The Gift of Hopelessness

Warning:  This post may manage the impressive feat of being both beta and slightly self-righteous.

I found out a few days ago that I had to live in a different (cross-country) state for work-related reasons.  So I packed up my car yesterday afternoon, and have been on the road ever since.  I’m writing this from a motel.

You have a lot of time to think when driving like this.

There’s an unfortunate slander about Nice Guys that they’re “not really nice.”  To be sure, they hide their true motives, but sometimes they even believe themselves to be acting without thought of reward.  This is shortsighted—you can’t invest that much and get nothing out of it, or you’ll end up drained—but sincere, at least some of the time.  Don’t get me wrong—they are misguided and harmful to society, but so are college communists.  You can be: kind, misguided, harmful to society, intelligent, and sincere, all at the same time.

So, as I was driving, my thoughts turned to a girl I dated for a while.  She was actually the catalyst for my entry into the “manosphere”—I could tell she was more attracted to me when I acted more dominant, and she even used the word “bossy” a few times.  Quelle surprise for our innocent-as-lamb Mormon boy, eh?  In the weeks that followed, thinking about that led me to find Taken in Hand.  I’ve been carrying a torch for her for almost two and a half years.

But, if there’s anything that’s been drilled into my head by taking the pill, it’s the mantra: she doesn’t care.  Do not contact her.

So, I didn’t.  But I still hoped for the impossible—somehow, some way.

And here is where the sincerity of the Nice Guy comes into play.  I did, in fact, genuinely like, want the best for, think highly of, and perhaps even feel a little protective of this girl.  Being attracted to someone does not preclude any of these.[1] [2]

So, driving on an endless freeway, I thought, “I’ll call The Girl and see how she’s doing.”  I was in a mood such that I could do so just as a nice, unneedy person phoning an old friend—a lift of my constant cynicism.

She didn’t pick up, and my cynicism returned, full-strength.[3]  Stupid to call, I thought.

So, I went to bed, woke up the next morning, and started driving again.

Tonight, she called back.

Few things are as aggravating as discovering that yes, in fact, an old flame was indeed and still is engaging, funny, and smart

But that wasn’t all.  From the first part of this post (2 1/2 years, Dropit?  Seriously?), one imagines a broken beta Dropit, nervously laughing at every sentence and constantly having to hold in an emotional outburst.  Thankfully, it wasn’t that way at all.

Some revelations came to light.  She’s basically everything the manosphere hates: English major who won an award for literary criticism, strong grounding in feminist theory (and kind of has an axe to grind about it[4]) who’s renounced her religion, lives with her boyfriend, is a member of the chattering class, uses profanity, and even likes cats.[5]  I mean, checklist.

And yet.  Most people are too impatient to listen when I explain an idea; she is not.  Most people would take forever to get it if they did listen: she picks things up amazingly fast.  Most people don’t get my jokes, or make subtle ones; she does.  Most people seem unconcerned with intellectual integrity—she left her religion over it.

In person, I do not have many hard edges.  “Affable,” “chill,” and “easygoing” are terms often used to describe me.  This creates an odd combination, because if you’re reading this blog, you are aware that I hold some very non-chill, non-easygoing views.

It gets especially odd when talking with liberals[6], because emotionally I come across as peaches and cream, (err, at least I think so) so they assume I’m on board intellectually.

So I found myself in conversation with this girl, knowing that she was one of the few women at BYU who’d even heard the term “Patriarchy,” and thinking, “You don’t understand.  I am the Patriarchy.  You think it’s alive and needs to die; I think it’s dead and I want to bring it back!”

I made it known vaguely (“I’ve come to opposite conclusions”), but didn’t want to go into details.  If there’s one thing I’ve learned from the Red Pill subreddit and its periodic invasions, it’s that out-and-out argument rarely, rarely works.  The thing to do is let the environment work for you, either by staying in friendly territory (/r/theredpill subscribers will vote in your favor), or by only talking to people who come in undecided and are willing to be convinced(as in, their experience in the world has already pushed them closer to your point of view).

As it was, I wish I hadn’t mentioned it at all[4].

And, as luck would have it, right then my phone ran out of battery.

I have three emotions coming out of it.

The first, selfish one, is of extreme relief.  As long as I had my plan of building value for years and pulling a Gatsby, I spent a lot of mental cycles on this girl.  But no one, not even my ambitious self, could expect me to go after her now.  People make their own choices.

The second one, probably unfortunately, is attraction.  But it’s the kind you feel right after you meet a new person and hit it off, rather than the desperate, clinging incompleteness that is oft a beta’s only bedside companion.

The third one, though, is sadness.  As far as my native and adopted cultures are concerned, she has fallen completely off the deep end.  But I say that with grief, not to mock.  This is someone I knew, have good memories with, respect, admire, and care about.

I don’t know how to end this.

[1] Perhaps feminine traits inspire both in men.

[2] Though they can certainly come off badly if they create a sense of being owed something.

[3] A Nice Guy’s assessment of his own emotions are…tenuous, as you can see.

[4] Understandable from a recent convert

[5] happen to like cats, fyi.

[6] I don’t really like the term, but can’t think of a better one right now.