A Theory of Romance

I am a man who has written a fair amount of material, and very little of that has been on the topic of personal romances, as those do not exist. Romance seems like a popular topic in movies and TV and books and the internet and when people talk everyday and it’s conspicuous when people walk around in pairs. I have entitled this post as theoretical in nature as I do not have much practical experience in this subject. I do intend on being frank, direct, and analytical. I feel that my good intentions and enthusiasm should make up for my inexperience.

In romance as in everything else, economics is at work. From elementary supply and demand to Nash equilibrium, sex is simple economics. A brief explanation is as follows. Men are traditionally the demand, women the supply. Women hate sluts because they decrease the cost of sex. Also hookers exist. Women mostly have value in that they are attractive; men in that they have social status (attractive, career, money, well-regarded, etc). Imagine a graph of utility over time. Women peak around 22; men peak around 35. The area under the curve is much greater for men. To some degree beauty and personality are subjective but really they’re basically not.

The implication is that if you’re a male and you turn 30 and finally hit your stride, the women of the same age are ready to settle with just about anyone normal. But she will likely have piles of baggage and few good years left. It’s sad for women too because the better men are taken by that time so there’s a rapid pressure to settle down, which I see in my pharmacy school classmates. A lot of them formed couples that I characterize with, “Well… they were both single I guess.”

I think there’s a lot of social pressure to be in a relationship whether or not you actually want one. It’s supposed to be a marker of maturity or whatever.

Girls have never been particularly interested in me. That sucks, but I was never under the illusion that I would ever make a particularly suitable mate, so it’s more like an old existential regret than anything acutely worrisome. Consequently, I have never been particularly interested in girls. I have made a list of reasons why (from 2011-2013).

  1. I don’t relate well to people (sym/empathy).
  2. I don’t care about inane bullshit (most relationship stuff).
  3. I’m quiet, awkward, skinny, mediocre looking.
  4. I don’t have “game”.
  5. I’m not confident.
  6. I’m complex and introverted.
  7. I’m immature and play a lot of video games.
  8. I’m not swayed by modern notions of romance (big weddings, diamond industry, etc)
  9. I’m cynical and often hateful.
  10. Unclear value (ie it is hard to demonstrate my value to friends, external dialogue presented to world especially with people who have external loci of identity)
  11. I don’t quite know what to do with my hair. [addendum: current hair is okay i guess]
  12. Teeth I guess but I could get that fixed eventually.

I also have a more unique problem in that I get along with only a small percentage of the people that I meet. In my entire life, I’ve met maybe two or three people I would characterize as compatible with me.

People say that girls only date jerks and assholes. That’s not true. I’m a gigantic jerk / asshole and that’s not what they’re looking for. I think being an asshole is a symptom and not the cause.

Marriage is a related issue. Marriage is like betting half your stuff that someone will tolerate you forever. Marriage is antiquated and divorce courts favor women as a fun default. They’ll also take your kids, although that depends on how much you actually like your kids. But then there’s child support and alimony. So it’s kind of a raw deal and I don’t have any rational reason to think marriage would be appealing. I imagine instead some sort of legal child rearing contract in a libertarian paradise.