I’m leaving town tomorrow, so I figured I’d post week 8 a day early: Your social life.
The most important trait a married man can cultivate – even more important than appearance, wealth, or status – is social aptitude. Why? Because a man who is socially apt is a man who has the skills to become (and remain) successful and attain status – and a wife attached to that success and status benefits. Socially apt men are liked, admired, hired, promoted, and laid. And your wife knows it, or at least her subconscious knows it. The absolute worst situation you can be in as a married man is to have no friends and/or professional connections (or worse, to be socially awkward and have your joint social circle dislike you or think you’re strange) and for your wife to know it.
Many married men nearly entirely lack social lives, apart from their wives and children. This is completely understandable. They spend all day working, all of their free time being fathers to their child(ren), and any last remaining moments trying to steal a few minutes of time with their wives. Any time spent out with guy friends or out learning a new skill or partaking in a hobby is time away from their families, and for most men, time their wives are going to bitch at them about, to the point where for many men, maintaining an active social life outside of the home just isn’t worth the hassle and the bitching. Because when your happiness is tied to your wife’s happiness and she’s being a bitch about something you’re doing for yourself, it’s hard to have fun and enjoy that thing.
However, if you find that you live in a universe where your happiness is tied to your wife’s, you’re in a bad place. She is the most important person in your universe. Your life revolves around speaking and acting a manner designed to make her happy, and in doing so, you are happy, too. If this is how you feel valuable, then you depend on your wife for value. You are her dependent. Like a child. She validates you by acting happy when you behave a certain way. Like a mommy does to reward a child. You think you’re being an excellent husband by doting on her and doing things to cause her to act happy, yet as the days pass, she fucks you less and berates you more, and grows more annoyed with you for no apparent reason, until it finally blows up as a divorce, affair, or just a big-ass fight. Because you’re too damn needy and it’s suffocating her. You need to get a life! That same life she bitched and nagged you into giving up in the first place.
Men in this position often try harder to do more for their wives. They work hard at their jobs and make a lot of money. At that point, they’ve elevated themselves from a mere dependent to a dependent and an ATM. Many men throw themselves into the role of being an active father, ever-present in their children’s lives. So now they’re a dependent and a nanny. Many will do the housework, cooking, cleaning, and laundry to help ease their wives’ burdens. So they’re a dependent and a maid. Many will grunt with pride as they do the repair work around the house. So now they’re a dependent and a handyman.
By doubling down and doing more for your wife, you’re just tied to her even more tightly. You’re not just your wife’s dependent. You’re also her tool. An accessory in her life. Something she can use to get various types of tasks done more easily. You think you’re being an excellent husband by doing all of this, yet as the days pass, she rejects your advances every night, finds fault in everything you do, belittles you, minimizes your efforts, and takes you for granted. She even complains about how hard she has it and how unfair her life is because she does too much around here and you do too little.
A dependent, tool of a man who tries to sprinkle a little Red Pill on top of his shitty life just becomes a dependent tool that lifts weights and dresses better. In your wife’s eyes, now you’re not only a child and a tool, but also a narcissistic ass who’s obsessed with his appearance and going through a midlife crisis. A scoop of frozen shit with Red Pill sprinkles on top doesn’t taste like chocolate.
A strong social life is key. When you leave the home and develop a social life of your own, you meet people and come to know them, and they come to know you, like you, and value you. When other people like you, want to hang out with you, possibly want to fuck you if female, and think good things about you, and you actually have an effect in the world around you, only then, in your wife’s eyes, do you actually become a real person. Before that point, you’re just an accessory in her life. She’s the real person, and you’re a tool she wields or a child she cares for – an extension of her. But when you have a social life outside of her, that means you go on existing even if she vanishes. You’re real.
Women are social creatures, so having a social life of your own is what makes you independently valuable in her eyes. Before then, you’re just one more thing she needs to care for, maintain, and keep track of. You’re mooching off of her value. This is where that feminist “emotional labor” bullshit comes into play. Making a man who doesn’t have a well-developed social life feel like he’s worth a shit is hard work for a woman – because in her eyes, he’s not worth a shit. She’s essentially coddling a child’s self-esteem when she acts pleasant toward a loser man like that.
First off, a lot of you guys probably aren’t socially extroverted guys by nature. You spend your spare time on Reddit, reading and posting on a forum about relationships. That’s not the hobby of a social dynamo. You’re probably smart and educated and kind of nerdy with a nerdy, introverted job. Not all of you, I know, but enough of you that I should start with #1 here. If you want to have a social life, you need to get comfortable talking to people and realize how little it matters if you end up looking awkward or stupid. So drive to a Starbucks across town or something, or maybe walk around various stores in the mall in some other part of the city, and just chat with people. Strangers. It doesn’t matter, because you’re not going to see any of them again. You’re not trying to make friends. Just spend 10-30 seconds per person randomly trying to talk to people. Maybe it goes stupidly, but you’ll never see them again. Eventually, you find your rhythm, get used to the task, and realize how little it matters if something goes awkwardly. Get comfortable in your skin and learn to be social through trial and error.
It’s very common for guys to begin their social lives at work. You’re there 8+ hours a day, with the same people. This is actually a mistake. Rarely do you want to mix your social life with your professional life. And everyone, your wife included, knows that work friends aren’t “real” friends. If the only friends you have are the people you work with, nobody considers that a real social life. You don’t get much social credit for hanging out with your officemates in you spare time. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t grab the occasional beer with your coworkers after work and make small talk by the water cooler – that’s practically obligatory to keep things running smoothly in an office setting. But rather than dedicating significant time toward trying to forge friendships and spend outside-the-office time with your coworkers, focus on relationships with other groups of people. You already have relationships with your coworkers forced upon you 8+ hours a day, so getting to know and developing relationships with a new group of people is a better use of your other time.
Exception: Professional networking functions are a great way to meet people that you have things in common with -- from other workplaces, not your own. If you hit it off with some guys or girls at a professional function, keep in touch. Just don’t be overly friendly/social or try to become a personal friend if it’s clear that the other person is primarily interested in just a professional contact.
Exception #2: Once you leave a place of work and take a new job, you definitely want to keep in touch with any former coworker that can be useful to you (or that you can help out) in the future. That’s just good networking. And now that you and your former coworkers aren’t together 8 hours a day by requirement, you can become actual friends if you like any of them. And be sure to give as much as you take – help other people move up, but do so honestly. Don’t recommend a friend for a position just because he’s your friend if you don’t think he can cut it. It reflects badly on you in your professional circles when you stick your neck out and the person you recommend doesn’t measure up. But be the guy who knows people and can recommend and introduce people to each other. You want your bros to owe you favors and you want to be the guy people contact for advice, help, or positive introductions/recommendations.
One of the most important places you need to be social is your neighborhood. Your wife’s friends are going to be there. Your kids’ friends are going to be there. You’re going to see a lot of the same people at the neighborhood pool and at every school function, all the little girls are going to do dance and gymnastics at the same little dance schools, all the little boys are going to play T-ball and soccer and football in the same leagues on the same fields, neighbors will throw block parties and Christmas parties and Halloween parties, etc. If you show up at the PTA talent show, or opening day at T-ball, or a Christmas party down the block, and nobody says hi to you and you don’t talk to anybody and you barely know anybody there, your wife will think you’re a piece of shit loser. Conversely, if you show up and people greet you, you know everybody, you introduce her to 20 people and she hits it off with their wives and starts scheduling playdates for your kid(s), while watching out of the corner of her eye as the slightly hotter housewife from two streets over is giggling at whatever she’s talking about with you – you’re getting laid once the child(ren) are in bed.
Becoming “the man” in your neighborhood doesn’t happen on its own. You have to take initiative rather than hoping to get invited to random shit. Invitations come after you’ve established yourself. Start small – invite your next door neighbors on both sides over for beers and football or a UFC fight, or whatever’s going on, and just chat, eat chili, or whatever you do. Start a guys’ poker night every other week – poker night is such a quintessential guy thing that ABC’s Desperate Housewives had to steal it and make it into a girl thing, because girls can totally be friends, too, right? Odds are that your neighbors already do the poker thing, but they just never thought to invite you and might if you bring it up. Or maybe they don’t have a neighborhood poker group and are dying for something to do, so start your own. Get yourself on the neighborhood radar.
Any time you have to move shit or assemble shit (usually big-ass backyard children shit) or build something around the house or do a major project like staining your deck or putting shelving up in your garage, you look like a badass when you can call some guy friends, drink beers in the back yard, small talk, and get your shit done in half the time. Plus, at least one of the guys you know will know how to do something better than you. How often have you had the occasion to assemble a playscape, swingset, or trampoline? Probably not often. Those are strange, very situational tasks. But one of your neighbors probably built the same thing for his kid just last month and would be a great help building yours. Next time around, you can be that knowledgeable neighbor for someone else. A guy who summons his bros, drinks beers, talks football, and gets his kid’s swingset built in a day with his friends looks like a badass to his wife. A guy who has to hire a handyman or call his dad or father-in-law to help looks like a loser.
Parties don’t need to be super-planned. If the weather’s nice and you’re out on your driveway, kids are running around into and out of each other’s yards and garages, and other neighbors come out to watch their kids, don’t be a stranger. A cooler of beer and a portable speaker later, and you have an impromptu block party.
Ultimately, you do you when making friends. Are you good at grilling and own a big yard with enough shade? Have barbeques. Good at regular cooking? Have people over for dinner. A gym buff? Start a running group or a kettle bell morning workout if you can get some neighbors to show up. Volunteer to coach your kid’s soccer or T-ball team, show up at all of your neighborhood community events, and just meet people. And actually remember them – nothing pisses people off more than you meeting them for the first time, again, a month later, when they remember you. If you have something in common or a reason to follow up with them later, get their number and actually keep in touch – schedule a poker night, a playdate with your kids, a trip to that local restaurant with a playscape, send them your trainer friend’s number, whatever.
Besides work and home, the only other place a married guy is going to have time to meet people and forge a social life is those extracurricular hobbies we constantly urge men to make time for. It is absolutely critical that you have hobbies that take you outside of the house. Obviously, you need to be home enough to get your shit done, spend time with your family, and lead your household, but TV with the wife every night? Fuck that noise. Your activities are every bit as real and important as your kid’s shit. Why the hell is a kid’s softball practice more important than your grown-up meeting? Your wife will try to get you to skip these things and nag you about them. Do not fight, rationalize, or explain yourself to her. Simply say, “Thursday nights are [judo/beer making/bible study/drag racing/cooking/whatever the fuck you do].” Nothing more. The conversation is over after saying that. Sometimes, your wife will follow up with, “So you’d rather [X] than be with your family?”. You simply repeat yourself, “Thursday nights are [X].”
These outings are a great place to meet people with common interests, add their numbers to your phone, and have people to hang with in your spare time, but more important than any of that is the fact that you’re gone. Your wife isn’t there, she doesn’t know exactly what you’re doing or who you’re with. You just leave and come back later. Her subconscious will do the work for you. You don’t have to say anything, nor should you. She’ll ask, “So how was [X]?” or “What did you do at [X]?” to which you reply “Fine” or “Uh…we did [X]”, the proceed to escalate toward sex.
5- Extra Credit
It doesn’t hurt to be social at the gym, too, or when you’re out running errands, or when you’re out at functions with your kid, but that’s not really social time, so keep it to a minimum. That’s supposed to be workout time or family time or getting shit done time. You dread the living fuck out of your wife when you go to your kid’s softball game, and you already know people there and the women all make chit chat with you of their own accord. It’s a lot more artificial if you’re there, with your wife, trying to meet and get to know new people in front of her instead of paying attention to her or watching your kid play – that’s essentially ignoring your family to go talk to strangers. It’s okay to show off your social aptitude a little bit when you’re out, but being so socially successful that you don’t have to sacrifice family time because you already have all the friends you need is a much better route.
6- Her Friends
One final point that bears mentioning: It’s totally cool to be joint-friends with other couples or with people in your neighborhood who like both you and your wife. You definitely want those people to like you as much or more than they like your wife (because your wife’s friends constantly talking you up = sex). But that’s extra credit. You need to have a social life independent of your wife’s social life. Otherwise, she’ll feel like you’re just mooching off of her friends and have none of your own. Your wife considers your joint couple-friends to be her friends, not yours. Even though she’s going to mooch of yours and get in good with their wives and think nothing of it.
In summary, a social life, independent from your wife, is absolutely critical. If you don’t have a social life, you’re not a real person in her eyes. You’re just an extension of her – a dependent she cares for and validates, or a tool she uses to get things done. She’s the real person, and you’re her accessory. Conversely, if you’re the social dynamo and she hangs on your arm, she becomes your accessory. And loves it.