We have all heard the advice of the seasoned matron to younger women; “Don’t turn your love on like a tap or he will lose interest – withhold some affection and you’ll always have him begging for more.”
This message is now so widespread that animal-training techniques are being redeployed by women who wish to control their man’s attachment needs. In How to Make Your Man Behave in 21 Days or Less Using the Secrets of Professional Dog Trainers we read,
Consistently a dog is “nicest” when he wants to be fed. Then he becomes all wags and licks. A known trick for keeping a dog on his best behavior is to just fill his bowl halfway so he’s yearning for more.
Same goes for his appetite for affection. Keep him in constant emotional hunger for you and he’ll be more attentive and easier to control.
As cruel as it sounds, withholding affection, sex, approval and love have become part of women’s repertoire of superstimuli used to coerce men into service. Perhaps there was a time when that service could have been considered an appropriate response to a survival oriented stimulus. Now, however, it has been replaced by superstimuli and male service has degenerated into a destructive superresponse.
Such dating advice for women abounds on the internet with the aim to intensify a man’s desire by turning a secure bond, a necessity for healthy relationships, into a brass ring. Only on the ride of romantic chivalry, like all carnival sideshows, the game is rigged. The brass ring remains ever just out of reach.
Men’s basic human need for love, acceptance, and security, is frustrated, leaving them in a perpetual cycle of deprivation.
Indeed, it is one of the core principles of romantic love to keep the bond in the realm of tantalizing denial, and men, therefore in constant readiness to be manipulated and used.
The word tantalizing comes from the Greek story of Tantalus. Tantalus, as the fable goes, offended the Gods. His punishment was to be placed in a river with the water up to his neck. A tree full of ripe, red apples leaned toward him.
The Gods afflicted him with a raging thirst and hunger. When he bent his head down to slake his thirst – the waters receded. Likewise, when he reached up to grab one of the apples, the branch recoiled higher and out of his reach.
Women are socialized to tantalize men with the possibility of pair-bonding, to keep fruit of love ever out of reach, and to further muddy the waters with the dictates of romantic chivalry.
If you want that pair-bond, which is to say if you want to be more tantalized, you had better greet her with flowers, hold the door open, and of course pick up the bill.
Be prepared to live that way for the rest of your life, exiled to the river with Tantalus, ever thirsty and hungry. In modern times, simple attachment is transformed into something complex – an impulse now guided by customs of a romantic chivalry, designed to tilt maximum power toward the woman.
Even when the pair-bond is supposedly attained, you may still experience the withdrawal of love, sex and approval as a method of control. It can even be worse once bonded than during the courtship process.
Such behavior from women is not a simple, innate reflex, but one in which they are culturally educated and socialized. Most girls become fluent in the game of inclusion and exclusion, in groups or among friends, well before the reach the age of 10 and the meta-rules learned there reappear again in popular dating advice – rules designed to meddle in the attachment security we social creatures would otherwise enjoy sans the manipulations.
The rules for women resonate shamelessly throughout an entire genre of literature:
- Keep an air of mystery
- Only put in 30 percent effort
- Make him come to you
- Never see him with less than 7 days notice
- Never call him unless returning a call
- Never return a call or text immediately
- Make him approach you
- Don’t call back immediately. You are a girl in demand.
- End call first after 15 minutes ALWAYS. (Even though it sucks. He will call you more.)
- Even if you are not busy, pretend like you are
Those items are the product of a cursory scan of just two internet dating sites with advice for women. They are not, however, an invention of the information age. They are the long codified expressions of what women have been taught, from generation to generation, since the advent of romantic chivalry.
They are obedience training basics for conditioning the romantically chivalrous man — superstimuli, powerfully effective in eliciting a superresponse. In this case, servile, blind sycophancy from weak, non-introspective men.