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In the March 2013 Beta of the Month contest, nominee #2 was a plush squeezable who constructed a twelve day extravaganza proposal for his chubby girlfriend, filmed it and set it to music by twelve indie band drummers (which must have cost a pretty penny, if they weren’t doing it as a favor for him). Commenter RappaccinisDaughter suggested a motivation for these elaborate proposal rituals:
The epic-proposal guy is forgivable because there’s kind of a cultural push in certain circles to plan ever-more-elaborate proposals. It’s more of a dick-measuring contest than anything else. He’s establishing among his circle that he’s the most clever, thoughtful, meticulous one among them.
Male status whoring? No. Men status whore by parading a hot babe on their arms. That’s how they deliver in the most direct manner possible the message that they have the goods to outcompete other men. No man that I know is impressed by a creatively exhaustive epic proposal event. If anything, men feel the opposite feeling when they are exposed to these courtship calisthenics by princess pedestalizing suck-up chumps: they feel disgust. Repugnance. Pity. Even contempt. No man watches one of these Cannes Film Festival proposals and thinks to himself, “Now there’s a high status alpha male I’d like to emulate.”
Usually what they’re saying to themselves instead is something like, “What a tool. She’s already got his balls in a jar.”
The reason is simple: Men sacrifice more by committing to marriage. It is the woman who is “alpha” for successfully extracting commitment from a man. A man who gives up his commitment is the equivalent of a woman who gives up her pussy; no skill involved, so no reflection on their respective statuses.
Here’s a better theory to explain the recent surge in elaborate, saccharine proposals:
It’s mate guarding behavior by beta males.
The beta male is essentially signaling to potential male competitors that his wife-to-be was so ostentatiously wooed by him she will never entertain the thought of cheating with another man, so don’t bother. He has her on “lock-down“. The elaborate proposal is also a mate guarding signal to the girlfriend that the beta male will jealously patrol the boundaries of his one-woman harem. It is perhaps even a signal to other women that he has enough energy to sustain the company of a mistress, although I would expect this latter reason to be more indicative of the machinations of a greater beta or alpha male.
Why would the elaborate proposal surge in frequency and fussiness in our current dystopian Beaver Runner society? Well, extreme mate guarding behavior is what you find in societies where paternity guarantee is low, fidelity guarantee is low, and cock carousel cad hopping risk is high. Or at least the normal social constraints on cock carouseling are loosened. Beta males in such societies are horribly outgunned by sexy cads, because the usual leverage that beta males bring to the marital table — their resources — has been devalued by women’s economic self-sufficiency and generous state and corporate largesse.
The game insight here should be clear: don’t mate guard. Or, more precisely, don’t transparently mate guard. If you mate guard, you signal your betatude. The more diligently you mate guard, the more your girl will perceive you as having few mate options other than herself, and her labia will wither like rose petals in a Texas drought. Because chicks dig dudes who could fuck other chicks if they had a mind to.