The Hedonic Treadmill Explains Why You Can’t Buy a Woman’s Love


Money can’t buy love

If the timeless maxim Alpha Fux, Beta Bux has not shunned you from turning yourself into a walking ATM machine for women, the concept of The Hedonic Treadmill will explain another reason it is impossible to satisfy women with material things and why you are ultimately digging a trap for yourself by trying. Never try to buy love. There is a scientific, psychological reason it will not work, beyond the fact you cannot negotiate desire. It is called The Hedonic Treadmill. The textbook definition says:

The Hedonic Treadmill is the observed tendency of people to quickly return to a relatively stable level of happiness despite major positive or negative events or life changes.

What the concept amounts to is no matter what expense a man goes through to make a woman happy, she will quickly get used to her new jewelry, house, or standard of living and expect even more from him. It is a four-step process which works like this:

  1. Becky’s husband works at a job he doesn’t really enjoy an increasing number of hours and with increasing demands on his psychological and physical health to afford her a material life that is comparable to that of her friends. Never mind she doesn’t really need all that stuff, competitive consumption is what women thrive on.
  2. After he buys her what she wants, or as in many cases a single income is not enough to feed this monster and she goes to work herself to be able to buy even more junk, she is temporarily happy showing off her new clothing, accessories, and other baubles to her friends.
  3. The excitement of the new purchases quickly wears off. Becky returns to her previous level of happiness despite the huge sums of money spent and debt accrued.
  4. Becky begins to dream about even more stuff, and bigger purchases. She needs a fancier car, a bigger house, and an exotic vacation at a 4-star resort. Which returns this cyclical process back to step 1, and the cycle repeats until either her husband falls off the treadmill (job loss, heart attack etc.) or she finds a more appealing meal ticket to power her life of vanity.

This infographic explains the concept in further detail.


The best advice: Stay off the treadmill!

Taken for a Ride

Hopping on The Hedonic Treadmill is a great way to waste the best years of your life, and much of your income and investment potential on someone who will never be grateful for the sacrifices you have made. She will expect more, and more, and more. The materialistic and consumeristic culture that has arisen as a way of feeding this monster is a blight on society and a waste of human potential. As Becoming Minimalist puts it:

No one is going to stand up at [Becky’s] funeral and say, “She had a really expensive couch and great shoes.”

Indeed, don’t make life about stuff. Not basing one’s life on the acquisition of shiny things is a difficult concept for women. However, once basic needs are met in Maslow’s hierarchy, more money does not equal more happiness in women (or men). In scientific studies of happiness, the difference in happiness between someone who makes $5,000 and $50,000 a year is huge; however the difference in happiness between a $50,000 and $5 million salary is not all that great. The idea of “mo’ money, mo’ problems” applies.


Today’s advertising appeals to base emotions instead of intellect

People Have No Idea Why They’re Doing What They’re Doing

Today’s advertising and marketing is designed to trigger emotional responses using Freudian psychology, which women are especially susceptible to. In addition to emotional manipulation, it is nearly impossible to get women to restrain their gathering instincts. After all, we are a species of hunter-gatherers and gathering is what women do. Marketers know this, and they abuse this evolutionary adaptation of women at every opportunity.

Consumerism in America is based on the successful manipulation of this quirk of female psychology, and indeed women make up a whopping 80% of purchasing decisions in this economy. However, The Hedonic Treadmill shows us the things women buy, or that men foolishly buy for them will never make them happy. Investopedia explains:

The hedonic treadmill theory explains the oft-held observation that rich people are no happier than poor people, and that those with severe money problems are sometimes quite happy. The theory supports the argument that money does not buy happiness and that the pursuit of money as a way to reach this goal is futile. Good and bad fortunes may temporarily affect how happy a person is, but most people will end up back at their normal level of happiness.

One of the most successful marketers in the 21st century, Clotaire Rapaille, who was a psychologist before realizing he could make much more money manipulating people psychologically for advertisers than helping people, explains how disconnected from reality people are when it comes to buying things:

My experience is that most of the time, people have no idea why they’re doing what they’re doing. They have no idea, so they’re going to try to make up something that makes sense. Why do you need a Hummer to go shopping? “Well, you see, because in case there is a snowstorm.” No. Why do you buy four wheel drive? “Well, you know, in case I need to go off-road.” Well, you live in Manhattan; why do you need four wheel drive in Manhattan? “Well, you know, sometimes I go out, and I go—” You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to understand that this is disconnected. This is nothing to do with what the real reason is for people to do what they do. So there are many limits in traditional market research.

Rapaille works for 50 of the Fortune 100 companies helping them sell their wares, and his specialty is using Freudian psychology to sell luxury items. He sold the Hummer to women by appealing to their limbic or “reptilian” brain as he calls it.

The campaign for the Hummer—the Hummer is a car with a strong identity. It’s a car in a uniform. I told them, put four stars on the shoulder of the Hummer, you will sell better. If you look at the campaign, brilliant. I have no credit for it, just so you know, but brilliant. They say, “You give us the money, we give you the car, nobody gets hurt.” I love it! It’s like the mafia speaking to you. For women, they say it’s a new way to scare men. Wow. And women love the Hummer. They’re not telling you, “Buy a Hummer because you get better gas mileage.” You don’t. These are cortex things. [The key is to] address the reptilian brain.

So, advertisers are screwing with our minds and the minds of women in ways we don’t even understand. In addition to not buying lasting happiness, a life of consumerism contributes to huge amounts of waste, and keeping the materialism machine running exploits men who turn themselves into Beta providers.


Do not be exploited to feed women’s lust for consumerism

Male Utility Exploited

A mistake men often make is attempting to be the resource provider for women they are romantically or sexually interested in, only to find themselves caught in a trap they cannot get out of. Thus, they have to work harder and harder and sacrifice more and more of themselves only to end up used, broke, and alone when their utility value has been totally exhausted. The Predatory Female, a Red Pill men’s classic book, offers this sage advice:

Any combination of money, romance, and excitement – the scent of these accommodations will have [a woman] rising like a cobra in a wicker basket. The provider of such diversions occupies center stage in her life, but his identity is unimportant to her, and it’s a temporary position. Nobody can amuse her forever. All pied pipers eventually fade into the past.

You will fade from her life once your provisioning capability has been taken past its limit. Attempting to satiate women’s desire for useless crap is the wrong strategy. It is much better to be the man who challenges her and stands up to her rather than the man who gets exploited. Men should consider walking out on, or reducing their participation in a system that is rigged to take advantage of them in this way. Continuing from The Predatory Female:

The matriarchal system could never operate efficiently without the hordes of male drones it has created. These men, preconditioned by their mothers and suffering from a self-imposed order of chivalry, consistently front for the system and its predatory female masters.

If you allow her to become your master, women will readily use sex or even the promise of it without delivering to extract the resources they want from men:

In the advanced stages of sexual hypnosis, the male may subconsciously want to crawl into the vagina and live there. Most normal, healthy men are capable of becoming total slaves to a well orchestrated sexual enticement and the predatory female is acutely aware of this. If necessary, she will stretch that vulva right over his head and smother him to get what she wants.

So, what action can men take to keep from being turned into a walking wallet?


Women naturally gravitate towards a confident man who invests in himself rather than in women

Look Out For Number One

The best advice for men is to adopt a philosophy of continuous self-improvement by investing in themselves instead of women, and to Learn Game in a sexual market that no longer provides any modicum of respect for the Beta provider. Men will be much better off this way; the alternative is working themselves into an early grave only to be discarded once a more affluent meal ticket comes along for the woman he is providing for, or he becomes overextended and can no longer maintain her shopping and eating out lifestyle after a job loss, injury, or disability.

Another alternative is to give up on women completely as many MGTOWs have done. For the man who enjoys sex or female companionship, this may not be an appealing option.

Men do not naturally look out for themselves in the same calculating way that women do. Call it a genetic weakness built into male psychology. After all, reproduction is job one biologically speaking and in the past a man who could provide served a crucial niche in the sexual market. Since an abundance of material things and money are floating around in today’s society and sexual restraints have been lifted from women, this tactic has been rendered virtually useless.

It is time for men to put their own self interests above those of women. Women will naturally gravitate towards a self-confident man who invests in himself rather than a man who lets women shamelessly exploit his finances and self-respect. If men do not put their self interest first, they can find themselves either caught up in the unforgiving machinery of the hedonic adaptation, bankrupt, alone, or all three.

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  • Don’t pay for the first date,this trend must perish.


  • The best gifts are attention, arousal, and clear direction on how to please him. I think most women want gifts just to impress other women, especially their mothers, even if the mother is dead. A happy man is way more satisfying, and impresses all the other women besides. It makes any criticism of one’s out-of-date clothes sound awfully hollow.


  • When dating one should rarely give a woman anything. Exceptions made for much older men with younger women. No exception for whores – just stick to the fee as negotiated plus moderate tip if deserved.
    What you give a girlfriend is the inherent goodness of your company, conversation and sexytime. If that’s not enough for her then you need to find someone else.
    I once had a girl who complained I never did anything special for her. As the relationship was in its autumn anyway I trollishly experimented by saying, ‘I feel the same way. How come you never get me flowers or chocolates? Not once!’ She was quite confused.
    You know, now that I think of it, I can neither remember that girl’s name or what she looked like. I’m pretty sure she was Japanese.

    Liked by 1 person

  • I can attest to much of this, especially the conclusion about how to resolve this issues. It wasn’t until I learned how to say no and began looking out for numero uno did my marriage begin to turn around. Call it a bizarre glitch in their programming, but women will respect you more when you begin to respect them less (just don’t go overboard with it). I went from a point of bending over backwards for my wife and it still not being enough, to doing probably a little less than my fair share in the relationship and nary a peep from her. Fights are less frequent, don’t last nearly as long, and I’m bragged on as being one of the good husbands.


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