Culturalism · Relations and Dating

Love Is Not Unconditional

Scrolling down an assorted Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter feed will invariably result in the depiction of a message along the lines of “True Love must be unconditional,” or “There is no ‘but’ in ‘I love you.’” Those statements may well warm the anxious heart, especially in folks who have struggled with the attainment of genuine affection on a romantic or spiritual basis. It flourishes within a hope that someday the same will be true for them, despite continuous disappointment. Beautiful as the sentiments may unfurl, they mask a delusional and unrealistic assessment of the beating world, one coupled to dangerous results for the fiercest believers.

Our salvo might begin by examining marriages. Often these unions are predicated on the lofty notion of the unconditional, but of course more relevant factors are involved. Consider the tragic case of Tyler Ziegel, a Marine Corps sergeant who was horribly disfigured by a roadside bomb during the Iraq War. After returning home, Ziegel married Renee Kline, his high school sweetheart and fiancée from a pre-deployment engagement. According to the Hallmark internet image, the couple were a paragon of successful love:

A day later he is in San Antonio, Texas, at the Brooke Army Medical Center. She leaves her home town for the first time to fly there with his mother so they can be by his side. She is there for him. His injuries are severe. He will have numerous operations and she will stand by him throughout. It will be a year and a half before they all go home. In the meantime, she will move in with his mother. The homecoming is a triumph. He is a hero and she is his heroine. Their commitment to each other is inspiring and rock-solid. They get married. She is now 21 and he is 24. The wedding takes place on October 7, 2006, and that date is declared a state holiday. Renee and Tyler Ziegel Day. Their romance is covered by The Sunday Times Magazine. They plan to have a family. Love conquers all.

It sounds wonderful. Here is their wedding picture:

As you can see, Renee looks terribly unhappy, despite all the praise and social accoutrements being foisted on their union. In barely a year, they were divorced, both because she could not accept his appearance, and due to the influence of a “flame” she hooked up with while he was deployed. Some years later in 2012, Ziegel died of an alcohol and morphine overdose.

So what happened? Did love not conquer all in this case? Was it built on lies? Perhaps the simplest answer would be to understand that conditions are attached to the passionate concept. Renee probably loved him to some degree, but it was based on his looks, and when he came back disfigured through no fault of his own, that changed. He was no longer the same person, and that was the disqualifying condition.

Similarly, though less extreme, a woman who gains 100 pounds after marriage may find her husband doesn’t look upon her the same way. She could claim he’s superficial and appeal to unconditional love, but let’s remember WHO he fell in love with. Hint: not the heavy-set chica. Had he possessed a photograph of what she would look like in six years, the ring may have gotten lost in a sewer drain.

Children are not exempt from this dynamic either. It is certainly true that a good parent cannot afford to hate or spite their offspring for bad behavior at a young age, because the new soul may not know better. Over time however stark restrictions must be installed, or else you have the kid public berating his parents for not making food correctly or failing to get the perfect gift. Unconditional love in this frame is just another term for spoiled, and the risk grows with age.

If a daughter insults both her parents, or defames them socially due to their dislike of a romantic partner, should the reply be unhindered love and tenderness? Now suppose she becomes pregnant, and her coupling lives up to the normal DoorDash stereotype…are they expected to support her financially because love is unconditional? The sensible response would be no, and yet I can already hear the shrill castigations of the morally outraged, for whom sleep is never honest.

 But past all those cries strikes the glorious heart, where past all recriminations and bloviating, they know I’m right.

Relations and Dating · Self-Improvement

We Occupy Different Worlds

There is an awful lot of emphasis on “coming together” and “being one tribe” in today’s world, both before and after the death of Coors Light. Companies can’t stop preaching the virtues, politicians are ever-willing to trot out their statements of welcome, and educational leaders do much the same. We are all one, they seem to mutter, and you best believe it.

The only problem is, reality tells a starkly different story. Depending on who we are and where we come from, our perceptions and experiences stand to be radically disparate in nature, regardless of how much propaganda can be hoisted to block out those facts. No serious person is going to argue that the 6’4’’ white man has any realistic identification or solidarity with a 5’2’’ Hispanic guy. Perhaps if they work in the same economic field we might witness some closeness, but each will be reacted to as though they are two entirely separate creatures, based on skin tone and height. Only an exasperated fool would attempt to join them.   

In the field of dating, those differences matter, as we well know. The same could be true of a fit and lipped Latina versus a 250lb “Baby blue eyes” blonde. Is anyone willing to argue that somehow they are on even terms? (This excluding the Alt-Right and minority men who worship skin color). Differences matter, and no one actually believes the aforementioned claptrap unless they have to.

Now some empowered soul will stand and declare, “You’re wrong! It’s a about equality under the law.” Please humor me more. Is a working class person without financial resources liable to be treated the same as a rich fellow who can pay for the fancier esquire? The answer is not in doubt, but citizens are expected to cover their eyes and ears.

Even in the economic realm, disparities translate into divided universes. The college kid whose parents are loaded has far more freedom in terms of extracurricular activities and graduate schools than another specimen forced to pay their own way. I am reminded of the self-righteous classmate who mocked me for having a summer job in university while he took a stipend from the parents for an unpaid internship with the high and mighty. Means lead to starkly opposite ends, at least in the medium term.

As time goes on, this prevailing truth continues to manifest itself in the public square. There is no debate that BMM supporters view the world differently than “Defend the Police” adherents. Certainly Democrats and Republicans have separate views of legitimacy, which raises the deafening cry of what will happen in November 2020, regardless of the outcome.

Will everyone unite, because “We’re all Americans after all”?

Culturalism · Relations and Dating

Why Men Seek Love

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.