On the Dating Skills Review Podcast #66

Hiya,

I did the Dating Skills Review podcast with Angel Donovan.

http://www.datingskillsreview.com/ep-66-keeping-marriage-and-long-term-relationships-alive-athol-kay/

This was a fairly laid back interview. Ended up going more into my personal life than the Alpha Beta stuff et al, but all good. I forget sometimes people don’t always know the early bits of the relationship.

The one weird moment was a disagreement over the math of how many times Jennifer and I have had sex. He made a corrected note on the transcript. My math wins!

 

Specifically, in this episode you’ll learn about:

  • Athol’s origins (03:58)
  • Athol’s introduction into relationship advice based on his own relationship (05:20)
  • Athol’s personal background and meeting his future wife (07:08)
  • Keeping focus on his long distance relationship (10:05)
  • Athol’s sexual life with his wife (see correction in introduction) (13:00)
  • Is marriage different compared to any other very long-term relationship? (14:55)
  • The positives and negatives of marriage versus a long-term relationship (16:33)
  • Why should marriage be a consideration when in a long-term relationship? (17:40)
  • Scenarios in which marriage should or should not be considered, from one’s own perspective as well as with the other person (19:50)
  • Changes and transition periods leading up to a sustaining marriage (24:05)
  • Scenarios involving men giving up certain traits that lead to marriage problems down the line (24:45)
  • Why men drop their alpha activities when in a long-term relationship or marriage (27:35)
  • When critical moments of neglect or failure take place that result in a lack of trust or support, whether intentional or unintentional (30:20)
  • Excuses pertaining to critical moments of neglect or failure (31:52)
  • Miscommunication scenarios: Athol’s personal example (33:54)
  • Fixing breach of trust and miscommunication issues (39:20)
  • Identifying alpha / beta problems versus trust problems (42:03)
  • Worry benchmarks to consider when there is a decrease in sex (44:48)
  • Reasons for sexual lifestyle changes (46:00)
  • Balancing alpha and beta behavior concepts in a relationship (48:00)
  • Recommendations for high quality advice in this area of dating, sex, and relationships (54:30)
  • Top three recommendations to help men get results as fast as possible in this area of their lives (55:38)

Phase Four of the MAP is Semi-Random and Can’t be Faked

Something that has become increasingly real to me is that Phase Four is a sudden energy state switch. It’s akin to a religious conversion. There’s a moment where everything suddenly hinges and the relationship changes direction.

I know that sounds horribly woo-woo, but bear with me.

I’ve now seen hundreds to thousands of people really running their MAPs and doing well at it. Getting through the phases and generally doing well. They get fit, they get the money together, the house is cleaner, they dress better… but whatever they are doing has still not worked to create the change in their partner that they want.

There’s always some sort of blockage there and I know to break that blockage, they need at a minimum to get to a Phase Four moment and really state their intentions super firmly and directly. They may need to go beyond Phase Four of course, but you have to go through it to get there.

But no matter how you beg, plead, encourage, push, frown, or whatever… they get to what I call Phase Three Point Nine and stall out. They say they understand they need to get to Phase Four. They talk the talk. They really do get it. I know they get it, but it’s like they are scared of heights and trying to jump out a plane. Can’t do it. Want to do it, but can’t. They get right to the edge of flipping the switch and then turn into emotional rodeo clowns diving for cover.

It used to be really frustrating watching this. It’s still a little frustrating, but not overly so nowadays.

I’ve seen people sit on Phase Three Point Nine for over a year. Some two years. I could say I’m talking to their hamster the whole time, and that would be true, but I get it. It’s really hard. There’s no perfect assurance if you stand up for yourself and demand to be treated right, that your partner will do it. We can try and stack the deck in your favor running the MAP, but that only increases the odds. There’s no magic dice. There’s no “I win” button to push. It feels like upgrading to Windows 8.1, the damn install option pops up at you and in theory it’s meant to be better, but that’s what they said about Windows 8. So, hmmm…

On the other hand, there’s some people in Phase Two or just getting into Phase Three, who still have lots of work to do improving their attractiveness before I’d even suggest a Phase Four. We’re still trying to see if the earlier Phases get through to their partner. Lots more time to go yet…

…and I get the call or email and they went to Phase Four already.

“Hi Athol, well it’s been a weird week. First X happened and it was fine, and I did just what you said, and she did Y and it was okay. Then on Thursday she did [completely screwed up thing for the 23rd time] and I just flipped out at her, but it was this really strange anger where I was [really controlled angry / like I was watching myself in a movie / completely exploded], and I said [super intense statement of what exactly sucked about my partner and how they needed to fix it, or get the hell out].”

This is where I think to myself “Ahhhhh shit, we weren’t ready for this yet.”

Instead I say in my least facepalming voice possible. “So what happened then?”

Most times they say some variant on,”She started bawling her eyes out and saying she was sorry.”

Phew! Well, alright then.

Then at some random point in the future, I’ll hear back from a Phase Three Point Nine person.  About half the time their still orbiting right there where I left them, the other half it seems to be a Phase Four hit at some semi random time. After I all but gave up on them, they moved to Phase Four.

So in some ways you can’t plan for it, because it seems to hit at random, but more likely it’s triggered by something the partner does to set off the emotional cascade that is a real Phase Four moment. But like I said at the start of the post, there’s an energy switch. So you can plan for it in a sense because it seems to require baseline of a sense of positive energy and emotional strength to do it.

Going back to the Four Outcome Matrix, where a relationship in a bad place can only have four outcomes, (1) Toleration, (2) Cheating, (3) Divorce or (4) Improved Relationship. Phase Four is in very real sense, the exact moment you take Toleration off the table. Not just in an intellectual sense, but in an emotional snapping sense, where Toleration of whatever nonsense you have been tolerating, is absolutely no longer an option.

Which is also why it can’t be faked. It has to be real. It has to have that emotional snapping where Toleration is dealt a deathblow. But you can’t get into the mindset where it can happen, until you get your MAP up to speed.

 

Athol Kay on the Art of Charm Podcast

Check out me on The Art of Charm podcast #239 with Jordan Harbinger.

 

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-images-beautiful-young-caucasian-woman-portrait-image30556944What you’ll learn….

Why Alpha and Beta are different traits.

Why Beta doesn’t count unless you’re Alpha.

Why the Three Love Systems are important.

Why I worry about a great relationship dropping down into just a good relationship, rather than terribly relationship moving up to being just a bad relationship.

Why you have to stop whining.

Why you have to know the difference between a Fitness Test and a Loyalty Test.

Why you have to take “I love you, but I’m not in love with you” really, really seriously.

Why you have to lead in your relationship and how to do it so she doesn’t think you’re being a jerk about it.

 

Was a fun show to do. Let me know what you think about it!

10 Reasons It’s “Endocrine Maybe” Instead of Batshit Crazy

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photo-love-hate-image29322025For a long time I’ve been saying that all can do for Batshit Crazy, is either medicate it, or run.

Except by “medicate it”, I meant psych meds. I’ll blame my psych / behavioral nursing background for that. Crazy = pills for crazy. Seems simple enough, doesn’t it?

But…

I’m starting to see more and more supposedly Batshit Crazy people suddenly stop being so crazy after getting on the correct set of endocrine meds. It’s really been apparent in watching all the stories of men with low testosterone on the forum who are Cranky Shit Weasels (TM) determined to avoid sex and intimacy, slowly but surely turning into normal guys once they get on testosterone therapy. Which is to say pleasantly dickish.

I’m seeing some of the same changes in personality and mood with women too. Frankly it’s getting to the point when someone presents as simply having something as simple as depression, I’m starting to think endocrine rather than psych as a starting point. Same thing with wildly inappropriate anger or disinterest in sex and other activities.

In general what triggers a “you should go to the doctor and get checked out” thought, is typically a collection of symptoms into what I call Endocrine Maybe. Here’s a list of some you might have…

(1) Lack of sexual interest and/or ability to enjoy it. That covers everything from acting like a captive Panda in the face of the zoo keepers showing you bootlegged Panda porn, to erectile dysfunction or inability to orgasm.

(2) You’re incredibly moody. Your husband stacked the dishwasher incorrectly and you’re acting like a wrestler being called out for cowardice. Stuff like that. Everyone around you walks on eggshells.

(3) You’re exhausted beyond all reason, except you are now specializing in not really doing very much.  You’re tired and unmotivated. You’re starting to see paper plates as a solution to doing the dishes.

(4) You’re forgetful and can’t think straight. You miss important things you have to do and your brain is fuzzy. You probably feel stupid because you keep losing things and can’t figure stuff out. Being moody is a great cover for not knowing what you should do when you just screwed up something by forgetting the obvious. Plus you’re too tired to think straight anyway.

(5) Your weight is keeping pace with inflation. You exercise and eat right, but you’re slowly blowing up like Veruca Salt. Or on the other hand, your weight is mysteriously going down even though you’re eating like Fat Bastard.

(6) If your menstrual cycle was made into an infographic, the graphic designer may as well be a three year old with a red crayon who was told to draw dinosaurs fighting. Goodness knows what’s happening down there. You period is random and confusing. Or maybe it’s just gone completely.

(7) You have your own weather. Everyone else is nice and warm, you’re too cold. Or vice a versa. If the kids are messing with the thermostat again, there’s a 17% chance you’ll drown them in the bathtub.

(8) You’re starting to drink, do drugs, or some other kind of self-medication to keep yourself mentally stabilized.

(9) Everything sucks. It just does. You experience First World Problems as genuinely depressing and frustrating.

(10) Someone printed this blog post off, handed it to you, then dove for safety.

So…

If you have some sort of reasonable collection of those symptoms, maybe it’s time to go visit your doctor, and this is the important part… Tell. Them. Everything.

Seriously now. Don’t hold back on anything that’s wrong with you. Don’t be afraid to ask for an endocrine referral to a specialist if your labs come back with numbers all over the place like a Lotto drawing.

Bonus reason that it might be endocrine…. you’re enraged at the suggestion you should go to the doctor to be checked out.

The good news is that if it is in fact an endocrine disorder, then it’s usually pretty fixable with medication. You can make really quite significant progress on a personal and relationship level once it’s treated. The counter-point to that though, is if it’s endocrine related and you don’t get it treated… well… enjoy the slow gradual worsening of the Batshit Crazy.

And as an aside, Rebecca Watson is the go-to of the MAP Coaches for endocrine stuff, most particularly low testosterone men. You can also check out her blog Secret Life of a Low T Wife.

 

David Attenborough Narrates Miley Cyrus’s VMA Twerking

Take… David Attenborough nature documentary on Albatross

Add… Miley Cyrus Twerking

Result…

That being said, once you strip away much of the linguistic subtlety of human interaction, our mating dances aren’t wildly different to that of any other species in the animal kingdom.

What else is football but a display of male physical dominance in search of a mate, while cheerleaders jump around showing how perky their boobs are in a fertility display?

So what are you doing to make yourself more attractive? Are you twerking hard, or hardly twerking?

Relationship Power vs Give and Take

@ernestern:  From my interpretations of the MAP, it is basically an exercise to put you in a situation where you are giving less to a relationship and taking more out of it.  In a perfect MAP, it would balance out to a point you are putting in as much as you are taking out, leaving both parties happy.

Athol:  Close, but not quite right. There’s two elements here you’re merging into a single thought. Let me separate them so you see the process better.

(1) Power. The MAP is about putting yourself in a situation where you no longer need your partner. So you aren’t weak toward them.

For example, I could if I liked, dump Jennifer and basically walk right now. I’d find someone new relatively quickly and my life would continue on. She could try the same thing… and it’s not going to go quite as well for her as it would for me. I don’t mean that to sound full of myself, it’s just how the Sexual Marketplace is slanted in women’s favor for the young and men’s favor for the older.

The takeaway is that in relationship terms, I have power over her and thus control the relationship.

(2) Give and Take. The MAP is about finding ways to balance out the give and take so both people in the relationship are getting what they want and need from it.

So for Jennifer and myself, we do have a fairly balanced relationship in terms of what we do for each other day-to-day. We both love and care for each other. I make more money than she does, but she also helps me with elements of that. The books are mine, but I share the income. I’m on her medical insurance. We’re really rather enmeshed in give and take.

So in a sense it’s like I’m the United States and Jennifer is Canada. I’m bigger and more powerful, but it’s not like I’m coming across the border with tanks, or even threatening to. Though I guess Canadians might see that arrangement differently.

Anyway…

So my demand, as the person in power, is that we have a good relationship and fairly and reasonably give and take with each other.

So from Jennifer’s perspective, that’s a good deal. Her main concern is that I’m not going to suddenly end the deal on her. It’s really not like I have to run some horrible dread game on her either, MMSL has been an education and she sees what’s out there. I also display loyalty and she’s involved increasingly behind the scenes with MMSL.

That being said…

When your partner is the person in power and being exploitive, your mission is to balance out the power, or take active control by trumping their power. Part of that process may very well involve refusal to give what they want in order to establish you are capable of such things, but it’s part of the process toward an end goal of a fairly balanced relationship.

Unfortunately, sometimes your partner is simply uninterested in any relationship with you unless they can endlessly siphon your time, money, effort and energy. Whereupon, you have to either leave or remain being their victim.

 If you’re the weaker partner in a relationship, you don’t have to worry about gaining power as long as the stronger partner is treating you fairly. I personally don’t want Jennifer feeling endless rolling stomach churning dread that I *might* leave her for example. That just gets me a freaked out wife for no gain to me.

That being said, if you’re the weaker partner… you are advised to not fall *that* far behind your partner.

If you want to read a whole lot more along those lines, The Mindful Attraction Plan book is the place to start.

Fuck You and Fuck Your Elbow

So anyway… about two and a half months ago in the gym, I broke my personal record on the evil Leg Press machine. I had a light jabbing pain inside my head though, up high, toward the back on the right hand side.

No problem.

My next leg day, I added another 10 pounds to my personal record. I also had a medium jabbing pain inside my head, up high, toward the back on the right hand side.

No problem.

The next leg day, I added another 10 pounds to my personal record. I also had a bad jabbing pain inside my head… guess where… yeah…  up high, toward the back on the right hand side.

Okay fuck, that’s not right.

So I stopped. That’s about it. I never passed out, never had headaches, no vision issues, felt completely fine otherwise. I’ve just got zero interest in popping something in my head and spending the rest of my life drooling and only smiling when Jennifer comes to visit me in the nursing home.

So I did a fair bit of cardio for a while, skipped some days and I was pretty sick with an allergies + sinus + almost pneumonia thing there for a couple weeks too.

Anyway, first true leg day for a while. It went okay. I’ve lost a little strength, but not that much. I’ve also started doing this thing where after working out I go home and add up the total weight I’ve lifted, as in 100lbs x 10 reps = 1000lbs. I always knew leg day was heavier than arm day, but the total weight lifted is about 60-70% more for me. Leg day is brutal.

So I guess all I’m saying is take it all the way up to Fuck You and Fuck Your Elbow, then peg it back just a notch or two. You still have to push it, but you don’t have to break yourself to be a man. The goal is to feel good, not feel bad.

Oh and the counting the total weight thing. Just have to beat the last total weight lifted by 1%. That’s it. I figure the goal might as well be something positive than thinking about getting injured as the gold standard of being committed. Just 1% better. That’s it.

Jennifer:

Athol:  And no I wasn’t dying. I just wanted to use the video lol.

Men White Knight Because Sometimes It Works

As a response to Fun Money.

Celeste:  Okay, true, but an extra $2000 isn’t in the cards for us for a few years. A good wife can have fun with a hike at a local park, a good husband can Google around for new local parks and surprise his wife with a visit. Really, $2000 extra is going to be out of reach for a lot of people, for most of their lives. I foresee a future in which we will, but another part of me bristles at this…how did all those peasants and serfs manage to stay married living hand to mouth? No extra shirts, no nights out, no shopping malls, and people made it work. Of course, the whole structure of society was different, and men had some actual power. But does it require wealth and materialism to make this work? I don’t think so.

Athol:  Well as a reminder, what I said was…

When people imagine life changing amounts of money, they always imagine millions of dollars, but consider what just a extra $2000 can do for a relationship if you’re the husband.

An extra $2000 spread over a year, comes to $40 a week.

Is there truly, truly no way to find some combination of extra income or reduced expenses, that comes to a net gain of $40 a week? Then consciously spending that money toward maintaining the attractiveness and playful attention you give each other as a couple.

Women aren’t all gold-diggers, but they are all at least copper and silver-diggers. You gotta pay the bills. Nice things once in a while can go a long way. The whole point is you have to be mindful about creating attraction. Rather than getting torn up about not having millions, work with what you’ve got.

Jennifer and I are doing okay, but we’re not rolling in it. We tend to go out for dinner hardly at all, but we go out for breakfast and lunch because it’s cheaper. It matters, it makes a difference. Our more routine treat is walking together for coffee. It really doesn’t take that much extra money to make a difference.

It’s no different now than it was back in peasant and serfdom days. If you live a life of dreary squalor, the women will all start dreaming of guys on white horses coming to their rescue. After a certain point of being broke off your ass, it doesn’t matter how wondrously Alpha you think you are. Some Betaized white knight can swing by and mate poach almost accidentally. At some point being willing to share hot food, medical insurance, gas money and a paid power bill is rock solid tight game.

Women never want to be rescued from the tallest tower. They want to be rescued from the ground floor.

Female Isolation Anxiety

Louis .C.K routine…

I think he somewhat overstates, but the takeaway is that women really do have a finely tuned radar as to whether or not they will ever let themselves be isolated with you. I don’t mean “at the movies on a date”, or “at a restaurant”, there’s other people in those locations. I mean really alone, alone. As in just you and her.

Men experience Approach Anxiety walking up to the girl, women experience Isolation Anxiety going off with the guy alone. It’s the same physiological process of fight or flight kicking in. Men are programmed to prep for a physical conflict with another man when they approach a girl. It’s not her he’s worried about, it’s her boyfriend / husband / thug that’s that problem.

What women worry about is the guy turning into a thug-bastard-man-bear-pig when they they finally let themselves be alone with him. As a result, they have an extremely high co-relation between being sexually attracted to someone and allowing themselves to be truly isolated with them. That way if the worst happens, at least it was with a male they found attractive i.e. high value. Please don’t take the mental leap between hearing me explain the factors at work and taking that as a mandate for violating consent.

What I’m saying is that if you’re a guy, if you’re with a woman who is actively displaying interest in being alone with you, even if it’s cloaked in some other activity that you’d really be doing together… she’s into you in a big way.

Then if she’s into you… you don’t have to try hard to be something or someone you’re not. She’s already got that mental “yes” inside her head giving you approval to escalate things further with her. So have fun, enjoy the date and make some moves on her with a crooked smile. She’s expecting you to.

If You Really Really Love Me

From the forum…

Kalda:  Now, almost three months later, I am doing better and still making progress. The biggest improvements have been physical. I’m in the best shape of my life and maintaining 5-6 workouts a week while cutting back on the junk food. She, however, is the heaviest she has ever been.

My wife bounces between commenting on how good I look in positive ways and expressing concern I will leave her for a younger or fitter woman. I’m looking for some ideas on how to respond to the latter comments. I’ve told her I’ll support any positive health changes she wants to make when she has brought up exercise or diet, but when she talks about me leaving her I just laugh it off. Tonight she said something and laughing it off felt awkward and she seemed sad. Is there a good way to redirect those comments to flirt or keep a positive vibe between us?

Athol:  This is her Loyalty Testing you.

This is actually a pretty serious thing. If she’s really starting to dread that there’s nothing she can do to keep you, she’ll give up on the relationship. So whether she starts checking out of the relationship because she’s unhaaaaaappppppy and about to Eat, Pray, Love an exit, or she starts checking out of the relationship because she thinks you’re going to dump her, doesn’t matter… she’s going to start withdrawing from you, or even start looking for someone who she can jump ship to before you pull the trigger.

In fact you might be a sizzling 9 and her a 7 and she might move sideways to some guy who is just 7 himself to avoid the pain of you smashing her to the ground.

You trying to laugh it off is the exact wrong thing to do, because to her, this is a really unfunny situation. When you laugh, she experiences it as you laughing at her predicament. She’s looking for loyalty and your emotional involvement with her, instead you’re displaying high value and detachment from her.

This is why the pure Alpha approach utterly fails in long term relationships. You can pretty much set your watch on a six month timer for pure Alpha to just blow it all up.

Anyway…

You do two things to pass this test.

(1)  State clearly what your standards are for her behavior as a wife. Stuff like her sexual interest in you, appearance, general work ethic. Make them all reasonably high standards, but by no means impossible. Something that she would have to apply herself to get done, but not kill herself to consistently do in reality.

(2)  Say that as long as she does (1), she never need fear you leaving her, or cheating on her. If she does right by you, you will do right by her. You need to say this with complete conviction and emotional content. You can also say that you know you could find someone else if you had to, but you want it to be her.

What this amounts to is an all purpose, “There is no X until Y” variant. X is the (2) and the Y is the (1).

This all sounds horribly manipulative I know, but what it sums down to for her is this….

(A)  She’s with a guy hotter than her.

(B)  He demands her best of her.

(C)  He’s loyal to her.

Which all in all doesn’t sound like a bad arrangement.  The trick for the guy pulling this off though is this…

…there is no trick. You have to believe it and commit to it, to sell it. What you’re saying is that if someone hotter than your wife comes along and makes a play for you, you’ll just enjoy it as compliment and that’s as far as it goes.

Anyway… Steel Panther video time… kinda like this, just bring it down a couple of notches.

 

…okay so not very much like Steel Panther. My bad.