My readers and commenters have much wisdom. In a couple of comments on a recent post about my hit and miss relationship experience (link below), LostSailor expanded quite nicely on the concept of emotional comfort in the context of Charisma. His two comments are long but well worth the read. My further remarks are below his comments.
TPM, if your heart is truly harder than diamonds, you wouldn’t just be dumping women, you’d be dumping them in the Everglades. Someone with a heart harder than diamonds is either a sociopath, a psychopath, or both. I think you are neither.
But it’s clear that both your history and your Charisma have outfitted your heart with a fine set of plate armor over chain mail. Whether you want to leave openings for women is up to you, but if you want to keep knocking boots with these women for more than a month or so, regardless of whether there is a real LTR in the offing, you’ll have to stop failing at Step 7.
The key is that women need to “sense” some emotional vulnerability, whether there is actual emotional vulnerability there or not is irrelevant. It is possible to exude Charisma through every pore and still maintain a window of vulnerability into the heart, though it be guarded by Cerberus itself.
When we’ve got a woman firmly in the glare of the spotlight of our Charisma, she’s going to be constantly off-kilter. Of course we want the hamster to keep his pace, but at some point she needs reassurance–or comfort–that she’s engaged your emotions, too. Without this, the hamster is going to spin in a dark direction. But even here, the hamster is your friend and ally. Even if you don’t want an LTR, and just want to keep the river of lovin’ flowing on your terms, you need to engage the hamster by throwing in just the right amount of vulnerability.
The classics are, for example, talk briefly about your childhood trauma in losing a dog, which is why you’re so attached to Lucy. Or allude to the heartache you had with an ex after a breakup and how your current squeeze reassures you (most effective post-coitus). These are moments that feed her hamster tasty kibble that will make it your friend. What’s that line from the Sheryl Crow song (the ex played it a lot): “Lie to me, I promise I’ll believe…” (Come to think of it, that whole song is about a woman begging, pleading to be gamed.)
Of course, as you know Athol recommends, that in a LTR, a mixture of Alpha Charisma must be leavened by some Beta vulnerability. This works for dating, too. Think of how much yeast is used to leaven a loaf.
I’ve been using it more and more effectively, and this year the dating success has been increasing. I’m not necessarily looking for the LTR, but the multi-night romps are becoming more frequent. The true Vulnerability Game vibe is, “yes, I can be sensitive, but only on my terms.” Perhaps a better term would be Charismatic Comfort….
That’s an excellent term, “Charismatic Comfort”. The downside is all the emotional energy required to maintain such a balance. Such an expenditure of energy leads to this dark question, “Are women even worth it any more?” I know quite a few Manosphereans who will answer that question with a resounding “No!”
LostSailor continues with a follow up comment:
To amplify a little bit, I’m just extrapolating from some of the harder Red Pill/Roissy/PUA material. Being over 50, and the man that I am, I know I’m not going to pull off some of the more hard-core tactics. But I’m trying to internalize some of the concepts without giving up my soul. The whole “comfort” thing, I’ve come to realize, is a very delicate balance. You can go the whole “Dark Triad” path and learn how to give that comfort just to keep the sex flowing with no intention of following up on it. Once you learn how to do it, it’s very easy, but it’s also essentially lying and lying in a way that can destroy a woman’s emotional trust.
Real players don’t care about that. But I remember a book back in the 70s or 80s about “how to pick up girls” that used the phrase “leave them better than you found them for the next guy.” Well, screw that. These days, the next guy can look out for himself.
Back in the day, if you asked me about feminism and women’s rights, I probably would have said “Sure, I’m a feminist. I agree about all that stuff.” And I would have meant it; equal rights for women and all that, sure, fine. What I’ve come to realize since taking the Red Pill is that while equal rights on a human level are fine, Feminism® is about rights without responsibilities. And the backlash is several generations of men who will play that back at women. I’ve made my own moral choice that even if I just want to sleep with a woman, I want to manage the relationship such that when the end inevitably comes, it won’t shatter her.
Maybe I’m channeling Munson [link below] in a way. I’ve tasted the kind of love and relationship that he talked about and I lost it. I’m confronted with a dating environment that is what it is. I like female company and I like to get laid. Sue me. But I also don’t want to be heartless and leave a trail of broken women in my wake.
Charismatic Comfort is a tightrope. I’m still working it out, but it is a way to quickly build a much deeper rapport and a tool for managing a relationship (which is why post-coitus is prime-time for working emotional openness, she’s at her most primed to internalize little shows of vulnerability), including a breakup. Being outcome independent, if a woman ends it with me, I know that there are more fish in the sea. If I break it off, I want to do at least try to do so in a way that, while it might leave her sad, doesn’t leave her angry and jaded.
In PUA speak, it’s about maintaining frame and congruence, but carried all the way through to the end of a relationship. That’s why I termed it “sensitivity, but on my terms.” Women can understand that, and you can use the hamster even in a breakup. It’s about being Charismatic, without being a real asshole.
“…sensitivity, but on my terms.” That’s the great take-away phrase. I am not always the dumpee when I date women. Sometimes, I do the dumping because of any number of reasons. One of those reasons is that I have taken the attitude that I am the one inviting her into my life, not vice versa. Badger had supremely good blog post on that particular subject(link below).