Courtship Never Ends?

I have had a small explosion of email resulting from the Girl’s Night Out and Sometimes It All Gets To Me posts. I’m playing catch up with everyone, and yes… every single email was a cautionary tale about GNO. This comment stood out as needing an answer first though.
Is this really how it goes?

I’m reading the book now, and so far its great. But I have to ask: does this really go on for the entire marraige? Honestly part of why I enjoy being married is NOT having to continue playing these kind of attraction games. I’m disheartened to find that if I want my relationship to last, I have to keep the act up for the length of the relationship. I am good with most of the info, but what I’m seeing here is leading me to believe either I play the game entirely, or risk losing my relationship.

What a load of crap I was fed by growing up. That once I found and married my “one” I could finally settle down and get comfortable. It looks like that isn’t the case at all, and frankly I hate playing games.

But this thread clearly shows that the truth is if you don’t, you’ll lose it. Very depressing…

The answer to that question is yes and no.
Yes in that you can never stop being a high value man and creating attraction, or you risk being cheated on or divorced. These are the rules of the Marriage 2.0 culture we have now. No fault divorce law means marriage is until someone is tired of being married to the other.

No in that the way you play the game can change markedly from having to survive in the dating arena of the Sexual Marketplace. You no longer have to focus on displaying bursts of short term attraction to try and pull immediate sexual access to women. You can focus on actually building long term increasing high value.

If I were single and out hunting for sex, I wouldn’t be writing this blog for example. I’d be in the gym 1.5 hours a day, layering on the hottest clothes, collecting phone numbers, sprucing up my apartment, buying a flashy car and generally running game on every woman I met that I had a passing fancy about getting her legs in the air.
To be honest, that’s a lot of work and yet non-productive.
What I actually do is a shit ton of writing and email and focus on creating stuff. It’s a major display of high value to Jennifer, especially since the book got published and I nearly doubled my income as a result. Even my parents-in-law really like it now it’s making money. They can’t bring themselves to read the book in case they read about their daughter’s sex life, but they definitely do the woo-hoo thing and tell people about it.
Even Jennifer’s grandmother wants to read the book now, but I’m being absolutely clear that if her heart stops because she reads about me cumming on Jennifer’s breasts or something, I’m not going to be held responsible.
It’s extremely relaxing to be married and have sex on tap so speak. It’s extremely relaxing to have a good wife and not worry about her running around me. If anything my struggle is that it’s all too easy for me sometimes. Hence the writing project to maintain the balance.
So the focus does change once you are married. But you do still have to step up and keep your crap together and ticking over. Or her vagina just switches off on you. She can’t help it… attraction isn’t a choice.
And as I make clear in the book, the Marriage 2.0 consequences for failure to maintain attraction if you are a husband can be severe. I don’t make the rules, I just explain how to survive within the framework the culture has created. Males of every species in the world have to engage in some form of competition to get mating opportunities. So put up a fight.
I never said the Red Pill was going to taste of chocolate. All I offer is the truth.


  1. I think it would do any future partner of mine a disservice to think that way. I love them: loving them means taking care of them and 'playing with them'. Loving them means enjoying our interactions, and enjoying being attractive to them.

  2. knightblaster says:

    What Marriage 2.0 means is that it is like a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship with government recognition. It isn't really husband and wife, because those terms come from Marriage 1.0, and suggest a durability ("for better or worse") that no longer applies in Marriage 2.0. Marriage 2.0 is a long-term relationship between boyfriend and girlfriend that has state recognition, nothing more, really.

  3. modernguy says:

    So if attraction is not a choice and women can do what they "feel", why stick around when her tits start to sag and cellulite creeps across her ass?

  4. Miles Anderson says:

    "I never said the Red Pill was going to taste of chocolate. All I offer is the truth."

    I think I'm a little weird in this respect but learning is always the better tasting desert in the long run. Don't most people want to replace confusion and strange results with knowledge and better predictability (funny that word comes with the price of needing to be a little unpredictable).

    As far as staying with her as you get old modernguy. If you "keep up" with each other and marry one a bit younger then you then the family you've built plus your parity will make it of negative value to jump ship.

  5. Athol Kay says:

    Modernguy – Because she's my kink.

  6. rycamor says:

    I don't know why guys would be distraught at the idea that courtship never ends. What better way to enjoy life than to realize that the chase is always on? Even if (you think) there isn't a serious risk of losing your relationship, why settle into a holding pattern and bore each other to death? I have known older couples that kept that spark and they are a positive joy to be around.

    And really, this stuff is nothing new. Read "The Scarlet Pimpernel" or Song of Solomon for some serious married man game.

  7. knightblaster says:

    I don't know why guys would be distraught at the idea that courtship never ends. What better way to enjoy life than to realize that the chase is always on?

    I think quite a few of us find that exhausting, men and women alike. Then again, quite a few of us should probably never be married, men and women alike.

  8. rycamor says:

    I think quite a few of us find that exhausting, men and women alike. Then again, quite a few of us should probably never be married, men and women alike.

    There is definitely a level of comfort in marriage that you can't achieve in quick fling relationships–don't get me wrong. But couples who start taking each other for granted are just cheating themselves and each other out of a greater measure of happiness.

  9. Viliam Búr says:

    I don't know why guys would be distraught at the idea that courtship never ends.

    The problem is not with courtship per se, but with its intensity required to maintain the relationship.

    It is OK to maintain high value by doing useful things — keeping yourself physically and mentally healthy, being reasonably social, doing your work and making money. And by being a loving partner, of course.

    It is not OK if in order to keep your love you must behave like an eternal college student. Spending days at gym and nights at clubs… otherwise she will replace you with someone who does, and therefore is more "fun" to be with.

    Intensive courtship is great for building attraction, but not so great for living a productive life. If you are 24/7 focused on the Game, then what about your job or hobbies? The life must be balanced. The scary part is that even if you have a balanced life (with some Game, but not only Game), in Marriage 2.0 it is not enough, because it is sometimes boring, and the empowered girl deserves fun — any day, all day long — and if you don't provide it, then someone else will, and you will pay for it.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Why would the idea of having to work at a marriage be so daunting? You have to keep fit and brush your teeth for your entire life. Why would the idea of being an attractive mate be any different?

    Besides, it's not as though we have a choice. These truths are the result of millions of years of evolution. It's best to learn them, and adapt. After all, life is hard, but it's a lot harder if you're stupid.

  11. Codeazure says:

    I don't think of it as exhausting. Athol's book is a set of guidelines on ways to act that increase the odds of your marriage surviving and being fun.

    It's not like you have to expend energy to be fake forever. More like learning a skill, like a martial art, that becomes internalised.

    You have to do something in your marriage. You might as well choose from the set of things that have a positive outcome.

  12. Stingray says:

    It's not exhausting. Making your significant other happy and excited is in itself fun and should be exciting for you. Is it work sometimes? Absolutely. But it's work your SO should be doing for you, too. That's what marriage is all about. And, good grief, it's not like you are doing it 24/7. Everyone needs a break. My husband and I both walk around the house in our baggy old clothes from time to time. You have to do that. It is simply understood. The more you know about your spouse, the more things you will let go of when there are DLV's. It is absolutely going to happen, but you understand the reasons they are happening and you forget and move on. Most of the time there is nothing to them and you are both going to have those displays.

    Marriage is extremely comforting. It can also be extremely exciting. You are both going to have to work at it and when the other needs some down time, go with the flow, as you are going to need that time too.

  13. I like this post and thread. What rycamor, Codeazure, Stingray said.

    I'm older than (most of) you, and some things change; others really don't. First marriage of 14 years and 1 kid ended in tears and custody fight, marriage two is heading into yr. 13 with 2 kids.

    What I'm learning from MMSL: I have to figure out my desires and needs, develop a plan and implement it. This is the man's responsibility, not his wife's.

    Workable plans are grounded in reality. For homo sapiens sapiens, this starts with biology and psychology. In my case, this translates to abandoning (cherished) feminist/equality ideas, and adopting (somewhat-loathed) tactics of Game.

    Not everything Athol suggests, works. The wife has her quirks and history, me too. As I said, we're older, e.g. health issues & menopause are part of the package.

    Athol's concepts have been eye-opening. Two biggest for me: First, that withholding affection and sex is as severe a violation of the vows as straying. The wife segued from attraction to withholding, and I accepted it as a natural if unwelcome development. Not any more.

    Second: rank, arousal/comfort, and the different effects on the female of alpha and beta male behaviors. As a Greater Beta, the Nice Guy trap comes easily to me. "If I give her what she says she wants, she'll want sex with me more, and enjoy it more." Err… nope. Now I do the beta things for me — and I no longer resent her for being sexually unresponsive to them. And seeing her Fitness Tests for what they are, I say "No" at times. DHV! For arousal, I gotta practice alpha.

    Still in the early stages, lots of changes (we both feel it, the kids too). A lot of work (even though the issues are different — these GNO worries, LOL for me!). Worth it.

    (Meh, this comment doesn't really fit here, but I'll post it anyway…)

  14. Anonymous says:

    Athol – love the site and the book, but I'm a little confused here.

    As a husband, wouldn't putting your foot down about a GNO be a serious DLV? I mean, in essence you are admitting to your wife that you are worried your Game isn't as good as some random guy in the bar. That seems to not only be bad for your apparent confidence, but will get points removed from your total for not trusting her.

    Don't get me wrong, I agree 100% that this type of GNO is bad, but how do you stop it without coming off as a controlling ass with low confidence and trust issues?

  15. Anonymous says:

    Athol – I am the anon poster of the quoted text. Thanks much for answering me directly! I feel like I should give some background based on the comments here. I just finished the book, and it is great. I am 40, divorced, and in a relationship with a terrific woman. I found your site (and the book) looking for reasons my marriage failed, and I can clearly see things I have done wrong. Here is my issue:

    I was raised by a single mother. She worked very hard to give me a good life and did! However I had no stable male role model growing up, and as a result I am VERY beta. I never understood why women responded to men that treated them badly, but I now know how and why it works. However I have a mental issue with displaying alpha traits to my SO. I grew up feeling that macho displays were obnoxious, and not how a man treats a lady. In my younger days, I honestly felt contempt for guys that used Game to conquer women. So now I'm faced with actually behaving in ways I've grown to avoid as bad behavior.

    I'm not a total loss. I am naturally funny and cocky, which is probably why I've had any success at all with women to this point. But I have to spend all day at work managing projects and people, and really want to go home and take off that hat. Your book tells me that I can't, or I risk losing my relationship. I am not a natural "captain", but learned how to lead at work out of necessity. So for me, being the "captain" at home IS exhausting. I feel like I will have to treat my personal life similar to my professional life, and that is why I find this all so depressing.

    I am used to change at work, and handle it with calm confidence. (most of the time). But at work I have less to lose. Sure it would suck to miss a deadline, but in the long run it changes very little. However change in my personal life scares me a lot. I like stability. I like routine. You said in the book that you are naturally beta and had to learn the alpha traits. Did you face this kind of fear? Has anyone here made this change successfully even though the thought of alpha game seemed wrong to them?

    Again, thanks for all you do. Even though I am personally concerned with making these changes, logically I see that they are correct. I'd like to add that the "load of crap" I referred to in my original post wasn't all learned from my mother. Today we always here about how women and men are equal, and woman want to be treated as such. But that goes against just about everything in your book. THAT is the load of crap!

  16. It's always worth noting that some of this depends on the quality of the person you marry. Example: two high school friends of mine got married and en route to catch their plane for the honeymoon they were in a bad wreck and he ended up a parapalegic. That was over 10 years ago, and his very hot wife is still monogamous (which, in their case, means celibate) and her entire life revolves around seeing to his needs.

    Why would she stick with this unattractive low-alue spouse when it would be so easy to walk away? Because that's the kind of person she was raised to be.

    That stuff matters, and one of my biggest complaints about seduction culture and its relation to "evolutionary psychology" is that it often seems to completely discount the ability of human beings to rise above their lizard brains.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Eric – I feel exactly the same. I get the biological part in this, but we are highly evolved and intelligent beings. Shouldn't that get us past all this pre-historic BS?

  18. Stingray says:

    Anon 12:12,

    Not if it's the GNO where she is getting all dolled up and going drinking and dancing, no, it will not be a serious DLV. Who the hell is she getting all dolled up for? Her friends? Hell no. Now, I am not saying that she is looking to cheat. However, she IS looking for male attention. Women love when other men look at us. It is a wonderful feeling. Means, hey, I still got it. If she is getting dolled up she wants that attention and she just may get it. If she's drinking, then . . . not good. The flirting will get bad, even when she really may not mean for it to.

    If you call her on it and she listens, she respects you for it. If she gives you crap about it. It's a shit test and you should deal with it accordingly. Let her go off and pout for a bit. She'll get over it. You dealt handily with the situation. DHV.

  19. The Private Man says:

    "one of my biggest complaints about seduction culture and its relation to "evolutionary psychology" is that it often seems to completely discount the ability of human beings to rise above their lizard brains."

    We have voluntarily thrown off the socially-healthy shackles of restraint and now the social contract is evolving with the full knowledge that our lizard brains are making many more of our dating and relationship decisions than we have previously allowed.

    To ignore our evolutionary psychology in the context of contemporary dating and mating strategies is to follow the rules of Social Contract 1.0 while the rest of us are busy writing Social Contract 2.0.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Stingray – thanks for your insight. But your answer still doesn't answer the "you don't trust me" issue. If you show concern on a GNO, you ARE saying you don't trust her. Again, not saying it is wrong here, but how can you as a husband respond to that? There is very little room here to answer without coming across as an untrusting pig of a man.

    Or, is that exactly what the husband should be aiming for?

  21. Private Man,

    I agree it would be mistake to discount evolutionary psychology completely, regardless of one's ideas about the Social Contract. It's also a mistake to treat all American women as if they were taught to value the same things.

  22. Phil Mueller says:

    @Anon 2:12

    Point out that you are not in fact a controlling, domineering or overly jealous person (assuming this is true she will have to agree). Then calmly reiterate that you are putting your foot down on this issue. Sometimes you must simply exercise "captain's prerogative".

    (Personal note: as a natural Beta I find this sort of thing difficult too, but I definitely see the wisdom in it. Merely exercising your reasonable husbandly authority on occasion does not make you a jerk, even if you feel like it at the time. Losing her respect is very corrosive to the relationship.)

  23. Stingray says:


    Does she have COMPLETE control while drinking and dancing with other men? No flirting whatsoever? If this is the case then maybe you can trust her. Now let me ask you this. If she is all dolled up, do you trust the other PUA's around the bar to leave her be? I know my husband didn't. And while he knew I would never cheat, I was a bad flirt in my younger days. I knew I would never cheat, but I was terribly inappropriate non-the-less. Even if I was stupid enough to throw out the "Don't you trust me card" and there was 0% chance I would have cheated, he was still right to not fully trust me on some level.

    My advice is to treat it like a shit test. That is what it is, because, otherwise she would be going out to a quite restaurant with her friends where they can talk and not out drinking and dancing.

  24. Athol Kay says:

    It's a DHV to take action when a woman is testing you with disloyal behavior. You absolutely cannot let it slide. She either needs to end the disloyalty or be removed from the relationship.

    You're not controlling her, just offering her a choice.

    Depending on the level of expressed disloyalty, there may be a progression towards ending the relationship.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Athol – so treat it as a shit test. And, frame the event as disloyalty by stating that the act of going to a meat market in and of itself shows intent to at least draw attention from men. I like it, but I have to say most younger (20 something) women in my experience will not see it that way. And her friends will make you out to be a control freak.

    Stingray – hell no I don't trust PUA's. I don't trust any man if he thinks he may get some. Again, most 20 something women I know don't consider harmless flirting as cheating.

    I'm thinking perhaps older women are the way to go. They have thier shit together, and most are past playing games. The hard part there is finding one not emotionally damaged from years of hookups.

  26. Stingray says:


    What you (and she) needs to know is that what you consider harmless flirting and what she considers harmless flirting are two very different things.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Maybe one side issue to the DHV/DLV issue is 1 simple fact: you're a guy, we don't trust other guys with regard to our women. If you do, you're cruising to lose. Or, more crudely, "Bros only before other Hos, not mine".

    Also, on the "trust" issue, it's that you *shouldn't* trust someone's judgement after drinking, and she's specifically putting herself in a compromised position. This leads back to my first point: you can't trust other men to guard *your* relationship. If she's willing putting your relationship at risk for a little "fun with the girls", you need to be looking for the exit already, as it's coming regardless.

    This doesn't mean all of this is intentional. I think a lot of it isn't, it's just continuing habits. But the habits of trying to pick up the other sex have to be adjusted for a relationship to work. (You need to focus them on your partner, not others you aren't with) This is very logical when discussed in a reasonable manner, but if the boundary isn't set it never will be. Then, you'll just have a dead relationship at some point further in.

  28. Stingray says:


    You got it, in all three paragraphs. I also think that for many women it is absolutely not intentional. I know it was not for me. I was naive and did not realize how badly I was flirting. When I would go out dancing my husband was with me. I was always a terrible flirt and he knew it. When I crossed the line he told me to stop and that would be the end of it (for the night). It took a couple of nights for me to really get it though and then I had to make a very focused effort to stop. I was really just having fun, and didn't realize how the guys would see it. Some people here and at the other sites will tell you I knew exactly what I was doing. I didn't. All I knew was that I was having fun and felt good. Hubby put his foot down and I stopped.

    As women get older, for many I think it does get a lot better. Of course I still like it on the rare occasion I might get looked at (No more interest in dance clubs either. Too damn loud ;) ). However, these days I don't respond at all. I just look away and keep doing what I am doing. Don't want to go back to that place. The attention is like crack. And now, I do know better.

  29. Looking Glass says:

    Was 10:50 Anon.

    It takes a lot of self-reflection to realize when you're doing something wrong. Your Husband did well by both of you for enforcing the relationship's boundaries. Give him a random compliment for that. :) Many fail at that these days because enforcing boundaries is "judging" people.

    And… a lot of relationship problems could be solved by a simple statement: "What you used to pull your partner should be used only on your partner". That'd solve most of the really-stupid issues (and solve a good chunk of the guy's problems).

  30. Stingray says:

    Looking Glass,

    I've apologized and said thank you many times. I am a very lucky woman. Good luck to you.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Athol, this stuff is changing lives and giving the advice that our fathers were either too absent or ignorant to give their sons. . . .It's freaking life-changing

  32. Athol Kay says:

    You are welcome Anon 10:00.

    Tell everyone you know to buy a book :-)

  33. What some guys are forgetting is that if HE has to always put in the effort to be physically and emotionally attractive to her, then SHE has to also put in the effort to be physically and emotionally attractive to him.

    It works both ways. You can't expect to have a hot sexy loving wife if you sit on the couch ignoring her all day.

  34. It depends on the couple's preference.

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