The Placeholder Relationship

A particularly unhappy Reddit post (link below) brought out a host of men describing the “placeholder” relationship. This is a relationship where a man gets involved with a woman, spends his time and resources helping her and then she bails out when she finds herself with another man, or safely in school, or at a more stable job. Basically, the man serves as a place holder in the woman’s life until something better – not necessarily a man, but usually – comes along.

The placeholder relationship is the result of two things – the white knight impulse and naiveté about selfish women. The impulse to help is strong in men. That impulse can be too easily exploited. Men must be keenly aware of just how much they are helping.

The big red flag is the lack of reciprocity in her actual efforts to the problem at hand. Sure the sex might be great but if she’s not helping herself with the problem and relying on the man too much, it stinks of placeholder relationship and outright exploitation.

Another red flag is her ability to organize outside help such as friends and family. If the man is her sole source of help, that speaks to anti-social behaviors such as selfishness and possibly narcissism (Cluster B! link below). A resourceful girl is instantly recognizable and that quality is a very good thing. She has a support network and isn’t too proud to ask them for help.

There are two solutions for avoiding the placeholder relationship -

1. You do the placeholding. While caddish, it does serve to keep your heart intact until you can be absolutely sure of the woman you are seeing.

2. Test her by not white knighting her. If she bolts when you (politely) decline to help all the time, then you’ve figured out her ulterior motive even if she might not be fully aware of her own ulterior motive.

Some will argue that all relationships between men and women are merely placeholder relationships. I can certainly see the validly of that given both genders financial independence and no-fault divorce. But the single life holds little appeal for so many that a coupled-up lifestyle is the ongoing social trend.

Reddit Post

The Clusters – A Warning For Men

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  1. #1 by Peter Phoenix on November 16, 2012 - 3:49 PM

    Women will take as much as you let them. Have some boundaries.

  2. #2 by M3 on November 16, 2012 - 4:21 PM

    Hehehe.

    In retrospect, i feel my whole marriage was a ‘placeholder’ to get the ex out of debt and fully supported onto her next venture. Once she got stabilized and got ‘career rabies’ (which came after the baby rabies was inoculated with a heavy dose of “not until im good and f*cking ready to have kids).. then all pretense to tough it out in a marriage evaporated.

    Protip folks – DO NOT pay off your SO’s student debts as a gesture towards building a family living within means of fiscal responsibility. They need to feel the sting to appreciate/or curse themselves for their degree.

    • #3 by Phat Guy on November 16, 2012 - 4:26 PM

      Valid point sir.

    • #4 by DC Phil on November 17, 2012 - 8:30 AM

      Even before I was aware of the Red Pill and the Manosphere, I couldn’t believe the number of men out there who were voluntarily paying off their SO’s student debts, in addition to buying her a car and supporting her in other ways. I knew such a guy years ago who told his skank of a wife that she could stay at home while he paid for the apartment, was going to pay for her schooling, and pay the legal fees for them to adopt a kid while he was away earning money. Not surprisingly, she became bitchy and the two of them divorced within two years. I couldn’t stop rolling my eyes when I heard what he was doing.

  3. #5 by Phat Guy on November 16, 2012 - 4:30 PM

    I have been a traditional white knight in a lot of relationships. I bought into the fallacy women generally promote and exploit. It wasn’t until I started ‘lowering the pedestal’ that I finally had the human relationship interaction I sought, and the respect I deserved.

  4. #6 by just visiting on November 16, 2012 - 4:33 PM

    Cluster B is usually involved, but not always with the woman. If her husband was like that, she’d be isolated. (My mother’s second marriage comes to mind) Still, the advice is sound.

  5. #7 by LostSailor on November 16, 2012 - 4:58 PM

    No man should ever be supporting a woman he is not married to. And since marriage should be a Charismatic man’s last option, no man should be supporting a woman. Do not pay her rent or any of her bills, do not lend her money or your car. Do not “help” with student loans or other debt payments.

    I agree with TPM that the man should always consider the relationship a placeholding one. Even if you think you are committed for the long term and have every intention of staying together, even if you’re living together, framing it like a placeholding relationship for you tends to put you in the right mindset about not putting up with her crap. If she’s not reciprocally contributing to mutual expenses, there is danger at your door my friends.

    You shouldn’t be spending any more than the minimum required for the relationship to meet your needs. If you’re paying her bills and solving all her problems, then you’re far too needy and need to straighten that shit out…

    • #8 by Hamster Tamer on November 19, 2012 - 9:00 PM

      LARGELY true, but… doesn’t apply to the time-honored, open and mutually acknowledged, Sugar Daddy-Sugar Baby relationship. ;^)

  6. #9 by 3rd Millenium Men on November 16, 2012 - 5:44 PM

    Great post. A lot of beta guys’ first impression to impress/try and attract women is to OFFER them something. SURE I CAN HELP YOU, JUST LET ME!!! Seems to be their mantra. This INSTANTLY turns women off as they realise they can completely control you.

  7. #10 by Cail Corishev on November 16, 2012 - 8:01 PM

    This is very, very common when the woman is still holding a torch for an ex, and eventually gets back with him. In many cases, she’s looking for an emotional placeholder, not just financial or other support, so it can seem like a complete relationship to the guy. Then the ex gets out of jail or starts taking her phone calls again, and she’s outta there!

  8. #11 by Titanium on November 16, 2012 - 9:24 PM

    The guy just happens to be the right branch at the right time. And for chrissakes, don’t help her move. Tell her to find someone on craigslist for $15/hr.

  9. #12 by Zeus on November 16, 2012 - 10:16 PM

    To Quote Roissy: “Never.make.it.easy.on.a woman”

    Favors should never be free. She can “make it up to you” with dinner, cleaning your house or some depraved sex position. Never hope for her appreciation, demand it. And for god sakes quit bailing these bitches out.

  10. #13 by nugganu on November 17, 2012 - 7:22 PM

    My relationship of 7 years turned into a placeholder relationship for her. She ended it in 2004. Now she’s single fat and childless, 8 years later. No man, no prospects, and 1 cat away from going over the edge. She’s miserable and alone, and in hindsight she did me a favour, I have have a beautiful child and have had multiple relationships this year alone. Eff her.

  11. #14 by xsplat on November 18, 2012 - 9:57 AM

    I’d like to recommend the reverse dynamic, where the man has all the hand. In order to maximize hand the girl should work for you. No other employers.

    Some might think that owning a women is too expensive. But the cost of a girl is not very high, if you live together. A little bit of food, and occasional clothes. Perhaps even a small monthly allowance. The woman will cook and clean and perform all the traditional wifely duties, but in this case there will be no marriage. It lasts as long as it lasts. She’ll push for marriage, and might eventually split over the issue, but in the mean time she is completely dependent on you, emotionally, sexually, and physically. When you are forced by her bad behavior to pull a relationship brinksmanship move, it carries more weight if she knows she’d have to upend her whole life and move out and that you could move a new girl in.

    The Moslems have an ancient practice of the rental wife. It’s still in use today, and seems to be getting more popular. The marriage contract is for a set period of time at a set price. Now I know that many guys prefer that the woman contribute to the household income, but if you are thinking in terms of equity, this fits in. The woman is contributing her labor directly to you, rather than through an employer middleman. It’ more personal. And we can feel that personal touch personally. Who doesn’t prefer to eat a meal prepared for them with love? It feels more nourishing.

    The workplace is where the girl is likely to meet her next beau anyway. And what are bosses if not a type of father figure? The man should occupy all of that role.

    There was a lot of sense to the old fashioned ways of the house-wife. Why not keep the parts of that that still work for us? A live in servant girl can even be persuaded to wear a uniform. I often choose the mini-skirted French maid outfit for my girls. A negligee can also work. Lately I’ve compromised with allowing sexy and feminine dresses.

    To pull this off the man will need to become more than proficient at LTR game – he’ll have to master it into an art form. This is a fun hobby.

    Having a live in personal attendant helps the man be more efficient with his time, and this can help him focus more effort on building up his business interests. No more cooking or cleaning or washing up. And if you enjoy feminine companionship the quality of life improvement is dramatic. Either you’ll stay together long term, or not. Either way it’s a win win situation. You are only taking a year of the best years of the young womans life. She wouldn’t have done anything better with them anyway. They can be the best years of her life, that she’ll often wistfully remember.

    Having all the financial power in the house increases the mans power in all aspects of his relationship. The cost of a woman is minor, to the man who aims for a successful business. The benefits can far outweigh the expense.

    • #15 by fi on November 18, 2012 - 11:03 AM

      Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
      Good luck with that.

      • #16 by xsplat on November 18, 2012 - 11:13 AM

        I’ve done it five times already, and am nearing the two year mark this time. It’s about luck as much as how you perform at your job is about luck.

        I like this lifestyle about as much as having a rotation of girls visit on separate nights.

      • #17 by xsplat on November 18, 2012 - 11:29 AM

        Woops, it’s more than five times. Five is the number of times I’ve moved a girl in to live with me on the first date.

      • #18 by fi on November 18, 2012 - 11:39 AM

        Sorry yes of course you will get women to agree to this. The sort who don’t have a job to give up, don’t have friends to spend time with, don’t have any home to give up, who are do desperate to please that they’ll do literally anything…

      • #19 by theprivateman on November 18, 2012 - 11:45 AM

        “…who are do desperate to please that they’ll do literally anything…”

        I rather like the sound of that. ;)

      • #20 by xsplat on November 18, 2012 - 11:52 AM

        Telling that you state what kind of girls I’d get, rather than ask what kinds of girls I’ve got.

      • #21 by fi on November 18, 2012 - 12:13 PM

        Xsplat – if you’re telling the truth, then I don’t need to ask. ;)

      • #22 by fi on November 18, 2012 - 12:57 PM

        But I think it’s nice that women with no options have men who will look after them.

      • #23 by xsplat on November 18, 2012 - 1:03 PM

        FI, you are a snarky little twat. What are you doing on a men’s blog? Fighting the good fight for cause female?

      • #24 by fi on November 18, 2012 - 1:32 PM

        :D.
        Sorry I’ll go. I’m a woman, I can’t help it. It’s my hindbrain.

      • #25 by just visiting on November 18, 2012 - 2:22 PM

        Lol.
        Actually Fi, I’ve seen xsplat’s version work in real life. In a hard harem situation no less. But after the relationship ends, nuclear level feminism. It’s a bit like dumping toxic waste into the environment.

      • #26 by fi on November 18, 2012 - 3:12 PM

        JV – what??? Really?? A normal woman will give up her only source of money- her job, her friends, her home, dress up in a french maids outfit on the off chance that a man won’t get bored with her and kick her out? And if he does, when no-one else wants her, and she has no skills to get a job and earn money, and has missed her chance to have kids and can’t afford somewhere nice to live as she has no income, think back fondly on how lucky she was to have that opportunity?

      • #27 by just visiting on November 18, 2012 - 3:27 PM

        Beautiful, young, wealthy families in some cases, and at least one attending university. The only difference was that they didn’t miss their opportunity to have kids. And yes, one has to think that they had rocks in their heads.

      • #28 by xsplat on November 18, 2012 - 3:30 PM

        I’ve met two 21 year old cute blond hotties who decided to take a year off to travel the world with an older sugar daddy. Not for cash and prizes, but just for the fun of it.

        Actually, training in the geisha arts is a valuable life experience. I don’t offer a diploma or anything, but any future husband will owe a wealth of gratitude. Being a wife is still a viable career, and if the girl is only 21 when you meet her, that gives you plenty of time to enjoy her while detracting very little from her career prospects, and in fact enhancing them quite a lot.

        I make my girls take classes too – such as cooking and English, and encourage dance and voice and music classes too.

        This is a time honored tradition that is alive and well. You probably even know girls doing the same thing.

      • #29 by LostSailor on November 18, 2012 - 5:38 PM

        Xsplat, fi doesn’t believe you because she can’t accept even the idea that it might be true. Reality is frightening to women like fi…

    • #30 by Hamster Tamer on November 19, 2012 - 9:15 PM

      I *LIKE* the cut of your jib!

      … You are only taking a year of the best years of the young womans life. She wouldn’t have done anything better with them anyway. They can be the best years of her life, that she’ll often wistfully remember.

      LULZ! You just raised the grok-value of TPM’s blog with that gem.

    • #31 by Hamster Tamer on November 19, 2012 - 9:36 PM

      A live in servant girl can even be persuaded to wear a uniform. I often choose the mini-skirted French maid outfit for my girls. A negligee can also work. Lately I’ve compromised with allowing sexy and feminine dresses.

      A dangerous compromise, sir, and I fear no good can come of it. Digression from the well-proven and time-honored mini-skirted French maid outfit is rarely, if ever, worth the risk… unless, of course, the new alternative is made of black or red latex! ;)

  12. #32 by xsplat on November 18, 2012 - 3:38 PM

    I’ve heard Krauser say that he tends to refuse dating girls above 28, as they are getting too close to the wall, and don’t have time to spare in long dalliances. I feel the same way. Girls are in no hurry to marry in their early twenties. As they approach thirty they’d better get serious and husband hunt as if it was their job in life, because it is. And if they are hot, they have no need for a career anyway – let’s be honest. They won the lottery and can lay back and relax and do whatever they want for a while, consequence free. A pretty young girl has the world as her oyster. The trick for the man is to convince her that what she wants to do is to serve him.

    Win win.

    Twenty one year old girls are the perfect resource. The perfect labor pool.

    • #33 by fi on November 18, 2012 - 3:56 PM

      Well yes theoretically I can see that if a woman has independant income and doesn’t need a job and she hasn’t got to worry about supporting herself she may well enjoy being taken on expensive holidays in exchange for sex. Especially if she is as referred to in these pages a ‘slut’ – she might as well be paid for what she’s giving away for free. I was really talking about normal women – the only type I know.

    • #34 by xsplat on November 18, 2012 - 4:02 PM

      Again with the pure snark. I honestly do not believe that you buy your own brand of bullshit.

      Slut?

      Where did that come from?

      Next you are going to tell me that I have a small penis.

      And from whose ass did you pull out the non-sequitir of the girl being independently wealthy? If she’s being taken care of financially, what is she going to spend money on that her man isn’t already buying for her? Was not even a small monthly salary mentioned as a possibility?

      What is your problem, lady? Did team vagina hire you as a negotiator for the union?

      • #35 by fi on November 18, 2012 - 4:18 PM

        Er….JV said the women she knew who did it came from wealthy families. Er……slut because that’s how women who have sex with a number of men (and that can be as few as 3 it appears) are referred to in these manosphere pages.

      • #36 by xsplat on November 18, 2012 - 4:23 PM

        I guess your point for being here is to again remind men that unless they are naked in our beds, women are a pointless and annoying waste of time.

      • #37 by xsplat on November 18, 2012 - 4:28 PM

        That should read, unless they are fucking or fetching a sandwich. Neither of which you can do over the internet.

        I’m not even sure why women can talk, but I think it has to do with talking to other women. They seem to be incapable of talking in the language of men – rational and coherent thought, and instead prefer eye rolling as argument, ad hominem as argument, slandering the speaker and by association his speech, emotional coloring, and ignoring all arguments that don’t fit with their premise. Possibly useful for chatter among other females.

        But I can’t imagine why they think their inane chatter is of any use to men. Men who are not trying to fuck you.

      • #38 by fi on November 18, 2012 - 4:28 PM

        :lol:

      • #39 by fi on November 18, 2012 - 4:30 PM

        P.s “rational and coherent thought, and instead prefer eye rolling as argument, ad hominem as argument, slandering the speaker and by association his speech, emotional coloring, and ignoring all arguments that don’t fit with their premise”
        Pot.Kettle.Black

      • #40 by LostSailor on November 18, 2012 - 5:25 PM

        fi is just upset that men are speaking truth to other men and can’t face the idea that we might act in ways that aren’t for her benefit. Sour grapes make sour whine…

      • #41 by fi on November 18, 2012 - 5:44 PM

        “men are speaking truth to other men ”
        Well I find some of you amusing and some depressing, and a few interesting, but I certainly don’t think of you as representative of all men that exist, have ever existed or will ever exist across all races, age groups and nationalities. And it’s only the interesting ones that I take seriously I’m afraid :)

      • #42 by LostSailor on November 18, 2012 - 6:09 PM

        fi, whether you find us amusing, depressing, or interesting is completely irrelevant. We don’t care what you think or if you take any of us seriously. You’re really irrelevant to the discussion except as a sometimes mildly amusing sideshow.

        Of course we’re not representative of all men, but hopefully when we get through, we will be representative of most men, at least in Western society. I think it’s that prospect that makes you afraid…

      • #43 by fi on November 18, 2012 - 6:29 PM

        Afraid? No. What can you do? Nothing.
        Representative? No. A fringe movement that will never have mass appeal because the bottom line is most men would prefer to appease women if they will have sex with them in return.
        Don’t get me wrong, I think men have good cause to feel aggrieved at how their role has been minimised in society, and their nature devalued (not that you care what I think of course) and the balance needs to be re-addressed, but agree with everything that is said because a man says it, and afraid of the minority of men that like to exploit women? No.

      • #44 by LostSailor on November 18, 2012 - 7:09 PM

        Once again, you miss the point, fi. I’m sure you’re not personally afraid, but perhaps afraid for women in general, especially because you’ve taken away the wrong impression that this is about exploiting women. Sure, there will always be a minority of men who will use their charms to exploit women, just as there ever was, but the ideas of the Manosphere are much larger than that.

        You think this is a fringe movement, but we’re already making inroads as the ideas of the Manosphere make their way into the mainstream, though they’ll never credit it to the Manosphere. The point you fail to recognize is that many, if not most, men have been taught the lie that appeasing women will get them sex in return, and more and more men are realizing that the lie doesn’t work.

        You seem to have understood and accepted some Manosphere wisdom, but can’t seem to wrap your head around the rest, which is why you remain just an amusing sideshow.

        What can I do about you? You answer “nothing” but for the wrong reason; I don’t need to do anything about you. The process will continue whether you agree or not. I bear you no animosity and would indeed wish you well, just as I would any trivial diversion…

    • #45 by just visiting on November 18, 2012 - 4:46 PM

      Some of them came from wealthy families, but, they pretty much fell in with the allowance scenerio that xsplat describes. (Yes, it pains me to say so.) I don’t agree with what xsplat advocates or does. But I can’t say that it doesn’t work. Or that these women didn’t have options.

      • #46 by xsplat on November 18, 2012 - 4:53 PM

        Oh, you are explaining reality to FI. Good luck with that. From what I see she has no interest in accurate descriptions of reality, but has a political agenda from which she proscribes reality. She can tell me about the girls I’ve lived with, without so much as ever having them described to her, let alone met them. She just KNOWS, and has no interest in knowing anything else.

        Reality, woman. Oil, water. When it comes to women knowing women, their brains are hamsters and wheels.

  13. #47 by JulesK on December 17, 2012 - 4:47 AM

    I’ve seen a fair few guys sucked into these relationships/marriages… well, if you consider the eternal damsel in distress in the same vein. These women were such drama queens. My favorite one was the women who had been in a very minor car accident a few years prior, and got “stuck” at the base commissary because she’d driven there (she never drove after the accident, hubby and friends had to take her *everywhere*) and got “stuck”. Really. Poor bastards.

    • #48 by JulesK on December 17, 2012 - 4:48 AM

      Yikes, my spelling/grammar is at a low tonight… sorry, can’t edit.

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