There’s a common trope among RPW, rage-tweeting angry feminists, and the cheesy rom-com blue-pilled crowd alike - the Practice Wife. While all three groups of women have pretty different ideals, we all have a pretty deep fear of becoming the Practice Wife. It’s the woman who spends YEARS, maybe even a decade or more, with a man waiting for him to propose or commit. To her, she’s put in a lot of investment into shaping this man into Husband Material ™. For whatever reason, the pair breaks up, and lo and behold, the guy is engaged to his new girlfriend after only being with her for a year or less.
“I knew it! That scumbag was just using me all along,” she huffs. “I was his Practice Wife that he used to get all the benefits of a relationship without giving anything back, all while practicing how to ACTUALLY be a good partner for someone else. Now some other b*tch/whore/slut/whatever-other-insult-you-got gets to reap all the rewards of all the work I did to make him into a better man! Men are trash, never trust a man, don’t even THINK about doing a single thing for him until you have a ring on your finger, yadda yadda yadda...”
While I completely understand and sympathize with these women’s anger and hurt, I also think they’re missing a BIG point of what happened and how they can prevent themselves from ending up in this situation again. They’re also unknowingly misleading the young and impressionable women they tell their cautionary tale to. There’s something they need to accept about THEMSELVES, not just this “evil” man who “betrayed” them, before they can actually move on successfully or give helpful advice.
To explain, let’s first review a basic and fundamental part of RPW theory: Women are the gatekeepers of sex, while men are the gatekeepers of commitment. While I’m sure we’ve all heard this at some point here at RPW, it’s worth diving into again.
Why are we the gatekeepers of sex? I could go into the vast evolutionary biology and psychology behind it, or I could give you real-life examples of how it plays out, but I think you already have an idea why. On average, men desire sex MUCH more than women do. Sex is more like a need to be satiated for men, like hunger or thirst. What starts out as a small rumbling
in their loins in the back of their heads slowly becomes so all-encompassing that they can’t do much else until they satiate that need by any means necessary (means that they often regret once Post Nut Clarity hits).
While women also enjoy sex a lot and plenty of women (including myself) have high sex drives, the majority of healthy women aren’t seeking out sexual fulfillment in this way. Sex for women is tied to many other things like love, commitment, comfort, and safety. With all these pre-conditions, it’s not exactly the highest priority on our totem pole.
This situation creates an unbalanced power dynamic. The men need sex from us far more than we want sex from them. When we take rape and brute force off the table, women are the ones who have more leverage and ultimately get to decide the terms of when sex happens. This means that men have to work to INSPIRE us to want to have sex with them.
Now let’s look at the opposite side. Why are men the gatekeepers of commitment? Again, the proof is in the pudding for evolutionary biology and psychology, as well as in real life, but I think we as women struggle with this concept more than the previous one. Try to think of it the same way we thought about sex: on average, women desire commitment MUCH more than men do.
Remember that totem pole where sex fell somewhere in the middle for us? Commitment is at the very top for healthy, well-adjusted women. While we needed a committed man’s utmost protection and provisions for our very survival in the past, I’ve argued that we still need a bit of that today. For the naysayers who insist we don’t need men at all in the modern world, can you at least admit that those urges for commitment are still evolutionarily coded into our mating strategy? Why does nearly every little girl daydream and fantasize about her wedding and happily ever after, after all?
While men also enjoy commitment (when it’s not degraded and poisoned by our modern world’s conditions) and while it’s also one part of their dual mating strategy to commit long-term, it simply isn’t the priority for a majority of men, especially in our current times. One part of this is because sex has always fallen much higher on their totem pole than commitment, but the more uncomfortable truth is that men aren’t reaping a fraction of the benefits they used to from commitment and marriage, for significantly higher costs and risks. As a result of the declining quantity and quality of commitment-worthy women, some men have opted to prioritize sex alone, even if they’re the ones who prefer commitment deep down. Others are quite cautious and guarded with who they give their commitment to.
Again, this situation creates an unbalanced power dynamic. We need commitment from men far more than men want commitment from us. Because of this, men are the ones who have more leverage and ultimately get to decide the terms of when commitment happens. This means that we have to work to INSPIRE men to want to commit to us.
Phew. Okay. So we know this and we don’t debate this. It’s an idea central to all RPW and TRP theory. What I’m here to try and convince you of is that Practice Wives are ultimately responsible for their own misfortune because they failed their main job in their relationship strategy: to inspire commitment from their man. Both the Practice Wife and the “b*tch/slut/whore” he proposed/committed to to were dealt the same hand when it comes to the power dynamics of sex and commitment. And yet, the b*tch/whore/slut’s girl game was tight enough to secure that man’s commitment, while Practice Wife’s girl game wasn’t. The man didn’t commit to the so-called Practice Wife because she didn’t inspire further commitment, not because he was using her for practice for someone better. Evidently, they broke up for a reason.
To take this one layer deeper, this also means that the Practice Wife isn’t real. She’s a scarecrow that scorned women create to 1) protect their own egos 2) shift the blame from themselves to the men who didn’t want to commit to them 3) refuse to have any agency or accountability for their outcomes. By hiding behind this scarecrow and not addressing the mistakes that got her here, these women are only doing a disservice to themselves (and anyone naive enough to listen to them).
So 1) stop protecting your ego. Be brutally honest with yourself about your SMV/RMV, and accept that it was too low to inspire commitment from the man you desired. 2) Stop shifting the blame. You cannot control how much other people suck or how they choose to treat you. You can know which men to vet for and which men are more likely to commit , and you can learn exactly what inspires the vast majority of men to commit. With the knowledge that you’re at fault comes the power to change it. 3) Stop seeing yourself as a victim AND DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. Improve your SMV/RMV, vet and pick the right men for you, and become the feminine, sweet, submissive, and nurturing woman that men crave so badly.
If you can’t beat the “b*tch/whore/slut” who got what you wanted, then join her, take a page or two out of her book, and use some of her girl game. Luckily for you, there’s tons of resources here at RPW that shows you how to do just that. So if you ever find yourself stepping into the Practice Wife’s hay-filled shoes, stop making a straw-manned victim out of yourself and take the accountability needed to become better.
TLDR: There’s no such thing as a Practice Wife, only women who failed to inspire commitment in the men they’re dating. Stop hiding behind this false myth and do something to change your own odds for the better.
This was inspired by a comment thread I had a long while ago with u/Whisper where he explained that there’s no such thing as a Practice Wife because men don’t work like that, as well as the recent discussion u/MirriMazDuur sparked about why men don’t need women. Thanks to the both of you!