Dating is Zero-Sum

Many people don’t realize that “dating” is a recent invention; something we came up with in the death throes of post-modern decadence and is one of the—if not the—principle factor contributing to our current cultural malaise.

As adult supervision waned and the zeitgeist of our current decadence increasingly demanded that fewer and fewer boundaries be placed on the decisions made by young people in regards their choice in partner, premarital sex became commonplace. Once that happened, it wasn’t long at all before it became a necessary but insufficient term of pre-engagement engagement—one that principally benefited young men who were then free to dump any current “girlfriend” for a new and improved “girlfriend”, and thus a new and improved sexual encounter. If men were to do this en masse, it stands to reason that that new “girlfriend” would have been dumped herself by and old “boyfriend”, thus perpetuating the cycle.

But women are opportunists, too. They can—and do—manipulate the dating market to attain better purchase on locking down the long term commitment of a desirable man. As is often the case, a young woman finds herself “dating” a young man for whom she has no real emotional connection. Instead, she sticks around because he satisfies her primal need for someone to buy her shit and be a shoulder to cry on. When (if ever) that more idealized version of a “boyfriend” comes along, she’ll drop the first like a bad habit to make a go at the new guy.

In either case, you’re either the player, or you’re getting played. It cannot be both.

Before modern dating, (i.e. the hundred or so thousand years of human existence prior to the mid twentieth century) there was courtship, which was a brief period of benign inter-sexual interaction heavily moderated by skin-in-the-game family members, townspeople, and all-around wise elders with the strict aim of creating a legal union suitable for the rearing of well-adjusted, world-inheriting children.

These elders, whom we should listen to, were charged with the burdensome responsibility of introducing young people who were believed would make suitable parents if legally bound to one another. Through careful, sober analysis, they weighed various factors that would impact the success of their potential union with the sagacity characteristic of people who have been around the romantic block. They knew all too well the judgment-impairing intoxication of young love and how easily it can have the Youth chasing down dead ends. Bottom line: kids make terrible romantic decisions.

The principle distinction between courtship and dating is that there was no sex during courtship. This cannot be emphasized enough. If sex is readily available, any young man is liable to conjure up reasons not to devote himself to any one woman. This is why chastity is the most valuable thing a young woman possesses. During a courtship, the most intimacy a young person could expect was innocent hand-holding and maybe a stolen kiss at the door.

What this ‘no premarital sex’ distinction means in reality is that courtship, unlike dating, is a cost-free affair. One can engage in multiple courtships throughout their late teens and early twenties and not feel as if they’re using themselves up or sacrifice their dignity. One doesn’t feel as if they give a piece of themselves away with every new partner. One doesn’t become jaded. Modern dating, on the other hand is a maleficent zero-sum exercise in futility precisely because sex is on the menu. We must eradicate the plague that is modern dating.

“But wait, P.K.,” you protest. “Courtship would remove some of the personal freedoms of the individual!”

A, no shit. Humans are flawed creatures who if not for external guidance (legislative or spiritual) would revert promptly back to the savagery of the Jungel which cares not a wit for the future of your nation, let alone its spelling rules. And B, I don’t care. With marriage and fertility rates as low as they are, and divorce rates and benzodiazepine dependency as high as they are, a break-the-glass emergency is upon us and sacrifices will have to be made if we are to survive. In the indelible words of some dude on the internet, “The wants of the individual are superseded by the needs of the many.” The ‘many’ in this case are our posterity.

Purpose vs. Meaning

I have some terrible news. There is, in fact, no meaning to life. This is not something to be alarmed by, though it may well alarm you. That’s only because you’ve lived your entire life petty and small-minded. That’s okay, because today you change.

For all of the new-agey ‘being present’ discussion that goes on today, one would think we live among a multitude of philosophers. But we don’t, as anyone with a questioning mind who has ever bothered to go down that rabbit hole knows it to be an exercise in mental masturbation. I have considered at length the possible metrics for measuring life on a meta-scale and at the time of this writing can divine only two: purpose and meaning.

Purpose is the easy one. Our purpose in being on this giant ball of rock and dirt is, quite simply, to make more of ourselves. That’s it. Our purpose is to stay alive long enough to reproduce, and ideally long enough to raise our progeny to self-sufficiency. In truth, this latter part is just icing on the cake. So the next time you hear someone talk about their job, or their career, or their hobby in terms of what they were “put on Earth to do”, you tell them: this guy on the internet said you’re wrong, and then smugly educate them on the simplicity of life’s purpose.

But what if, for whatever reason, you don’t reproduce? Well then, your purpose, as it were, is to provide for and protect those within your tribe who have reproduced. Simple. And this is where meaning comes in. The ol’ “what’s the meaning of life” question is more complex, but still stupidly simple. Again, there is no inherent meaning to life. If there’s to be any meaning for one’s life, one must make it themselves. It is possible that your purpose is your meaning. See those who live for their chillens—a noble pursuit if ever there was one. But typically meaning comes from somewhere else, but at any rate, those who seek meaning will never find it. Because it’s not a fucking Pokémon. Meaning isn’t something you find, it’s something you make.

I had a philosophy professor recall an interaction in which he was loathe to hear one of his acquaintances distill down the lot of western philosophy to so much navel gazing. At the time, my tender impressionability had me in the court of my professor who demanded his acquaintance (and by extension, us students) “show philosophy some respect.” Well, obviously I’m not that into it anymore. The truth was in the middle.

Now I don’t advocate a wholesale condemnation of the entirety of western philosophy to the effete wastelands, but I will advocate the taking of most of philosophy with a discerning grain of salt, as there are very strict limits to the utility and personal-growth value of anything theoretical especially when juxtaposed (rightfully) against its corresponding applied study. We’re just not far enough removed from the Jungel for the theoretical to matter that much. Again, that’s not to write off the theoretical—it got us to the moon, gave us modern medicine, and immanentized representative democracy (for all its flaws)—but where the rubber meets the road, only the applied matters. This is truly where we ought to focus our energies.

But I digress. TLDR: Purpose: reproduce; Meaning: None, unless you make it.

Editor’s note: That this diatribe (not unlike many others found here and in my head) is, in its very nature, theoretical, is an irony not lost on me. This is where I go to spin my wheels. Thanks for stopping by.

No Exceptions: We Get What We Deserve

At 50, everyone has the face he deserves.

—Orwell

What is all this nonsense about deserving? I hear people say it all the time. I read it in the news. X person deserves this. X group deserves that. Bullshit. Nobody deserves anything more than they get. Which is to say, exactly what they already have.

We like to forget that the barrier that separates our cushy civilization from the dog-eat-dog savagery of the Jungel (the Jungel doesn’t care about your spelling rules) is preciously thin and eminently permeable. You should count your blessings that you’re not remorselessly ripped limb from limb by the first person that you offend who happens to be stronger than you. After all, this is how the Jungel would have grievances settled. And if you think the Jungel would ever think twice about what was deserved, then you’re hopelessly naïve. The Jungel knows no such concept.

Tell me about the promotion you didn’t get, and I’ll tell you you’re not good enough at playing the political game. Tell me about the lover that betrayed you, and I’ll tell you that you obviously didn’t make much of an impression on them. Tell me about the hell in which you live and I’ll tell you that you’re not the only one suffering.

But, but, but, my kid has cancer, do they deserve that? Yes, your kid deserves cancer, because they possess a genetic predisposition to getting cancer. And from whom did your kid get those shit genetics? It is only because of technological advancements and the medical breakthroughs of the last four hundred years that allowed you (or your terminal kid) to exist in the first place. The Jungel would have killed you in your crib. Be thankful for every breath, you weakling.

It’s a very uncomfortable truth that we get in life precisely what we deserve. If you think you deserve more, then you have to bring more to the table. If you have not gotten what you want out of life, then you haven’t worked hard enough. Stop blaming everything else and look in the fucking mirror. Have you done everything in your power to change your station in life? No. No, you have not. Stop bitching, start working, get “deserve” out of your goddamn vocabulary. In fact, stop speaking altogether and start acting. All you deserve is the world before you, be that everything imaginable or nothing at all.