An unhealthy romantic obsession with a single person. Usually accompanied by
unreciprocated affection and completely unrealistic idealization of the said person.
ONEitis is paralysis. You cease to mature, you cease to move, you cease to be you.
There is no ONE. This is the soul-mate myth. There are some good Ones and some bad Ones, but there is no ONE. Anyone telling you anything else is selling you something. There are lots of ’special someones’ out there for you, just ask the divorced / widowed person who’s remarried after their “soul-mate” has died or moved on with another person they insist is their real soul-mate.
This is what trips people up about the soul-mate myth, it is this fantasy that we all at least in some way share an idealization of — that there is ONE perfect mate for each of us, and as soon as the planets align and fate takes its course we’ll know that we’re ’intended’ for each other. While this may make for a gratifying romantic comedy plot, it’s hardly a realistic way to plan your life. In fact it’s usually paralyzing.
What I find even more fascinating is how common the idea is (and particularly for guys) that a nuts & bolts view of life should be trumped by this fantasy in the area of inter-
Men who would otherwise recognize the value of understanding psychology, biology, sociology, evolution, business, engineering, etc., men with a concrete awareness of the interplay we see these aspects take place in our lives on a daily basis, are some of the first guys to become violently opposed to the idea that maybe there isn’t “someone for everyone” or that there are a lot more ONEs out there that could meet or exceed the criteria we subconsciously set for them to be the ONE.
I think it comes off as nihilistic, or this dread that maybe their ego-investment in this belief is false — it’s like saying “God is dead” to the deeply religious. It’s just too terrible to contemplate that there maybe no ONE, or there maybe several ONEs to spend their lives with. This western romanticized mythology is based on the premise that there is only ONE perfect mate for any single individual and as much as a lifetime can and should be spent in constant search of this ’soul-mate.’ So strong and so pervasive is this myth in our collective consciousness that it has become akin to a religious statement, and in fact has been integrated into many religious doctrines as the feminization of western culture has spread.
I think there’s been a mischaracterization of ONEitis. It’s necessary to differentiate between a healthy relationship based on mutual affinity and respect, and a lopsided ONEitis based relationship. I’ve had more than a few guys seeking my advice, or challenging my take on ONEitis, essentially asking me for permission to accept ONEitis as legitimate monogamy.
“But Rollo, it’s got to be OK for a guy to have ONEitis for his wife or girlfriend. After all she’s the ONE for him, right?”
In my estimation ONEitis is an unhealthy psychological dependency that is the direct result of the continuous socialization of the soul-mate myth in our collective consciousness. What’s truly frightening is that ONEitis has become associated with being a healthy normative aspect of a long term relationship (LTR) or marriage.
I come to the conclusion that ONEitis is based in sociological roots, not only due to it being a statement of personal belief, but by the degree to which this ideology is disseminated and mass marketed in popular culture through media, music, literature, movies, etc.
Dating services like eHarmony shamelessly marketeer and exploit exactly the insecurities that this dynamic engenders in people desperately searching for the ONE “they were intended for.” The idea that men possess a natural capacity for protection, provisioning and semi-monogamy has merit from both a social and bio-psychological standpoint, but a ONEitis psychosis is not a byproduct of it. Rather, I would set it apart from this healthy protector/provider dynamic since ONEitis essentially sabotages what our natural propensities would otherwise filter.
ONEitis is insecurity run amok while a person is single, and potentially paralyzing when coupled with the object of that ONEitis in an LTR. The same neurotic desperation that drives a person to settle for their ONE whether healthy or unhealthy is the same insecurity that paralyzes them from abandoning a damaging relationship — This is their ONE and how could they ever live without them? Or, they’re my ONE, but all I need is to fix myself or fix them to have my idealized relationship.
This idealization of a relationship is at the root of ONEitis. With such a limiting, all-or-nothing binary approach to searching for ONE needle in the haystack, and investing emotional effort over the course of a lifetime, how do we mature into a healthy understanding of what that relationship should really entail? The very pollyanna, idealized relationship — the “happily ever after” — that belief in a ONE promotes as an ultimate end, is thwarted and contradicted by the costs of the constant pursuit of the ONE for which they’ll settle for. After the better part of a lifetime is invested in this ideology, how much more difficult will it be to come to the realization that the person they’re with isn’t their ONE? To what extents will a person go to in order to protect a lifetime of this ego investment?
At some point in a ONEitis relationship one participant will establish dominance based on the powerlessness that this ONEitis necessitates. There is no greater agency for a woman than to know beyond doubt that she is the only source of a man’s need for sex and intimacy. A ONEitis mindset only cements this into the understanding of both parties. For a man who believes that the emotionally and psychologically damaging relationship he has ego-invested himself is with the only person in his lifetime he’s ever going to be compatible with, there is nothing more paralyzing in his maturation. The same of course holds true for women, and this is why we shake our heads when see an exceptionally beautiful woman go chasing back to her abusive and indifferent Jerk boyfriend, because she believes he is her ONE and the only source of security available to her. Hypergamy may be her root imperative for sticking with him, but it’s the soul-mate myth, the fear of the “ONE that got away” that makes for the emotional, almost spiritual, investment.
The definition of Power is not financial success, status or influence over others, but the degree to which we have control over our own lives. Subscribing to the soul-mate mythology necessitates that we recognize powerlessness in this arena of our lives. Better I think it would be to foster a healthy understanding that there is no ONE. There are some good Ones and there are some bad Ones, but there is no ONE.
Religion of the Soul-Mate
What you’ve just read was one of my earliest posts back on the SoSuave forums from around 2003-04. I was finishing my degree then and had the Fallacy of the ONE graphically illustrated for me in a psychology class one day. I was in class, surrounded by (mostly) much younger students than myself, all very astute and as intellectual as they come for mid twenty-somethings. At one point the discussion had come around to religion and much of the class expressed being agnostic or atheist, or “spiritual, but not religious”. The rationale was of course that religion and belief could be explained as
psychological (fear of mortality) constructs that were expanded to sociological dynamics.
Later in that discussion the idea of a ’soul mate’ came up. The professor didn’t actually use the word ’soul’, but rather couched the idea by asking for a show of hands as to how many of the class believed “there was a special someone out there for them?” or if they feared “the ONE that got away.” Damn near the entire class raised their hands. For all of their rational empiricism and appeals to realism in regards to spirituality, they (almost) unanimously expressed a quasi-Karmic belief in connecting with another idealized person on an intimate level for a lifetime.
Even the Frat guys and hook-up girls who I knew weren’t expressly looking for anything long term in their dating habits still raised their hands in assent to a belief in a ONE. Some later explained what that ONE meant to them, and most had differing definitions of that idealization — some even admitted to it being an idealization as the discussion progressed — yet almost all of them still had what would otherwise be termed an irrational belief in ’predestination’ or, even amongst the least spiritual, that it’s just part of life to pair off with someone significant and there was “someone for everyone”.
This discussion was the catalyst for one of my awakening realizations — despite all odds, people largely feel entitled to, or deserving of, an important love of their life.
Statistically and pragmatically this is ridiculous, but there it is. The feminized Disney-fication of this core concept has been romanticized and commercialized to the point of it becoming a religion, even for the expressly non-religious. The Shakespearean longing for the ONE, the search for another soul (mate) who was destined to be our match has been systematically distorted beyond all reason. And as I’ll elaborate later, men will take their own lives in the delusion of having lost their soul-mate.
This perversion of the soul-mate myth is attributable to a large part of the feminized social conventions we deal with today. The fear of isolation from our imagined soul-mate, or the fear of having irrecoverably lost that ’perfect ONE’ for us fuels so much of the personal and social neuroses we find in the contemporary matrix of our society. For example, much of the fear inherent in the Myth of the Lonely Old Man loses its teeth without a core belief in the Soul-Mate Myth. The fear of loss and the delusions of Relational Equity only really matter when the person men believe that equity should influence is their predestined ONE.
The feminine imperative recognized the overwhelming power the Soul-Mate Myth had over men (and women) from the beginnings of its rise to ascendancy as the primary gender social imperative. Virtually all of the distortions of the core soul-mate dynamic evolved as a controlling schema for men. When it is soul-mate women who are the primary reward for a soul-mate necessitous man, there are a lot of opportunities to consolidate that power upon. To be clear, don’t think this is some fiendish plot of a fem-centric cabal socially engineering that soul-mate fear into men. Generations of men, raised to be oblivious to it, willingly and actively help perpetuate the Soul-Mate Myth.
Although Hypergamy plays a large role in determining what makes for an idealized soul-mate for women, they aren’t immune to the exploitations of that core fear. Though it’s more an unfortunate byproduct than an outright manipulation, I’d argue that in some ways hypergamy intensifies that neurosis. An Alpha Widow knows all too well the languishing associated with pining for the Alpha that got away — particularly when she’s paired off long-term with the dutiful, Beta provider after her sexual market value (SMV) declines.
For women, the soul-mate represents that nigh unattainable combination of arousing Alpha dominance matched with a loyal providership for her long term security that only she can tame out of him.
Hypergamy hates the soul-mate principle, because the soul-mate is an absolute definition, whereas hypergamy must alway test for perfection. Hypergamy asks, “Is he the ONE? Is he the ONE?” and the Soul-Mate Myth replies, “He HAS to be the ONE, he’s your soul-mate, and there’s ONLY one of those.”
Building the Mystery
Due to this core concept and soul-mate mythology, both sexes will seek to perfect that idealization for themselves — even under the least ideal of conditions and expressions.
We want to build our intimate relations into that soul-mate idealism in order to relieve the fear and solve the problem, and most times so badly that we’ll deftly ignore the warnings, abuses and consequences of having done so. For women the impact of the most significant Alpha male is what initially defines that soul-mate idealization. For men it may be the first woman to become sexual with him or the one who best exemplifies a woman he (mistakenly) believes can love him in a male-defined orientation of love.
However, these are the points of origin for building that soul-mate ideal upon. This ideal is then compounded upon with layers of investments in the hopes that this person “might actually be the one fate has prescribed for them.” Emotional investment, personal, financial, even life-potential investments and sacrifices then follow in an effort to create a soul-mate. In the absence of an ideal, one must be created from available resources.
This process is why I say the Soul-Mate Myth is ridiculous — it’s psychologically much more pragmatic to construct another person to fit that ideal than it ever will be to “wait for fate to take its course.” People subscribing to the myth would rather build a soul-mate, consequences be damned. So women will attempt to Build a better Beta, or tame down an Alpha, while men will attempt to turn a whore into a housewife, or vice versa.
One of the most bitter aftertastes of having awakened to the red-pill truth is abandoning old paradigms for new. I’ve described this before as akin to killing an old friend, and one friend that needs killing is exactly this mythology. Disabusing yourself of this core fear is vital to fully unplugging yourself from the old paradigm, because so much of fem-centric social conditioning is dependent upon it.
Dropping the Soul-Mate Myth isn’t the nihilism a lot of people might have you believe it is. If anything it will free you to have a better, healthier future relationship with someone who is genuinely important to you — a relationship based on genuine desire, mutual respect, complimentary understanding of each other and love, rather than one based on a fear of losing your ONE and only representation of contentment in this life. In any relationship, the person with the most power is the one who needs the other the least.
This is a foundation of any relationship, not just intersexual ones, but family, business, etc. relationships as well. It is a dynamic that is always in effect. For my own well being and that of my family’s, I need my employer more than he needs me, ergo I get up for work in the morning and work for him. And while I am also a vital part for the uninterrupted continuance of his company and endeavors, he simply needs me less than I need him. Now I could win the lottery tomorrow or he may decide to cut my pay or limit my benefits, or I may complete my Masters Degree and decide that I can do better than to keep myself yoked to his cart indefinitely, thereby, through some condition either initiated by myself or not, I am put into a position of needing him less than he needs me. At this point he is forced into a position of deciding how much I am worth to his ambitions and either part ways with me or negotiate a furtherance of our relationship.
The same plays true for intersexual relationships. Whether you want to base your relationship on ’power’ or not isn’t the issue; it’s already in play from your first point of attraction. You are acceptable to her for meeting any number of criteria and she meets your own as well. If this weren’t the case you simply would not initiate a mutual relationship. In any relationship, the person with the most power is the one who
needs the other the least.
This is a foundation of any relationship, not just intersexual ones, but family, business, etc. relationships as well. It is a dynamic that is always in effect.
For my own well being and that of my family’s, I need my employer more than he needs me, ergo I get up for work in the morning and work for him. While I am also a vital part for the uninterrupted continuance of his company and endeavors, he simply needs me less than I need him. Now I could win the lottery tomorrow or he may decide to cut my pay or limit my benefits, or I may complete my Masters Degree and decide that I can do better than to keep myself yoked to his cart indefinitely, thereby, through some condition either initiated by myself or not, I am put into a position of needing him less than he needs me. At this point he is forced into a position of evaluating my necessity to his future ambitions and either part ways with me or negotiate a furtherance of our relationship.
The same plays true for intersexual relationships. Whether you want to base your relationship on ’power’ or not isn’t the issue; it’s already in play from your first point of
attraction. You are acceptable to her for meeting any number of her criteria and she meets your own as well. If this weren’t the case you simply would not initiate a mutual relationship. This is the first comparison we make with another individual — call it ’sizing up’ if you like — but we make innate (and often unconscious) comparisons about everything and in the case of initial attraction we decide if the other person is acceptable for our own intimacy.
This principle isn’t so much about ’power’ as it is about control. This might sound like semantics, but it makes a difference. It’s very easy to slip into binary arguments and think that what I mean by the cardinal rule of relationships is that one participant must absolutely rule over the other — a domineering dominant to a doormat submissive. The problem with our modern interpretation of power is to think of it in extreme, absolute terms.
Control in a healthy relationship passes back and forth as desire and need dictate for each partner. In an unhealthy relationship you have an unbalanced manipulation of this control by a partner. Although control is never in complete balance, it becomes manipulation when one partner, in essence blackmails, the other with what would otherwise be a reinforcer for the manipulated under a healthy circumstance.
This happens for a plethora different reasons, but the condition comes about by two ways — the submissive participant becomes conditioned to allow the manipulation to occur and/or the dominate initiates the manipulation. In either case the rule still holds true — the one who needs the other the least has the most control. Nowhere is this more evident than in interpersonal relationships.
Too many people who I’ve counseled and read my blog assume that this Rule means that I’m advocating the maintaining a position of dominance at the expense of their partner’s best interests; far from it. I do however advocate that people — young men in particular — develop a better sense of self-worth and a better understanding of their true efficacy in their relationships (assuming you decide to become involved in one).
Don’t get me wrong, both sexes are guilty of manipulation; Battered women go back to their abusive boyfriends/husbands and pussy-whipped men compromise themselves and their ambitions to better serve their girlfriends insecurities. My intent in promoting this Rule is to open the eyes of young men who are already predisposed to devaluing themselves and placing women as the goal of their lives rather than seeing themselves as the prize to be sought after. Compromise is always going to be a part of any relationship, but what’s key is realizing when that compromise becomes the result of manipulation, what is in effect and developing the confidence to be uncompromising in those situations. This is where a firm understanding of the cardinal rule of relationships becomes essential.
There’s nothing wrong with backing down from an argument you have with your girlfriend, but there is something wrong when you continually compromise yourself in order to ’keep the peace’ with the understanding that she’ll withhold intimacy as a result of you holding your ground. That is a power play, also known as a ’shit test’.
She initiates it thus becoming the controlling party. No woman’s intimacy (i.e. sex) is ever worth that compromise because in doing so you devalue your own worth to her.
Once this precedent is set, she will progressively have less respect for you — exactly opposite of the popular conception that she’ll appreciate your compromising for her and reward you for this. And really, what are you compromising in order to achieve? Set in this condition, you’re appealing for her intimacy. That isn’t genuine desire or real interest in you, it’s a subtle psychological test (that all too many men are unaware of) meant to determine who needs the other more. There is no more a superior confidence for a man than one with the self-understanding that he will not compromise himself for the recognized manipulations of a woman, and the fortitude to walk away knowing he has in the past, and will in the future find a better prospect than her. This is the man who passes the shit test. It’s called ’enlightened self-interest’, and a principle I wholly endorse.
Truth to Power
Denying the utility of Power, vilifying it’s usages, is in itself a means of using Power.
Real change works from the inside out. If you don’t change your mind about yourself, you wont change anything else. Women can change their hair color, their makeup, clothes, breast size, and any number of cosmetic alteration on a whim, or as they can afford them, but the constant discontent, the constant inadequacies they complain of are rooted in their self-perceptions, not how others really perceive them.
This is an outside-in mentality; hoping the external will change the internal, and it’s just this mentality that lesser men apply to themselves — the only difference being the application.
The Average Frustrated Chump (AFC for lack of a better term) has the same problem as the vain woman (OK, really any woman) — a lack of true self-understanding of their own problem. It’s very difficult to do self-analysis and self-criticism, particularly when it comes to questioning our own beliefs and the reasons our personalities are what they are. It’s akin to telling someone they’re not living their lives ’correctly’ or that they’re raising their children ’wrong’; only it’s more difficult because we’re doing the telling about ourselves to ourselves.
Self-estimation (not self-esteem) never happens spontaneously, there always has to be some crisis to prompt it. Anxiety, trauma and crisis are necessary catalysts to stimulate self-consciousness. A breakup, a death, a betrayal; tragically, it’s at these points in our lives that we do our best introspection, we have our ’moments of clarity’ and yes, discover what abysmal, simpering chumps we’ve allowed ourselves to be molded into.
The first step to really unplugging from our preconditioning (i.e. the feminine Matrix) is recognizing that this conditioning has led to the beliefs we think are integral to our personalities. The psychological term for this is called ’ego-investment’. When a person internalizes a mental schema so thoroughly, and has become conditioned to it for so long, it becomes an integral part of their personality. So to attack the belief is to, literally, attack the person. This is why we see such a violent reaction to people’s political, religious, inter-social/inter-sexual, inter-gender, etc. expressions of belief — they perceive it as a personal attack, even when presented with irrefutable, empirical evidence that challenges the veracity of those beliefs.
One common frustration that Game-aware Men express is how difficult it is to open an AFCs eyes as to why he’s not hooking up, why he’s not getting dates (or 2nd dates if he is), why he’s constantly getting ’lets just be friends’ (LJBF) rejections, etc., and all the flaws in what is really ego-investment internalizations. As I’m fond of saying, it’s dirty work unplugging chumps from the Matrix, and this is made all the more difficult when a person is in a categorical state of denial.
People resort to denial when recognizing that the truth would destroy something they hold dear. In the case of a cheating partner, denial lets you avoid acknowledging evidence of your own humiliation. Short of catching a spouse in bed with your best friend, evidence of infidelity is usually ambiguous. It’s motivated skepticism. You’re more skeptical of things you don’t want to believe and demand a higher level of proof. Denial is unconscious, or it wouldn’t work: if you know you’re closing your eyes to the truth, some part of you knows what the truth is and denial can’t perform its protective function.
One thing we all struggle to protect is a positive self-image. The more important the aspect of your self-image that’s challenged by the truth, the more likely you are to go into denial. If you have a strong sense of self-worth and competence, your self-image can take hits but remain largely intact; if you’re beset by self-doubt (a hallmark of self-righteous AFC thinking), however, any acknowledgment of failure can be devastating and any admission of error painful to the point of being unthinkable. Self-justification and denial arise from the dissonance between believing you’re competent, and making a mistake, which clashes with that image.
Solution: deny the mistake. Attribute it to an outside element (women won’t play by “the rules”) rather than resort to introspection (maybe I’m wrong about “the rules”?).
Therefore we see AFCs tenaciously cling to a moralistic sense of purpose in their methods which is only reinforced by popular culture in our media, our music, eHarmony, our religion, etc.
Articles of Power
The term Power has a lot of misapplied connotations to it. When we think of Powerful people, we think of influence, wealth, prestige, status and the ability to have others do our bidding — all of these are not Power. As much as we’d like to convince ourselves that women are attracted to this definition of Power, this is false. Because what I’ve described as aspects of Power here are really manifestations of Power.
Here’s a cosmic secret revealed for you:
Real Power is the degree to which a person has control over their own circumstances. Real Power is the degree to which we actually control the directions of our lives.
When we allow our thinking, our personality disorders and our mental schemas, combined with their accompanying behaviors, to determine the course of our decisions, we relinquish real Power. The man who succumbs, by force or by will, to the responsibilities, liabilities and accountabilities that are required of him by society, marriage, commitment, family, fatherhood, career choice, the military, etc. leaves him very little influence over the course of his own life.
The painter Paul Gauguin is one of history’s most powerful men. At middle age Paul was a “successful” banker, with a wife and children and by all appearances, a man of great merit and considerable wealth. Then one day Paul decided he’d had enough and wanted to paint. He left his wife, children and his money, and decided he would become a painter. He cast off his former life to live the life he chose, he had the power to assume control of it. Eventually he died in Tahiti, but not after having one of the most interesting of lives and becoming a world renowned painter.
You may think, what a horrible man he was to abandon his responsibilities to selfishly pursue his own desires, but the fact remains that he had the Power within himself to do so that most men would shudder to even consider. So entrapped are we in our self-expectation and self-imposed limitations that we fail to see that we have always had the keys to our own prisons — we’re just scared shitless to use them.
This Power is the root of that all important term ’confidence’ we toss out every time we tell a 19 year old chump what women really want so he can get laid. It’s this ability to make our own decisions, right or wrong, and to confidently own them that separate us from “other guys.” It’s this self-guided Power that evokes a seemingly irrational confidence to Spin Plates, to date non-exclusively, to assert ourselves and to be unafraid to make ourselves the prize, and it’s just this Power that women want to be associated with.
Lack of this Power is exactly what makes master Pick Up Artists (PUAs) revert to some of the most pathetic AFCs once they become involved in an LTR. They sell women on this idealization and the perception that they possess this Power only to discover the AFC insecurities these behaviors were meant to cover up once they’ve bought the act. This isn’t to devalue PUA skills as effective behavior sets, rather it’s meant to illustrate the behaviors that should be manifest as a result of effecting a real personal change. It should be that adopting a positive-masculine mental schema prompts these PUA skills as a result. Instead we have the cart before the horse in a mad rush to get that all important pussy we’ve been deprived of for so long, by masking our deficit in real Power and understanding with rote memorized PUA techniques hoping that by practicing them they’ll turn into “natural game” and we’ll mature enough to initiate a lasting personal change.
We’ll return to this later.