I've avoided teaching about this, because learning to spin plates is more important. But now the subject has come up, and people are talking about it.
Here are the Basics. Not a comprehensive guide, not even a primer. Simply the absolute minimum you need, to avoid shooting yourself in the foot.
What is an LTR?
If we read the single most important piece of Redpill literature ever, /u/humansockpuppet's Bitch Management Hierarchy, we learn that there are four level of sexual intimacy with a woman.
- Level 0: One-Night Stand
- Level 1: Plate
- Level 2: Friends with Benefits.
- Level 3: LTR/Significant Other/Girlfriend
The Guide itself touches on the distinctions, but focuses on when and why to promote. Of a clear explanation of what the difference is, we turn to the Cliff's Notes, which makes it clear that:
- Rank 0 is the rank of sex.
- Rank 1 is the rank of repeated contact.
- Rank 2 is the rank of non-sexual social time.
- Rank 3 is the rank of emotional investment.
So, an LTR is a sexual partner you have voluntarily allowed yourself to become emotionally attached to.
It doesn't mean monogamy, necessarily. (Don't give that away unless you want to, and never for free.)
It doesn't mean promises made to her, or publicly announced status, or cohabitation, or investment of material resources (all of these are also gifts if you choose to give them).
It just means you emotionally invest in her.
This has additional benefits, and carries additional risks.
What are the benefits?
Men may be the gatekeepers of emotional connection, but this does not mean they derive no joy from it. Just as women, who are the gatekeepers of sex, still crave and enjoy sex, men can and do feel real affection for the right sort of woman, and will actively want to do so.
Most of you, this already makes sense to. If it doesn't, and you are still asking "why?", then this urge is weak or non-existent in you. Stop reading and go spin plates.
What is the major risk?
When we invest money in a business enterprise, we risk losing that money. When we emotionally invest in a woman, we risk losing that investment.
If the idea of losing this girl doesn't bother you to some degree, then you have an FWB, not an LTR. Thus, you lose the total outcome independence that you would have with a plate.
The effects of this are easy to imagine.
How do I capture the benefits while minimizing the risks?
First, invest wisely. The Bitch Management Hierarchy deals very comprehensively with how to do this.
Second, actively manage your investment.
This means abandoning your strategy of indifference for a strategy of control.
You no longer get to not care if she stays or goes. You no longer get to say that "she's not yours, it's just your turn". These are tactics of indifference. If you are invested, you are axiomatically not indifferent. Investment and indifference are opposites of each other.
You must actively control your woman to prevent things from going pear-shaped. It's not just your turn. She is yours, and you damn well better be able to enforce that.
This principle is why Chad gets turned into a bitch by his LTR, and divorceraped by his wife. "Naturals" have only indifference game, and no control game.
"But Whiisssssssper, it's heeeeeeeeeeeeeer job to secure commitment! I'm just supposed to be attractive, and any effort to keep her is BETA! YOU are talking like a BETA right now! The Vanguard are getting WEAK! (I'm terrified of being a beta. Someone please hold me.)"
Yes, it is her job to secure commitment, and keep it. But since when can a woman do a job without a man to tell her what to do?
She does the work to keep the LTR. You control her so she does the right work.
Your control of your woman rests upon three pillars:
You must, at all times, keep her believing that you are it. That you are the best thing she could possibly get, and if she doesn't hold onto you, it's all downhill for the rest of her life. She must mate-guard herself whenever she is capable. This means that unless she is being strong-armed, you shouldn't have to step in.
You must instill her in the expectation that her job is to do what you say, when you say it, because you say it. She must explicitly and consciously accept her role as the subordinate in the relationship. This is easy to do if you start early. (Read some porn written by women, they touch themselves to this stuff.) Be sure not to let obedience stop at the bedroom door, use the habits she gets into there to give her instructions in her daily life. Use compliance tests frequently. Explicitly punish her for minor misbehaviours.
You must make sure she regards anything you give her as a gift given on a whim, not a normal aspect of your relationship that she is now entitled to. Gifts (generally small and inexpensive as a rule) should happen when you feel like it, not on Christmas, her birthday, Valentine's day, etc. Never respond to "I love you" with "I love you, too". Give her attention and pets as a reward for good behaviour, not as a pattern or habit. If she ever approaches you in a fashion that comes off as demanding, never give her what she wants.
She should always be working to keep you, and to keep you happy.
You should always be giving her clear and unambiguous guidance on what is expected of her.
If I'm not outcome independent, what do I do if it goes bad and my control strategy doesn't work?
He who cannot cast away a treasure at need is in chains.
While you must be invested, you must also be willing to write off a bad investment and cut your losses. Major misbehaviours (cheating, deception, ultimatums, deliberate disrespect, etc) must always result in a hard next. There is no "saving the relationship". If a relationship ever needs "saving" rather than a minor course correction, it's already a write-off.
It is important to keep your game strong, so you can get back into it as soon as possible after you write off a bad one.
I like relationships better than spinning plates. How do I get one?
If a woman who practices reciprocity is a unicorn (because unicorns don't fucking exist), then a feminine, submissive woman who is willing to work is a "snow leopard", an animal that exists, but is so rare that if you see one, odds are it will already be captured and in someone else's zoo.
Don't hunt snow leopards. It's a waste of your time. Simply be prepared to recognize one if you see it, and know what to do with one when you recognize it.
Just as girls have no control over whether you are sex-worthy, you have no control over whether the girls you meet are relationship-worthy.