Roissy – or Chateau, or Citizen Renegade, or whatever he’s calling himself/themselves these days – believes that compatibility of values and sexual attraction are unrelated. Moreover, it is not even necessary to conceal a difference of beliefs. Says he:
You’re doing it wrong if you think dating ideologically dissimilar people is about keeping topics “under wraps”. It’s nothing of the sort. Real sexual attraction and love circumvent that type of defensively dull mechanistic dating jive. It’s irrelevant to men with tight game, because “major lifestyle differences” would hardly ever be summoned, purposely or inadvertently, to move a seduction forward. That is because what builds attraction is not a discussion over national health insurance or the blessings of having kids. Sustained sexual attraction is an ancient instinct that reacts to certain mate value cues, and political conformity is not one of them. If anything, a girl can be *more* attracted to a man who is ideologically different from her, as long as he is passionate about his beliefs without being charmless in explaining them. Girls are often shocked into arousal by the presence of a man willing to speak his mind and refrain from obsequiously parroting her opinions.
Now at some point down the road those arid and tingle-killing ideological, religious or political issues will rise to the fore. It is inevitable when you spend so much time with a girl that it becomes impossible to sequester zones of discussion in an unshared limbo. But ultimately it won’t matter if the girl loves the man. She’ll instead be more drawn to his standing firmly for his principles.
He’s not wrong – if all you’re going for is attraction for a hook-up, fling, or short-term relationship. Even for a long-term relationship, differences of ideology and principles may not be enough to disrupt attraction.
Most people, however, will balk when it comes to marriage to someone with significantly different values. Roissy, as someone who professes never to marry, will never face these concerns. But most people do marry, and differences of values will almost certainly come into play for evaluating someone’s spousal potential. And this is wise and prudent, because marriage is the mingling of two lives into one, a voluntary relinquishment of freedom and personal choice. When you enter into an arrangement where (typically) finances are joined, families are joined, children are begotten, and your entire future has the other person tethered to it, differences start to matter very much. What kind of man marries a woman with a very different attitude about spending money? About expectations for standard of living? About the importance of extended family? About raising children? About faith and politics?
A dating relationship is like a buffet, where you can choose the things you like and ignore the ones you don’t. Marriage, on the other hand, is a “you have to clean your plate” sort of deal. The more differences and incompatibilities there are, the more work it will be to maintain the relationship. Hollywood likes to glamorize the “rich girl/poor boy” dichotomy, promoting the idea that “love conquers all” (never mind that in real life, male proles typically do not end up with wealthy blue blood heiresses) but in real life where there are bills to pay and aging parents to take care of and kids who need attention and lawns to mow and cars to wash, every difference between you and your spouse is a friction point. When life’s stresses set in – and they will – loving and living with someone who is in opposition to your values will become incredibly difficult in a way that two more like-minded people will not experience. (Which is not to say that Sam and Sue Sameness will never experience marital difficulty, only that their harmony of values will smooth over a lot of potential friction points. Shared values can help sustain the bond between two people when ~feelings~ aren’t at the forefront.)
Compatibility of values is especially important when it comes to having children. Most people marry in anticipation of having a family, and some marry because their little bundle of joy is already on the way. This is where the values rubber really starts to meet the practice road. How are you going to raise your child? Will you spank or do time-outs? Public, private, or homeschooling? Sugary treats or celery sticks? How many hours of Wii per day? Of Disney Channel? Will you take your children to R-rated movies? Stay at home mom or daycare? How old must your daughter be to wear makeup? To date? Will you take your kids to church? To which church? What traditions will you celebrate? What will you teach your children about life? About other people? About him- or herself?
Obviously, most people do not find and marry their opposite-sex twin. All couples will have matters on which they must surrender or tolerate. I think it’s foolish, though, to marry primarily for attraction and not for shared values. For men, especially – a woman is only going to be at her physical peak for a short amount of time compared to the amount of time you will be married to her. What’s going to help keep you bonded after everything starts to sag and deflate?
To the men who are saying, “Pfft. I’m so alpha that my 8+ wife abandoned all of her beliefs and adopted my own!”: then I posit that her beliefs weren’t really very important to her, if she didn’t struggle at all with giving them up. (Some seed falls on the path and gets eaten by birds, some falls on rocky soil, some falls in the weeds….)