Options = Instability. A Chateau maxim as universal and relevant to life satisfaction as the famed CH aphorism Diversity + Proximity = War. The O=I theory was introduced in this original press post:
Where you have options, you have trouble sticking by one person. A man dating a girl (or girls) will feel on top of the world and suddenly all those single women traipsing around the city look like much easier targets to approach. His loins will quiver with excitement. A woman transplanted from a less populated region of the country to the big city will become enthralled with all the extra attention from men who are probably much better at playing the game than the men she left back home. Her ego will quiver with expectation.
…and fleshed out here, with accompanying scientific confirmation:
[T]here is an inherent sex difference in the destabilizing force of increased options. A man with more options than his partner is a less destabilizing force to his relationship than is a woman with equally more options than her partner. This phenomenon results from the greater hypergamous drive of women, who are less satisfied than are men with sub-par lovers, and from the biological reality that risk of female infidelity is a graver threat to relationship harmony than is risk of male infidelity for which there is no chance of “reverse cuckolding”.
Think of the relationship permutations this way:
Man with options + woman with fewer options = man with peace of mind and wandering eye + happy but anxious woman + lovingly prepared home-cooked meals.
Woman with options + man with fewer options = unhappy woman with wandering eye + happy but anxious man + microwaved dinners.
Man with options + woman with options = stable relationship. Both are happy and infidelity or rupture risks are minimized.
Man with few options + woman with few options = stable relationship. Both are unhappy yet infidelity or rupture risks are still minimized.
I don’t need my knob slobbed by ¡SCIENCE!, but I won’t turn down a freebie blowie if 💋SCIENCE💋 just can’t get enough of my Renaissance Meat. So once again, to the lab-coats (via VIP commentator chris):
Scientific proof that options creates instability.
In the interests of weeding out the mathematical complexity, there were three values calculated. Assuming you were taking the survey, they would correspond to (1) how well your actual partner matched your ideal (2) what percent of possible real mates out in the world are better overall fits, and (3) how much more or less desirable you are to others, relative to your partner. These values were then plugged into a regression predicting relationship satisfaction. As it turned out, in the first study (N = 260), the first value – how well one’s partner matched their ideal – barely predicted relationship satisfaction at all (ß = .06); by contrast, the number of other potential people who might make better fits was a much stronger predictor (ß = -.53), as was the difference in relative mate value between the participant and their partner (ß = .11). There was also an interaction between these latter two values (ß = .21). As the authors summarized these results:
“Participants lower in mate value than their partners were generally satisfied regardless of the pool of potential mates; participants higher in mate value than their partners became increasingly dissatisfied with their relationships as better alternative partners became available”
Implied in the CH Options = Instability formula is the premise that the available options are desirable; options don’t mean much if what you have now is decidedly better than the alternatives. Few people will trade up from a filet mignon to a burger, so the existence of millions of attainable burgers doesn’t register as a menu of options to our subconscious minds if we’re currently dining on filet mignon. (If you’ve dated a really pretty girl, you’ll know that, at least for a while, the world of women outside her presence seems to recede into invisibility. Some call that love.)
Instability follows from options when the options are instinctively perceived as worthwhile substitutes. From this truism, we can deduce the effectiveness of a powerful Game principle: Dread. If you are a man who is, or is subjectively perceived to be, lower in sexual market value than your girlfriend/wife, then you can help stabilize your relationship and increase the happiness of you and your partner if you ACT LIKE you are a man with many desirable and attainable options you’d trade up to if circumstances allowed.
That is, it’s sexy to act more like an untrustworthy man than a trustworthy man. Why? Because women LOVE LOVE LOVE men who are loved by other desirable women. And an untrustworthy man signals his desirability to many beautiful women. This principle is why it’s so common to see physically unattractive men dating hot babes “out of their league” strut like a cuntquistador who could drop his current lover on a dime if she ever gave him trouble. Platitudists may not appreciate this facet of human sexual behavior, but it’s real and it works.
CH Maxim #77: If a man acts as if his life is full of willing women, then women will be more willing company.
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