Everything Is Better Except I’m Not In Love Anymore

Reader:  Okay, I was a beta schlub. That seems to be so far in the past now. I am reading the post on GNO and the man trips and am thinking, if my wife really wants to mess up, I am fine with it now. I won’t put up with it, I will just move on to another woman if that happens. I am content with my wife. She has a lot of great traits. But so do lots of women. I would be giving up some good stuff and a little bad stuff for new good stuff and bad stuff. I am not about to burn my marriage down, but I look at other options as possible if she decides she wants something else.

Have I gone too far in my thinking now? Is this too much lack of oneitis? I am just so far removed from my divorce is always the last option mentality of two years ago.

Athol:  I think there’s always a mental dip in love feelings as you run the MAP. If you’ve had your illusions shattered and figured out you did a bunch of stuff wrong in your relationship, it’s always hard going to own up to it and fix it. Usually there’s a sense of hope and progress as you turn things around, but it’s just not the same blind joy in your relationship you had before. It’s definitely better than the bad stuff that was going to go down… it’s just not as giddy as when it all started and before you realized it was almost about to all get flushed down the toilet.

Oneitis and the Alpha Widow effect are damn near the exact same thing, just two different terms to spin it into the frame of the man better. It’s basically just a high dopamine, low serotonin mental state and looks damn near the same as OCD focused on a person. It’s called falling in love.

That being said, learning the whole Red Pill point of view where everything gets boiled down to chemical reactions and you can consciously start doing things to manipulate your feelings, and your partner’s feelings…

…well after a while it starts seeming like the entire concept of love is all bullshit. Not only that, your entire relationship history was just slot A, tab B and a bunch of chemicals. If it’s all just this giant game, love dies. It’s all fake. Cause, effect. That’s it.

The good news is that you manage to fix your relationship and change all the structural stuff in your life Everything turns out better. You get on great. Sex is up. Kids are behaving better. More respect at work.

It’s just….


Everything is meh.

In time though, especially once you start really mastering what you’re doing and understanding about Alpha Beta et al, and you have your structural stuff together… you’ll start to forget you need to game each other. You’ll just be doing what you need to and getting on with it.

Then you’ll read something about some other couple with some kind of freaked up problem and you’ll look across the living room and tell your partner about it. They’ll look back with that “WTF” face and come over and read it over your shoulder and groan at the cluelessness with you. Their hand will be on your shoulder as they read and for some reason, their cheek is so very kissable…

The truth.

The truth…

The truth is that anyone who tells you that Oneitis can finally be killed, is either a badly damaged individual with serious attachment issues, or someone still working their way through the process. Quite obviously the goal of learning Game is not to turn yourself into a Cluster-B personality type, but to discover and master a relationship skill set in which you can love in relative safety of not being taken advantage of. For most of us though, getting to the end of the process is something that can take several years. It takes a long time to unlearn everything we did wrong, stablize and then learn what we need to and have it become second nature.

The truth is that all those chemicals… they. feel. so. real. and. you. cannot. stop. them.

The truth is you can resist all you like, but attraction is not a choice. So you will feel love again. You can’t choose not to feel.

The truth is love will come back.


Though I do have one caveat about all that in relation to the woman you are with…

…she needs to be a First Officer worth a damn.


Video related / unrelated.


  1. Oh, I hadn’t seen that Ironman trailer. Shut up and take my money! Pepper FTW.

    This was well timed for me, thanks.

  2. Man, I hear you. Been married for 27 years and the feeling has gone. I have carried on for years quite well but I need to find where I need to go from here as she is totally unwilling to take on anything that resembles a change.
    I have done all the change and there still seems room for improvement if you know what I mean. In closing, my life needs to be better then this.

  3. “The truth is that all those chemicals… they. feel. so. real. and. you. cannot. stop. them.”

    Unfortunately that’s so true!!! Life would probably be 100x easier if they could just be switched off.

  4. Zelazny says:

    One of the better upswings of “attraction is not a choice”. I think it’s part of the red pill process to find it very bitter untill you learn to let go of the victim mentality and choose what you want and grow in there. Glad to see the positive parts of the message being preached too

  5. This is a great post.

  6. I completely agree with Athol on this. You can re-ignite love in your life after the Red Pill – hell, you can realize heights and depths of love (and it has both) you never imagined, post-Red Pill. When you get to the part Athol talks about, where you have incorporated so much of the Married Game skillset into your relationship that it is automatic and you’re looking around going “okay, I’m getting laid like Hefner, now what?”, the next step can be a renewed cultivation and appreciation of your marriage. You can engineer your way into falling back into love, if you approach it right.

    The key is novel experience, shared. As comfortable as your marital routine is, it’s routine. In order to burn some new and exciting pathways, it’s essential to indulge in novel experiences, from the utterly mundane (say, churning butter) to the fantastically exotic (say, “churning butter” . . . in the couples room at the Bunny Ranch). An active approach is best. As much fun as watching television or movies together can be, it’s also essentially passive. Going panning for gold together? Much more active. Seeing a Broadway show in New York? Much more active. Taking a Introduction to Mandarin course together so you can talk dirty to each other in Chinese? Much, much more active (h/t Firefly).

    Or be utterly daring. Crank up the kink. Indulge in that most intimate of connections . . . the creative collaboration. It doesn’t have to be good, it doesn’t have to be artful, but if you work together on a shared vision, help each other create something, and do so in a context that is personally meaningful you help re-ignite that sense of individual ego that’s essential to developing the mindset you need to spark “in love” again.

    Creativity – art in particular – is all about ego. Collaborative art is about vision, compromise, and communication. It doesn’t have to be good art – it’s the process that’s important.

    Crap. I wrote another blog post. Thanks, Athol, outstanding advise. Re-discovering the playful nymph inside your wife is one of the best things you get out of the Red Pill and MMSL. (The constant sex is pretty cool, too).

  7. Getting a shit load of ioi’s and very forward propositions dont help those feelings.

  8. Add this post to the solid gold hits collection. You know this particular theme, “What now?” seems to be going around a bit lately. I think it’s a good sign. I bet this can all correlate to classic stages of grief as a guy goes through the process.


    Good stuff as always. What I see missing from a lot of people I know in real life is they no longer play with each other anymore. (sexually or otherwise – The Lolz!) But really, I think a lot of guys would benefit if they just played together with their partner. I don’t think it matters much what it is as long as it’s not the same old thing like you said.

    Even if you are short on funds or time you can do something. Hell, go out in the back yard on a nice day and look for interesting rocks together. Or make up some shit about how you read that Indians used to live around where your neighborhood is and you’re going to look for artifacts. Sell it baby. Take her on a trip of the mind and have fun.

  9. @ffp20

    No it doesn’t help but this is where she needs to be pulling her relationship weight and being the best “her” that she can be, for you. That helps.

  10. You’ve outdone yourself with this one Athol, really liked it.

  11. Changed Man says:

    I’m really confused… 1st we’re told that we need to kill our one-itis, then when we do, that’s bad. Seriously, which is it?!? :-P

  12. Joe_Commenter says:

    LOL. You can have the one-itis. Just don’t be suck-up pussy about it. Make her earn your one-itis. If you do that, everyone wins.

  13. ZLX1 , your post about “playing together is spot on. Most of us get so damn busy dealing with crap everyday, dividing chores and challenges we don’t take much time for each other. In retrospect I can see where my X and I went wrong on this after a life threatening illness almost took one of our children. We spent so much time on attention to the kids, we had almost no “US” time that did not include dealing with them. I don’t think either of us thought this was going to be a problem for our marriage, that we could things back to normal eventually, but it dragged on too long.

  14. @Tinker

    Yeah the daily grind is well, a grind. Throw in some really stressful stuff, especially with the kids, and man it can just knock you in the dirt.

    I guess for some people it can draw them together, others it makes them drift apart. I’m of the opinion these days that since most of us are mere mortals, drifting apart is more likely so it’d probably be best to operate from that vantage point or assumption and be proactive to counter it.

    What you said brings to mind something that I think relates to Athol’s post, Ian’s comment and all of MMSL in general, that is that many of us who find ourselves here sorting through the wreckage of a marriage past or trying to resuscitate one currently on life support probably got into our relationships and in and in one way or another kind of went on autopilot and thought it would just take care of itself and “work out” in the long haul.

    After all, you love each other right? So why wouldn’t it just “work?” That’s the TV/Movie way it’s portrayed and I think unfortunately that influences both men and women far too much in terms of what expectations they have.

    Aside from picking the right partner to start with, as best as any person can at any given moment – especially when you are young and dumb or old and foolish, that way of thinking is a fatal flaw or a common thread that can be seen in many people’s stories about where things went wrong.

    In other words, we operated unconsciously in the relationship rather than consciously managing it and I think that that is one of Athol’s main messages he’s trying to drive home (hopefully not putting words in his mouth). That if you want to secure your greatest chance of getting what you want and having the relationship be successful, you need to actively work on it and be conscious about it.

    That can bum people out. “But I shouldn’t have to work on it! I thought we loved each other!” “This is not the way I was told it would be…” Sorry. Life is the way it is, not the way we imagine it should be.

    It’s kind of odd when you step back and think about it, the way people (self included) thought in the past that relationships would just run themselves. “Love is enough” turns out to be far from the truth. That’s only the start of things.

    Like any other endeavor in life you can only get the good things if you do the work required and keep it up. Why on Earth people expect relationships to operate outside of that model is crazy.

    We wouldn’t expect to get strong if we didn’t do the work and lift the weights. Why would we expect our relationship to get strong if we’re not doing the work it requires? Seems common sense but it eludes so many of us at one point or another. We humans are very, very good at selling ourselves on fantasy and the “easy way” out. Always looking for shortcuts. Taking lazy over hard.

    “Hey use this new ab blaster and in two weeks you can look like this fitness model!” Never mind that that fitness model has been working out religiously for the last five years, eats an extremely strict diet and lives a complete lifestyle devoted to looking that way. And never mind that the ab blaster thingy is going to sit dusty in a closet for ten years after the first week of ownership. The Lolz!

    Maybe another reason, aside from the TV/Pop Culture influence, is that some people do make “doing a relationship” look easy (looks can be deceiving though) and it just seems so effortless for them. We want what they have in the same way that we want a mansion on the beach or to be a buh-zillionaire, etc. We want the “good thing.”

    Maybe it is easy for some, just like some are born into a life of luxury or hit the genetic jackpot and look like a model, but I think they are outliers and not representative of the majority of people going through life.

    For every person who was born beautiful there are a hundred out there who busted their asses in the gym to look good. For every person born into money there are a hundred out there who scraped and saved and worked themselves to the bone to get somewhere or to build a business.

    But we want that good thing so badly and damn it, our mind is telling us “Hey! I DESERVE that good thing because I’m me!” Yet reality is standing right there. Reality says: “No you don’t. No one deserves anything. You want it? You want this good thing? Come and take it if you can.” For the vast, vast majority of us, you only get what you earn and then only if you have the guts and the fortitude to go the distance and do what you have to do to get it.

    (Side note: the way that you do “what ya gotta do” to get what you want, how you treat people along the way, matters if you care at all about the quality of your character and looking at yourself in the mirror without wincing.)

    It seems to me that regarding relationships or couples, on one end of the spectrum you’ve got the newspaper story of the couple who met in middle school, got married the day they graduated high school and never spent a day apart for seventy years and dies within ten minutes of each. At the other end is “that couple” who gets married and practically tears each other apart and winds up annulled or divorced in six months.

    The majority of us are somewhere in the middle. Just regular people muddling along trying for our slice of happy and I think generally speaking genuinely trying to be a good spouse even if failing in execution. Mostly failing through ignorance I think. Ignorance of how it all works, ignorance of self and what drives you to act the way you do, ignorance of what drives your partner to do the things they do.

    It’s no different than hitting the gym, working on your business, getting a degree, whatever. If you want the good result you have to consistently put in the work, monitor progress and adjust as things come up.

    Where people get the “meh” feeling from is that reality does not match up to the romantic fantasy they were sold on. Yes, it is very seductive and wonderful to think that you can meet your perfect match, get hitched and live in bliss thereafter. But, it’s just a fantasy for 99% of us. When reality rears its ugly head either through acquired self awareness, growing misery or an ugly incident that shocks you into seeing things as they are and not as you imagined or fantasized them to be, swallowing that red pill can unpleasant and bitter.

    People don’t like to give up their fantasies. When they do, they grieve its loss and can feel down and hopeless. The big hat trick, and one I would hazard to guess a lot struggle with, is acceptance of the reality that is before them and finding the good that is still there. And there is still good to be had. Lots of it. Hard to believe or to see sometimes I know. Especially if you are coming out of the wreckage of a “situation” and are the walking wounded, but it’s there.

    When you see guys roll in here who are butt hurt and angry right after a relationship implosion I think this is a big thing they are grappling with. I used to be one of those guys. Man was I ever angry. Angry at the world. Angry at my ex-wife and the shit she did. (still pretty pissed at her – the Lolz!) Angry at women in general. Angry at myself.

    You know what I was most angry about? I was angry that the fantasy scenario in my head of “happily ever after” and all those romantic made for TV notions had collided with cold hard reality and reality won, as it always does. I was angry that I had to give them up. Angry that I was so misguided in my understanding of things.

    Final point.

    The irony (maybe it’s irony) is that you CAN have the opportunity to have all those wonderful things (notice I said opportunity) that you desire and imagine. You just can’t get them the way that you thought you could. You can’t have them the easy way unless you are one of those very lucky few. But you aren’t one of the lucky few are you? You’re here reading this with the rest of us so you’re going to have to do the work and earn your shot, just like the rest of us.

    Reality dictates that you have to do the work to get the good things but there is one small catch everyone needs to keep in mind, always a catch – sigh. Even if you do everything right, there is no guarantee that you will get it. That’s another tough little pill to swallow but it’s another dose that is imperative to internalize. No one is guaranteed anything in this life. No one.

    Don’t get bummed by that either. Just because that’s the case, it doesn’t mean you throw your hands up in the air and say “F – it, I give up.”

    You know who does that? Losers. That’s who.

    Winners don’t do that. Sure they mess up, but they dust themselves off, learn from it, change what they are doing and go back into the fray without feeling sorry for themselves or being butt hurt. The only thing that perturbs them is that they failed to achieve their aim but instead of staying knocked down or giving up it only spurs them on to adjust tactics and to try even harder to win. (adjusting tactics or changing what you are doing if it’s not working is a key takeaway here)

    Life is better when you operate from a winner’s mindset than a loser’s. Life is better when you operate from reality rather than fantasy as your baseline. Then you can have a shot at using your work and your effort to make your dreams turn into your reality rather than expecting reality to just conform to your dreams because you imagine it to be so.


  15. Chakotay says:

    Excellent post, Athol. AND, excellent commentaries on said post from @Ian and @ZLX1!! Good insight from multiple sources this time! What a bargin for us readers…!

  16. We are all just chemicals so “those feelings” are as real as anything else about us. Life without love would seem a pointless existence to me. Over twenty years and I still feel the same (if not more).

  17. I’m in that feeling “meh” mode. I can have fun in the moment with some new women, logically I know things are better for me, but I still just feel like a an empty vessel. Also, I’m glad that you mention how the “in love” feelings come back and we can’t control who we are attracted to; that’s why I don’t want to bump into my ex-gf, everytime I see her I’m attracted to her.

  18. Another great post. The whole oneitis thing is tough. I admit, I still have it. Red pill recognition does not mean that you lose it. I still struggle with “beta espisodes;” unlearning is difficult. My wife of 18 years knows the change in me and tells me so. She loves it. I love it too. I get IOIs from other women now and that keeps frictional warmth between wifey and me. She sees it and knows other women check me out. Still, I started the MAP in the first place to get more from wifey, not the other women. That is where my oneitis gets me. I guess it depends on how damaged the relatonship is to begin with when you start the MAP. Mine was drifting, not broken. I wanted more of her. Now, I am confident that if things went south, so be it. I will be fine. Yet, deep down…while I know I could hit it somewhere else, I only want to bang her. It is tough to figure out.

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