I recently read an article by Michael Perilloux titled How To Catch A Wife, the latest example of how modern game teachings have impacted traditionally-minded men. Unfortunately, I believe Perilloux’s advice falls short in helping men actually find a wife.
I have my first kid on the way with my beautiful traditional wife. I’m blessed to have her, but our relationship was not a lucky accident.
A few years ago, I decided I was going to get married. So I did. I made plans, restructured my life, and developed the relevant skills. It worked.
His declaration of victory is premature. With a short courtship, rapid pregnancy, and a bun still in the oven, he may still be in the honeymoon phase of his marriage, or at least in the phase where major differences, such as with child-rearing, have yet to surface. I do hope his marriage is successful, but we should not give much weight to the article’s initial demonstration of authority. There are many divorced men who would not have reported problems to you during their ex-wives’ first pregnancy.
The first problem men have is “Naïve Romanticism,” which is the belief that you can just cruise through life, relax, and not worry about getting married, and “the one” will come along at some point and sweep you off your feet like some kind of romantic comedy.
I don’t know a single man who has that problem. If anything, it’s the problem of women. Men hesitate towards marriage today simply because there are more downsides than upsides in getting married. With the abundance of free sex, casual relationships, digital entertainment, and urban fun, there is no advantage in marriage unless you specifically want to create a family, and that comes with the knowledge that the state is ready to destroy you through punitive family laws. Men are abstaining from marriage because of rational choices, not idealism.
You know what else is unromantic? Dying alone with no children.
The fact is that this is the most important problem in your life. You need to take it as seriously as your professional career, starting a business, or planning an invasion.
The only downside he mentioned of not getting married is dying alone. This is a fear shared by many, but the problem with a fear like this is that to avoid it, you rush into flawed actions and make decisions that cause the fear to own you.
If I fear dying alone, and catch my girlfriend or wife cheating when I’m in my 30’s or beyond, I’m more likely to make the disastrous decision of keeping her, nearly guaranteeing I’ll be cucked again. A better approach is to accept your fears and then make the choice that serves a positive gain to your existence instead of one that merely avoids a negative pain.
Our ancestors lived in a very different society. They had homogeneous, high-trust communities where their neighbors were of the same class, folk, faith, and social circles. They all grew up together, went to church together, and were well-integrated in a social fabric where everyone knew each other. As a matter of course, every young man knew multiple eligible girls who would make good matches. The parents, friends, busybody old women, tradition, and random happy circumstance would conspire to make successful marriage almost automatic. Naïve romanticism was a perfectly adequate strategy in such an environment, because marriage was supported by such a powerful social machine, which no longer exists.
Perilloux is correct that the path of least resistance in the past was marriage. In other words, the social structure was such that a good wife would land on your lap from having a full-time job, or even merely the intent to have one. You didn’t have to date, learn game, go to the gym, step up your banter, be cocky, and so on.
A society is healthy if creating a family is the default mode of relationship structure that is also rational for men to do. Marriage has its problems, but the alternative back then of not getting married had far more downsides, especially in a climate that was not as promiscuous or as welcoming of the eternal bachelor lifestyle.
One reason why marriage was such a good deal was because you didn’t have to study game, fitness, and psychology and then apply that learned knowledge through hundreds of hours of work just to get into a meaningful relationship. If you have to do this work today to get married, and the sword of Damocles is hanging over your head through an anti-male culture with full court backing, does marriage still become a low friction endeavor? It doesn’t, so Perilloux has no choice but to apply an achievement model to his hunt for a wife to make it happen in a degenerate age.
To replace naïve romanticism, we need the fundamental masculine skill of life in the real world: the will and confidence to take a problem seriously and deliberately figure out how to solve it. You can sit down and think this problem through, come to an understanding, make plans, and reason things out. This is the only way anything real ever gets done.
In throwing out naïve romanticism, which is a fundamentally passive strategy, it is useful to have a much more active and high-agency model to work from.
Modern women also have all kinds of little psychological blocks that will derail your chance at marrying them, unless you go in with an iron will to bust through all their silly resistances and win them. My own courtship, for example, was full of rocky uncertainty, resistance, and lack of will on her part. It wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t disregarded all that and put my will into making it happen.
To find a wife, Perilloux urges us to treat it like a business by being goal-oriented and transferring will and energy into the task. I’ve used my will in the past to do things I dreamed of when I was younger, such as quitting my job, traveling to dozens of countries, expatriating from the United States, and bedding many women, all of which were more-or-less individualist crusades, but I’m hesitant to use that same process to find a wife.
As a man, I can surely hunt and work for what I desire, but relationships are different in that you want a woman to put in as much investment and will of her own. The more she’s invested, the more likely she will stay. If I put in full will, and she puts in less than me, it’s inevitable that I will feel underappreciated and become fatigued as she coasts or takes advantage of my efforts, which will not be easy to maintain indefinitely.
Just like when launching nuclear missiles, two officers have to turn their key simultaneously, and outside of being a leader and fulfilling the masculine roles of the relationship, I do not believe a man should do all the work in maintaining it, which I suspect Perilloux is doing. How do we know that his wife is just going along for the ride because he makes it so easy for her? What happens if he gets tired, sick, or has employment difficulties? Will his wife stay with him?
We don’t know the home situation or the type of challenges his wife puts him through to be convinced of his method, which seems to reduce the investment the female has to make for the singular goal of getting a wife. We also don’t know what other sacrifices he has made. The costs will simply be too much for most men, especially those who are not convinced that marriage is the most rational choice to make, such as myself. Men who took the red pill can’t simply pretend they don’t know the true nature of women and the societal odds stacked against them to perform Perilloux’s mission.
People often don’t keep their eye on [the] fundamentals and become confused with ideas about true love and such. But love is a side-effect, not a fundamental. If the fundamentals are good, love will come. If the fundamentals aren’t good, love won’t help. Consider the outcomes of arranged marriages, where the families set up marriages with good fundamentals without regard for love. They are very stable, and they end up in love anyways.
Good luck convincing the modern woman that love is a side effect! It’s not just Hollywood that pushes romanticism but the entirety of the West, and that has been going on since the 18th century. You are simply not going to get the average woman to adopt the practical standards of Indian women who get into arranged marriages, for example, and if you do find one, none of your tactics mattered anyway because she was already primed to be with a man for practical reasons.
It’s not that Perilloux convinced his bride to be practical about love, but that she was already convinced, perhaps from being raised in a more traditional environment. For most men who live in urban areas, these traditional women are wholly out of reach, so I suspect Perilloux lives in a smaller town.
Odds are you are reading from a mega city like London, New York City, and Toronto, so I’d have to urge you to move to a smaller town, get a new job, or drastically change your environment and habits to essentially become a new person for the prospect of finding a wife to be responsible for who, odds are, has a 50% chance of kicking you to the curb at some point. That’s an impossible sell.
When it comes to finding a wife, the problem is not one of game or standards, but societal: there simply are not enough traditional women to go around for men currently living in urban environments that tip the balance of marriage from being irrational to rational. Sure, if I move to a specific area, join the church, and give value to the community, I’ll probably find a wife, but upending your life for a goal means the goal steers you, now and for the entirety of that marriage. I can’t in good faith urge men to make drastic life changes beyond matters of general self-improvement or taking a two-week trip to Brazil.
In the past, men didn’t have to upend their lives to find wives, and the likelihood of divorce was far lower. Why should I make more sacrifice for less potential gain? While I definitely see the value in having a family, and would be open to being a father, the woman and situation has to be just right for me to take such a huge risk in today’s climate. Telling me and men like me to essentially “man up and get married” is not going to cut it.
Perilloux’s article shines when it comes to evaluating a girl based on her wifely standards:
Is she feminine and traditional? You want a traditional woman who acts like such. Many “anti-feminist” women don’t practice what they preach, so watch out. She should feel comfortable taking the feminine role in marriage.
Is she a virgin? You don’t want the kind of girl who did a lot of “partying” before “settling down”, you don’t want the baggage, you don’t want her thinking of you as her retirement, and you don’t want the spectre of those other men haunting your marriage.
Does she have good domestic and family skills? Can she keep house, cook, clean, deal with finances, decorate, host, sew, fix, and so on? Is she good with kids? Is she comfortable and happy doing these tasks?
Does she want to be a wife and mother to lots of kids? Women can be hard to convince. Big bonus if she already wants a big family.
Does she believe in traditional marriage and oppose divorce? There will be times when she doesn’t like you anymore. For the marriage to work, she has to be committed anyway, because she believes in marriage. Make sure she’s committed to the idea of marriage itself, not just to you.
Not surprisingly, no girl I’ve been in a relationship with has hit on all of his points. I have standards that I believe are optimal, but in reality they are unrealistic if I can’t find it “in stock” at the marketplace. While it’s an encouraging sign that traditionalism is emerging as a new counter-culture, that change will be too slow for men who are in their late 20’s or beyond to hope and wait. Many will miss the fatherhood boat, most likely including myself, but our experiences can at least aid men of future generations.
The most flaccid portion of the article is when Perilloux attempts to share how to meet a wife, a pressing urge for men who are already well-versed in game and know what they’re looking for.
Social proximity. You need to maximize the number of good women in social proximity. The more good women moving through your social network, the better. This means changing your lifestyle, social circles, and activity level. Some places are going to be much better than others; search for the places and social circles with the most good women. Good traditional churches, hobby groups, friend circles, parties, family networks, charity organizations, where you live, even dating apps. Whatever you have or can get should be used.
Spotted. You need to keep an active lookout for good women, so that you actually notice them. You’re screening for the more visible factors: is she pretty, is she young, is she feminine, how does she dress, is she of your people, how does she carry herself, does she look virtuous, what does her social interaction look like, who is she associating with?
That’s the extent of his advice, which may have as well been cribbed from the Art of Manliness. He missed a great opportunity to share how he met his wife and what the process was like, but instead kept it so general that it gives little in the way of action items. I’m forced to guess that he met his wife at church for her to hit all the traditional notes.
A few months ago, I started researching churches in my area, not to meet women but to put myself in a more spiritual environment. I also researched local ways to volunteer to help others, since my stay-at-home internet job doesn’t put me into contact with many people. I haven’t yet pulled the trigger, since I fell back into old game habits after a recent break-up, but if inserting myself into these environments puts me into contact with traditional women, and getting into relationships with them becomes a rational choice with little friction that is encouraged by my most immediate surroundings and society at large, I would certainly pursue it.
However, I will not attempt Perilloux’s “will to power” strategy because I’m too red pilled to put on the blinders for a singular goal that I’m not absolutely convinced is worth it in the end, no matter how open I am to fatherhood.
I also know firsthand that will alone is not enough, and will lead to easy-come-easy-go scenarios where things flag off if my will is reduced, like is so often the case when meeting a girl through cold approaching. This isn’t to say that I’m not willing to put in work, but as I’ve painfully learned, it takes a village to maintain a relationship, because even if I do everything right, things can still go south.
If these times make it too sick to create a family through rational means then I won’t create a family, though I would certainly wish the likes of Perilloux luck and observe from a distance to see how he created his marriage safe space away from the evils around him.
In the end, we have to be careful about taking advice from men who have a sample size of one marriage. It’s easy to create rigorous models for game because you can develop your theories from sleeping with hundreds of women and tease the patterns from that, but you can’t have more than one successful marriage. There is just too much variance between one man and another when it comes to such an advanced goal, which is why I think we will never have solid information on finding a wife in a dying civilization. This is a problem that you’ll have to figure out on your own, assuming you even want to.