Burned by Libertarian Men

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Burned by Libertarian Men

  • Rebecca Lau

    Although women obviously have an advantage when it comes to dating in libertarian circles, it doesn’t really matter when there aren’t many libertarians in your area. I feel lucky saying that I have at least one libertarian (an-cap) friend when most people say that they don’t know a single other libertarian in real life.

    Obviously I have not dated all the libertarian men but I think there are some aspects of their personalities that I find difficult to accept. The first is their unyielding individualism. I don’t think they put a lot of effort into nurturing the relationship. I think any woman who dates a libertarian man will always come second to work, travel, hobbies, etc. Most libertarians are dedicated and hard working people but they do not necessarily think that being in a relationship is beneficial.

    The second problem is that they often espouse misogynistic beliefs and fear commitment. I think those two things are related. I dated a very anarcho-capitalist man who refused to ever get married because “marriage only benefits women and children.” He wanted children but didn’t want a woman taking all his money. He was unwilling to go through with traditional courtship and I felt like I was always trying to prove that I was worthy of his affection. Needless to say it was a pretty toxic relationship and I’m glad that it is over. Based on what I read on various online forums it seems like this attitude toward women is normal.

    Maybe I just haven’t had a good experience with the very few libertarian men I have known in real life. I’ve dated a lot of guys in my life and did not run into these problems when dating non-libertarians.

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  • Toni Sopocko

    Just because a man is a libertarian doesn’t necessarily make him compatible.  Don’t rush.  The best man for you might not even be consciously political.  Mine wasn’t.  We shared values at a deeper level, and the political/philosophical aspects meshed later.  He still isn’t actually a libertarian; more of a conservative.  But that’s okay too.  As long as the partner you eventually choose supports you in your quest for fulfillment, that’s about as good as it gets.

    Be patient, be open.  It’s an adventure.

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    Zain D

    Speaking as a man who is also inclined towards libertarian values (would that make me a man libertarian or a libertarian man… or Libertarian Man! I need to get a shirt with that logo emblazoned on the front)… what was I saying?

    Oh yeah, dating.

    Even before I self-identified as such, my philosophy towards relationships has always been heavily weighted towards individualism – not seeing a couple as a “unit” but rather as two individuals travelling the same route for a certain period of time. I never wanted to rely upon anyone else to complete my sense of self. Like I told my first love: “My life is a delicious cake, and you are the cherry on top”. The cake is still awesome by itself… but the cherry makes it just that little bit sweeter and more colourful.

    As a moral being, I’m only as good as my word. I would never promise anything unless I was sure I could follow through. When most people commit, I’d imagine they never really considered the moral implications of breaking said commitment down the line. Not wanting to commit is not necessarily an act of selfishness but a realization of the moral ethical implications of going back on one’s word.

    At the end of the day, the only reason you should associate with anybody is because you value their virtues. Simple. Don’t force it. Just be honest with the other person and yourself. You’ll probably date a lot fewer people, but the ones you do will actually be worthy of your time.

    Best of luck.

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    Propertea

    I’ve never really restricted myself to dating only people that were libertarians, but then all my past relationships were with apoliticals which is the next best thing.

    As far as misogynist ideas, I think that you do have a point. At least in online communities, there is a very vocal minority group of Men’s Right’s Activists trying to appeal to libertarians. Now, I’m not saying that some problems they bring up are wrong, but that framing it in terms of Men’s Rights vs. Feminism is an unnecessarily limiting framework. Is it really so hard for people that both sexes experience injustices because people discriminate against their sex? I could rant for hours on this, but I will spare you. Suffice to say, if a prospect begins ranting on how the country started going down hill once women got the vote, then you can probably rule them out. Anyone decently familiar with American History will know that the country was fucked from the beginning with the sedition acts and the path USA went down was going to happen regardless of the female vote.

    I would also have agree with what many others have suggested that just because someone holds similar political views does not quite make them compatible.

    I was always trying to prove that I was worthy of his affection. Needless to say it was a pretty toxic relationship and I’m glad that it is over.

    That was definitely not a beneficial relationship.

     fear commitment.

    Probably correct in that assessment. I would like to add that I suspect that there is decent chunk of libertarians who are on the spectrum, which can make social interaction rather difficult for them.

    unyielding individualism

    I think many younger libertarian men mistakenly conflate cooperation with collectivism. Individualism in libertarianism is merely recognizing that within any human action that occurs is an individual that acts. Individuals may freely associate themselves with businesses, friends, families, and intimate relationships as they desire. It is up to the those within those associations to decide for themselves the merit of those relationships and whether or not if fulfills what they desire in those relationships. It is an unfortunate mistake to assume that because individualism good then individualism = people are atomistic (which is outright wrong), but sadly a common misunderstanding. Then again I have rather naive notions as to what a good relationship is made of.

    I never wanted to rely upon anyone else to complete my sense of self. Like I told my first love: “My life is a delicious cake, and you are the cherry on top”. The cake is still awesome by itself… but the cherry makes it just that little bit sweeter and more colourful. – Posted by Zain D

    I approached it from a different angle. My most serious partner and I played a greater role in each other’s lives far more involving than that of a cake and cherry. It was a very mutually beneficial relationship for both of us and we were fairly serious and invested in each other.

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    Mikkel Högh

    Well, sadly, just because someone is a libertarian, doesn’t mean that they don’t have other issues.

    There are quite a few things that can drive people to question the basic assumptions of “normality” and thus become libertarians, but traumatic experiences are definitely one of them.

    Thus, it seems misanthropes are overrepresented amongst libertarians, and that kind of people can be very hard on their surroundings. They can be helped, but if they want to be.

    I think one of the best way to navigate these problems is to be very up-front and clear what you want when beginning the relationship – ie. I’d say something like: “I am looking for someone to form a lifelong relationship with. To form a deep bond of complete trust and friendship. To have children, eventually.”, and if the other person do not have similar whishes, then start looking for the exit.

    It’s not that people can’t change. But usually, they don’t.

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    Liam

    You just dated jerks.

    Libertarianism has helped me in my relationship because I don’t feel the need to initiate force against my gf. I also take voluntary contracts very seriously and therefore would never be unfaithful or break marriage vows. Furthermore, I believe in individual responsibility and therefore aim to be financially supportive and protective of my friends and family. Lastly, libertarianism has a strong intellectual basis which drives me to make rational objective decisions and to be well-educated.

    The only issue is that I get into debates with people all the time and it kind of annoys my gf 😛

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    Winter Trabex

    As a woman myself, I can’t really imagine how someone could be in a relationship and not realize how special, amazing, incredible it all can be.

    I can only really speak on marriage because I think it’s a bit anachronistic. I think we should be able to have misandry, polygamy and group marriages. As long as everyone agrees, then it should be totally okay. Or, you can just have non-committed relationships for years in which each person is free to go around and try out as many partners as they please. I often think that ego gets too much involved in relationships, and that really hurts.

    If you find someone you can respect, you’ve found someone who you can love. Without respect, romance is not possible. People might go through the motions, but their hearts won’t be in it. They’ll just be living in a comfort zone, afraid to leave it.

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    Mikkel Högh

    we should be able to have misandry, polygamy and group marriages

    “misandry” is “dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against men” – I think that’s not what you meant 😉

    Other than that, I totally agree. Freedom also applies to personal relationships, so as long as everyone are consenting adults, all is well.

    Personally, I prefer to keep it simple, but whatever floats your collective boats…

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      Winter Trabex

      Oh yes, sorry! I was thinking of polyandry. I think.

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    Luke Crowley

    Hello Rebecca,I have been together with my wife 16 years,but we were married only 3 years ago.Also I was pretty much a statist until 2008,so I did not start out looking someone with any particular political beliefs. I find these labels now to be something useful but it does not sum up the whole person. I have found that open-minded people meaning someone you can have a deep conversation with and is open to your ideas. You will be able to reach a open person on many levels much easier than someone who is closed. Also me and my wife have developed a lot over time we are not the same people that we were when we met. Also I have a method that has served me well in the past. I usually would go out and have dinner and some wine get the other person talking and see how it flows listen to your gut do not make excuses for the other person for treating you poorly. Really listen and let them do a lot of the talking,you will see if they are open soon enough.If they are not open or spending time with them does not flow easily move on.Good luck!

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    Jeffrey Creem

    Lets explore the end of the post a bit.. ” I’ve dated a lot of guys in my life and did not run into these problems when dating non-libertarians.” – What problems did you run into when dating ‘a lot’ of non-libertarians? Presumably there were problems (though different) since you proceeded forward from those relationships to different relationships. Are there traits that are common between the libertarian men you’ve data and the non-libertarian men you’ve dated? Is there any chance at all that you’re picking men who are intensely flawed in some common way but who then just vary with regards to how those flaws are expressed?

    I’ve seen a lot of people with a lot of failed relationships both inside and outside the libertarian community. The truth is that the majority of people really are not great potential partners. Even if one has a reasonably good set of objective standards for identifying the people you’d even consider dating, you are still going to have to dig a bit before deciding if you should pursue a relationship.

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    Dave Burns

    Maybe it’s a bit unfair to generalize from your experience to all libertarian men?

    That said, I’m sorry you have experienced misogyny, etc. I hope that becomes less common as time goes on.

    It’s nice to have politics in common with your significant other, to not feel like an outsider in your most intimate relationship. I hope you don’t give up.

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    Darryl W Perry

    “Maybe I just haven’t had a good experience with the very few libertarian men I have known in real life. ”
    I would say that’s an accurate statement. Not all libertarian men are the same; just like not all women are the same. I’ve had a string of bad relationships, but I know that not all women are going to do me wrong. Just need to keep trying!

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    Jackitalism

    I’d agree with the fellow you dated, Marriage is a HORRIBLE choice for a man to get into and frankly is pointless to begin with. IF you’re in a relationship that’s going to last- it will last with or without a government contract restricting you from separating until you fill out some paperwork.
    Oh and especially in California- where I just had my exodus from. The divorce data is pretty much completely skewed against men, we get fucked by the courts.
    Not saying this would happen with you and whomever you were with, however – why would a man take all that risk to call you his wife, rather than his girlfriend?

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    Amber Moon

    libertarian / anarchist / individual does not = selfish. You have dated selfish men.. the fact they called themselves libertarian had nothing to do with it.

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    David Smith

    why would a man take all that risk to call you his wife, rather than his girlfriend?

    Common-law laws. One is declared by the state to be “married” after X years of “cohabitation”. They want that tax money; human relationships be damned.

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    Darryl W Perry

    June 21, 2014 at 12:47 am
    libertarian / anarchist / individual does not = selfish. You have dated selfish men.. the fact they called themselves libertarian had nothing to do with it.

    well said!

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    Aaron Spurling

    “Common-law laws. One is declared by the state to be “married” after X years of “cohabitation”. They want that tax money; human relationships be damned.”

     

    This is not always the case.  My own state (Indiana) abolished common law marriages by statute in the middle of the last century.  I’ve been with my girlfriend for nearly 30 years now.  We’ve never married, and we never will.

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    David Hynes

    libertarian /= has social skills or relationship skills

    I’m a libertarian but in terms of my beliefs about relationships I can be fairly typical- I think romance is important and while I admittedly reject a lot of feminist assertions and am sympathetic to MRA arguments, I don’t buy into the idea that marriage is for suckers and women are all evil or whatever. If I found a woman who had libertarian principles and could deal with (or better already was tracking with) my conservative moral standards, that would be delightful. At the end of the day, while it would be great to be in a relationship with someone who believes all the same stuff you do, it may not always be possible.

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    Leanne Baker

    So interesting to hear the perspectives of what I assume are mostly younger members.  In my experience, neither the political philosophy nor religion of a partner has much bearing on whether the relationship will be successful.  We all change and evolve over time, and hopefully learn.  (And a note on California — divorce discriminates against the primary breadwinner, not necessarily the man.)

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      David Hynes

      You’re right, of course; I can’t help but think in a very rational sort of way about it all though. I can’t imagine I would want to be in a relationship with someone who was staunchly in favor of the government robbing people en masse and questioned little. It would strike me as being kind of immoral. That’s probably not fair because prior to becoming libertarian I would have bristled at being called immoral; nevertheless, I have changed…

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    Danny Childs

    I don’t know that it is they are afraid of commitment but rather that the state apparatus has made divorce so unpalatable for men that many are simply opting out of the entire institution. I agree with Leanne that political persuasion is not often the deciding factor in whether a relationship will work. My wife was for all intents and purposes a Feminist-Socialist  when we met. What you seem to be describing are men who don’t want to have a relationship which precedes their libertarian leanings.

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      David Hynes

      Not marrying someone because of horror stories about what they could do to you, while tempting to buy into, strikes me as short sighted. Your wife could also buy a Taurus pistol and shoot you in your face. Your wife could do lots of horrible things to you- because she is your wife. She has access to your person and emotional sphere more than anyone in the world (and vice versa). The potential for harm is enormous, but we don’t enter into ventures because of the bad things that could happen… living life that way is not healthy.

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        Mike Reid

        Right on, David.

        The potential intensity of the harm is enormous, though the probability is low, whenever you fall in love.

        But the probability of harm to yourself is great, though the potential intensity is low, each time you avoid love.

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        • David Hynes

          “To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”

          CS Lewis

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        • James Smith

          David – thanks for that quote. Time to finish that love letter . . .

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    James Smith

    Rebecca, I have just read a book that might shed some light on this issue. It’s called ‘Attached’ by Amir Levine, that attempts to apply attachment theory to adult relationships scientifically. Basically we are all one of three attachment styles: avoidant, anxious or stable.

    It sounds like the guy you were dating was an avoidant style who perhaps was using libertarianism as justification for his individualistic view of relationships. To sum up, avoidant styles see too much affection, and strong commitment, as fundamental violations of their freedom. They often feel threatened by affection. The smoking gun is there when you say you were constantly trying to prove your worth. Avoidant styles are always looking for flaws in their partners to justify their unwillingness to get close.

    Other aspects include making disparaging comments, making jokes about seeing other people, actually seeing other people, being unclear about what the relationship status is, unclear about when you’ll see them again, not wanting to cuddle after sex etc.

    I could get into further detail. I highly recommend the book to anyone who wants to learn more about relationships and what to look for in a partner. Personally it’s a big help: I found out that I’m avoidant style myself, so I’m working on how to deal with that aspect of me that is afraid of affection and commitment. The book brought home some unsettling truths about my last relationship.

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      James Smith

      Maybe libertarianism attracts avoidant styles. “I don’t need no government to protect me!” Fair enough fellow lone-wolves, but your woman needs you. Shape up!

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      Leanne Baker

      A book I read years ago that was quite illuminating is “Sacred Contracts” by Carolyn Myss.  The premise is that sometimes our relationships (not just romantic, but also friendships and business relationships) are meant to help us along in our life journey, and when that situation changes, the relationship does, too.  It helped me to see my roles in various relationships over the years, and also to see the value even in relationships that ended.  She is a wonderful writer.

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        James Smith

        One to check out!

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      Rebecca Lau

      I’ve read this book. I read a lot of relationship books to help me get over this relationship. Anyway, I really appreciate this response.

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