Great Blackdragon Debate 3: Open Marriages (OLTR) Healthy or Unhealthy?
As promised, today I’m presenting the third Great Blackdragon Debate! This is where I “televise” a real debate on this blog, where a very brave dissenter and I go at it, and at the end you can decide who won.
Today I will be debating “Alex” on the topic of long-term, pair bonded open relationships (OLTRs / OLTR Marriages). Both of us adhered to the 1700 character limit for responses. The debate topic is:
“Seeking freedom from dependents or dependence is not a solid method to continuously self-improve and to live as an emotionally healthy individual.”
Alex will be debating FOR. I will be arguing AGAINST.
Alex’s comments will be in dark blue like this, mine will be in the usual font. As always, I let Alex both start and end the debate with his comments. Here we go!
1. I believe seeking freedom from dependents or dependence is not a solid method to continuously self-improve and to live as an emotionally healthy individual.
2. There’s a reason for Disney delusions: Successfully raising children w/ a spouse is THE most satisfying thing a human being can do. In addition, a 1-on-1 relationship w/ a female will be the most deep, intimate relation a man can have in his life. These are relationships w/ dependents, and doing things that will ruin these relationships is ultimately shortchanging oneself from the emotional benefits they provide.
3. Females do not like their male having sex w/ other partners. Women being more emotionally in-tune, even if legal marriage is not compromised by sex w/ a MLTR/FB, the female WILL notice, thus disrupting the pair-bonding relationship, which will eventually be noticed and internalized by the children. Seeking shallow relations w/ other women is a weak substitute for maintaining a healthy relationship, and avoids necessary self-improvement required to make a relationship work.
4. Outside sex, we are social creatures. Humans have evolved to survive in tight-knit groups who trust their lives on each other’s split-second instincts. In upper tiers of society (large businesses, politics) even at the very top, you still depend on those below you to succeed. Neglecting the skills required to maintain these relationships closes doors. To run a large operation well, you need to know how it works from the bottom-up, something going freelance can hardly teach you.
5. Learning never stops, and depending on mentors for life-changing advice is quite wise. “If you are the smartest man in the room, you are in the wrong room.”
Saying “raising kids with a spouse is THE most satisfying thing a human being can do” is only your opinion. Many people have no desire to do this. Also, repeated studies have shown that having kids reduces long-term happiness. Regardless, I’m for long-term pair bonding, and not against someone having kids (as I have two myself). I’m only against the long-term expectation of sexual monogamy; something the vast majority of humans aren’t capable of.
I also agree that a serious pair-bonded relationship (OLTR) can be more satisfying for a lot of people (but not all!) than a constant string of FBs and MLTRs. We don’t disagree on that.
Yes, many women aren’t going to like their husband fucking other women. You know what else most women don’t like? Being married to the same guy for 30+ years. That’s why so few women do that. They get married, then get divorced. I’m offering a less bad option.
You know what else women don’t like? Getting bored with that same husband after many years, particularly once he becomes betaized. This is why most women stop having sex with their husbands (or seriously reduce sex). Does that sound “fulfilling” to you?
Under my option, a man and woman can pair-bond, cohabit, even legally marry (though I wouldn’t recommend that), yet the husband never gets betaized, is always able to have sex (with his OLTR or an FB on the side), and doesn’t suffer nearly as much when the relationship fails, which it will under your option or my option.
Is it perfect? Hell no. Is it less bad than your option? Yup. Without question.
I completely agree on your points regarding social skills and forever learning. Having an OLTR does not preclude either of these things.
It seems we are in agreement, that is: FOR the fact that seeking freedom from dependents or dependence is not a solid method to continuously self-improve and to live as an emotionally healthy individual. I feel one can’t be for both long-term pair bonding AND having no dependents; as a man they’re mutually exclusive. Also, amendments made pre-debate eliminated parts of my thesis that controverted the subject of an OLTR lifestyle, as per request. However, I’d still like to debate the α2.0 system.
The blog proposes to help out 5-10% of single men that want to make real change “to find a new path to happiness and fulfillment as men”, yet such a percentile is at best smaller than the percentile of combined men AND women couples that pull off successful marriages (BD says, 11%, but it may be higher). The gross number of people who successfully marry is already at least double (as it consists of both males and females) the hypothetical target population of α2.0, which has yet to have successful cases documented—except by anecdotal evidence. By those numbers I wouldn’t say OLTR is ‘less bad’, in fact, it seems MORE BAD. Happily married couples make up the 90th percentile, about the same success percentile a startup company aided by a professional program like Y Combinator sees.
α2.0 lacks argument for improving social life w/ other men. Focus on better social foundations leads men to be more powerful. Power is the #1 thing women are attracted to. Power leads to healthy relationships w/ women. Also, it allows for SELECTION of a mate, rather than taking whatever females slipped in through the cracks of more powerful men’s fingers—who consequently make poor marriage materiel.
It’s entirely possible to be in a pair-bonded relationship with no children, with a woman who makes a decent income. This means you’re pair-bonded with no “dependents.” Though granted, most of the time the man will be making more money than the woman, in which case he will be supporting her financially to a degree. This is perfectly fine as long as he doesn’t beta himself (i.e. he’s still fucking other women, he doesn’t tolerate her drama or demands, he’s legally protected from divorce or breakup, etc).
If you have other arguments against OLTR I’m happy to hear them as long as none of them are ones I already refuted in my recent OLTR post.
You’re saying that OLTRs are more bad than TMM because there are less of them. That makes no sense. Only a small percentage of people are aware that long-term OLTR is an option, but 100% of them know all about TMM, thus there are more “successful” monogamously married people than people in long-term OLTRs (perhaps). It’s an issue of awareness, not effectiveness. (As time goes on you’ll see many more long-term OLTRs in society. Just watch.)
You say, “2.0 lacks argument for improving social life w/ other men.” Utterly incorrect. I have never, ever recommended against having a social life or improving social skills. If you can find where I’ve ever said such a thing, show me. I even included “social life” one of a man’s seven core Life Areas described in my book.
I have said that a social life isn’t super important to me personally, but that’s me, not Alpha 2.0.
Alpha 2.0 is about being happy. If having a strong social life with other men is important to your happiness, then that’s of critical importance and you should get very good at it.
Yes, I guess it may be POSSIBLE to be pair bonded without dependents. It’s POSSIBLE to make the OLTR system work…Please see The 2% Rule.
Let’s expound on the idea of betaization: There’s no specific blog post about the murky line b/t being beta & what truly makes a dude α2.0. Supposedly, α2.0 can still have a cubicle job or not focus on a constantly-improving social life w/ other males. Now, it’s just been explained non-betas are unfilial, and stonewall women. Whereas in the blog there are some good points: remaining outcome-independent, happy etc. What’s the deal?
In terms of effectiveness of OLTRvsTMM, human society throughout history has wildly oscillated b/t trying to make OLTR effective and making TMM work. It’s every man’s dream to have OLTR–and oft happens in societies where women are marginalized.
I’d say prevalence is a good sign of effectiveness, in raw #’s or %s. For example, married people have sex 6 more times per week than unmarried people.
If women have a say in society, it usually follows TMM more–just like in a relationship. It sounds like ‘not accepting drama’ amounts to giving a female no say in the relation. Not only is that not a 50/50 relation, it’s a 100/0 relation. Another example of 100/0 relationships: masturbation. There seems to be little difference b/t wanking and constantly seeking new females to have sex w/. Is this the pinnacle of α2.0?
The highest quality relationship is when each side is trying hard, yet feels the relation is 60/40 in their favor (though it may actually be skewed 45/55 etc.). Relationships are give and take, requiring compromise. The only thing that’s compromised by being unfilial in a TMM/OLTR is the relationship.
1. Show me your source that married people have sex 6 times more than nonmarrieds in the Western world. Even dumb teenagers know that’s untrue. (Unless you’re comparing basement-dwellers to newlyweds, or something similar to skew the numbers.)
2. “Prevalence is a good sign of effectiveness?” Stupid wars are prevalent. Torture is prevalent. So are authoritarian governments, soul-killing 8-5 corporate jobs, (attempted) long-term monogamy, and the Department of Motor Vehicles. Believing that because society does a lot of a thing means that thing is a good idea is the ULTIMATE manifestation of Societal Programming. It’s depressing you would even hold such a viewpoint. J. Paul Getty said, “To be successful, look at what the masses do, and do something else.”
3. I’m unsure regarding your question on beta vs 2.0. I’ve never said a true 2.0 could have a cubicle job nor that they stonewall women. Perhaps rephrase your question?
4. You said: “Not accepting drama’ amounts to giving a female no say in the relation.” Incorrect, because I don’t give women drama at all. Does this mean I’m subservient to them?
5. Not sure why you equate masturbating with having sex with new women. Another odd view you’ve stated here.
6. Compromise (in an OLTR) is okay. Semi-regular unhappiness (hers or mine) is not. If you’re with someone very compatible/complimentary, lots of “compromise” won’t be necessary. You’ll already have what you both want. If a partner needs to “compromise,” that’s usually an indication they’re with the wrong person.
Please re-read the figures I cited: www.kinseyinstitute.org/resources/FAQ.html#frequency
I’m talking about prevalence vs efficacy in deciding b/t the ‘least bad’ of two ubiquitous systems.
Housing & email are societal norms, maybe we should go live in the hills and use the postal system. TMM dominated a free market of polygamous and monogamous systems.
Stupid wars & torture are prevalent–in governments that enforce sharia law. We’re not living under sharia law here, hence why it’s not commonplace for men cheating outside of marriage to be praised.
Also, I’m not debating whether the idea of OLTR is plausible in theory (like God). That’d be a pointless argument. It’s condoning bad behavior in women who are abandoning dignity. It’s encouraging people to act like the very highschool dropouts who perpetuate our welfare state—both irresponsible males running from commitment and girls happily corroborating, then popping out fatherless kids.
Everything male is under attack in 2015, but I have no doubt society will come back begging for strong men. Where are we going to be, encouraging the mindless promiscuity of 18 y-o girls, or selecting and cultivating correct behaviors in women?
Here’s the question: Mission aside, does α2.0 have higher morality than an irresponsible & aloof frat bro? Furthermore, on the deathbed, where are the random FBs & MLTRs going to be? When one looks around his grown-ass life to see no loved ones, getting laid last Friday isn’t going to seem so grand.
To the masturbation theory–frankly, the OLTR system condones treating partners the way a sociopath does. The females are willing victims. This is not an emotionally healthy way to have a relationship.
1. That study proves my point. Young married people are fucking a lot, since the marriage is new. Older married people fuck much less (as much or less than single or partnered people), because they’re past the 3-year mark.
2. Housing and email shouldn’t be chucked for a cabin in the woods, but they should be updated and overhauled to reflect our new society. Email in particular! Saying that “Email is common so we don’t need to change it” would be INSANE. That’s what you’re saying about mono-marriage. As always, I’m not saying chuck it. I’m saying update it to reflect current reality (OLTR marriage).
3. I think you’re confusing the terms; refer to the glossary to double-check. When talking about men running from commitment or mindless promiscuity of women, that’s one night stands, FBs and maybe MLTRs. That’s not OLTR. OLTR is a long-term commitment and doesn’t involve immaturity or promiscuity. It’s a committed, pair-bonded, stable relationship (unless the two people are idiots, which of course can happen). A married, cohabiting couple raising kids where the guy (or the woman) occasionally and discreetly gets a little on the side isn’t the chaos you’re describing. That’s what I’m talking about here.
4. I agree with you that OLTR is better than lifetime FBs and MLTRs. I’ve been very clear about that. As a strong proponent of OLTR I will not have any deathbed regrets.
5. Please explain A) how a woman in an OLTR is a “willing victim” and B) if she doesn’t commit to an OLTR, what should she do and exactly how should she do it? (Knowing there’s an over 64% divorce rate and over 70% infidelity rate in long-term marriages today.)
I’d say the group showing the most emotional stability & self-improvement would have a lot of sex while young, then have kids. They’d sacrifice sex frequency for a quality family set-up, then eventually distance themselves from sexual urges as they find other ways to get emotional satisfaction. Even if it’s arduous, this type of relationship has been shown throughout the ages to produce an extremely strong bond. OLTR‘s comparable benefit is more sex, which does sound good, but in the words of Thomas Sewell, “Much of the social history of the Western world, over the past 3 decades, has been a history of replacing what worked with what sounded good.”
It’s strange the OLTR system is proposed for only a small percentage of men, yet is supposed to update marriage & mesh well with society. Not to mention the fact that, by nature, OLTR is specifically meant for the short-term, and is entirely conceptualized to achieve promiscuity & immaturity. It’s more of a sacrifice of quality for quantity than an upgrade.
The male is the one who should guide the relationship, especially the <4% of males alpha enough for OLTR. He should set an example of balanced relationship. W/ great advice on relationships available for free on BD blog (excluding OLTR), a man could prepare w/ the female for the coming storm. Better yet, the reader would take Sensai BD’s advice about self-improvement & evaluating females well and invest a lot of extra (necessary) energy into finding a high-quality woman. Then said male will take extra precautions to get a pre-nup. Nonetheless, he’ll secure a divorce-free marriage in addition to his legal protections, envisioning divorce as a worse-case, not an expectation.
1. The exact relationship you recommend has an 87% failure rate today. We’re not talking about “throughout the ages,” we’re talking about today, 2015.
2. I’ve never said OLTR is good for society, nor do I want to have that discussion (as stated in the rules for this debate). I have said the current incarnation of marriage is completely broken and needs to be replaced/updated with something less bad. Either that’s OLTR or something else no one has come up with yet. At least I’m coming up with something. Instead, most people (including you) frown and compare Disney mono-marriage to an extreme promiscuous player lifestyle (which OLTR is not) and then say forever monogamy is good enough as long as the man is Alpha or something. That is pure bullshit guy-Disney and is not productive.
3. You have still not answered my questions about why OLTR is “promiscuity” and why a woman in an OLTR is a “victim.” Please answer these two questions in your next response or admit you don’t have an answer.
My frown is a necessary part of the movements in which I raise an eyebrow in healthy skepticism.
In a perfect world, OLTR‘s rules aren’t broken and there is technically no promiscuity. However, wishful thinking and 1$ will buy you a Coke. The theoretical rules disintegrate eventually due to human error, and only skeleton principles will remain. OLTR encourages the basic principle of promiscuity–that is, non-monog relationships. TMM encourages the principle of a tight family unit that demonstrates trust by being filial.
The problem with just ‘coming up with something’ does not stem from change being a bad thing. Rather, it’s the fact that OLTR is one man’s theory. To compare this with a system which an entire human society has produced is absurd. We may not be able to decide which system is better for society, but we CAN compare the effectiveness of a single man’s theories with that of naturally arising systems. A pertinent example is the works of Karl Marx. Society produced free-trade, democratic systems, while Marx theorized a ‘better’ utopian society. Results: the naturally arising system was successful, yet EVERY SINGLE government which employed Marx’s conceptual ideas resulted in failure (and oppression). A female in OLTR is like Helpful Idiots or Willing Victims who helped put Marxist regimes in power.
Arguing that OLTR (theoretical system) is better than TMM (free-trade propogated) is not productive until we have conclusive evidence of the widespread effectiveness of OLTR in hard numbers. Stating ‘problems’ with TMM does not prove anything. “In society nothing must be discussed; give only results” -Benjamin Disraeli
1. OTLR is not theory. It’s my term for the practice, but the actual practice is not my idea. While you’re calling it a theory, millions of people are doing it right now. Please read this.
2. There “might be promiscuity” in an OLTR? Yeah, and husbands and wives in a mono marriage might cheat on each other and might get divorced (they’re likely to, actually). Hell, I might win the lottery tomorrow, so I should go buy me some tickets! Weak.
3. You didn’t answer my question, for the second time, about women in OLTRs being victims.
4. How are we ever going to have “widespread OLTRs” to get the data you want about whether or not it works if monogamy-lovers like you are against the concept in the first place? Hmmmmmm? The answer is, we won’t. People will just keep on divorcing each other, cheating on each other, and fucking up their kids. Like Iron Man said, “Not a good plan.”
5. You’re repeating yourself about what’s good for society and about how open marriages are “theoretical.” I’ve already addressed these points. So I think we’re done. I will let you wrap up the debate with one last final statement, and we’ll let the readers decide the outcome. This has been a good debate.
The original thesis in my first email postulated that it is emotionally unsound to pursue a life style free of people that depend on you or that you depend on. BD instantly agreed with this point, meaning I won the formal portion of the debate from the get-go.
However, we also began to strongly argue some other interesting points, and still haven’t come to any conclusions. The main focus was on the OLTR system, even after an entire blog post was made to shut down early arguments (in the comments section) that Dawson Stone & I made while formulating debate topics. Similar to the 1st great debate, no uniform agreement was made on the topic, yet one conclusion we can draw is that it seems different relationship styles suit different people—BD likes OLTR, ‘millions of people’ are in open marriages, the vast majority of the civilized world is still using TMM and Mormons have many wives.
As BD often iterates, the most important thing is to have a good mission, and to love your women and raise your children well—regardless of your relationship system. I simply think systemizing promiscuity and things like slowly acclimatizing females into your system without directly telling them what you are doing contain elements of psychotic behavior. It also sets a bad precedent for prioritizing personal enjoyment over a strong, trusting relationship between two people.
Only time will tell what relationship system is the best. No one man will ever determine that. Similarly, no relationship in existence is about one man—it’s about two people. Strengthening (not skimping or avoiding) relationships in your life will always produce the most self-improvement.
Thanks you Alex for a vigorous debate!
You, the reader, are free to comment below as to who you think the winner was (if there was one).
If YOU would like to debate me on any topic for the next Great Blackdragon Debate, comment below or email me and let me know; I’m ready to do another one. I will accept any debate topic in any subject area except for anything having to do with A) nihilism/determinism/free will, B) “what’s best for society,” or C) OLTRs.