Adam Piggott

Gentleman adventurer

How to make relationships work.

Didact has been reading pick-up artist Neil Strauss’s latest book and he has come up with a thought provoking piece on the trap that hard core PUAs often set for themselves.

The core lesson that I take away from Mr. Strauss’s journey through monogamy, sex addition therapy, reuniting with his girlfriend, breaking up with her, attempting to enter into a polyamourous arrangement, and going all the way back again to marriage and monogamy, is that he spent a very great deal of time and effort trying, and failing, to deal with profound and terrible insecurity.

I think that this is spot on. Learning game and developing a deep understanding of women and how to deal with them is a fundamental part of any man’s journey into making a man of himself. But the world of PUAs is as narcissistic and shallow as any program featuring a Kardashian. It’s one thing to go out and pick up girls and learn from and enjoy the experience. It’s another thing to make it your entire reason for existing.

But as Didact pointed out PUAs are the sort of men who are deeply insecure, and for this reason they are classic over-compensators. Picking up women becomes less about attaining a goal and more about distracting themselves from the hollowness that resides within them. Neil Strauss is simply a high profile example of this in action. The very idea of him writing a book on relationships is ludicrous. You may as well go and ask a blind man to explain the color blue.

The problem with pickup artistry is that it is great at teaching men how to approach and seduce women- but offers next to no clues whatsoever about how to have relationships with them.

In any serious relationship, an individual’s personal insecurities and issues will eventually bubble to the surface, no matter how much work is put into hiding them. That is why I recommend the 10 week rule to all men who are thinking of getting serious with a lady. After 10 weeks cohabiting with a woman you will know what you are getting into. If in that time there has occurred no drama or outbursts of any kind then you may cautiously proceed. (10 weeks usually allows for a minimum of 2 menstrual cycles).

But the 10 week rule is also for your own behavior. Because if you are harboring insecurities and issues then those will also rise unbidden to the surface. It might not take only 10 weeks but it will happen eventually and you need to be on the lookout for it. Because it is a clear sign that you are not yet ready for this sort of commitment and you need more time to make a man of yourself on your own.

There is so much talk in the manosphere about the awfulness of women in general and particularly in regards to marriage. But what isn’t commented on is the general awfulness of men as well in this regard. Too many men enter marriage completely unprepared. Even if they do have game, that’s generally all they have. And in general it isn’t enough.

A real man has gained health, wealth, experience, wisdom, and stoicism through often severe and repeated beatings at the hands of a very harsh and uncaring world. A real man uses those repeated failures to re-centre, rebuild, and reinvent himself, so that he can become whatever he needs to be in order to succeed- but the fundamental core of who and what he is, the sense of purpose and morality that drives him, the masculine examples that he looked up to as a child and who shaped him into a man, never leave him.

You don’t do this after you enter marriage. You do it before you even entertain the idea of marriage. And if you haven’t done it then one could well argue that you have entered a marriage under false pretenses. This is what your twenties and early thirties are for. To set yourself up for future success by building a rock solid foundation of who you are as a man. Entertaining the idea of marriage before you achieve this is a very bad idea indeed.

But many men do make this mistake and when the marriage goes to hell they fall into the trap of blaming their awful wife for their problems. This is a very dangerous trap to fall into because it is far too easy to convince yourself that she was the problem, not your own behavior and choices. What happens is the inevitable second ride on the merry-go-round of matrimonial disaster. Let’s not even contemplate the additional nightmare of having kids in this situation and the degree to which they are being fucked up by your abdication of your manly responsibilities.

I’ve written about this before: It’s a two way street and you need to get your own house in order.

So what is the manosphere’s general words of wisdom for young men wishing to settle down?

That advice consists of: find a young woman in her early- to mid-twenties in her own patriarchal culture, marry her, and stay Alpha.

And that’s it. Seriously. That’s all there is to it.

It isn’t bad advice, perhaps. But everything that I have seen of monogamous marriage- and I have been around monogamous marriages that have lasted sixty years or more- tells me that such relationships are bloody hard work.

There are three types of marriage:

  1. You spend your time reacting to her. This means that the marriage is based on her frame and her viewpoint. All you can do is to react to it. The vast majority of men are in this situation. They spend their lives asking permission from their wives for the privilege of existing. Their wives despise them. The majority of these marriages end in divorce.
  2. She spends her time reacting to you. This is better because this is the natural equilibrium for men and women. But it still requires you to manipulate the situation. You can never truly relax or let your guard down in this sort of marriage as your wife will be on the lookout for any signs of weakness in her provider. It is hard work.
  3. You spend your time reacting to each other. The zero drama marriage. Two adults who have sorted out their own issues beforehand and whose main priority is to support and not tear down their other half. There is a complete lack of emotional manipulation in this marriage. The spouses do not play games. There is no point scoring. Problems are dealt with as they arise.

The third marriage is the very opposite of hard work. These marriages exist. If it sounds like something that you would like then you must understand that there is a lot of work involved – but not during the marriage; before the marriage. Work that is needed on yourself, on making a man of yourself.

Achieving this gives you the gift of clarity of mind. A lack of desperation and a calm and quiet confidence will enable you to more easily assess different situations and different women. Thus when you eventually enter into marriage she will be helpless in your strong hands. But she will bring her own gifts to the table and thus you will be sometimes helpless in her soft hands.

A marriage that is based upon strength, selflessness and goodness cannot help but to succeed. So ask yourself exactly what you presently bring to the table. Read my 28 traits of the modern man and evaluate where you stand. If all you bring is an ability to pick up chicks then your marriage will be a disaster of epic proportions, as Mr Strauss discovered.



Friday hawt chicks & links – The woe is me edition.


The Australian property bubble – you don’t save money by spending it.


  1. Nicely put!

    and stay Alpha.

    This guy makes the same mistake a lot of the PUA commenters do: 100% alpha males are usually jerks who make bad long-term partners. Most men have some alpha and some beta characteristics, and it is maintaining that balance – knowing when to turn on the alpha and dial it down a notch – that is important to a relationship. It probably comes as a surprise to a lot of these guys that you don’t need to be applying “game” 24/7 to a woman you’ve been in a happy relationship with for a decade.

  2. David Moore

    The PUA’s have always left me cold. Just a group of men desperately trying to mimic ‘alpha’s’ and avoiding addressing their own issues all in the pursuit of a body count.

    I think it’s better to think as Alpha and Beta as different tool kits, both have their uses and you need to understand when to use each. Developing both toolkits provides for the best long term outcomes.

    The personal development that underpins what I guess can loosely call the red pill movement has vastly more value than any PUA one-liners. The fact this also tends to lead to better outcomes with the opposite sex is simply a nice bonus.

  3. Adam

    Excellent post. I have always found strong, alpha WASP men to be quite gentle with women. Their masculinity seems to calm us. And the alpha/beta mix makes sense too.

    I know the manosphere is not for women although I peek from time to time. I must admit that I did sense an undercurrent of disrespect towards women at times but I assumed that was because I was being a lame, sensitive woman who shouldn’t be there anyway. I guess I was getting this feeling from the players; the ones yet to make men of themselves.

  4. didact117

    Thanks for the props and the linkage, mate. After finishing the book, it became clear that Neil’s problem was exactly as you described: he had not put in the hard work of fixing his own problems and improving himself as a man in the specific ways that would make him successful in long-term relationships. Once he destroyed his own barriers and he and his girlfriend began adapting to each other, instead of just forcing her to adapt to him, he was able to make his relationship work.

    As I have been finding out over the last several years, becoming a better man is neither easy nor simple, but it is worth all of the hard work and effort required. Neil and a lot of other former PUAs appear to be discovering the same thing.

Comments are closed.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén

%d bloggers like this: