The world, I have concluded, will never cease to amaze me. And thus, once you get to that point you'll say, "nothing shocks me anymore." And so once again ole Cappy went head long, cluelessly into a whole new world where he learned about "Waifu."
If you don't know what "Waifu" is, that's alright. It means you're normal and frankly avoided a sad aspect of humanity. But while it originally meant "favorite female Japanese anime character," (and there's nothing wrong with that) it has also morphed in some circles to mean where men have actually formed imaginary relationships with these fictitious characters, some times even marrying them. This not only explains the inside joke on Archer where Krieger has a pink-haired hologram for a girlfriend, but also explains the existence of "Waifu dolls/pillows."
My initial reaction to all of this was "thank god I'm dying in 30 years," but that annoying part of my brain dedicated to economics wouldn't turn off. It just "had to" do some research, and look into what possible incentives existed for this to even be a thing. And the observations were very interesting.
First, economically speaking, the only way a boy/man would choose to date/court/marry a fictional girl instead of a real one is because the costs required to get a real one is just too high. At first you may scoff at this (and I surely did), but upon running some numbers and thinking about, it IS a very expensive endeavor. If you think back to when you hit puberty on, precisely how much have you spent in terms of
and plain ole other sources of calories of energy dealing with women?
My figures are of course HIGHLY subjective and up for debate, but if you take into consideration direct financial expenses, mental costs, and opportunity costs, the total costs to find a wife ever so roughly hover around $720,000. Enough for most single people to retire on.
These costs are not insignificant, and only certainly higher for less social or good looking men who (likely) populate the "Waifu Community." So even though they are very UNLIKELY to run and crunch the numbers I did above, intuitively their brain does some kind of cost benefit analysis and concludes it's not worth the $700,000+ in life expense to chase after a real girl. Not entirely irrational.
However, enter in the concept of substitute and inferior goods.
Just because a young man decides it's not worth the total expense to get a girl in the real world, doesn't mean he can't (albeit delusionally) satisfy some of his romantic desires with non-human substitute goods. Sex can be more than adequately (though inferiorly) be replaced with porn. A loving relationship can be replaced with one's imagination (think Wilson in "Castaway"). And a marriage or confirmation of a relationship can be replaced by fake ceremony where you marry a video game character (or in the case of an increasing # of American women, marrying yourself). And so instead of becoming a hermit or a virgin "MGTOW" where you have no relationship with women, some men escape into a fantasy world where they get themselves a Waifu.
Now naturally everybody's mind is focusing on the delusional aspect of this mentality. However, I want to again reiterate and refocus our attention to the economic aspect of this. Whether you agree with them or not, whether you find them sane or not, they are at least being RATIONAL to a certain extent. And we can't deny the fact that they've made the conscious choice to choose a fake girlfriend over a real one. But the fact ANYBODY is making this choice consciously speaks volumes as to the price and costs of finding a real woman today.
Consider not just the various financial, time, labor, and opportunity costs associated with finding a quality real world girl. Consider the lack of drama and the mental pain associated with having an "imaginary girlfriend." Not only do you save yourself $700,000 in explicit and implicit costs, you also save yourself;
Being stood up
Being shot down
Girls cheating on you
Girls leading you on
and every other form of scourge and fire-laden hurdles you and every other man had to jump through during his teens and 20's.
Additionally, though it isn't real and it IS delusional, imagine what nice, kind, compliant, and supporting personalities Waifu's have. She isn't a single mom. She isn't demanding you gotta do this and that. She isn't going to cheat on you. She's always happy to see you. She's PRECISELY at your EXACT same intelligence level (because she is you), etc. etc. It's a trait the inferior good has that is superior to the real thing. So when you consider all these factors through the lens of a (likely) unattractive male, you can start to see why they choose to be delusional instead of live in the real world.
The sad point I'm trying to make is that if men are willing to be irrational in the real world by choosing to live in a delusional one, the economics of having a Waifu make complete sense. What's even sadder, however, is that the cost differential between having a real girlfriend and a fake one is so huge in the real world, the concept of having a Waifu (or marrying yourself in women's cases) is actually becoming a real thing.
Enjoy that decline!