Yesterday I stumbled across a very touching video by The Enlightened Kiwi, one of the few genuine MGTOW sources out there. As he recounted his experiences of loss and a collapsed marriage, it made me wonder why exactly we as men chase the conception of love with a woman. It is undeniably true that we are acculturated into the mindset from a young age, with true love in matrimony established as a milestone for “normal people” to reach, or otherwise face social distancing from polite society. At the same time, the results are frequently poor, filled by more heartache than sheer pleasure.
Perhaps the answer is that we have no choice. Biologically, psychologically, or socially, the drive for companionship (even if it is often confused with lust) frustrates the most dour skeptics of romance. Men regularly sacrifice their whole dignity for the chance to keep a woman, and even grumpy fellows who swear off marriage can be found softly hoping that an alternative, no matter how imperfect, exists.
Are most of us miserable melancholics, hoping to one day leave the anonymous meetings for good? Very possible is the correct answer. As Anna Snitkina described her interaction with the widowed Fyodor Dostoevsky before their marriage:
“So you think I can marry again?” he asked. “That someone might consent to become my wife? What kind of wife shall I choose then — an intelligent one or a kind one?”
“An intelligent one, of course.”
“Well, no… if I have the choice, I’ll pick a kind one, so that she’ll take pity on me and love me.”
While we were on the theme of marriage, he asked me why I didn’t marry myself. I answered that I had two suitors, both splendid people and that I respected them both very much but did not love them — and that I wanted to marry for love.
“For love, without fail,” he seconded me heartily. “Respect alone isn’t enough for a happy marriage!”
Those bold sections are particularly telling. Granted, Fyodor was struggling financially at this point in his life, but notice the emphasis on his need to be loved. He embodies the eternal struggle of men against a world that expects us to do things right, land on our feet, not show emotion, and be able to absorb the fiercest blows. And if for but a moment we lean on someone else, or admit to the pain stirring inside, the world will pounce like a pack of ravenous wolves.
Maybe that is why we want to be loved.