One of the points I have made on this blog before is the following:
~Women live in a perpetual state of contradiction~
It isn’t a unique claim, other bloggers have made similar statements before. But it is still an important point to make, because men do not grasp this at first and need to in order to truly understand women.
In today’s post I want to explore one dimension of this crucial aspect of female behavior: that Mate “Idealism” versus Mate “Pragmatism.” You see, women have two opposing natures which are always fighting against each other when it comes to selecting a mate. I don’t think I am going to cover any new ground here, but if anything I hope this post will serve as a bit of a recap.
The first of these is what I will call “Idealism.” This is expressed in the female desire for the best mate possible. Sometimes this is called Hypergamy, but that isn’t really an accurate descriptor of the behavior involved. Rather, what women experience is a sort of “Ruthless Idealism” which screams for the best possible man possible, compromises be damned. They will ignore the good or even the great in a mad desire for the perfect.
On the other end of the spectrum we have what I will call “Pragmatism.” This can be summed up by the expression “any port in a storm.” Otherwise stated, women can experience a “Ruthless Pragmatism” which will find that any acceptable man (and that can be very generous indeed) will do and try and lock him down as swiftly as possible.
These two… forces… are naturally opposed to one another. And as a general rule a woman is guided by either one or the other at any given time. However, there is usually still some “play” or flexibility. After all, the other force is still there, even if suppressed. Also, I suppose it is possible that a woman might fall somewhere in the middle for some reason or another, but I believe this to be a temporary state. Given any appreciable period of time she will revert to one of them.
My personal belief is that while genetics likely plays some role in where a woman falls on this spectrum, the primary guide is the environment. The environment that a woman lives in will shape her perceptions and beliefs, and possibly the deep seated neurological functions which control her mating behavior. Some environments will naturally favor Ruthless Idealism, and other environments will favor Ruthless pragmatism. My educated guess is that a forgiving environment with plentiful resources and a great deal of safety will encourage a woman to favor the Ruthless Idealism force. On the other hand, an environment which is unstable, or has limited resources, or is dangerous will likely cause her to favor Ruthless Pragmatism.
Now, because of changes both in herself and in the environment, a woman will not be stuck in one direction forever. It is possible for her to favor one most of her life, and then to move to the other and stay there. Or she could shift back and forth several or even many times. It all depends on the particular woman, and the environment she finds herself.
This can be very problematic if one supports lifetime monogamy, as it means a woman’s perception on what men are “acceptable” mates or not can shift over time. This means that she might marry a man while she finds him acceptable, and then later when she shifts he is no longer acceptable- meaning of course she will want to dump him.
A common trope in the ‘sphere is the former carousel rider who gets close to the Wall, develops Baby Rabies and then tries to lock down a nice, pliable Beta. In that example, we have a woman who was riding the Idealism train for years, only for the environment (featured in her fading looks and fertility and possible social cues) telling her she needs to settle, and fast. She then switches over to a Pragmatism mindset, during which she tries to lock a “good man” down. And she succeeds, only for her to divorce him a number of years later. My speculation is that she has switched back to an Idealism mindset, perhaps guided by the fact that she has a few kids now and so can afford to be more reckless (after all, her genetic future is now relatively secure). Also, her financial status and security are likely much better than they were before marriage.
In the past, the general layout of society was to create an environment which fostered the Pragmatism force within women. A good example was ancient Israel, which was no favorable towards unmarried women in its economics or laws. Given that kind of environment, it isn’t shocking that the writer of the Book of Sirach might note that for a woman, any man will do. After all, the alternative to having a man is to be a social nobody with basically no rights or power. That kind of environment would naturally encourage a Ruthless Pragmatism.
In the present age, however, the environment has changed dramatically. Women have financial and political and social power on a mass scale they have never experienced before. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that they are guided by Ruthless Idealism. The risks to them are relatively low, and the potential gain of locking down a top notch male, or at least bearing children by him, are great. One might go so far as to say that this is the default setting for women these days, and only certain factors will push them towards Ruthless Pragmatism- and that only for a limited time.
I will try and wrap this post up by noting that men must understand this feature of women if they are actively trying to find a wife. Marrying a woman who is in the Ruthless Pragmatism phase is dangerous. After all, that pragmatism is bound in desperation, and desperate people do stupid things. Not to mention, that her “attraction” to you is bound up in a perceived pragmatic need. If she no longer feels that need, than any prior feelings towards you are likely to disappear. Unless you have managed to meet the expectations of her Idealism, she will reject you as a possible mate. This means, at best, a miserable marriage, and at worst adultery and/or divorce. So my advice is simple: men need to avoid women driven by that force.
Of course, that leads to the question of how one determines whether a woman is driven by Idealism or Pragmatism. But that is a subject for another post.