Intermittent Love

Providing evidence ♥♥♥YET AGAIN♥♥♥ for another Chateau Heartiste maxim, a study has come out which finds that women love men who parcel their displays of love unpredictably (h/t: reader George).

I Heart Unpredictable Love

TO love is to suffer; to be happy is to love. So must one suffer to be happy? This syllogism won’t win any prizes in logic, but it accurately describes a curious paradox of human behavior: the allure of unpredictable romantic partners. […]

This kind of amorous attachment is like gambling — except that the currency is affection and sex. The key is that the reward is unanticipated, which makes it particularly powerful and alluring to our brains.

To understand why, consider what happens in the brain when people are given rewards under two different conditions: predicted and unpredicted. The psychiatrist Gregory Berns did just that in a study in which subjects were given fruit juice and water, both naturally pleasurable rewards, while scanning their brains with an M.R.I. During part of each session, subjects received water and fruit juice at random intervals; during another part, the water and juice were administered every 10 seconds.

Professor Berns discovered that the water and juice elicited greater activation in the brain’s reward circuit when the reward was unanticipated than when it was delivered in a predictable fashion. The pattern held true whether the reward was water or fruit juice — even though most subjects claimed a clear preference.

When the reward circuit fires, it also tells the brain something like, “Pay attention and remember this experience because it’s important.” This circuit releases dopamine when stimulated, which, if it reaches a critical level, conveys a sense of pleasure.

Intermittent rewards are far more powerful a bonding agent than predictable rewards. This is why aloof and inscrutable men are so intoxicating to women — they are like the unanticipated glasses of water and juice. You want to keep a woman on her toes by showering her with your loving lovingness in a very haphazard fashion, what pickup artists like to call hot/cold/hot/cold. The more astute readers will notice that the hot/cold/hot/cold routine is frequently and instinctively deployed by women when they are in the early stages of dating a new man, and need to test him for alpha male congruence. You, as the hopeful womanizer, should know from reading this blog that adopting the psychological tricks of women for your own nefarious ends is quite a potent weapon in the battlefield known as the sexual market.

This blog long ago discussed the relevance of intermittently rewarding women for good behavior and promptly punishing women for bad behavior.

VI. Keep her guessing

True to their inscrutable natures, women ask questions they don’t really want direct answers to. Woe be the man who plays it straight — his fate is the suffering of the beta. Evade, tease, obfuscate. She thrives when she has to imagine what you’re thinking about her, and withers when she knows exactly how you feel. A woman may want financial and family security, but she does not want passion security. In the same manner, when she has displeased you, punish swiftly, but when she has done you right, reward slowly. Reward her good behavior intermittently and unpredictably and she will never tire of working hard to please you.

The article about the study goes on to discuss why people are attracted to intermittent rewards.

The reason this happens is simple. The brain’s reward circuit has evolved over millions of years to enable us to recognize and extract various rewards from our environment that are critical to our survival, like food and a suitable sexual mate. Unlike predictable stimuli, unanticipated stimuli can tell us things about the world that we don’t yet know. And because they serve as a signal that a big reward might be close by, it is advantageous that novel stimuli command our attention.

Which brings us to inconstant love. It turns out that human love and attachment are, like the fruit juice in Professor Berns’s experiment, natural reinforcers that can activate your reward pathway. The anthropologist Helen Fisher studied a group of 17 people in the grip of intense romantic love and found that an image of their beloved strongly activated the reward circuit.

If you are involved with someone who is unpredictably loving, you might not like it very much — but your reward circuit is sure going to notice the capricious behavior and give you information that might conflict with what you believe consciously is in your best interest.

Indeed, you may not even be aware of your own reward circuit’s activity. One of the curious things that Professor Berns found was that most of his subjects couldn’t tell the difference between the predictable or unpredictable condition in which the reward was given.

Since unpredictable rewards cause more dopamine release than predictable ones and more dopamine means more pleasure, one implication of this study is that people experience more pleasure with unpredictable rewards than with predictable ones — but they may not be consciously aware of this fact.

Poon Commandment VI… CONFIRMED. By science! Oh, and by real-world experience.

By the way, the fact that people aren’t consciously aware of the pleasure-giving power of intermittent love goes a long way to explaining why women can’t adequately tap into their true desires and explain them without resorting to pretty lie generating hamsterisms. They simply might not be cognizant of the primal emotional machinations fueling their tingles.

Not just that, but there was essentially no relationship between the subjects’ stated preferences and the observed activity in their reward circuit. This suggests that our reward pathways may not only be activated without our recognition, but perhaps even in ways that are contrary to what we think we prefer.

Did science unintentionally uncover more evidence for the existence of the rationalization hamster? Why yes, yes I believe it did! Proof that you should watch what women do, not listen to what they say, about matters of love.

These data might explain, in part, the paradox of people who complain constantly about their unreliable lovers, but keep coming back to them, time and again.

Science discovers that chicks dig aloof and indifferent jerks. Feminists disengage from scissoring to console each other with an uninterrupted stream of feelgood bullshit.

Science: 1. Game: 1. Chateau Heartiste: 1. Love: 1. Game denialists and haters and feminists: 0.

I feed your unfathomably bitter tears to my Galactus-sized ego. Yum.


  1. Speaking to hot/cold/hot/cold – what are the best ways to go ‘cold’. Simply cut contact for a few days (or few weeks, depending on the average frequency of contact) before shooting her a call saying ‘hey, just saw your evil twin?’

    Or is accepting plans to meet up or continuing interaction still worthwhile as far as pursuing the end goal, so long as your responses and interactions are suitably distracted and detached?


    • There’s a reward/punishment version of going cold on her (proper NEXT’ing techniques) to encourage/discourage behavior, but if she’s a generally cool chick and you just want to seem aloof now and then, remember this very simple rule:

      “You don’t have to respond to every txt message.”

      Before you respond, say that to yourself and ask yourself “Does this really need a response? Right now? If I was taking a nap right now and didn’t respond would the world end?” It helps whittle away a lot of gay beta txting habits guys have.


  2. The biggest block of welfare recipients are white single mothers.

    [heartiste: look up proportionality and get back to me.]

    The hardest working low-pay workers are Hispanic men.

    [incorrect. it is a myth that hispanics are willing to work any harder than whites, or in fact do so.

    Feminism and female entitlement are bankrupting America, hispanic men are thanklessly keeping America competitive by working their asses off for shit pay while egomaniacal realists like Heartiste allows his hatred of liars to over ride any noble desire to destroy feminism- the true cause of America’s decline.

    [you know it’s possible to keep two truths in one’s head at the same time.]

    Heartiste, you’re too narrow-minded and ego-fueled to be teaching anyone about Masculinity and Manhood101 principles.

    [then start your own blog and teach over there.]


  3. on November 7, 2012 at 5:53 pm gunslingergregi

    take a vacation fuck another chick


  4. on November 7, 2012 at 5:55 pm gunslingergregi

    i will admit the hot cold shit intermittent is intersting but ahh yea i don’t know it also is driving me insane


  5. on November 7, 2012 at 6:12 pm gunslingergregi

    dont do birthdays anniversaries christmas or whatever just sponataneously have days like that


  6. lol it’s more like CH:860840968438069834095680348, Jizzabel Cunts: 0


  7. The market dropped 313 points today after Obama claimed the best is yet to come. I don’t blame investors for pulling their money out. Why risk your hard-earned cash on betting a stock will increase, when your reward is Shaniqua getting her nails done with your money.


    • on November 7, 2012 at 8:43 pm Mr Pointyface

      I[d rather have Shaniqua waste the money on her nails than General Dynamics waste our taxes on hooker parties for congressman voting on the defense budget. It’s vastly cheaper. I’m not waiting for it to be spent on something _rational_ haha.


  8. Unpredictability has always been a halmark of the militarily advantaged. The Mongol hordes used all sorts of unpredictability ruses in conquering the vast Eurasian continent in the 1200’s. Attack in winter. Forgo the use of infantry, use only cavalry. Feign retreat, then close in behind them. Much to be learned from perhaps the greatest leader ever to walk the earth & fight in battle.

    Such as war, so in love.


    • Main reason they didn’t have infantry (until they got to Europe, anyway) is that it’s a really, really long walk from Ulan Bator to Kiev. Pony faster.


  9. As “rewards”, fruit juice and water are hardly comparable to caring and constancy in the people you share yourself with. The only conclusion you can draw from this study is that thirsty subjects release more dopamine when they’re given juice and water intermittently rather than predictably.

    Dr. Berns’ citing Cordelia as “boring” because her honesty and loyalty compelled her not to blow smoke up King Lear’s arse in exchange for a third of his property seems at odds with your unstated premise, which presumably is avoiding gold diggers while maximizing your dating options. There are plenty of women out there who just want to get laid and have a respectably good time without all the messy entanglements. Why not be honest at the outset and limit your dating to them instead of mistreating someone who genuinely cares for you?

    Robert: If you date more than one person, the appropriate frequency will suggest itself. If you feel like seeing her, ask if she’s available. If you don’t, don’t. The “hot and cold” thing will only take you so far before she dumps you for someone who doesn’t play head games with her.

    Gregi: And there you have it. It’s harder on you than it is on her. Especially if she’s not all that into you to begin with.


    • Well, this should be fun.

      In the meantime, I’ll just point you towards the site’s archives and wish you the best.


      • on November 8, 2012 at 3:23 am Days of Broken Arrows

        “Why not be honest at the outset and limit your dating to them instead of mistreating someone who genuinely cares for you?”

        Oh, you mean “just be yourself.”


        This reminds me of a scene in the old movie “Tootsie,” when the female lead tells a male character who is dressed as a woman that she just wants a man to make his intentions clear. When the male character gets out of costume and does just that, she throws a drink in his face.

        Once again, in three-part harmony: what women want and what they say that want are two very, very different things. Never listen to what women say. Watch what they do.


      • I am down-to-earth and totally awesome lol!!!


    • so this is where old women come to die these days.


    • I concur strongly with everything you stated however you are commenting to unperceptive audience for the most part I must tell you. Also some to a lot of them will not only settle for so far that’s there whole goal so that point might not matter to a lot of them. I hope your comment gets through and adds some enlightenment to whoever reads it .


    • on November 7, 2012 at 8:48 pm Mr Pointyface

      You’ve got to realize the pervasive culture here is one of paranoia– about blacks, women, liberals, …on and on.. This presents a dilemma for guys who want sex while preventing any loss of control not absolutely necessary. Parnoids loathe losign control because… well, then someone else has it, and that could be very very bad.