How do you find out or realize this is happening?
  • What should you consider if you find yourself in this scenario?

I invite my readers to try and answer them to the best of their abilities. At the same time, I would like to keep the conversation focused on this particular topic.

One thing to note- I didn’t really clarify “Chaste” in my first post. Might be worth exploring a bit in this post and revisiting in that post. After all, virgin doesn’t necessarily mean chaste, which is as much of the heart as anything. This is especially topical when you have things like pornography, which can have a significant impact on a married couple’s sex life.

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32 Comments

Filed under Attraction, Blue Pill, Courtship, Marriage, Marriage Market Place, Men, Pair Bonding, Red Pill, Sex, Sin, Temptation, Uncategorized

32 responses to “An Unsettling Evaluation- Part 2

  1. I meant to comment on the first post but never got that done. However, my answers to the questions are the same for men or women, so here goes.

    As a woman, should you care if a man is settling for you, assuming that he has been chaste?

    As was mentioned in the last thread – there’s a big difference between *settling* and *compromising*. It’s never good to settle for someone that you don’t really want, because it’s not fair to them, any more than it is for you. And yes, you should absolutely care if you’re being settled for. Having said that, there’s nothing wrong with compromising on some traits that you want in order to get some traits that you want. Anyone who marries will have to do this, because every person in existence has flaws. Nobody is perfect.

    For example, you find someone that you love and really want to be with, but you have to learn to live with something that they’ve done, or you have to accept that they lack certain traits that you wish they have, etc. But you decide to *compromise* by accepting those less than ideal circumstances because you want them. That’s not a bad situation to be in, and actually could be flattering, because it means that someone wants you so much that they’re willing to deal with your imperfections in order to have you. But, if you don’t really love the person and are settling for what you think you can get, but you’re not truly looking forward to spending your life with the person, that’s horrible.

    Does it even make a difference that he has been chaste?

    Not really, because that doesn’t change the fact that he doesn’t actually want you. Chaste or not chaste, that would be a lifetime of senseless agony. No thanks.

    How do you find out or realize this is happening?

    Pay attention to how he behaves toward you. Does he seem detached from you, keeping his distance from you? Or does he flirt with you, play with you, give you his attention and affection, etc?

    What should you consider if you find yourself in this scenario?

    Can you stand to live the rest of your life being settled for? Or do you recognise that you will need to be loved by any man that marries you, and should therefore only marry one that indeed does love you?

  2. That’s not a bad situation to be in, and actually could be flattering, because it means that someone wants you so much that they’re willing to deal with your imperfections in order to have you.

    That should say that it could be flattering to be the one being compromised for in that situation, because it means that you’re wanted that much.

  3. Ame

    ” I didn’t really clarify “Chaste” in my first post. Might be worth exploring a bit in this post ”

    – – –

    i am very interested in men’s opinions of how they define ‘chaste.’ i would guess that the way men define a ‘chaste’ woman, and the way women define a ‘chaste’ woman, might differ – i would guess that women would be more liberal in their definition.

    also … i have honestly never thought of ‘chaste’ in terms of men, only women. interesting.

  4. MK

    Cassie, That’s not a bad situation to be in, and actually could be flattering, because it means that someone wants you so much that they’re willing to deal with your imperfections in order to have you. But, if you don’t really love the person and are settling for what you think you can get, but you’re not truly looking forward to spending your life with the person, that’s horrible.

    So now we have it:
    1) being “in love”defines if you are “settling” or not.
    2) “looking forward to spending your life with person” defines “not settling”.

    My comments:
    a) #1 is absolutely not what Christian “love” is about at all.
    b) Back in the day people generally married for practical reasons; they balanced life without marriage with staying single. AKA “settled”. Today, we generally marry with your “looking forward” viewpoint (except for the few men or women who are forced into it, say due to a child). Do you truly think marriages are happier today? I don’t.
    c) Your view of marriage (which has been around since Jane Austen) doesn’t look like it’s turning out very well. Marriage starts off with very high expectations and is emotionally initiated and sustained. Not a good plan, IMO, especially for children. And the data bears me out.
    d) Lifetime marriage (especially if you plan on it young) cannot be predicted by any emotional moment in time. The “long haul” is more like looking at a 20 year project and investing in it.
    e) I love my spouse…because she/he is mine. Same for children.
    f) The correct basis for marriage? aa) does you partner have virtue? bb) are they interested in a long term project cc) do they understand it ain’t all peaches and cream and life is hard? dd) are they open to life (but I guess that’s aa).

  5. @ Ame:

    “i am very interested in men’s opinions of how they define ‘chaste.’ i would guess that the way men define a ‘chaste’ woman, and the way women define a ‘chaste’ woman, might differ – i would guess that women would be more liberal in their definition.”

    Basically I would define it as sexual continence and an attitude toward sex that sex is reserved for a man she loves and respects, and that sex will bond her to that man.

    A woman who is a virgin is sexually continent. If she becomes promiscuous (or “concupiscent”), then she’s incontinent. But if she stops being promiscuous and stops having promiscuous sex, together with the requisite attitude about sex, then she can return to a state of continence.

    A woman who is a virgin might or might not be chaste. A promiscuous woman is not chaste, mostly in part because her conduct reflects an unchaste attitude toward sex. It reflects an attitude that sex is for fun, it’s to make her “feel good”, and that sex doesn’t really have any meaning beyond the friction involved in rubbing genitals together until one or both of them orgasm –until she decides she wants it to have “meaning”. But if she changes her attitude about sex, then most likely her actions will follow, and she can return to a state of chastity.

    Her return to continence and chastity does not mean no damage is there; and the return to continence and chastity does not undo the damage. It takes more — a lot more – -than just stopping, to even have any hope of even partially ameliorating the damage. And even if that “more” is done, some damage may be permanent.

  6. The traditional West is no more. Christendom as a geographical place and time, is no more. We live in an age where for better or worse, women, and most men for that matter, are choosing their marriage partners using emotional metrics.

    This goes for chaste, devout traditionalist men and women as well but among that remnant it is still entirely possible to marry wisely while having a desire to marry someone you can “look forward” to a decent life with. Heck, you can even marry using no wisdom or foresight, grow in understanding, then commit to a true and righteous execution of marriage going forward, which isn’t really all that uncommon.

    Chaste: Our 22-year-old daughter defines it as 1) not having had sex with any other women (and certainly not men!), 2) no porn habit, 3) refraining from activities that stop just short of the sex act and pressuring chaste women into the same.

    Truth be told, and I know many women would lambaste me for saying this, but from what I have witnessed, men are far less likely than women to settle in the first place but when they do it inevitably ends up one of two ways: 1) He is a constant problem in the fidelity department and eventually leaves when he finds someone who he feels is “worthy of him” and trips all his emotional buttons, or 2) He picked who he picked because he was able to see the diamond in the rough, could tell that he was being loved *for real*, and eventually loves his wife so much that the notion that he “settled” at all is soon a distant memory. The bride’s job along with her family is to figure that one out.

    Chaste women prefer a chaste man but it’s almost NEVER a deal breaker in the way that it might be for a small percentage of men.

  7. “As a woman, should you care if a man is settling for you, assuming that he has been chaste?”

    No, I would not care or hold it against him settling for me because by choosing me, he is already settling because of my age (33).

    “Does it even make a difference that he has been chaste?”

    Yes, if he was chaste, it can mean he has self control, or he can be asexual (like me), so we have similar values. If he was not chaste, I will not hold it against him, it’s not a deal breaker.

    “How do you find out or realize this is happening?”

    I usually learn if people settle or are chaste by what they say or by what other people say about them.

    “What should you consider if you find yourself in this scenario?”

    I would accept the settling because it is already given in my case. If he was unchaste in the past, I would consider if he repented or is striving to be chaste.

  8. @ Elspeth

    Chaste: Our 22-year-old daughter defines it as 1) not having had sex with any other women (and certainly not men!), 2) no porn habit, 3) refraining from activities that stop just short of the sex act and pressuring chaste women into the same.

    Seems pretty reasonable to me. You could reverse the sexes and it would also work well.

  9. @ Cassie

    When you speak of “love” what type do you mean? Eros? Philos? Agapos? Makes a big difference.

    When men in the last post were talking about women settling, I think the big thing they were worrying about was a lack of Eros.

    So when talking about men “settling” for a woman, I think we can mean more than a series of compromises. There are a few ideas that come to mind:
    1) He isn’t attracted to her and doesn’t think she has great wifely qualities , but sees her as his only option and so marries her.
    2) He is attracted to her, but doesn’t see any wifely qualities, yet marries her anyways because he doesn’t think he can do any better, and hey, at least she’s (sorta?) hot.
    3) He isn’t really attracted to her (or isn’t at all), but thinks she has good wifely qualities, and so marries her for that. [This one is apt to cheat]

    I’m sure there are more, but those seem most likely at the moment.

  10. @ Donal

    When you speak of “love” what type do you mean? Eros? Philos? Agapos? Makes a big difference.

    When men in the last post were talking about women settling, I think the big thing they were worrying about was a lack of Eros.

    I mean a combo of all three types. Most men might think that Eros is the most crucial kind of love to receive from a wife, but I think all three are equally crucial (maybe that’s a male/female difference). And if even one of them is missing, then it’s settling, in my opinion.

    So when talking about men “settling” for a woman, I think we can mean more than a series of compromises. There are a few ideas that come to mind:
    1) He isn’t attracted to her and doesn’t think she has great wifely qualities , but sees her as his only option and so marries her.
    2) He is attracted to her, but doesn’t see any wifely qualities, yet marries her anyways because he doesn’t think he can do any better, and hey, at least she’s (sorta?) hot.
    3) He isn’t really attracted to her (or isn’t at all), but thinks she has good wifely qualities, and so marries her for that. [This one is apt to cheat]

    I’m sure there are more, but those seem most likely at the moment.

    Those are all good examples of settling. I think there are more that could be added to that.

  11. @ MK

    So now we have it:
    1) being “in love”defines if you are “settling” or not.
    2) “looking forward to spending your life with person” defines “not settling”.

    1) No, that’s not what I said. See my comment to Donal where I said all three types of love are crucial. Not just Eros, which is what “being in love” in the sense that you seem to be talking about is really about. It’s important to be sure, but there’s more to it than that.

    2) Again, more to it than that. Though are you suggesting that people should marry someone that they are dreading the idea of being joined to for life? That’s a recipe for misery all around.

  12. Though are you suggesting that people should marry someone that they are dreading the idea of being joined to for life?

    Unfortunately many people are unable to appreciate the nuances and middle ground between “being fools in love” and “marriage is not *just* about being in love”.

  13. Novaseeker

    There has to be balance between realism and idealism as well here.

    We all live in a context. It’s true that we are called to struggle against that context when it causes us to make moral choices that are against what the Church teaches us to do, but its also the case that deliberately setting oneself up to be in constant conflict with the context, unless strictly necessary, can undermine the ability to resist other elements of the context effectively.

    We live in a context where romantic/hedonic marriage is the norm. This is a context that forms all of us, and forms the expectations of both ourselves as well as those around us. Of course, this is not the Christian model of marriage. However, it’s quite possible to have a marriage which is both Christian and hedonic and, to be frank, these are the ones that are generally most successful in the contemporary context. Not situations where the people entering the marriage feel entitled to leave if it fails to be romantically hedonic, but rather situations here the couple accepts the responsibilities and restrictions of Christian marriage while at the same time being very much freely and fully hedonically pleased by their spouse.

    By contrast, if you try to downplay that element of things (which is what we have sen often enough in much of the nonsense that has been peddled by churches of all stripes in the past 3-4 decades about these things), you end up with marriages that lack the romantic/hedonic element (or where it is weak) which, again, makes it harder for these marriages to survive in the current context, weighted as it is with the expectations of self and others regarding hedonic marriage, and this is the case regardless of the strength of one’s Christian convictions. The issue isn’t whether it is possible for a Christian marriage to exist in these conditions — it is. The question is whether we are making it harder on people for their marriages to survive by encouraging them to ignore the prevailing romantic/hedonic notions of marriage under the assumption that they can wish them away, and wish away their influence on what happens in their marriage as well.

    Hedonic/romantic marriage is new, and it isn’t the basis of Christian marriage. That much is clear. It’s quite different to say that one cannot have a Christian marriage which is also romantically hedonic, provided that one takes the Christian principles of marriage as fundamental, with the hedonic ones as “not requisite, yet still immensely helpful and pleasant” rather than being the sine-qua-non of marriage. In other words, there is a more subtle approach here that can also make for better Christian marriages, and more durable ones, while at the same time not allowing the concepts of hedonic marriage to become foundational in Christian marriages.

    This was a longish comment, but relevant I think because settling, in our age and context, typically involves foregoing one or another element which would make a marriage more hedonically satisfactory for one or both spouses.

  14. DJ

    Settling the difference between I want that one ,and I’m getting old better grab what I can get before the opportunity passes.
    Most people dislike desperation

  15. Settling the difference between I want that one ,and I’m getting old better grab what I can get before the opportunity passes.

    A much more simple way of saying what I was trying to say. Thanks DJ. 🙂

  16. MK

    Cassie, Though are you suggesting that people should marry someone that they are dreading the idea of being joined to for life?

    Not at all. It’s a balance. Everyone must “settle” to some degree. Because marriage is an act of faith. It’s never a sure thing. Everyone is a sinner.

    Americans are obsessed with (non-fertile) sex like no other people in history (at least the Canaanites were into children)! Look, there must be a dozen reasons to get married besides sex. 1) Division of labor. 2) Children. 3) Companionship. 4) Extended family. 5) Someone to take care of you when you are sick or old. 6) Someone to care for. 7) Someone to grow old with. 8) Someone to invest time into that doesn’t go away. But ALL of these reasons demand your spouse have virtue and be God and family focused.

    A woman’s virtue and beauty is literally plastered on her face and body – health, good diet, smile, good skin, smiles. Nearly every young woman in good shape (aka virtue) has beauty. And all lose a lot of natural beauty around 35. But they remain attractive in marriage if they stay in shape, are pleasant, and remain happy. And beauty is more than skin deep. I could have married a dozen different times by now, and been happy with them all. And it only takes one.

    But today? Everyone just gets dogs.

  17. “1) He isn’t attracted to her and doesn’t think she has great wifely qualities , but sees her as his only option and so marries her.
    2) He is attracted to her, but doesn’t see any wifely qualities, yet marries her anyways because he doesn’t think he can do any better, and hey, at least she’s (sorta?) hot.
    3) He isn’t really attracted to her (or isn’t at all), but thinks she has good wifely qualities, and so marries her for that. [This one is apt to cheat]”

    I don’t think 1 and 3 happen in the real world. At least, if they happen, they’re rare.

    Marriage for men means enormous sacrifice and commitment. Only the lowest value man, only the most gullible man, only the most naïve man, would marry a woman he really doesn’t want to have sex with. Only low value men squander their sacrifice, commitment and resources this way. Men don’t marry women they dont’ want to have sex with.

  18. Pingback: Christian marriage components | Christianity and masculinity

  19. MK

    E, Christendom…is no more. We live in an age where most are choosing their marriage partners using emotional metrics.

    Christendom (the timeless version) merely proclaims the truth of the human condition. Each generation accepts or denies the truth as they see fit. But they pay the price for their denial in their marriages in this world (or worse in the next). Myself, I prefer to embrace what is true, what is fully human, even if every person alive today denies it. And live not by lies.

    E, among that remnant it is still entirely possible to marry wisely while having a desire to marry someone you can “look forward” to a decent life with. Heck, you can even marry using no wisdom or foresight, grow in understanding, then commit to a true and righteous execution of marriage going forward, which isn’t really all that uncommon.

    Well said.

  20. As a woman, should you care if a man is settling for you, assuming that he has been chaste?
    -Yes, you should care.
    Does it even make a difference that he has been chaste?
    -For men, chastity isn’t a virtue in and of itself. It is his reason for chastity. There are men who are chaste not out of choice, those men should be avoided. But the men who make a conscious choice and effort to be chaste, that should be respected.
    How do you find out or realize this is happening?
    What should you consider if you find yourself in this scenario?
    -Easy, when a man is settling for a woman it is obvious. There is a lack of interest in the woman. If I found myself in the scenario, I would probably just turn the other way. I wouldn’t want to be with such a man who considers being with me settling.

  21. SirNemesis

    I disagree with you deti, I think Example #3 happens quite often among certain circles where men have been taught to not “be shallow” and to focus on solely on character instead of looks. Some of these guys actually live out this advice, with unfortunate results.

  22. SirNemesis:

    If we’re talking about the fundamental Christian set, fringe “Christian” groups, yes, I think it happens. But only somewhat more often than in the population at large, which is not much at all.

    Men don’t marry women they aren’t attracted to. Men don’t marry women they don’t want to have sex with. Now, sometimes those women BECOME women those men don’t want to have sex with, mostly because of weight gain.

  23. Now, sometimes those women BECOME women those men don’t want to have sex with, mostly because of weight gain.

    If the relationship remains good, weight gain doesn’t necessarily have that effect. It’s an unpleasant attitude and demeanor, a feeling that his wife is not on his side, a general downturn in the trajectory of the relationship which makes weight gain loom large in his mind and vision, pardon the pun.

    I have had the experience (and I know another wife who has as well) of my husband seeing pictures of me at my heaviest weights -usually within 18 months to 2 years after a birth of a baby- and stating with genuine surprise, ‘I don’t ever remember you being that big.”

    A strong bond is more pertinent than weight gain. When you’ve been married a while you find out that an emotional bond (ewwww, feelings!) is stronger than many external factors.

    That’s another reason why “settling” as Donal described as the #2 version of settling is a terrible idea. I always lost the weight (this is not any kind of self-absolution) and the fact that a woman CAN in fact lose weight with development of good habits is often ignored in these conversations.

    An ingrained terrible attitude however, is not as easily overcome.

  24. E:

    No, I was talking about physical attraction and sex. A man can still be physically attracted to his H/W proportionate wife and want sex with her even if she is a raging b!tch.

    What you’re talking about — her poor demeanor and attitude toward him and the marriage — doesn’t cause a decrease in sexual attraction from him to her. It causes him to become less invested in the marriage. It causes him confusion, frustration, anger, despair and depression. But it doesn’t cause him to not want sex with her.

  25. You did not read carefully. I too was referring to sex but trying to exercise propriety.

    If you read carefully you would see that I said nothing even remotely insinuating that a man could lose the physical desire to be with his physically attractive wife because of her attitude and demeanor. I didn’t mean to imply it either even though that you somehow got that from my comment. Let me be clearer:

    If a couple never loses their physical/emotional connection in the first place (I.e. there was no break in the action for reasons within their control) a few extra pounds does nothing to diminish a husband’s desire for his slightly overweight wife either.

  26. E:

    Agree with your last paragraph. If you’d said that the first time, I would have agreed with it then.

  27. Anonymous Reader

    fter all, virgin doesn’t necessarily mean chaste, which is as much of the heart as anything. This is especially topical when you have things like pornography, which can have a significant impact on a married couple’s sex life.

    Please define the term “pornography” in general, or in this context as you prefer. Discuss the impact if you wish, but in the context of your definition.

  28. @ Anon

    Assuming this is in good faith…

    I would say a pretty general description applies- material of a sexually explicit nature that goes beyond simple nudity to include either sexual acts or the suggestion of them.

    That is what I see it as, anyways. The problem comes with stuff that is less explicit- the line isn’t exactly clear. I tend to view it broadly, and I can understand why others might take a more narrow view of it.

  29. I disagree with you deti, I think Example #3 happens quite often among certain circles where men have been taught to not “be shallow” and to focus on solely on character instead of looks.

    Culture plays a role here. In cultures where the Madonna/Whore complex is more common, I think you will see more of these types of marriages. Also, they will be more common in cultures where mistresses are more socially acceptable.

  30. Pingback: Transitioning My Daughters to Women: Chaste, Part I of II – BlendingAme

  31. Anonymous Reader

    I would say a pretty general description applies- material of a sexually explicit nature that goes beyond simple nudity to include either sexual acts or the suggestion of them.

    Your definition appears to be solely in terms of the visual: images, whether still or moving. Is that correct?

    I’m not fishing. I have a point in mind. You may or may not like it, but i”m not just trolling for flames.

    That is what I see it as, anyways. The problem comes with stuff that is less explicit- the line isn’t exactly clear. I tend to view it broadly, and I can understand why others might take a more narrow view of it.

    It’s tempting to ask if Michaelangelo’s statue of David is pornographic or not. But I won’t. However it is interesting to watch the faces of women as they come around the corner in the museum and see the statue at the other end of the hall.

  32. @ Anon

    I think I know where you are going… emotional porn, aka, “romance novels?”

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