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The Evergreen Statement

Cain Parish

In This Article:

This is one of the first essays I ever wrote that described my views of the world, humans and relationships. It means a lot to me. I hope you enjoy it.

A man holding a large scroll of the evergreen statement, containing much wisdom and knowledge

Table of Contents

On Mazlow’s hierarchy of needs, the most vital portion is that of our basic necessities, food, water and shelter. Without those essentials, nothing else we strive for matters. As you ascend the pyramid, our needs become more vague and ethereal, describing concepts not vital to survival, but instead important for a satisfactory and fulfilled life. The same can be said for our ambitions. It is hard to help others when your needs are left wanting. An essential part of human development is growing to understand how to take care of your own needs in a healthy, sustainable way. And the best way we can do that is to look to other people and the lessons they’ve shared.

Reading is a powerful tool for the distribution of ideas. We developed systems to write and read to store more information than the human brain was ever capable of holding at once. As a young person and a young man, I leaned on writing and reading to determine how I would live my life. Even though our internet culture is moving away from the written word, there is a significance and permanence to leaving words on paper that I find compelling. If my career can have any value, it would be to add something to the mountains of reddit threads, twitter posts, articles and self-help manuals that might be more positive than the content I consumed.

To that end, it matters what I think and what I believe. If I’m to share a viewpoint, it had better be a solid one. I believe myself an authority on a couple subjects, and a novice at many, many more. I would find it hard to contribute to a conversation on economics or the nuances of formally spoken Spanish. What I can speak on with confidence are things vital to human relationships. Communication, dating, sex, relating to other people and yourself. It is my belief that there is value in helping to navigate a world that is ethereal and unspoken to most. Sex and human relationships are a captivating topic, yet so poorly misunderstood by so many. That is a problem.

We have a responsibility towards the people that we choose to date.A little piece of ourselves is left with every casual encounter, fling, one night stand, relationship, date, situationship or love affair we engage in. That’s how humans are. We leave our marks upon the people in our lives, and as a result, we become larger than ourselves. A legacy is not built through individual experiences, but by the people we impact. It is my hope that my past relationships, even the rocky ones, can look back on our history and enjoy some of the positive memories, or find something to take away from our time together.

As I grow up, I realise more and more that dating selfishly is a bad idea. Being selfish has short term benefits. In a very broad sense, you can conserve your own resources and take from others. It’s easier to get sex when you don’t care about who you’re getting it from. Indeed, it becomes a matter of extracting sex FROM someone, rather than having sex WITH someone. A simple attitude shift is the difference between collaborative relationships and selfish ones. It is my firm belief, after spending the better part of a decade trying both kinds, that collaborative relationships are more fulfilling, more enjoyable, more satisfying and better for you. And that is why I feel responsible towards the women I spend time with. I have developed a strong, innate desire to leave people better than I found them. It’s a shame I didn’t reach this attitude sooner. There are a lot of people in my past that would be better served by meeting me now.

I suspect, if everyone participating in dating culture were closer to sharing my perspective, we wouldn’t be facing the problems we currently see. Unfortunately, in an age of abundance and online profiles, it’s very easy to discard people in the name of selfishly acquiring resources. It’s very common to see this behaviour, especially in people that are otherwise unhappy or broken. There are a number of resources that we garner from interpersonal relationships, and each of us value them differently. From others, we can find sex, attention, love, affection, support, security and validation. To get all of these from one person is the holy grail, the proverbial soul mate, able to fulfil all the needs you could possibly have. We are not taught to give these things to others, and yet we hope to gain them from the people we find ourselves with. To prioritise ourselves is oxymoronic, hoping and praying we can find someone that doesn’t share our philosophy and yet is still attracted to us. Instead, I find myself giving freely, sacrificing the resources I used to guard very closely, in the hopes of inspiring a partner that does the same.

People would be more satisfied with their relationships if it were more common to think in this way. As a result of my work, I encounter a number of people, an incredible majority of whom can share constant horror stories about their love lives. From the deeply unsatisfying meat market that you can find in clubs and bars to the incredibly shallow dates that both men and women find themselves on, the vocal majority seem to find their chances in the dating pool poor at best, and downright harmful at worst. Frequently come complaints of selfish, boring, entitled and attention hungry people chasing standards they themselves cannot meet. Violence and assaults are a constant concern.

The instinctual response to this is to become even more selfish, to screen our partners for the qualities we wish for. It seems like a natural conclusion to stoop to the level of behaviour we see around us. An eye for an eye. Indeed, this is how self-absorbed habits and strategies form. Much of the parasitic and one-sided behaviour we witness would not occur if our formative experiences of relationships were positive and transparent. All we can do is act in what we believe to be in our best interests, to follow our instincts. It is only the individuals that properly assess their behaviour that find the truth of the situation; that their instincts are misguided, defensive reactions to painful or stressful situations in the past. But, as counter-intuitive as it may seem, to get what we truly wish for from our relationships with others, we must focus on what we can give to others. Being attractive does not mean merely having a sharp jawline and a six figure job. To be attractive, you must be able to engage with other people and yourself. Our ability to develop and maintain emotional intimacy is the key component for relationship success, both in the short and long term.

This is a difficult skill to develop. As a result, nobody is happy. Our relationships are not being formed in a satisfying way, and the ones we do have, we’re not taught how to navigate. Sex education is unreliable and impractical. The new generation of humans are not being given the proper tools to find and maintain fulfilling and healthy sexual relationships. We are raising men and women that find it natural to be out for themselves, creating one-sided situations where the real human being on the other end of the phone is left sad, disappointed and wanting. Men and women are being harassed and abused in droves. This is a real issue.

Being selfish is clearly not working.

It’s been almost ten years since I started in this industry, facing the same problem I’m describing to you now. When I began trawling through pick-up artist manuals and googling “how to influence people”, it wasn’t because I thought I’d end up here. I wanted personal power, to claim some sense of agency over myself and the people in my life. I was desperate for the knowledge that I wasn’t given at an appropriate time in my life. And because of my ignorance and poor social adjustment, I faced some very uncomfortable situations. And whilst it’s natural to fail, to have to learn from mistakes, what I was learning in the resources available to me was misguided and deeply harmful.

My role models were nonexistent. My support structures weren’t built to work in a modern environment. As a young man, I had nothing to teach me to relate to the world around me. My transition from hurt child to a functional, stable, emotionally intelligent, ethical person who can provide value to others was the hardest thing I’ve ever worked on. So everything I write, from Twitter posts to manuscripts is designed to ease that transition.

In the past, I’ve labelled myself as an ethical whore. Being a whore is shorthand for promiscuity, a simple lifestyle choice. When I used that term, it represented my goals and my ideal relationship style. This is simple personal choice. Not everyone is suited to multiple simultaneous casual relationships, nor would everyone want to be. That part of my label is optional. What is not optional is the component of ethics. I firmly believe in the necessity of forming and maintaining ethical relationships. The cornerstone of such a dynamic is a willingness to give of oneself, not with any expectation, but simply to build intimacy and make the other person happy and satisfied.

Becoming emotionally intelligent and ethical in our relationships is a long road to walk. It takes perspective, experience, knowledge and a developed intuition to be able to successfully have both quality and quantity in your relationships. If it is a part of your life that you value, as I do, it is worth spending time to develop the skills necessary to succeed. The problem that many face is both in the vague nature of those skills, and the conflicting, incomplete and often confusing resources that exist to teach them.

An example of this is the community labelled “the Red Pill”. It was/is a male driven space that was developed out of the pick-up artist movement, focusing on sexual strategy that most benefited the men involved. It was a dense and tightly knit community, with a ton of required reading and ideological values that preceded the advice they gave to young and old men. A great portion of their advice was incredibly valuable. Working out, taking care of yourself, grooming, developing confidence. Nowhere else on the internet took these fundamental principles and taught them with such depth and nuance. Thousands of men all contributed their varied experiences to further the ability of men to get the sexual success they were lacking.

Unfortunately, a community so focused on obtaining results based on compliance from other humans had some fairly predictable drawbacks. If you’ve heard of the Manosphere or the Red Pill, you’re probably aware of the deep disrespect of women that runs as an undercurrent through these communities.

The men involved in this discourse dehumanise women to dissect and gamify their interactions. The reasons for this are constantly under debate. A large portion of these men are simply angry. Their ability to dehumanise half the population stems from their own poor lived experiences, finding it captivating and easy to latch onto an us versus them mentality. Others find the misogyny distasteful, but simply don’t care for the ethics involved. And to this end, there is some success involved. To dismiss the entire community is to disregard some partially positive guidance for men. And therein lies the problem. To be successful with women, you must indulge in information filled with bigoted and harmful caveats. A generation is growing up, correlating their social development with political and social ideologies that are doing more harm than good.

The only road to success is to synthesise. To take, piecemeal from each community and ideology, and to separate the emotional bias and bigotry from the useful information that develops a person into a social savant. We start with a tolerant, respectful philosophical foundation, and build skills on top of that to allow people to excel in what they care about. As with everything in life, the best advice is personal and based upon individual wants and needs. But to grow past such surface level platitudes and begin to excel with depth and nuance, we need to view this information as amoral. If we are able to trust our intentions to be good, selfless and aimed at improving the lives of those we have influence over, we can borrow advice from even the darkest of places without concern.

The very concept of influence implies that your goal or intention has more value than the current state of whatever you choose to influence. We give politicians power because we value their stances and policies over the current status quo. We choose to cook food because we see more value in a prepared meal than the raw components. It is necessary to understand that our influence over other people carries the same presupposition. Your ability to influence other people, whether it be to develop relationships, negotiate circumstances, or simply find joy in socialisation, comes with the burden of leadership. If your intentions are negative or disregarding of the other person’s well-being, influence becomes a force of harm, straying into what many would describe as manipulation. That is where the Red Pill, and all similar communities and resources fail.

In an industry that by definition involves other people, we can no longer act selfishly and expect our social landscape to improve. There is a tactile, objective way to become a socially adept person. But by embarking on a self-improvement journey, we are assuming responsibility for the others we shall influence. A steady hand is needed on the wheel.

For the sake of our current relationships, and the culture we are to bring our children into.

It is worthwhile to try.

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About

Cain Parish

Cain Parish is the owner of cainparish.com. A prolific writer, educator and relationship coach since 2019, he specializes in dating, relationships, emotional intelligence and social skills. He is also the author and creator of the world’s largest and most comprehensive database for dating and relationship advice, which can be found on his website. His first book, I’m Sorry I Egged Your House, is due to be published in 2024.

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