1325: "Rejection"

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Re: 1325: "Rejection"

Postby Klear » Mon Feb 10, 2014 4:30 pm UTC

omgryebread wrote:Let's say I really want to player laser tag with my friend. He doesn't want to, though. I don't call him to hang out next time either, because I want to play laser tag. That's okay! It's even okay if we hang out less now, because I've been getting really into laser tag and he's now into experimental jazz operas. Maybe i don't call him for a while, because it's gonna be awkward, since we'd just be sort of pretending that I never asked him to laser tag.

Then he calls me up, and wants to go hula hooping, an activity we both enjoy. And I tell him "NO! I don't want to hang out with you unless we play laser tag!" Well then, that's pretty immature of me. Maybe I wasn't such a good friend in the first place. I ruined a friendship because of my inability to think of this guy as anything but a laser tag partner.


If "laser tag" represents sex, I wonder what "jazz opera" means =P

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Re: 1325: "Rejection"

Postby WibblyWobbly » Mon Feb 10, 2014 4:59 pm UTC

Klear wrote:
omgryebread wrote:Let's say I really want to player laser tag with my friend. He doesn't want to, though. I don't call him to hang out next time either, because I want to play laser tag. That's okay! It's even okay if we hang out less now, because I've been getting really into laser tag and he's now into experimental jazz operas. Maybe i don't call him for a while, because it's gonna be awkward, since we'd just be sort of pretending that I never asked him to laser tag.

Then he calls me up, and wants to go hula hooping, an activity we both enjoy. And I tell him "NO! I don't want to hang out with you unless we play laser tag!" Well then, that's pretty immature of me. Maybe I wasn't such a good friend in the first place. I ruined a friendship because of my inability to think of this guy as anything but a laser tag partner.


If "laser tag" represents sex, I wonder what "jazz opera" means =P

Strangely enough, I think "jazz opera" = actual laser tag.

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Re: 1325: "Rejection"

Postby rmsgrey » Mon Feb 10, 2014 6:52 pm UTC

Very few people are so attached to laser tag that it's upsetting for them to hula-hoop with someone who they wanted to play laser tag with - it's like trying to use not wanting to play soccer in case you stub your toe as an analogy for not wanting to jump out of an aeroplane without a parachute in case you died...

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Re: 1325: "Rejection"

Postby blob » Mon Feb 10, 2014 6:58 pm UTC

WibblyWobbly wrote:
Klear wrote:If "laser tag" represents sex, I wonder what "jazz opera" means =P

Strangely enough, I think "jazz opera" = actual laser tag.

And "sex" is just code for when you mean jazz opera. That's how I like my sex: slow, sensual, and performed by Gershwin.

omgryebread wrote:
blob wrote:Avenue Q features an entire song where a (female!) character decides she can't 'waste' any more time on a guy who rejected her.

By your logic, the only reason she wanted to hang out with him was to fuck. I find that quite amusing.
When you're looking for models of healthy relationships, maybe a musical about people who are explicitly not emotionally mature isn't the best source. And besides, Kate isn't fitting into the hypothetical we're talking about. As far as I can remember, she and Princeton didn't have much of a pre-existing non-romantic relationship.
Obviously, Avenue Q is more a model of what not to do. But the point is that since Kate wanted a sexual relationship with Princeton but didn't want "just friendship", by your logic she only wanted to fuck him:

omgryebread wrote:If you don't want to hang out with me as a friend, why do you want to hang out with me as something more than that? The only answer I can really come up with is "to fuck."
Last edited by blob on Mon Feb 10, 2014 7:08 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 1325: "Rejection"

Postby Karilyn » Mon Feb 10, 2014 7:08 pm UTC

WibblyWobbly wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:
Soft Hyphen wrote:
Kit. wrote:There is no emotionally mature reason to break your friendship just because your request for closer intimacy was rejected.
Hypothetical:
Spoiler:
I'm long-time friends with a woman. I realise that I have romantic feelings for her, and tell her so, hoping she'll be amenable to a more intimate relationship.

She says no; that she simply doesn't see me that way, and wants to remain friends. I say okay, because I genuinely think that's reasonable. At first.

Over time, I find that any time I'm with her - in my capacity as her friend - I continue to think of all her attractive qualities, of what my life could be if she were my romantic partner. I don't try anything "funny" or duplicitous to pursue a romantic relationship with her - I respect her decision. But the thoughts keep coming, not to the point of obsession, but to the point where any time I'm with her, I wonder "Why not me? What's wrong with me?" But I like her and I respect her, and I know that interrogating her about this issue would be uncomfortable for her, so I don't do it. I'm fine when I'm not around her. When I am around her, I enjoy her company greatly, but it's always tainted by that unsatisfied longing. Her voice, her smile, her intelligence keeps reminding me that she is exactly what I want in a romantic partner.

She gets a boyfriend. I judge him; I can't help it. And I can't help feeling that I would be a better boyfriend to her. I ask myself "What does he have that I don't?" But then I realise that question is silly; romance depends on subjective traits that only she can judge for herself, and I respect that. I wish her well, and I mean it. She seems happy with that boyfriend for a while, but eventually they break up, and she confides in me the reason. And I can't help thinking "But I would never do that I were your boyfriend."

I decide that I should ask about the possibility of romance again. I know there's a risk of making things uncomfortable, so I take time to formulate it in the most non-threatening, positive, and respectful way possible. She states, again, that she's not interested, adds that she doesn't think that will ever happen, and makes it clear that she doesn't want me to ask again. I accept that, and resolve that she will never be my romantic partner.

But I keep thinking those things. The could'ves and why-nots pop into my head whenever I'm with her. The attraction I have for her doesn't die down. Every time I spend time with her is a reminder, and our every interaction is so positive that I can't understand why pushing it further could be bad. But I know she doesn't want that, so I don't push. I don't scheme, even though I know there are plenty of guys that would. Because I respect her, and her choices. Because I'm (heh...) a nice guy.

Eventually I realise these feelings aren't going to go away, and as much as I like her - in fact, because I like her so much - it hurts to be around her. It hurts more than it feels good. I don't pine around all day or write emo poetry about her or have a shrine dedicated to her or whine about it online. I know I should "just get over it", but I can't help feeling the attraction. And it keeps hurting. So, I decide the best thing is to simply not be close to her anymore. To not have that reminder. That means ending the friendship. So I do, and I know it hurts both of us a little, but we both recover, and it finally allows me to move on. And I'm truthfully happier from then on.

I break the friendship because my request for closer intimacy was rejected.

Do you call this "emotionally immature"?
I think a lot of us are using a definition of emotional maturity that includes learning how to deal with your feelings in a way that makes it possible for you to be in her presence without it hurting.

I can see your point (I thought about that after I posted), and it makes some sense. But is it really reasonable? I don't know anyone who has actually had to do that - basically, you're suggesting that emotional maturity means completely erasing your romantic feelings for someone after they say they're not interested - maybe you can do it, but I'd think it would take time. For anyone. People don't just turn of their emotions that fast, do they? So how long is too long before you consider them emotionally immature?

Edit: I guess that's what it means to get over rejection. Certainly reasonable, I'm just not sure it's as easy for everyone as it is for you. Is that such a terrible thing?

*raises hand* I've done that.

And no, emotional maturity doesn't mean erasing your romantic feelings. It mostly means being able to be happy for others without become jealousy; bluntly enough, understanding that other people's happiness doesn't need to revolve around you. Which is the major issue the person in the giant hypothetical wall of text is struggling with.

I still have romantic feelings for my best friend 10 years later, and I've watched her go through relationships with people that didn't work out, before she's finally found one which did. But you know what? I also have romantic feelings for my spouse. And my best friend in a happy relationship with her fiance. I can't possibly imagine feeling anything other than happiness for her that we're both in fulfilling relationships.

Of note, people who are homosexual most frequently have to deal with this issue, because it's very easy to fall in love with someone who's not homosexual as well. And that requires you learn really really fucking fast how to develop the emotional maturity necessary to deal with your feelings.

moiraemachy wrote:
Klear wrote:
Soft Hyphen wrote:Do you call this "emotionally immature"?

Yeah, kinda. Not extremely so, but a bit yes.
Of course not. In the situation described, avoiding contact with the person (no need for a "we can't be friends anymore, ever") seems to me to be the most mature decision. No matter how awesome a person is, or how good friends you were, if being close to someone hurts you, you have the right to not want to be close to that person anymore.
[...]
Of course, if this person could change and became able to make his feeling go away, awesome. But calling people who cannot do this "immature" is bullshit, unless your bar for maturity is "being able to control one's own feeling"

If a person being happy (EDIT: Not at your expense; and no, someone dating someone else does not qualify as "at your expense") hurts you, there's a problem. And yes that is the bar, when it comes to feeling angry or hurt because another person is having things that you don't have, because that's called jealousy, and jealousy is generally considered an unhealthy emotion when taken in anything other than extreme moderation.

moiraemachy wrote:I guess going back to this will be more useful to the discussion:
gmalivuk wrote:And who's equating "emotionally immature" with "bad"?
The whole "maturity" thing revolves around stuff you shouldn't get wrong after some level of development that you are supposed to reach. So saying a person immature, specially if it is an adult, is not merely a bad thing - it's a "bad thing you should feel guilty for".

Dawg, I'm fucking autistic. By definition we're developmentally delayed. That's literally goddamn 95% of what makes Autism, Autism. It's okay to be behind on shit, as long as you get you're behind on shit, and generally work towards improvement. The only way that as people we can become better is if we don't bury our heads in the stand and pretend we aren't fucking shit up.

It's not some thing you're supposed to feel guilty for. You should never fucking feel guilty for needing to improve, because fucking every person, without limit, has room for personal growth. We're humans, we always have room for personal growth.

Spoiler:
Ironically, understanding that "You have room to grow" doesn't mean you need to feel guilty, is also a trait of emotional maturity that you're supposed to reach after some level of development. FYI, I didn't really figure that out until I was 25 years old. So yes, I'm Autistic, I really really really get what it's like to be developmentally delayed. That doesn't mean you can use it as an excuse though, or claim that "Delayed" means "Never going to happen." Delayed means /delayed/ you're behind, but that doesn't mean you can never catch up.

I'm giving you free life lessons that it took a developmentally delayed person until they were 25 years old to figure out. And as a person who's severely developmentally delayed, let me tell you, it only makes things worse if you pretend it's not a problem and everyone else is being unreasonable, or you treat yourself like you are somehow at fault or guilty or flawed or broken for being developmentally delayed. Those are both extremes, and there IS a place in the middle. A place where you can accept that it's reasonable for you to work on your development, and not feel guilty because being delayed was outside of your control, and then work on it.

Took me 25 fucking years to figure that out, but I finally managed it. I like to think that by sharing my wisdom with other developmentally delayed people, that a handful of them will come to grips with things faster than I did (and I can point out a few dozen people I've had that sorta impact on). I don't particularly hold high hopes for that in this thread though, because everyone is defensive as fuck, and bitches can't learn fucking anything while their being defensive, you can only improve yourself once you open your mind to the possibilities and see that all you can be isn't all you are at the moment.

PinkShinyRose wrote:What level of development are you supposed to reach at what moment? Do you think average level of development should count or do you judge each aspect of a person separately? A lot of things affect the level of development at a certain age, the most obvious would be the myriad of factors that induce a development disorder (for example a lot of genetic problems, intoxication at an early stage of development or physical trauma). Would you judge people whose gonads are not functioning yet at a certain age, as that affects aspects of both mental and physical development, probably including emotional development? Are these people supposed to be ashamed? I think they usually are, but I don't think they should be.

From first hand experience: We usually are.

But you're 100% correct, that doesn't mean we should.

A large part of why it took me until age 25 to figure out that I shouldn't be ashamed that I'm behind on shit, was it took me until age 25 for me to meet someone who didn't think I was supposed to be ashamed, and with time, I realized how batshit insane the idea that someone should feel guilty for being developmentally delayed really is. I had a whole life of family and professionals treating me like I was shit and should feel like shit because I was developmentally delayed. And that's goddamn fucking wrong. But that also doesn't mean that I shouldn't seek to improve myself. Like I said, those are extremes. The goal should be the middle road; not feeling guilty but also not burying your head in the sand and making progress to continue your development even though you're delayed.
Last edited by Karilyn on Mon Feb 10, 2014 7:43 pm UTC, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: 1325: "Rejection"

Postby WibblyWobbly » Mon Feb 10, 2014 7:42 pm UTC

Well, I'm 30, and I still feel ashamed that I'm not more emotionally/socially developed. For me, that's where defensiveness comes from; if I were OK with where I am and how my emotional development has gone, I wouldn't feel a need to defend my lack thereof. Didn't always seem so hard, though. Seems like somewhere along the way, I started backsliding. Oh well; I guess some people aren't meant for it.

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Re: 1325: "Rejection"

Postby Karilyn » Mon Feb 10, 2014 7:55 pm UTC

WibblyWobbly wrote:Well, I'm 30, and I still feel ashamed that I'm not more emotionally/socially developed. For me, that's where defensiveness comes from; if I were OK with where I am and how my emotional development has gone, I wouldn't feel a need to defend my lack thereof. Didn't always seem so hard, though. Seems like somewhere along the way, I started backsliding. Oh well; I guess some people aren't meant for it.

I know WibblyWobbly. I know how that is :( I really do. There's a Bible quote I technically wanna use here, but I'm scared of a negative response cause XKCD forums. So let me sloppily paraphrase it instead:

Shame and guilt are feelings that are supposed to come when we do things which we are wrong. But when we feel shame or guilt over things that were out of your control or you have not yet done, that shame and guilt comes from a dark place that we should not listen to. Do not listen to the voices, inside, or outside, which accuse you of such things. Because those voices, that shame and guilt, will shackle you and prevent you from being the incredible person you have the potential to be.

I believe in you, and I know that doesn't mean much, as I'm just some random stranger on the internet, and that's not nearly something as personal as that inner voice in your head which condemns you. But I do, because it's obvious you have a good heart.

In my opinion, though it's not easy, I try to rate the positive things people say about me, especially on the internet, as tenfold more important than the negative things people say about me, because people tend to be rapid to fling criticism, but more reluctant and slow-handed to hand out affirmations of value, and in my opinion that is wrong. So for what little it amounts to, I'm think your value is worth affirming.

Without getting too spiritual or philosophical or religious sounding: We all have room for personal growth, always, for our entire life. The sad person is the person who shuts off that potential and says it's not possible for them to grow anymore. The happiest persons are the ones who say "I was wrong, I CAN keep growing", and come out of the darkness and see that they can keep growing, and that that growth will bring new and better things. Don't be afraid about being behind or think that it's too late for you, because that road is never cut off for you.

WibblyWobbly wrote:
Spoiler:
I think I'm starting to see the bigger point of gmalivuk's and Klear's arguments, and I think this quote sums it up. The emotional immaturity can be thought of as stemming not from the idea that you need to continue a relationship that's more painful than positive. In general, I think people would agree that if the negatives outweigh the positives, you need to get out from that situation. The bigger problem, perhaps, lies in the assessment that emotions can never change, and thus that this friendship must end now and forever, because it can never be good again.

But I've been thinking a lot lately, and I realized that this is wrong. I'm not the most emotionally mature person, but I went through a situation a lot like this. When I was younger, I had very strong feelings for a woman who made it clear that she wasn't interested. And I went through that angry phase, which I regret now, and then through a sad phase, which lasted for a while. But when I look at her now, I still have some of those feelings, but they've changed. She's married, has two very cute young children, and generally seems to be doing very well. And that genuinely makes me happy and, in a way, glad that she didn't change her mind for me. I'm not sure I could have been what she wanted. But that wasn't the worst part. The worst part was the regret that I just stopped talking to her. I lost what could have been a good friendship now because of the pain then that eventually went away.

So the emotional immaturity is in saying "this friendship cannot be salvaged. There is too much pain, and I know it will never subside, so I can't let it go on at all." But emotional maturity is realizing that feelings can change, and that the pain is not eternal. So, in the hypothetical, take some time away. That's a good decision. Maybe it takes a few weeks, a few months, or even a few years, but down the road, you may realize that the friendship was the better thing after all. And maybe you realize that the friendship isn't so damaged as you thought. But at least you left the door open to resuming that friendship, because you realized that there was something worth holding on to. Or, perhaps the other side happens - you take some time to get some space, and then you drift apart. But in that case, the friendship doesn't end because you can't stand being with her, the friendship ends because your common interests weren't as strong as you thought they were. And that's how friendships generally end. It's not a happy thing to have happen, but it's honest - sometimes paths diverge, and people drift apart.

Either way, one of the better take-home points that I didn't see just a day or so ago is that when someone says you're being emotionally immature, don't treat it as a final judgment. While it does mean that you're not at that stage of emotional development that is to be desired, it certainly doesn't mean that you'll never get there. You're just not there yet.

You hear that sound? That's the sound of you leveling up, IRL.

I cried with happiness when I read that. I just sorta, wanna congratulate you on the deeper self-awareness. Though that doesn't feel sufficient, because you probably just opened up a new world in front of you for that realization, and I'm excited for you, even if you don't get why I'm excited for you yet.
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Re: 1325: "Rejection"

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Feb 10, 2014 8:13 pm UTC

Karilyn wrote:And no, emotional maturity doesn't mean erasing your romantic feelings. It mostly means being able to be happy for others without become jealousy; bluntly enough, understanding that other people's happiness doesn't need to revolve around you. Which is the major issue the person in the giant hypothetical wall of text is struggling with.
...
If a person being happy (EDIT: Not at your expense; and no, someone dating someone else does not qualify as "at your expense") hurts you, there's a problem. And yes that is the bar, when it comes to feeling angry or hurt because another person is having things that you don't have, because that's called jealousy, and jealousy is generally considered an unhealthy emotion when taken in anything other than extreme moderation.
Yes, I think this is it exactly and it's one of those things that's so obvious now that I've seen you put it that way, I can't fathom how it didn't occur to me to put it in those terms earlier.

Karilyn wrote:There's a Bible quote I technically wanna use here, but I'm scared of a negative response cause XKCD forums.
As long as it were put in terms of, "Here's a passage that I've found helpful in this situation," rather than, "Here's how you should think about it because it's in the Bible," I don't think the response would be very negative. And if you did get shit for that, the people flinging said shit would be shot down pretty hard by the moderators.
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Re: 1325: "Rejection"

Postby WibblyWobbly » Mon Feb 10, 2014 8:34 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
Karilyn wrote:And no, emotional maturity doesn't mean erasing your romantic feelings. It mostly means being able to be happy for others without become jealousy; bluntly enough, understanding that other people's happiness doesn't need to revolve around you. Which is the major issue the person in the giant hypothetical wall of text is struggling with.
...
If a person being happy (EDIT: Not at your expense; and no, someone dating someone else does not qualify as "at your expense") hurts you, there's a problem. And yes that is the bar, when it comes to feeling angry or hurt because another person is having things that you don't have, because that's called jealousy, and jealousy is generally considered an unhealthy emotion when taken in anything other than extreme moderation.
Yes, I think this is it exactly and it's one of those things that's so obvious now that I've seen you put it that way, I can't fathom how it didn't occur to me to put it in those terms earlier.

Yep, that pretty much settles any lingering problems I had in this thread.

gmalivuk wrote:
Karilyn wrote:There's a Bible quote I technically wanna use here, but I'm scared of a negative response cause XKCD forums.
As long as it were put in terms of, "Here's a passage that I've found helpful in this situation," rather than, "Here's how you should think about it because it's in the Bible," I don't think the response would be very negative. And if you did get shit for that, the people flinging said shit would be shot down pretty hard by the moderators.


I may not be a Christian, but I would be very narrow-minded if I said the Bible contained no wisdom at all. I would hope others in the same situation see it similarly.

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Re: 1325: "Rejection"

Postby orthogon » Mon Feb 10, 2014 8:44 pm UTC

I wanted to make a couple of observations about the following ideas, which seem to be implicit in some of the argumentation:

1. That a romantic relationship equals friendship plus sex
2. That the sex is just an activity like paintballing that people do together

Taking idea 1, there are lots of expectations about a romantic relationship that are different from a friendship:

- Spending a very significant proportion of the time with the person
- Going on holiday together
- Going to the cinema / meals / staying in together
- Taking each other into account when making plans
- Looking after each other when ill, upset, or tired
- Living together

It's not that you don't get these things from a friendship, at least some of the time, and everyone's relationships are different and not all of the above may apply an a particular case. But the point is that there is generally an expectation that those things will either be available, or that their absence will be discussed, negotiated over, or explained. In a friendship the person can move to a different city, arrange to see a different film with other friends, etc. without generally needing to explain or warn you, unless you had a prior arrangement for that particular date. Most people have in mind a monogamous relationship, which means that the object of their affections is the one person that they most want to be able to expect these things of. You don't want to be doing those things with somebody unless you can see yourself enjoying their company for a large part of your life.

And regarding the sex: again, there are significant differences to paintballing:
- It's generally thought of as something that you only do with one person at a time, so to be chosen/accepted as a sexual/romantic partner implies that there is something special about you in the eyes of the other person
- It's seen as the ultimate expression of intimacy, affection and love for a person.
- It's really fantastic.

Again, these things don't always hold, and aren't true for everyone: there are one-night stands, affairs, fuck-buddies, physically incompatibility, etc., and perhaps it's possible to be closer to someone in other ways, but the point is that at its best it's all these things and more; not only that but society tells us that it's all these things, so someone who isn't getting any is likely to expect it to deliver on the hype.

Where the two aspects come together is what it does, or might be expected to do, for your self-image and happiness. Knowing that somebody is prepared to make you the one person that they choose to do these things with, is a whole lot different to just being one of many friends that they might go paintballing with. And yet again, it isn't necessarily like that in reality; the person might choose you but be less than entirely committal about it, or you might fear that this is the case, etc. Or you might be the one who isn't sure about the relationship after all.

When I've been single, it was the loneliness, the pressure to make social arrangements all the time, and the self-image destruction that I found the most difficult. The sexual frustration was quite high up the list but not necessarily at the top.

There were some other things I was going to say but this is long and serious enough now, and a load of stuff happened on the thread while I was writing. I just want to say to WibblyWobbly: my 30s were way better than my 20s. May it be the same for you.
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Re: 1325: "Rejection"

Postby Karilyn » Mon Feb 10, 2014 8:51 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
Soft Hyphen wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:One option is wait until it isn't so painful any more. Which is something that should happen with literally any event that causes grief. And no, you don't need hypnosis or drugs or brain surgery for that to happen, but if rejection is still too painful a year or more later, some sort of therapy may indeed be indicated.
To accomplish what? Salvaging the friendship? Doesn't have to be worth it. You claim there is something better, but you haven't specified it beyond something vague about "therapy", and you seem to be focussing on the fact that you shouldn't be feeling this way in the first place, and thus implying that there is something wrong or deficient about a person who does. Which I think is unfair and unrealistic.
Think of it like a physical injury, then: if you injured your arm a year ago and it sill hurts too much to move, you should seek medical attention. I'm not implying that there is something wrong with you as a person for your arm continuing to hurt, but I am contending that it shouldn't still hurt that much and that you should seek professional help if it does.

This is an excellent analogy gmalivuk.

Also you asked the question "To accomplish what?" You are correct, the answer isn't "To salvage the friendship," because you're 100% right, there's a good chance that it won't be worth it anymore. The purpose of going to therapy, the goal you would be trying to accomplish is to salvage future friendships.

As for why therapy? It isn't because there is something wrong or deficient with you as a person, but rather, that you have room for personal growth, and are currently sitting on a flat tire, and a therapist might be someone who can help take your hand and guide you in changing your tire, and helping you get back on the road. Just because you are struggling in one area, doesn't mean the entire person is wrong or deficient. You wouldn't throw out a car because it gets flat tire, why would you throw out a person because they need a little help getting back on the road again?

There are shades of grey inbetween "wrong or deficient as a person" and "a perfect example of mental health, emotional maturity, and sound body." Which, for the most part, the latter doesn't exist. That sorta black and white thinking, that I have a flaw, that means I am broken and worthless (and the subcategory, if I had a flaw, that means I'm broken and worthless, and I don't want to be, so I'll insist it's not a flaw), are both very toxic and poisonous ways of thinking, and just plain incorrect. (Trust me, I know, I've been there. Took me FOREVER in my life to come to the grips with the idea that my flaws did not make me broken, worthless, flawed, defective, etc. Goodness knows that was the rhetoric inside my head for such a long time).

blob wrote:
omgryebread wrote:Let me put it this way: If someone ended a friendship because I rejected a romantic relationship, it merely confirms that I made the right decision in rejecting them. Firstly, if you don't highly value me as a friend, why do you want to date me? If you don't want to hang out with me as a friend, why do you want to hang out with me as something more than that? The only answer I can really come up with is "to fuck."

And then, it poisons the entire friendship. If the friendship isn't worth maintaining after I reject a romance, was the friendship merely a warm-up to a further relationship for you? Again, was the entire point of hanging out with me to get in my pants? I'm not begrudging anyone a little time apart to get over the awkwardness, but if you cut me out of your life because you can't think of me as a friend, then I do not want you as a romantic partner. I think that's a pretty universal sentiment.
Avenue Q features an entire song where a (female!) character decides she can't 'waste' any more time on a guy who rejected her. By your logic, the only reason she wanted to hang out with him was to fuck. I find that quite amusing.

Ahmaigawd I love Avenue Q <3

omgryebread's comment is kinda cold, but also true.

Though I'll straight up say this: Kate Monster was being unabashedly emotionally immature during that scene (this doesn't mean that Princeston wasn't also emotionally immature). Also it's worth noting that Kate Monster and Princeston had already been dating and having sex in the past, the fight was over him not being ready to move forward to an engagement yet. A completely different thing from what omgryebread was talking about.

You do understand that there's a difference between a rejection when asking a friend out, and a rejection after a period of dating, right? The two are very different things. Generally speaking, it's not always true, but it often doesn't show emotionally immaturity to break up a friendship after you've already been dating. The same is not true when it comes to breaking off a friendship because the other person rejects your offer to start dating in the first place.

(Also on another note, as much as I love Avenue Q, it's usually best not to form your argument based on a musical which includes a song called "Everyone's a Little Bit Racist," which, while funny, is fairly inaccurate.)

rmsgrey wrote:I stayed friendly with my ex for a couple of years, and then kinda drifted apart after that. I'm still not sure whether staying friends was the right decision (never mind emotionally mature/immature) - though if a similar situation came up in future, I'd probably make the same choice, for whatever that's worth.
You sound like you did fine. Drifting apart happens. If you've already been dating, and break up, sometimes it's because you just weren't romantically compatible but do function as good friends. Sometimes if you're dating and break up, it's because there wasn't a solid foundation there to begin with, and the friendship terminates very rapidly, that's a shame, but usually not a sign of emotional maturity. And as for the third thing which you named, well, even friends who aren't romantic drift apart sometimes.

gmalivuk wrote:
Karilyn wrote:There's a Bible quote I technically wanna use here, but I'm scared of a negative response cause XKCD forums.
As long as it were put in terms of, "Here's a passage that I've found helpful in this situation," rather than, "Here's how you should think about it because it's in the Bible," I don't think the response would be very negative. And if you did get shit for that, the people flinging said shit would be shot down pretty hard by the moderators.

Ah that's good to know. I always get antsy on the Internet about mentioning that spirituality is useful and/or important to me, because I understand that spirituality is meaningful to some people, but not to other people, combined with how easy it is to extrapolate a person's argument along the lines of the most common rhetoric of the people who share that person's categorization. It's a bit of psychology thing. Humans cope with the idea that there are 7 billion individuals in the world, by putting people's opinions in boxes with people who are similar, because it makes it easier. So by mention that spirituality is important to me, is opening myself up to being dumped in the box with tons of very loud voices I don't agree with on hardly anything beyond that single statement. Uhhh... stereotyping. That's the word, stereotyping.

Same reason I worry about mentioning that I'm autistic, because it's not even been a month since the last person I encountered in real life, who's kneejerk reaction within 5 minutes of meeting me was to me was assuming that I was using as autism as an excuse for why I can't get better instead of as an explanation to go along with my apology on why I might do it again and a sincere promise to work on it (The specific thing in question was my difficulty controlling the volume of my voice unless I'm consciously thinking about it, something I've been working on for 10+ years now, and is so incredibly difficult for me to manage). And it is /very/ hard to get past first impressions with someone.

gmalivuk wrote:As with pretty much everything in the real world, a distinction between two things can exist without being able to decide on the precise point when one becomes the other.
I love you, marry me? lol (That's actually is one of the things I look for in a partner, and in my experience, is one of the rarest things I encounter in people. I've somehow managed to get a small legion of friends who all get that point though.)
Gelsamel wrote:If you punch him in the face repeatedly then it's science.

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Re: 1325: "Rejection"

Postby rmsgrey » Mon Feb 10, 2014 11:51 pm UTC

Karilyn wrote:
rmsgrey wrote:I stayed friendly with my ex for a couple of years, and then kinda drifted apart after that. I'm still not sure whether staying friends was the right decision (never mind emotionally mature/immature) - though if a similar situation came up in future, I'd probably make the same choice, for whatever that's worth.
You sound like you did fine. Drifting apart happens. If you've already been dating, and break up, sometimes it's because you just weren't romantically compatible but do function as good friends. Sometimes if you're dating and break up, it's because there wasn't a solid foundation there to begin with, and the friendship terminates very rapidly, that's a shame, but usually not a sign of emotional maturity. And as for the third thing which you named, well, even friends who aren't romantic drift apart sometimes.

Well, it helped that one of the first things I did after she broke up with me was go live in Australia for six months... It meant that she was out of reach for the worst of it - and by the time I got back, I'd at least made significant progress on moving on - and she was dating another chap who, from the little I encountered him seemed like a nice guy - so we could be friendly without my driving myself to write bad poetry and wear black eyeshadow...

Of course, part of my motivation was less than mature - I was determined to continue to be better than her previous ex, who appeared to consider me as all that is evil... Okay, that part wasn't exactly setting the bar high, but he must have had something to recommend him in the first place :)

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Re: 1325: "Rejection"

Postby valiance. » Tue Feb 11, 2014 1:05 am UTC

Karilyn wrote:Of note, people who are homosexual most frequently have to deal with this issue, because it's very easy to fall in love with someone who's not homosexual as well. And that requires you learn really really fucking fast how to develop the emotional maturity necessary to deal with your feelings.


great post, but I wanted to snip this bit as being especially fascinating for me. thanks for posting it.

@orthogon I also had similar objections to the sex as paintballing analogy and the relationship = friendship + sex equivalence (even though I used it earlier) good points!

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Re: 1325: "Rejection"

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Feb 11, 2014 1:17 am UTC

No, sex is laser tag. Paintballing is scrapbooking.
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Re: 1325: "Rejection"

Postby Klear » Tue Feb 11, 2014 1:42 am UTC

blob wrote:
WibblyWobbly wrote:
Klear wrote:If "laser tag" represents sex, I wonder what "jazz opera" means =P

Strangely enough, I think "jazz opera" = actual laser tag.

And "sex" is just code for when you mean jazz opera. That's how I like my sex: slow, sensual, and performed by Gershwin.


This exchange reminds me of this strip:

Image

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Re: 1325: "Rejection"

Postby Pfhorrest » Tue Feb 11, 2014 3:01 am UTC

I've love to play laser tag with you baby, but I've gotta stay home and consolidate my pickle jars, if you know what I mean. ;-)
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Re: 1325: "Rejection"

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Tue Feb 11, 2014 10:49 pm UTC

I'm tempted to print this thread out and stick it next to The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. This has been an education, not all of it intentional. I just read the whole thing. so please forgive me for replying to stuff pages ago.
Kit. wrote:Still, there are people responsible for keeping unemployment under control, and there are people responsible for keeping social security working, and they work together.

There is no agency responsible for giving you an opportunity to have sex.
There is in Singapore (they have very low marriage/birth rates); it doesn't seem to be working very well. Of course, things like start up financing and welfare work on one side of the analogy and not the other.
The Mighty Thesaurus wrote:
orthogon wrote:For reference, I have a penis.

No, you don't.
That's very bio-centric of you: Many machines have/ are penises. I'd include links, but I can't be bothered to check forum rules about pornography. Also, I seems like a good way to offend.
mythago wrote:....
If you want your mind blown, consider the bizarreness of telling people who've just been insulted and belittled that what they ought to do is overflow with sympathy for a perfect stranger who is insulting and belittling them, because they're probably just very sad.
That's what those crazy nuns always told me.

Not to say that it's okay for our sympathy for the aggressors to exceed that for the victims (like rape culture apologists do); or that it's not perfectly human to be upset.
But I'd hold that it's ideal to have sympathy for everyone, good and bad. I'd also suggest it's not incredibly difficult if you have the luxury of some emotional distance.
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Re: 1325: "Rejection"

Postby blob » Wed Feb 12, 2014 5:46 am UTC

Karilyn wrote:(Also on another note, as much as I love Avenue Q, it's usually best not to form your argument based on a musical which includes a song called "Everyone's a Little Bit Racist," which, while funny, is fairly inaccurate.)
You think so? You should check out an unconscious bias test. The results may surprise you. Even the most well-meaning people tend to harbor unconscious prejudices.

Besides, my argument was a reductio ad absurdum. The hypothesis I was challenging was "X wants to be more than friends with Y, but after rejection X doesn't want to just be friends with Y. Therefore X only wanted to fuck Y."

Kate wanted to be more than friends with Princeton - check.
Kate didn't want to be friends with Princeton after rejection - check.
Did Kate only want to fuck Princeton? If the answer is no, the hypothesis is invalidated.

orthogon wrote:When I've been single, it was the loneliness, the pressure to make social arrangements all the time, and the self-image destruction that I found the most difficult. The sexual frustration was quite high up the list but not necessarily at the top.
Bingo. The "guys are mindless fucking machines and any 'feelings' they have about rejection just prove they were trying to get in your pants" trope is just another, sad form of sexism. (And no, I'm not saying that anyone "deserves" love, but projecting motivations onto someone who's been rejected just adds insult to injury.)
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Re: 1325: "Rejection"

Postby Kit. » Wed Feb 12, 2014 10:05 am UTC

blob wrote:
Karilyn wrote:(Also on another note, as much as I love Avenue Q, it's usually best not to form your argument based on a musical which includes a song called "Everyone's a Little Bit Racist," which, while funny, is fairly inaccurate.)
You think so? You should check out an unconscious bias test. The results may surprise you.

I've just tried. The results may surprise you.
Spoiler:
I failed to fill in any answer. The questions are too ambiguous to understand what exactly is asked, or I don't have enough information to answer them correctly, or I don't have an opinion on the subject and don't care to have one at all.

blob wrote:Besides, my argument was a reductio ad absurdum. The hypothesis I was challenging was "X wants to be more than friends with Y, but after rejection X doesn't want to just be friends with Y. Therefore X only wanted to fuck Y."

That was the wrong hypothesis to challenge. Suffice it to say that right one starts with the words "X is a friend with Y".

blob wrote:Did Kate only want to fuck Princeton? If the answer is no, the hypothesis is invalidated.

Doesn't it bother you that it was Princeton who was rejected?

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Re: 1325: "Rejection"

Postby PeteP » Wed Feb 12, 2014 12:26 pm UTC

Kit. wrote:
blob wrote:
Karilyn wrote:(Also on another note, as much as I love Avenue Q, it's usually best not to form your argument based on a musical which includes a song called "Everyone's a Little Bit Racist," which, while funny, is fairly inaccurate.)
You think so? You should check out an unconscious bias test. The results may surprise you.

I've just tried. The results may surprise you.
Spoiler:
I failed to fill in any answer. The questions are too ambiguous to understand what exactly is asked, or I don't have enough information to answer them correctly, or I don't have an opinion on the subject and don't care to have one at all.

?

Does it not let you do the actual test when you don't answer the preliminary question?

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Re: 1325: "Rejection"

Postby rmsgrey » Wed Feb 12, 2014 1:32 pm UTC

When it comes to generalisations, including racism, sexism, ageism, hoodyism, etc, there's a reason why people generalise - because, in general, it works. You don't need to ask everyone you meet how they feel about being punched in the face - you generalise.

The overwhelming majority of the time, a generalisation is a useful cognitive shortcut, that passes without notice because it works - or at least works well enough - the point of generalising is not to reach the perfect conclusion every time, but to reach a conclusion rapidly, if tentatively, and proceed from there rather than spending all your time coming to similar conclusions about similar situations, objects, or people...

Of course it leads to bad conclusions sometimes, and those are the times it's more likely to be noticed - and it's a worthwhile goal to reduce the number of times a poor generalisation has a significant negative impact - but not generalising has an even higher cost...

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Re: 1325: "Rejection"

Postby PinkShinyRose » Wed Feb 12, 2014 1:37 pm UTC

blob wrote:
Karilyn wrote:(Also on another note, as much as I love Avenue Q, it's usually best not to form your argument based on a musical which includes a song called "Everyone's a Little Bit Racist," which, while funny, is fairly inaccurate.)
You think so? You should check out an unconscious bias test. The results may surprise you. Even the most well-meaning people tend to harbor unconscious prejudices.

Apparently I'm moderately sexist on the job thing (with a male-career and female-family association). Unfortunately, while I agree with the results, it's not entirely clear to me how they addressed the priming issue (I mean, I did think: 'the order changed from the order I was just trained in' during the entire second half which should have affected the results). I also think they're somewhat US biased (i.e. mostly US-centred racial issues (i.e. Asian American/European American instead of East-Asian/European ancestry)).

Never mind, apparently I allowed the cookie/script too late and was defaulted to the US site (which is nevertheless far more US centric than the Dutch version is Netherlands centric). Oh, well, apparently I'm also a mild tinted skin preferring racist but the data shown afterwards does suggest that not "Everyone's a Little Bit Racist". This result was unexpected though, it goes against the bias of my surrounding culture and media coverage. Both example faces were rather scary though, they didn't even smile for their portrait.

The next test reported I moderately associate females with natural sciences and engineering and males with social sciences. I'm getting more and more suspicious of a priming bias due to me consistently preferring the first tested association over the last tested association. Although I must admit the last test was lacking in translation (the science fields were in English while the gender roles were in Dutch, with both spouses translated to husband).

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Re: 1325: "Rejection"

Postby Kit. » Wed Feb 12, 2014 2:54 pm UTC

PeteP wrote:
Kit. wrote:
blob wrote:
Karilyn wrote:(Also on another note, as much as I love Avenue Q, it's usually best not to form your argument based on a musical which includes a song called "Everyone's a Little Bit Racist," which, while funny, is fairly inaccurate.)
You think so? You should check out an unconscious bias test. The results may surprise you.

I've just tried. The results may surprise you.
Spoiler:
I failed to fill in any answer. The questions are too ambiguous to understand what exactly is asked, or I don't have enough information to answer them correctly, or I don't have an opinion on the subject and don't care to have one at all.

?

Does it not let you do the actual test when you don't answer the preliminary question?

It says that those questions are a part of the test.

But anyway, if I skip them and then manage to pass through their selection bias (why did they choose "laughter" to represent something that is unambiguously "good"? What the heck with their classification of philosophy and history as "liberal arts", then classification of math as "science", and the presence of "engineering" that I need to classify?)... well, let me put it this way:

It shows a differently oriented "bias" depending on which language I use to take the test.

ETA: or maybe it just shows a random bias. But up to "moderate" in value.

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Re: 1325: "Rejection"

Postby PinkShinyRose » Wed Feb 12, 2014 8:03 pm UTC

Kit. wrote:But anyway, if I skip them and then manage to pass through their selection bias (why did they choose "laughter" to represent something that is unambiguously "good"?

Haha, I was bothered by the word "glorious" in the Dutch version. While it's theoretically mostly considered positive I mostly associate it with totalitarian and war propaganda, that could just be me though.
Kit. wrote:What the heck with their classification of philosophy and history as "liberal arts", then classification of math as "science", and the presence of "engineering" that I need to classify?)...

This would actually have worked out in the Dutch version (apart from the philosophy thing), had they actually translated it on the test itself...

It's probably a nice test in the same category with: which ... character are you, find out your ... and what kind of person will you get married to. Unfortunately I am not convinced it is suitable for serious use in individual cases (it might work fine for aggregated data which seems to be what they're really after anyway).

EDIT: Then again, a lot of psychological tests also have bad translations and are used clinically anyway.
Last edited by PinkShinyRose on Wed Feb 12, 2014 8:05 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1325: "Rejection"

Postby Pfhorrest » Wed Feb 12, 2014 8:04 pm UTC

On the subject of being unable to answer questions, I got a little suspicious of biases or preconceived notions built into the test itself when the preliminary demographics questions (what's your age, race, ethnicity, religion, etc) about political identity didn't have any answers I could honestly select. Particularly, the one about whether you are "liberal" or "conservative" on "social issues" such as "abortion, gun control, gay rights". Since they're asking two questions, one about "social issues" and one about "economic issues", it sounds like they want to place people on a Nolan Chart, except that someone who is "liberal" on the non-economic axis of such a chart would be opposed to gun control, and in favor of gay rights and legal abortion, so grouping those three things together creates a problem for anyone who is consistent on such matters, or even for anyone who just has different opinions on those different matters.

I get that what they're really trying to ask is "which political religion do you belong to, D or R?", but unlike the actual religious question (which thankfully does have "not religious" options -- several of them, yay!), there is no "none of the above" here, and they just assume that support for any of those issues must correlate with support for all of the others. And no, the moderate/neutral option (however it was phrased) doesn't really help. It's like asking "Are you more in favor of or opposed to things like eating chocolate cake and torturing kittens? [strongly favor] [slightly favor] [neutral] [slightly opposed] [strongly opposed]". I'm not neutral on either of those things, I have strong opinions on both, which go in opposite directions on your scale, and grouping them together like that creates an unanswerable question!

I also object, along with others above, to their seemingly arbitrary grouping of different fields into "science" and "liberal arts", and similarly their demographics questions about what your major was. I was a philosophy major and I hate having to pick "humanities and liberal arts". What they really seem to mean are "fields that heavily use math" and "fields that don't use math so much". Math is not a science. Engineering is not a science. At least not in the sense of the word "science" used in all the natural sciences like physics, chemistry, biology, geology, astronomy, etc. They are not the empirical investigation of the world -- math is not empirical, and engineering is not investigating the world.

And "liberal arts" seems to be just a dumping ground for everything that's not math-heavy, with no connection to the original sense of the term, in which most of the seven liberal arts actually were forms of math: the trivium of grammar, logic, and rhetoric includes one thing today considered a branch of math (logic), and the quadrivium of arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy... well two of those are obviously math, and other two were really focused on the mathematical aspects rather than any artistic or scientific aspects, e.g. "music" was really about harmonics or "number in time" (as geometry is "number in space"), and "astronomy" was really about dynamics or "number in space and time". Half of the things they're calling "liberal arts" are just arts simpliciter (music, literature and language arts more generally, etc), some of them are sciences in their own right (history), some of them (philosophy) are their own fields apart just as much as engineering and math are apart from science.

I'd like to know how they decided to group things in the way that they do in this study, for both of these issues (the political identity one, and this grouping of disciplines). Is this just reflecting the researchers' own personal biases, or did they do some preliminary study first to determine that these are common ways that many people group things (which I could totally buy, as problematic as the groupings are when examined)?
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Re: 1325: "Rejection"

Postby moiraemachy » Thu Feb 13, 2014 2:32 pm UTC

I was in a tablet when I followed the link, and got redirected to a page that had following tests: http://www.understandingprejudice.org/iat/index2.htm

These are much better IMO. Also, tablet friendly. Also, sometimes the next image did not load correctly, so I had to press random keys until I got it right.

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Re: 1325: "Rejection"

Postby addams » Fri Feb 14, 2014 3:57 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:I wanted to make a couple of observations about the following ideas, which seem to be implicit in some of the argumentation:

1. That a romantic relationship equals friendship plus sex
2. That the sex is just an activity like paintballing that people do together

Taking idea 1, there are lots of expectations about a romantic relationship that are different from a friendship:

- Spending a very significant proportion of the time with the person
- Going on holiday together
- Going to the cinema / meals / staying in together
- Taking each other into account when making plans
- Looking after each other when ill, upset, or tired
- Living together

It's not that you don't get these things from a friendship, at least some of the time, and everyone's relationships are different and not all of the above may apply an a particular case. But the point is that there is generally an expectation that those things will either be available, or that their absence will be discussed, negotiated over, or explained. In a friendship the person can move to a different city, arrange to see a different film with other friends, etc. without generally needing to explain or warn you, unless you had a prior arrangement for that particular date. Most people have in mind a monogamous relationship, which means that the object of their affections is the one person that they most want to be able to expect these things of. You don't want to be doing those things with somebody unless you can see yourself enjoying their company for a large part of your life.

And regarding the sex: again, there are significant differences to paintballing:
- It's generally thought of as something that you only do with one person at a time, so to be chosen/accepted as a sexual/romantic partner implies that there is something special about you in the eyes of the other person
- It's seen as the ultimate expression of intimacy, affection and love for a person.
- It's really fantastic.

Again, these things don't always hold, and aren't true for everyone: there are one-night stands, affairs, fuck-buddies, physically incompatibility, etc., and perhaps it's possible to be closer to someone in other ways, but the point is that at its best it's all these things and more; not only that but society tells us that it's all these things, so someone who isn't getting any is likely to expect it to deliver on the hype.

Where the two aspects come together is what it does, or might be expected to do, for your self-image and happiness. Knowing that somebody is prepared to make you the one person that they choose to do these things with, is a whole lot different to just being one of many friends that they might go paintballing with. And yet again, it isn't necessarily like that in reality; the person might choose you but be less than entirely committal about it, or you might fear that this is the case, etc. Or you might be the one who isn't sure about the relationship after all.

When I've been single, it was the loneliness, the pressure to make social arrangements all the time, and the self-image destruction that I found the most difficult. The sexual frustration was quite high up the list but not necessarily at the top.

There were some other things I was going to say but this is long and serious enough now, and a load of stuff happened on the thread while I was writing. I just want to say to WibblyWobbly: my 30s were way better than my 20s. May it be the same for you.

What a huge Post.
Everyone is chiming in here with some guess about what is Normal.

It seems, I don't do Normal.
I am attempting to fit in.

I, just, do not understand people, sometimes.
So; I read this thread and think.

Do I understand it?
Is this the Dominate Culture?
Taking idea 1, there are lots of expectations about a romantic relationship that are different from a friendship:

- Spending a very significant proportion of the time with the person
- Going on holiday together
- Going to the cinema / meals / staying in together
- Taking each other into account when making plans
- Looking after each other when ill, upset, or tired
- Living together

Holy Fuck!
That is what you do with one and only one person?
"So help you, God?"

Spoiler:
oh Dear God;
No wonder people don't like me.


And; On Saint Valentine's Day, of all days.
If you do not find that one and only one person
to form a weird and wonderful relationship with;

Then Fuck You?
Spoiler:
(that might be just sex, that might be bad sex....some people like it that way)

That is the dominate culture?

Sex is both a physical need and a psychological need, for many people.
Your list was without Sex.

Sex is a great thing to leave out of a Romantic Friendship.
In my experience, Sex does 'kill' friendships.

Some friendships are strong enough to withstand the Assault.
Some people have Sex written into most of their friendships.

Some people, people like me, don't like those closed Diads.
They are ok.

But; That list of shit can and should be done with many people;
Not, just, one!

That is what I think.
It seems my views are not the views of the dominate culture.

It is nice to have a friend.
It's better to have fifty friends.

Some people have fifty active friendships and fuck all those people.
Some people have fifty active friendships and don't fuck any of those people.
Spoiler:
Some people live with a Rule.
"Don't Fuck your Friends."

Get married.
Then make a bunch of Friends.

Meet that One Special Someone for Sex and Logistics Meetings.
Know and enjoy your friends.

I think it is a Brilliant Plan.
Does it work?

I bet it does for some people.


Some people get that One Special Someone
and never have another personal experience with another human being for the Rest of Their Lives?

In my opinion;
That is Romantic in the same way the Greek Tragedies are Romanic.

Is this what is wrong with My Life?
I don't fit neatly into anyone's story?

What about The Odd?
Odds can be fun.

I met a man that was the Drummer in an All Girl Band.
What a strange and wonderful life he had.

He was an honorary woman.
He was as heterosexual as any other man.

Women were comfortable with him.
He was a delight.

What if more men were like that?
Well...He was Nice.
Edit:
Hey! I had a thought.

Good Sex between Good Friends in the only place that Neitchie quote works.
Every blow that does not kill that friendship, serves to make it stronger.

So funny.
Good Friends?
How Good?
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
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Re: 1325: "Rejection"

Postby Karilyn » Sat Feb 15, 2014 10:16 am UTC

blob wrote:
Karilyn wrote:(Also on another note, as much as I love Avenue Q, it's usually best not to form your argument based on a musical which includes a song called "Everyone's a Little Bit Racist," which, while funny, is fairly inaccurate.)
You think so? You should check out an unconscious bias test. The results may surprise you. Even the most well-meaning people tend to harbor unconscious prejudices.

I'm quite 100% positive. If literally nothing else, there's always people with severe prosopagnosia like myself. Kinda hard to be racist when you can go months without ever noticing what race a person is.

Parents: Why didn't you tell us your prom date was black?
Me: My prom date was black?

And that's when I first realized the rest of the world saw people differently than me. Also that my parents "weren't racist but have issues with interracial coupling" AKA they were racist.

blob wrote:Besides, my argument was a reductio ad absurdum. The hypothesis I was challenging was "X wants to be more than friends with Y, but after rejection X doesn't want to just be friends with Y. Therefore X only wanted to fuck Y."

As I said before, there is a very very big difference between not wanting to be friends when you break up after dating for a while, and when they reject your initial offer at dating. Wildly oceans of difference. And I'm not sure why you don't seem to get this.

In case you didn't notice, Kate and Princeton were already fucking and dating. She broke up with him because he didn't want to marry her. Quite a bit different from someone who dumps a friend when they never were dating to begin with. Now she was still being emotionally immature (as was Princeton), but it has nothing to do with "friendzone" or "nice guys" or any of that nonsense. It's an entirely different beast.

PinkShinyRose wrote:It's probably a nice test in the same category with: which ... character are you, find out your ... and what kind of person will you get married to. Unfortunately I am not convinced it is suitable for serious use in individual cases (it might work fine for aggregated data which seems to be what they're really after anyway).

The thing I thought was funny about the test, is the swapping of the categories had far more impact than anything else, regardless of which test I took. The order of the tests is randomized, and I would ALWAYS score better on whatever was the first version, then when they swapped the categories, my brain wasn't able to adjust to it so I'd get errors constantly, trying to categorize things on the same side the test had previously taught me to place them (Even when there was no racial stuff involved at all, just literally swapping which side the good and bad words were on, would make me slow down and get a ton of errors). It's no surprise my brain handles information positionally far more than it handles it by any inherent biases.

It felt very... disorienting, whenever the tests would switch. But then again I've always known my brain had a super heavy biased towards positioning and space. It's why I can card count passively without even thinking about it, and I'm an absolute freak at Memory Match :P

EDIT: Oh I found the test which had you try to "distinguish faces of European and African origin." I had an accuracy rate of about 40% lol, statistically worse than guessing. Once you remove the actual color from the equation, I literally couldn't tell them apart even if I'm trying. Fucking prosopagnosia man. After they flipped the Good and Bad words, I think I dropped to around 20-30% accuracy, unless I just stopped and stared for like 4-6 seconds, because my brain was so shot trying to keep track of the swapping sides across multiple tests, combined with the faces that all looked the same. Fucking goldmine of hilarity.

Pfhorrest wrote:I got a little suspicious of biases or preconceived notions built into the test itself when the preliminary demographics questions (what's your age, race, ethnicity, religion, etc) about political identity didn't have any answers I could honestly select. Particularly, the one about whether you are "liberal" or "conservative" on "social issues" such as "abortion, gun control, gay rights".[...] they just assume that support for any of those issues must correlate with support for all of the others. And no, the moderate/neutral option (however it was phrased) doesn't really help. It's like asking "Are you more in favor of or opposed to things like eating chocolate cake and torturing kittens? [strongly favor] [slightly favor] [neutral] [slightly opposed] [strongly opposed]". I'm not neutral on either of those things, I have strong opinions on both, which go in opposite directions on your scale, and grouping them together like that creates an unanswerable question!

I'm glad to see I was not the only person bothered strongly by this. I felt the same chocolate cake vs torturing kittens problem when it came to the social issues liberal or conservative thing. I just said fuck it, marked myself as socially liberal, and moved on. It's not like I really give two craps about their data when there is some pretty obvious bias. I just wanted to get on with the test.

EDIT: This actually brings up another good point. The thing like, totally classed "pleasure" as "good" and "pain" as "bad." As a person who is a stalwart representative of the BDSM community and a rather passionate masochist, I am totally not onboard with this pain is bad nonsense.
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Re: 1325: "Rejection"

Postby Shatteredsoul » Tue Feb 18, 2014 11:15 pm UTC

There seems a bit of irony in this thread that a (apparently emotionally wounded) man claiming to know what women 'really want' is an asshole, but it is totally fine to tell a guy that what he really wants is just sex

A girlfriend is not just a friend that you have sex with. That would be a friend with benefits.

Thinking that being 'just friends' is like being in a relationship minus the physical intimacy is a very stupid idea. I know because I've been there, and it is just creepy and painful and bad for everybody involved. Getting the "never talk to me again" out of the blue was devastating at the time, but I'm glad it happened.



I'm married now, so it doesn't really matter, but how are people supposed to start relationships? Clearly getting to know someone as a friend is clearly immoral, and bar-hookups are the domain of PUAs so is the 'nice guy' (i.e. social retard like me) supposed to rely solely on getting set up by friends or dating sites?

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Re: 1325: "Rejection"

Postby gmalivuk » Wed Feb 19, 2014 3:55 am UTC

Shatteredsoul wrote:There seems a bit of irony in this thread that a (apparently emotionally wounded) man claiming to know what women 'really want' is an asshole, but it is totally fine to tell a guy that what he really wants is just sex
There's a difference between claiming to know what all women really want and claiming to know what a particular person, whose actions you have direct knowledge of, wants.

Clearly getting to know someone as a friend is clearly immoral, and bar-hookups are the domain of PUAs so is the 'nice guy' (i.e. social retard like me) supposed to rely solely on getting set up by friends or dating sites?
What's wrong with getting set up by friends or dating sites?

And where the fuck do you get that it's immoral to get to know someone as a friend? Who in this thread has said anything even remotely like that?
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Re: 1325: "Rejection"

Postby Pfhorrest » Wed Feb 19, 2014 6:32 am UTC

gmalivuk wrote:And where the fuck do you get that it's immoral to get to know someone as a friend? Who in this thread has said anything even remotely like that?

I think he means people have frowned on getting to know someone first as a friend but with longer-term romantic aspirations all along. And with the criticism some people in this thread have had of breaking off all contact entirely when those romantic aspirations fall flat, I can see interpreting that as "if you're romantically interested in someone, don't try to be friends with them first", with that "don't" meant in a moral sense, e.g. you're a creepy slimeball if you do. Randall has certainly suggested he is of such an opinion with his wonderful strawman in comic 513. On the other hand if you just hit on someone you don't know out of the blue you've clearly got looks alone to go off of and so are probably also a creepy slimeball just looking for sex too. What are you supposed to do?

That was a rhetorical question at the end there, but I really don't know the answer. I don't know what kind of advice I would give someone asking that besides "use dating sites", because those seriously simplify everything a bajillion times and have been where I've begun every romantic relationship I've had in the past seven years or so. (Eleven years if you account for the four-year relationship preceding those seven, wherein I wasn't beginning any relationships at all). When I'm single (I'm in a long-term relationship at the moment) and looking for a new romantic partner, almost every woman that I already know in person is automatically off-limits in my mind because it feels like a romantic proposition (if rejected) would make me seem like a total creep and ruin whatever kind of preexisting relationship there was. Likewise approaching a woman I don't know seems equally likely to be taken as creepy because in that situation it's obvious the only attraction possible is physical. Between those two things any advance seems to have a high probability of being portrayed as an inappropriate advance, unless by some chance the woman was already into me too and so would welcome it, so the overall vibe I feel from women(*) in general is "if you're not someone I'm attracted to, it's not appropriate to approach me", but how is anyone supposed to know who you're attracted to without approaching you?

With online dating, you're all already in a context where it's assumed people are looking for romantic partners, and it's just a question of whether this person is an acceptable one or not, so approaching someone in that context is never inappropriate, even if it is unsuccessful. I have no idea how I would possibly meet women if that didn't exist, other than by the woman showing signs of interested in me first -- which is pretty much how all my relationships prior to online dating happened. Well, and some where we were friends first, and then we took things further. But apparently that's something only creeps do, if 513's strawman demolition is to believed.

(*)Actually I would extend this to almost all people in general, not just women. The major reason why I've had very few men for romantic partners despite being pansexual is that I feel I can generally assume that most men, being straight, would not welcome advances from me and would find them highly inappropriate in any context. So my only homosexual experiences have been with men who were already really close friends who knew about me and my orientation and who I knew well enough to know that they would be at least open to the prospect, or the rare gay man who has approached me. So just like with women: they show signs of interest first, or we're friends first and then take things further, because anything else would likely be seen as inappropriate except on the off chance that it was reciprocated.
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Re: 1325: "Rejection"

Postby Karilyn » Wed Feb 19, 2014 1:24 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:And where the fuck do you get that it's immoral to get to know someone as a friend? Who in this thread has said anything even remotely like that?

I think he means people have frowned on getting to know someone first as a friend but with longer-term romantic aspirations all along. And with the criticism some people in this thread have had of breaking off all contact entirely when those romantic aspirations fall flat, I can see interpreting that as "if you're romantically interested in someone, don't try to be friends with them first", with that "don't" meant in a moral sense, e.g. you're a creepy slimeball if you do. Randall has certainly suggested he is of such an opinion with his wonderful strawman in comic 513. On the other hand if you just hit on someone you don't know out of the blue you've clearly got looks alone to go off of and so are probably also a creepy slimeball just looking for sex too. What are you supposed to do?

Generally speaking there's an inbetween. Shades of grey are your friend my friend.

The generally accepted answer, to when you find someone attractive before you know them, is to hang out briefly, for a couple hours, a day, or a week or two, and then if you think there's some personality vibing, then you ask them out (I personally go for 1-2 weeks). This is basically how me asking out my spouse happened. I thought she was attractive, but I didn't know her, so I spent some time talking with her and hanging out for like, two weeks or so. Was pleased to see we had some compatibility, and I asked her out. I've also had other people in the past I was attracted to, decided to hang out with, and found we didn't really vibe, and thus I never asked them out. Imagine that. I've also had a handful of folks reject me, s'all cool, we kept hanging out, remained friends, and either stayed friends or drifted apart.

This doesn't mean months, or years. If you're spending months or years attracted to someone, and cringing at the idea of possibly asking them out and being rejected, you're going to have a bad time. You're not trying to get them to become your friend so you can date them. You're getting to know them a little better to see if you wanna date them. Intent makes a pretty huge difference in how you come across.

This doesn't mean you can't date people you're already friends with. But if you view friends as an intermediary step to a relationship, and are just using friendship with people of the opposite sex on the possibility that it'll turn into a relationship? It's going to read in the things you do, and you're going to have a hard time.

If someone is having trouble with it, you can think of it this way: You have an artificial time limit on being attracted to a person without asking them out. Whether that's a person you just met who you're attracted to and want to get to know better, or a person you've been friends with for a long time that you discovered yourself becoming attracted to. The time limit is about 30 non-consecutive hours of quality time spent together (usually 1-2 weeks in my experience, but maybe up to a month if you don't get to see each other too much). You can use that time to test the waters, or work up the courage, or get to know the person better, or whatever. But you do NOT wait months after finding yourself attracted to a person. That is a trainwreck waiting to happen.

Pfhorrest wrote:Likewise approaching a woman I don't know seems equally likely to be taken as creepy because in that situation it's obvious the only attraction possible is physical. Between those two things any advance seems to have a high probability of being portrayed as an inappropriate advance, unless by some chance the woman was already into me too and so would welcome it, so the overall vibe I feel from women(*) in general is "if you're not someone I'm attracted to, it's not appropriate to approach me", but how is anyone supposed to know who you're attracted to without approaching you?


FYI testing the waters is a useful tool, and I recommend doing it shortly after discovering you're attracted to someone. If they respond favorably, go ahead and ask them out, if they don't respond or respond negatively don't try harder. It's when you try harder that it becomes an unwanted advance. But "being their friend" is NOT testing the waters. Being their friend is being their friend.

Pfhorrest wrote:(*)Actually I would extend this to almost all people in general, not just women. The major reason why I've had very few men for romantic partners despite being pansexual is that I feel I can generally assume that most men, being straight, would not welcome advances from me and would find them highly inappropriate in any context. So my only homosexual experiences have been with men who were already really close friends who knew about me and my orientation and who I knew well enough to know that they would be at least open to the prospect, or the rare gay man who has approached me. So just like with women: they show signs of interest first, or we're friends first and then take things further, because anything else would likely be seen as inappropriate except on the off chance that it was reciprocated.

Oh you're so close, you're SO fucking close to something insightful right there, you just gotta get over that hump.

The insightful thing you've almost grabbed onto is that the "woman" in all of the assorted mentioned comics, the "ones that say they want nice guys but..." or "say they only want to be friends," or "put someone in the friendzone." Yeah... they aren't women. They are literally how anybody, male or female, including gay males, will respond to the same thing. It's not how women respond to all of that annoying behaviors, it's how PEOPLE respond to those behaviors, male OR female. And the reason people, female OR male, respond negatively to having the behaviors like the one in the comic being directed at them, is because those behaviors are unpleasant.

It's not just some fucking game women play with me, like some people in the chat would talk about or have you believe. It's not some fucking game at all. And it's not something just women do, but literally anybody who's a victim of this nonsense.

Also, from the sounds of how you described your relationship with those men, it looks like you followed my above advice about friends you develop an attraction towards, with asking them out very quickly after developing an attraction towards them, not trying to be their friends for months and months being nice to them, because that's insane and creepy. Generally speaking, the same way you dealt with those men, is the same way you deal with women.
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Re: 1325: "Rejection"

Postby Pfhorrest » Wed Feb 19, 2014 6:51 pm UTC

Karilyn wrote:Oh you're so close, you're SO fucking close to something insightful right there, you just gotta get over that hump.

The insightful thing you've almost grabbed onto is that the "woman" in all of the assorted mentioned comics, the "ones that say they want nice guys but..." or "say they only want to be friends," or "put someone in the friendzone." Yeah... they aren't women. They are literally how anybody, male or female, including gay males, will respond to the same thing. It's not how women respond to all of that annoying behaviors, it's how PEOPLE respond to those behaviors, male OR female. And the reason people, female OR male, respond negatively to having the behaviors like the one in the comic being directed at them, is because those behaviors are unpleasant.

It's not just some fucking game women play with me, like some people in the chat would talk about or have you believe. It's not some fucking game at all. And it's not something just women do, but literally anybody who's a victim of this nonsense.

If you'd been following my comments in this and other threads on similar topics (not that I expect you have been), you'd see that I've been harping on that insight myself over and over again. (Especially in the thread for "Pickup Artist"). Things along the lines of how the trick to understanding women is realizing there is no special trick to understanding women. Think of women as people. Done -- you now understand women.

When I was young (as in, in my teens) I bought into society's general message that men and women are "from different planets" and have accordingly alien psychology to each other and different desires and all of that. I had a lot of trouble connecting with women. (And not so much trouble connecting the one guy I was "it's complicated" with through high school). I had a worldview very similar to the kind of guy being mocked in comics like this. Then when I was 19, a woman (a friend who soon thereafter became a girlfriend) with significantly more relationship experience than me indirectly informed me (mostly by demonstration) that that was not the case, and that men and women really think in roughly the same ways and want the same things and that most of the differences that remain are because they are socially indoctrinated to think that there should be differences (e.g. women thinking they shouldn't be interested in sex, men thinking they shouldn't express emotions), not because anything is really intrinsically different. Since then I've had much less trouble forming relationships with women, and preach the aforementioned insight whenever this kind of topic comes up.

So I have a lot of sympathy for the kind of guys depicted in comics like this, because I know firsthand what it's like to see the world like they do, and that the kinds of experiences and phenomena they complain about are real and painful experiences that lots of guys really do go through. I'm still critical of them for misunderstanding the underlying cause of those frustrating experiences and consequently misdirecting their expression of that frustration, but in a more sympathetic way than most people seem to be. Most people (at least those who comment on the matter, in the circles I frequent) seem to focus solely on how the men in question are wronging the women in question, portraying them as ill-intentioned villains. I try to focus on how their misunderstanding of things is hurting both the women they're pursuing and themselves, and giving them the benefit of the doubt that they have good enough intentions underneath it all, just muddled and distorted through this misunderstanding of things.

Also, from the sounds of how you described your relationship with those men, it looks like you followed my above advice about friends you develop an attraction towards, with asking them out very quickly after developing an attraction towards them, not trying to be their friends for months and months being nice to them, because that's insane and creepy. Generally speaking, the same way you dealt with those men, is the same way you deal with women.

And that is generally the way that I have dealt with women, for the relationships I had when I was younger (early 20s). My romantic history is split in half by a four-year relationship in my mid 20s, and since then I've exclusively used dating sites to find romantic partners (with much longer-lasting and better relationships than my early ones resulting, though that might be more a factor of age than anything else). Running some quick figures on the hetero relationships from that early period that seem notable enough to remember off the top of my head right now, 38% of them were women approaching me, 30% were friendships that grew into romance, 23% of them I asked out without really knowing them at all yet, and 15% were from dating sites. (Those add up to over 100% because there is overlap between the first two groups). Those figures include the four-year relationship in my mid-20s, which was itself a friendship that grew into romance. (I'm only counting the romance part in the four years; the friendship prior to that was a few months).

I'm not saying that I think this is a bad way to do things or one that doesn't work out well. I think it's actually great and the ideal way to do it. I'm just echoing some of Shatteredsoul's sentiments that there seems to be a message being put out now that pursuing romance with people who are already your friends is inappropriate ("immoral" as he put it), and that is such a loud, angry message on the internet these days (since the late-mid 2000s I'd say) that it's basically scared me off of approaching women I know in person the way I used to, lest they lash out at me as some kind of creep. There is so much (or at least such vocal) anger at men for approaching women in the wrong ways that even someone like me, with a long and generally pleasant relationship history, is terrified to do it, not because I might get rejected (don't care about that anymore), but because the old strategy of just treating women like normal people, getting to know them, and asking them out, doesn't seem safe anymore -- it's a minefield of potential "DANGER CREEP WARNING" triggers. And being worried about triggering them is apparently one of the triggers, as it looks like you're hiding something.

Seriously, my last girlfriend -- who was 5 years younger than me and so part of this new generation of vocal internet feminists who hate on "Nice Guys" with a louder passion than they do the ass-grabbing douchebags that hang out in bars that we all used to (rightly) villainize -- was almost scared away from me because I felt like I had to walk on eggshells around her to avoid her triggering on some innocuous thing that she would take as a sign of some danger that wasn't there, and that anxiety that she induced in me was itself a warning sign she'd been taught to look out for. It looks to me more and more like we're raising a generation of women to be irrationally terrified of men, and conversely a generation of men to be either terrified of terrifying those women (if they're decent people who don't want to offend), or to say fuck it and not care what women think (which is not an attitude we want to encourage). It's not healthy for anyone. There are real people out there who do bad things and we do all need to be aware of that and make sure they are dealt with properly, but for the vast majority of male-female relations I think we really need to tone down the aggression and defensiveness and stop treating love as a war. That requires people on both sides of those "battle lines" to realize that people are just people, men are not an enemy that needs to be repelled any more than women are an enemy that needs to be conquered, there are no sides that need to be defeated in any way, we don't need to find enemies to fight, we just need to realize we're all looking for the same general things and pursue those mutual interests together, openly and honestly.
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Re: 1325: "Rejection"

Postby Karilyn » Thu Feb 20, 2014 2:03 am UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:If you'd been following my comments in this and other threads on similar topics (not that I expect you have been), you'd see that I've been harping on that insight myself over and over again.

My most heartfelt and sincere apologies. I confused you for someone else and misread the meaning of your post. I implore your forgiveness, I was wrong.

Pfhorrest wrote:So I have a lot of sympathy for the kind of guys depicted in comics like this, because I know firsthand what it's like to see the world like they do, and that the kinds of experiences and phenomena they complain about are real and painful experiences that lots of guys really do go through. I'm still critical of them for misunderstanding the underlying cause of those frustrating experiences and consequently misdirecting their expression of that frustration, but in a more sympathetic way than most people seem to be. Most people (at least those who comment on the matter, in the circles I frequent) seem to focus solely on how the men in question are wronging the women in question, portraying them as ill-intentioned villains.

Trust me, I'm sympathetic too despite the tough love I've been dishing out in this thread. But I also lose a ton of my sympathy when I tell someone directly "I'm female, you're wrong, that's not how we think, this is how we think, and it's the same way men think." And then they are all like "Nuh uh, you're just really wanting to string us along." Then you're no longer sympathetic, you're being willfully ignorant and deliberately making your life, and the lives of the people you interact with miserable. That's when you become the ill-intentioned villain.

Mistakes happening. Saying "I'm not making a mistake and I'll keep doing it because I want to," sorta turns you into a villain. To represent one of my transsexual friends for a moment here, shit's fine if you fuck up and accidentally address her as male. It's fine, sa'll cool, everyone makes mistakes. But when you intentionally and deliberately say, "well I'm just not going to address you as female" or they are like "but it's hard" and it's obvious they are putting in zero effort. Yeah that's when you become a villain.

Villainy occurs both when you intentionally harm people, but also when you intentionally ignore the guidelines of others in how to not harm others (Basically the same difference between murder and criminally negligent manslaughter, but applies to less deadly things). At least that's my opinion.

Running some quick figures on the hetero relationships from that early period that seem notable enough to remember off the top of my head right now, 38% of them were women approaching me, 30% were friendships that grew into romance, 23% of them I asked out without really knowing them at all yet, and 15% were from dating sites.

Ignoring the heterosexual requirement and just running down all my relationships, that's pretty much more or less the same breakdown I experienced, minus the dating sites.

I think it's actually great and the ideal way to do it. I'm just echoing some of Shatteredsoul's sentiments that there seems to be a message being put out now that pursuing romance with people who are already your friends is inappropriate ("immoral" as he put it)

Yeah that's definitely, DEFINITELY a mistake, and reading between the lines which isn't there.

There are two inappropriate to do this:

1. Become friends with someone with the long term goal of getting them to date you.
2. Becoming attracted to a person and continuing the friendship with the long term goal of getting them to date you.

Note the emphasis on long term goal. Wanting to get to know someone before dating is cool, just make your intentions clear in the first 1-2 weeks and DEFINITELY before the end of the first month. Wanting to date someone you've been friends with for a while? Cool did you find yourself falling in love with them when you weren't in love with them before? Be sure to test the waters a bit and let them know your intentions within the first 1-2 weeks of realizing your romantic feelings and DEFINITELY before the end of the first month.

It's the people who hide their intentions for months and months on end, who become problematic. Because then you've suddenly made this weird mistake of thinking that friendship is the intermediary step to developing a relationship when it's not. And you start to let your attraction become poisonous and obsessive and eating away at you in ways that aren't fucking healthy. It's way easier to get over a rejection in the first 1-2 weeks of attraction than it is after 6-12 months of convincing yourself that SHE IS YOUR SOUL MATE, and that you just have to somehow be good enough friends with her to convince her of that.

Realize a huge part of the reason it's a problem isn't because you're so much being unfair to the person you're attracted to (you are), but also because you're developing and twisting an idea of something that doesn't exist. You're basically forming a romance in your mind that's an illusion, and one of the most common consequences of that is developing relationship expectations which aren't there and becoming angry when the person fails to meet your expectations in that regard.

but for the vast majority of male-female relations I think we really need to tone down the aggression and defensiveness and stop treating love as a war. That requires people on both sides of those "battle lines" to realize that people are just people, men are not an enemy that needs to be repelled any more than women are an enemy that needs to be conquered, there are no sides that need to be defeated in any way, we don't need to find enemies to fight, we just need to realize we're all looking for the same general things and pursue those mutual interests together, openly and honestly.

This.

And for the record, I want to put on record that I'm saying this...

The wrong act is NOT being attracted to someone or wanting a relationship with someone.
The wrong act is being lying or misleading about your intentions.


That is the crime "nice guys" are guilty of, not the former. Lying and being misleading about your intentions is a TRAINWRECK of a way to start a relationship, no matter what you're lying or misleading about. The 1-2 week rule is an easy and safe rule to go by, and once you've been dating for a while (and it will help you have more success with dating) you can finetune it better to the individual situation. Because by 6+ months of hiding your romantic interest, you've already done fucked up and there's no saving what you've screwed up.

Rock on people, be honest about your intentions and romantic interest, and go out and be awesome.
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Re: 1325: "Rejection"

Postby rmsgrey » Thu Feb 20, 2014 3:00 am UTC

Karilyn wrote:I also lose a ton of my sympathy when I tell someone directly "I'm female, you're wrong, that's not how we think, this is how we think, and it's the same way men think." And then they are all like "Nuh uh, you're just really wanting to string us along." Then you're no longer sympathetic, you're being willfully ignorant and deliberately making your life, and the lives of the people you interact with miserable. That's when you become the ill-intentioned villain.


Has anyone ever come back with "But that's not how I think"?

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Re: 1325: "Rejection"

Postby Karilyn » Thu Feb 20, 2014 3:37 am UTC

At least 20-30 times so far in this thread alone.
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Pfhorrest
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Re: 1325: "Rejection"

Postby Pfhorrest » Thu Feb 20, 2014 7:14 am UTC

Karilyn wrote:
Pfhorrest wrote:If you'd been following my comments in this and other threads on similar topics (not that I expect you have been), you'd see that I've been harping on that insight myself over and over again.

My most heartfelt and sincere apologies. I confused you for someone else and misread the meaning of your post. I implore your forgiveness, I was wrong.

No worries at all. From what I've seen of you on here (and I seem to see you a lot on here this week, as far as comments worth responding to goes), you seem very polite and likeable. :-)

Karilyn wrote:
rmsgrey wrote:
Karilyn wrote:Trust me, I'm sympathetic too despite the tough love I've been dishing out in this thread. But I also lose a ton of my sympathy when I tell someone directly "I'm female, you're wrong, that's not how we think, this is how we think, and it's the same way men think." And then they are all like "Nuh uh, you're just really wanting to string us along." Then you're no longer sympathetic, you're being willfully ignorant and deliberately making your life, and the lives of the people you interact with miserable. That's when you become the ill-intentioned villain.

Has anyone ever come back with "But that's not how I think"?

At least 20-30 times so far in this thread alone.

I think rmsgrey is suggesting that there's a bit of tuquoque due here. The guys in question are wrongly insisting on what all women's "true" intentions and motives are over their protests to the contrary, yes. But then many of the women commenting on that behavior are in turn insisting on what all such guy's "true" intentions and motives are, likewise over their protests to the contrary.

The guy saying "Nuh uh, you're just really wanting to string us along", though wrong, is not necessarily being willfully ignorant, because if he already thinks you're misleading him, he will take any claim that you're not misleading him as itself misleading, and from the worldview he's coming from, that looks like a perfectly reasonable conclusion. "I'm not misleading you" is exactly what you'd expect someone you think is misleading you to say. (I'm reminded of a quote from the famous Dead Alewives "Dungeons and Dragons" skit: "He said it was a magical sword!" - "He was lying." - "He said he never tells a lie!" - "He was lying then too!"). It's a nasty mental trap the guy is stuck in and it's quite understably frustrating for you to be on the receiving end of it and I can't think of anything better for you (or women in your situation) to do in response to it -- the only way out of it I can really imagine is for another guy who's been in his shoes to tell him from experience why that doesn't work -- but it doesn't make him ill-intentioned. It makes him... defensively irrational, I guess. Quite similar to women who jump way too quickly at all kinds of tiny warning signs in probably-harmless men as I described in my last post: it's irrational, but when you're in that mental space the alternative feels like letting your guard down and being a naive gullible sucker who's just going to get hurt again. And in both cases I don't think the person on the receiving end of that unpleasant behavior can really do anything to counter that, because the other person is seeing them, in some way or another, as "the enemy", not to be trusted, so anything they might say is automatically suspect. The only way I see out of that is for someone who's already "on their side" to show them the way out (as I try to do for the kind of guys in question), or for (as happened to me) some kind of positive relationship with someone on the "other side" to allow your kind of message -- "that's really not how I think" -- to be accepted and trusted.

I get really frustrated with the kind of woman who always thinks she knows what my real ulterior motives are and can't be assuaged that they really aren't that way, but I don't think they're bad people for it. I think they've probably been hurt and are overly defensive now to prevent that from happening again and I feel sorry for them and hope that either some other women who've had better experiences can help them heal from their emotional scars, or that their own better experiences in the future will heal them. I'm suggesting here that women who are similarly frustrated with the kind of guy in this comic take that kind of attitude toward him -- he's a pain to deal with, but it's not because he's a bad guy, he's just hurt and exhibiting maladaptive behavior and there's probably nothing you can do to help, but you can sympathize and hope somehow he gets better.

Running some quick figures on the hetero relationships from that early period that seem notable enough to remember off the top of my head right now, 38% of them were women approaching me, 30% were friendships that grew into romance, 23% of them I asked out without really knowing them at all yet, and 15% were from dating sites.

Ignoring the heterosexual requirement and just running down all my relationships, that's pretty much more or less the same breakdown I experienced, minus the dating sites.

Just because statistics are fun, if I also drop the het requirement and include more modern relationships, my figures are:

34% people approaching me
30% friendships growing
25% online dating
15% blind propositions

By time in relationship instead of number of relationships (to get some sense of the quality, rather than just the quantity), my figures would be:

54% from friendships growing
36% from online dating
9% from people approaching me
3% from blind propositions

The trend looks pretty clear. Methods that involve getting to know the other person and establish some kind of communication and compatibility before pursuing a relationship produce much better (in terms of stability) relationships. I have such a small sample size of blindly propositioning people that that should probably be disregarded altogether, but other people blindly propositioning me clearly has the worst track record of all, with the highest number of relationships and the shortest cumulative length of relationships (ignoring the negligible blind propositions I've made).

There are two inappropriate [ways to pursue romance with people who are already your friends]:

1. Become friends with someone with the long term goal of getting them to date you.
2. Becoming attracted to a person and continuing the friendship with the long term goal of getting them to date you.

Note the emphasis on long term goal. Wanting to get to know someone before dating is cool, just make your intentions clear in the first 1-2 weeks and DEFINITELY before the end of the first month. Wanting to date someone you've been friends with for a while? Cool did you find yourself falling in love with them when you weren't in love with them before? Be sure to test the waters a bit and let them know your intentions within the first 1-2 weeks of realizing your romantic feelings and DEFINITELY before the end of the first month.

It's the people who hide their intentions for months and months on end, who become problematic.[snipped for brevity]


I wonder if we're using different senses of the word "inappropriate". I agree completely that taking forever to express your romantic interest is most likely going to be unproductive (not going to find you the romance you're looking for) and is likely to be hurtful to both you and the person you're pursuing, but to my ear "inappropriate" has connotations of "morally wrong", not just "pragmatically inadvisable". Pragmatically inadvisable doesn't mean never under any circumstances do it and you are strictly liable if you do do it regardless of the outcome. My longest and stablest relationship I ever had grew out of a friendship that was already months old before it grew into romance; did I do something wrong (not just risky) by violating your 1-2-weeks-or-definitely-a-month rule? Nobody got hurt. (Well four years later when the whole thing came crashing down we both got hurt, but not because of how it began).

Years after that, I met another woman I was interested in, but another new friend who had had much less romantic success than me in his life was also interested in her, so I stepped aside and let him pursue her first. They were together for years, then broke up. I had other relationships meanwhile, which ended. She had others too. Then came a period when we were both single at the same time. I asked her out. She wasn't interested, and then she broke off contact for a long while (we're friends again now) because it was too awkward for her after I asked. I was perfectly happy to take "no" for an answer and continue just being her friend and dating other people as I had for years, just minus the possibility that maybe I might ask her out some time, because I tried that already and it went nowhere. Was there something morally wrong about maintaining a friendship over years with someone to whom I was attracted all along, and never mentioning it because it would have been inappropriate to do so? (She was with someone else, or I was with someone else -- and when I was with someone else, I wasn't even thinking about her). Mind you, especially, my first intention toward her was "hey, here's a girl I think I'd like to date". I first started getting to know her with romantic intentions, but then set those aside and let it be just a friendship for years, while still having on-and-off romantic interest in her -- before finally having the opportunity to ask her out, and then finally putting aside those romantic interests when it didn't pan out.

When I was much younger, and still under the mistaken impression that women were uninterested in sex, I had no idea how to signal romantic interest, so I had a lot of romantic interests that went nowhere because I just had no idea how to take them anywhere, lest I just bluntly and awkwardly ask "do you wanna be my girlfriend?", which of course is as smooth as sandpaper and has a success rate comparable to Ethiopia's space program. So I had lots of friendships that I wished would be romances but never became that either because they never had any idea I was interested (because I was hiding the obvious signs of interest under the mistaken impression that those would make them disinterested), or because I asked so bluntly it ruined any hope of me seeming attractive. Was any of that morally wrong, or just grossly incompetent?

I think that last situation is the boat so many guys maintaining long friendships with romantic aspirations are in. They don't know how to approach someone, but they like them a lot, so they just... hang around and try to be nice and friendly and likeable and... hope that somehow... something happens... though they have no idea how that's supposed to work. But things like xkcd 513 and plenty else around the internet portray that as malicious deception. I think it's just incompetence, stemming largely from a misunderstanding, namely that women are interested in a different set of things than men and so just a straightforward open approach will never work, that the only way anyone ever gets together is by suppressing the aspects of their gender that the other gender doesn't like (namely, for men, any sexual interest) and trying to present an image which they would like (namely, for men, all manner of nonsexual niceties). It is deceptive in a way, but it's being conducted under a mistaken worldview that both sides are, and have to be, deceptive to each other, that that's just how that aspect of life works. It's not a malicious deception. For me, it was a huge relief to learn that women just want the same things I want and we don't have to play these crazy deceptive games, because I hated doing that. And of course I'm just going off of personal experience here with no real data, but I really think at least a large number of guys out there are similarly just misinformed about the existence of a "gender war", and would love to lay down arms and talk about things like decent people. They're not malicious, in that they don't want to "fight"; they just mistakenly believe that there is a "war" already happening and that they've got to "fight" in it if they don't want to lose that "war".

The wrong act is NOT being attracted to someone or wanting a relationship with someone.
The wrong act is being lying or misleading about your intentions.

But is it really "lying or misleading" if you just have no idea how to express your intentions in a way that would not cause you to be rejected? If you'd love to say what you really feel, but you can't think of any way of saying it that won't (so you think) make you look horrible for saying it? So you just... you like this person and you do want to be their friend, but you also want to be more... but you don't know how to express that... so you hang around and hope that they notice how much you like them by all of the things you're doing... you're trying, very poorly, to subtly express those intentions in what you mistakenly believe is the acceptable way... and it goes nowhere and eventually you get frustrated and make a fool or an ass out of yourself as it all falls apart. The making an ass out of yourself part (by which I mean roughly "being an asshole") is not OK of course, but everything leading up to it just smacks of incompetence and ignorance to me, not the malicious deception it gets portrayed as.
Forrest Cameranesi, Geek of All Trades
"I am Sam. Sam I am. I do not like trolls, flames, or spam."
The Codex Quaerendae (my philosophy) - The Chronicles of Quelouva (my fiction)

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PinkShinyRose
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Re: 1325: "Rejection"

Postby PinkShinyRose » Thu Feb 20, 2014 3:40 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:I think that last situation is the boat so many guys maintaining long friendships with romantic aspirations are in. They don't know how to approach someone, but they like them a lot, so they just... hang around and try to be nice and friendly and likeable and... hope that somehow... something happens... though they have no idea how that's supposed to work. But things like xkcd 513 and plenty else around the internet portray that as malicious deception. I think it's just incompetence, stemming largely from a misunderstanding, namely that women are interested in a different set of things than men and so just a straightforward open approach will never work, that the only way anyone ever gets together is by suppressing the aspects of their gender that the other gender doesn't like (namely, for men, any sexual interest) and trying to present an image which they would like (namely, for men, all manner of nonsexual niceties). It is deceptive in a way, but it's being conducted under a mistaken worldview that both sides are, and have to be, deceptive to each other, that that's just how that aspect of life works. It's not a malicious deception. For me, it was a huge relief to learn that women just want the same things I want and we don't have to play these crazy deceptive games, because I hated doing that. And of course I'm just going off of personal experience here with no real data, but I really think at least a large number of guys out there are similarly just misinformed about the existence of a "gender war", and would love to lay down arms and talk about things like decent people. They're not malicious, in that they don't want to "fight"; they just mistakenly believe that there is a "war" already happening and that they've got to "fight" in it if they don't want to lose that "war".

I think this view is somewhat understandable in light of ridiculous conflicting sexist social norms that prescribe celibacy for women and sluttiness for men.

The problem I have with this concept is that it only works if you really don't want what you supposedly wouldn't want according to this theory. If you want what the gender you're into supposedly wants the idea doesn't work and there is no need for deception from this idea. Besides, if there was such a conflict, no-one would actually fall for such deception as everyone would be aware of the deception. There are more flaws in this logic but it's not really the point I want to make as attacking a worldview on it's logic is really quite senseless, as many radical Christians and radical atheists have demonstrated.

I'm also unsure whether this worldview makes the deception any less malicious. The deceiving party is trying to harm the other party, I don't see how "knowing" that the other party is harmed makes something less malicious. In my opinion the possibility of the victim appreciating something makes the action less malicious, not more malicious.

Essentially, what I get from this, is that the men you describe just want sex and will hurt whoever they need to harm to get it. To me this sounds a lot like the plunderers/pirates that kill everyone that might keep them from enriching themselves in some stories. The differences are obviously that they want sex instead of gold and inflict different harm.

Please note that I'm not saying "men just want sex", I'm saying these men deceive for sex as their world view prescribes that a man should be able to get into a non-sexual romantic relationship with a woman without deceiving her.

Goranson
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Re: 1325: "Rejection"

Postby Goranson » Fri Feb 21, 2014 5:36 am UTC

PinkShinyRose wrote:I think this view is somewhat understandable in light of ridiculous conflicting sexist social norms that prescribe celibacy for women and sluttiness for men.

By what standard in western society is this a contemporary social norm? Women are sluttier right now than they have been in probably centuries. A woman can go out and have a one night stand and almost nobody is going to care.

PinkShinyRose wrote:Essentially, what I get from this, is that the men you describe just want sex and will hurt whoever they need to harm to get it. To me this sounds a lot like the plunderers/pirates that kill everyone that might keep them from enriching themselves in some stories. The differences are obviously that they want sex instead of gold and inflict different harm.

What I get from this is that you place women's feelings on such a heavenly pedestal that men have a moral responsibility to not hurt them in any sort of social interaction ever, to the point that you equate a man veiling sexual interest to pillaging and murder.

Soft Hyphen
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Re: 1325: "Rejection"

Postby Soft Hyphen » Fri Feb 21, 2014 12:25 pm UTC

Karilyn wrote:Trust me, I'm sympathetic too despite the tough love I've been dishing out in this thread.

You've said this before, but, truthfully, your comments often just come across as hurtful and judgemental. You will have little luck educating people (if that is your goal) by antagonising them first with completely unnecessary cheap shots.

"I'm female, you're wrong, that's not how we think, this is how we think, and it's the same way men think."

Aren't you committing the same crime as the other side? You're claiming to know the thought patterns of an entire group. Just because you're part of that group does not excuse the generalisation.

You don't think that way; I'm certain there are women who do.

Villainy occurs both when you intentionally harm people, but also when you intentionally ignore the guidelines of others in how to not harm others

In light of some of the comments you've made in this thread, I'm inclined to call you a hypocrite.

There are two inappropriate to do this:

1. Become friends with someone with the long term goal of getting them to date you.
2. Becoming attracted to a person and continuing the friendship with the long term goal of getting them to date you.

Note the emphasis on long term goal. Wanting to get to know someone before dating is cool, just make your intentions clear in the first 1-2 weeks and DEFINITELY before the end of the first month. Wanting to date someone you've been friends with for a while? Cool did you find yourself falling in love with them when you weren't in love with them before? Be sure to test the waters a bit and let them know your intentions within the first 1-2 weeks of realizing your romantic feelings and DEFINITELY before the end of the first month.

I can't imagine becoming romantically involved with someone without them being their friend first. And for me, getting to that level of trust and comfort with someone takes months. Maybe years.

Your 1-2 weeks and the figure of "30 hours" are not in any way realistic for me. Why do you get to set such standards?

Because then you've suddenly made this weird mistake of thinking that friendship is the intermediary step to developing a relationship when it's not.

Again, I can't imagine becoming romantically involved with someone without them being their friend first. You seem to be saying I'm wrong about this?
Actually, some of your ideas on this matter seem contradictory (you've outright stated that a friendship turning to romance is okay, but you say the opposite here), so rather than risk me strawmanning your words, could you please clarify what you mean?

The wrong act is being lying or misleading about your intentions.

Rock on people, be honest about your intentions and romantic interest, and go out and be awesome.


"Um, hello. From what little interactions we've had, you seem like a very interesting person that I'd like to get to know better. Would you be amenable to developing a friendship with me that, over the next few months or possibly a year or more I'd like to see grow more close, with the ideal of it of turning it into a romantic relationship at some point, but not necessarily since out friendship might very well lead me to conclude that we are not compatible, in which case we can remain friends, though if you decide early on that there is no possibility of a romantic relationship ever, then I'd just prefer not to do this whole thing in the first place and focus my energies on someone who will entertain that possibility?"

How well would that go over?

(Serious question.)


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