• Bitter Crank
    5.6k
    if open-endedness is too much, then - and I don't mean this flippantly - there's also a robust guideline-centric community when it comes to casual sex - the sadomasochism community. S&M gets a lot of caricatur-y bad press (and I'll admit that I have trouble seeing it as a final resting point, relationship-wise) but it seems like a potentially healthy way to unambiguously structure the otherwise-confusing power dynamics of sex and romance.csalisbury

    This sounds reasonable in theory. Any reasonably intelligent, slightly psychopathic person could learn how to inflict the requisite blows (and they are real blows) and humiliations as the "master" in the S&M scene. Maybe one could accept being tied up and beaten, whipped, etc. as a "slave" but one would have to be extra-extraordinarily tolerant of abuse.

    S&M are a pair of "paraphilias" that happen to be complementary. One either is born with or learns very very early whatever it is that leads to sexual satisfaction being connected to something non-genital (like people who have a sexual fixation on shoes). For the most part, paraphilias are not a social problem because participants are self-selecting. (This does not apply to paedophilia.) S&M isn't a problem, but unless one is endowed with that paraphilia, 99.99% of the population are not going to enjoy being whipped--literally, and most people will not like doing the whipping either.

    S&M is a specialty, except that one is more born with it than gets a degree in it.

    Otherwise, it's a great idea. There are lots of rules and regs, there are organizations one can join, various web sites that sell S&M supplies (whips, chains, slings, hoods, paddles, tit clamps, ball stretchers, etc.), and arrange hookups. Just be sure you are totally turned on by this scene before you show up for a beating meeting.
  • csalisbury
    1.2k
    @TimeLine How would you feel about this story if the genders were reversed?

    Like:

    Robert was a confident college-anchored guy, hot, working a part-time job somewhere, bored, flirting with customers to keep him busy. Girl comes up to the counter, a little overweight, but seems cool, and he jokes a bit. She leaves, nothing happens. But then a bit later she comes back, 'give me your number concession-stand guy!'.

    They go on a date, (she shows up in some kind of clothing he can tell she's maybe a bit poorer than him, a stain on her jeans too. Clear she isn't a student, clear she's maybe a little desperate). The date is uncomfortable , she seems anxious, making probing jokes about class stuff to see how he responds. He feels uncomfortable, but occasionally he feels some kind of connection, drinks a bit to try to quiet his misgivings - then suggests they go back, to her place. During the drive, he worries, occasionally. She seems cool, had funny texts, but what if she's some kind of Fatal Attraction type? Is she gonna get obsessed? What if it doesn't work? Will she show up at his work? Holy shit, he doesn't know anything about her...

    They sleep together. (He fantasizes about how she's a bit dumpy and is bowled over by a young well-muscled guy fucking her, how she can't think about anything else except how much she loves his body. Hot young college stud fucks....[etc]) After, she puts on some music, something hip she'd think he'd like, and he's like *rolls eyes* ("for some reason she played the smiths") ok I gotta gtfo. She says wait, why? He says 'they'll wonder where I am at the dorms.'

    Drives back. Feels Guilty. She keeps texting him [smiley face with hearts for eyes etc.] He's like 'what the fuck, I don't want to deal with this. I feel guilty.. but. I got nothing to say" Finally his roomate texts back 'he's not interested, ok." She, hurt, texts back something reasonable.

    One painful lonely night she goes to a bar he might be at - maybe she'll see him, maybe there was something there. She gets a few drinks and ends up slumped by herself (maybe about to call Uber).

    Then!

    he shows up with some friends. They sit at a booth on the opposite side. She can see them all talking and looking over. Maybe at one point he points, and they all laugh. Eventually they get up, laughing, all hammily 'concealing' him from her view and leave.

    She texts him....


    miss you
    [etc]
    (and finally)
    do you do this with all the girls?
    Why did you laugh when I asked whether you'd ever brought a girl over to your place?
    What did I do wrong?
    do you just fuck anyone?
    Do you care at all, or do you just fuck anyone?
    huh?
    fuckboy
    piece of shit


    Is she a sociopath? Or is there some important difference between this ^ and the original story?
  • schopenhauer1
    1.8k

    As BC explained, this really isn’t a good solution..if that wasn’t half joking :razz:. For whatever reason humans seem to desire having a significant other to have an emotional and physical bond with. It’s actually quite foundational. My pessimistic theory incorporates it under the category of boredom. As I’ve said before, loneliness is just one layer beyond the baseline restless boredom that lies at the heart of the human experience. This doesn’t solve the problem of restlessness as it is never ending and moves to the next goal to focus. However, relationships may be considered a “good” though many times this is fleeting and causes more frustration.

    Anyways, for such a desirous and foundational goal, it has some of the worst systems for its attainment and/or maintenance. It is tragic, and like all other tragic things, we sweep it under the rug as some Nietzschean “pain makes life better”. And Schopenhauer shakes his head.
  • csalisbury
    1.2k
    yeah, but Schop was a misogynist of the 'don't know em, so i know i dont need to know em' stripe. And on top of that: schop wasn't a bad looking guy, right. He could have - but...something got in the way. so: Cause and symptom, chicken and egg - who knows? Either way, I can't take him seriously on romance, good as he is on some stuff. Very very very smart, not bad aesthetically, but stunted emotionally. Was he doted on by a nice mom, had a mean or absent dad? I don't know, but that's my guess.

    But romance isn't just [boredomcureX]. Certain cases are escapes from boredom, yes, no question. But romance isn't like drink or metal gear solid (my two boredom escapes.) Sometimes, it just really is romance and gosh it's nice. Romance doesn't last forever of course, so that 'gosh it's nice' has to evolve. but, still - that 'gosh it's nice' isn't reducible to [treat x ] staving off boredom. It's something very ..... Well, I mean, you have some soft and sweet childhood memories, I'm sure, otherwise you wouldn't be a pessimist. It's like those memories, only in addition to the sweet sadness, its hot too.
  • csalisbury
    1.2k


    So the question I have is whether we can ever get through to the "truth" of another person, or ourselves. Because however we actually overtly act, there is then whatever is the antithesis of that by default. The issue is then whether that should be read as the hidden authentic desire - something we've repressed from sight because it is the bad "us" - or merely just another way we could have acted and didn't ... because we are essentially all right as a person ... as a habit of our social conditioning.

    I haven't read Something Happened. I did reach Catch-22, a long time ago (13 years?). Catch-22, if I recall, does the Mark Twain thing of 'common sense in a world that sorely needs it.' If that holds true, it's ok, but...


    at 16 it read like: no-bullshit hero follows the truth. Now, I'm a little skeptical of the pose. Twain was a misanthrope, like Vonnegut - the whole 'aw shucks, what a world, some people think theres a MAN in the SKY even though we're APES on a ASTEROID & pretend that STONES & METALS mean anything, but I'm just a MAN with a BEARD, SMOKING on my PORCH and I'm hear to tell you that..." - bullshit, but gets you in the literature books. Iconoclastic like America which is iconoclastic and also aristocracy is just people being like.... Thoreau is paradigmatic here: Cool thoughts about Ants, very cosmic, 'quiet desperation,' still have my mother do laundry on the weekends. The whole genre is bullshit. So those guys, got their number, but Helller?

    I guess I don't know. My gut feeling he's part of this tradition. And my gut feeling is this aw shucks simple guy stuff links nicely up to irl doesnt know how the fuck to be with a real person. (because when a real person does real people things (APES on a ROCK) the husband guy can shrug to the camera that isn't there and go 'women (people), am I right?'

    I was talking to someone younger (18ish) who read it, Catch-22 and he said [summarized] 'love that book, made me realize there's no point in risking anything for anyone but yourself, they're all just trying to sell you on something.' & ya maybe but ------

    I 100% don't think we can get to the truth of another person (or ourself) but I'm open to the idea that we can get to the truth of a person insofar as they're part of some shared thing, which we are also a part of.

    Sort of like umm - you got the mask, which is necessary, but you share a thing of knowing each other's masks, and their limits. Which is still not their truth (which is foreclosed to everyone, them too, except in moments.)

    Is it possible to be authentic when being aware of how we think or feel must carry with it the sharp sense of the "other" which by implication or suggestion is getting suppressed by us?

    'sharp sense' - I'm not sure. I think you can fall in love with someone, without ever really 'seeing' them, and go with that for a long time and neither of you will know who the other is and then after a while its too important, the relationship, to compromise, so you end up...

    But I don't know what's essential or not here. I don't think the sharp sense of the other qua Other is essential, but maybe I'm romanticizing? In jungian terms I'd say I know couples who know each others shadows, the sharp sense isn't so sharp, and that seems closer, But yeah I don't -
  • Baden
    4.8k


    I don't really care about what you said about me, but I do care about the homophobic-type vulgarisms aimed at BC and then you lecturing us all on how we undermined you without even acknowledging your bad behaviour in the discussion. Nobody else engaged in ad-homs except you and pretending you are the victim here is not going to fly.
  • TimeLine
    2.6k
    I don't really care about what you said about me, but I do care about the homophobic-type vulgarisms aimed at BC and then you lecturing us all on how we undermined you without even acknowledging your bad behaviour in the discussion. Nobody else engaged in ad-homs except you and pretending you are the victim here is not going to fly.Baden

    I know you don't really care about what I said to you, clearly you have not read a word of what I was saying. And who is all? Don't use this notion of being so-called homophobic as an excuse for your anger towards me, because there is nothing about what I said that was.

    This is really disturbing behaviour and I want to end our conversation right now.
  • apokrisis
    3.7k
    I haven't read Something Happened. I did reach Catch-22,csalisbury

    I only mentioned it as I happen to be reading it and felt it matched your interest in the inner games people play. I found Catch-22 hilarious as a teen, but laboured when I tried to read it again a few years ago. Something Happened is surprisingly honest about the stuff people think and feel, yet could never risk saying.
  • csalisbury
    1.2k
    That's fair. Thank you for setting me up for that rant tho. I do want to read Something Happened. My ex-roomate had a copy and I flipped through it a few times and it looked good. I'm just skeptical of the tradition.
  • TimeLine
    2.6k
    Is she a sociopath? Or is there some important difference between this ^ and the original story?csalisbury

    I see what you mean about the vulnerability that appears more visible in the woman in your story, whereas in the reverse the man - according to her story - appears to be sociopathtic, but you must understand that when I said the latter it is to imply this alienation from any empathy or understanding of the other person, so I still hold that Robert has some pathology. I was interpreting the story from a single lens though and it is difficult to ascertain otherwise other than through the examples given, namely that of missing cats and the final messages as well as his sexual behaviour. It is nevertheless food for thought, however, that my initial reaction to his emotional disposition was indeed harsher than it would have been had the roles been reversed, which iterates that social conditioning and our understanding of our feminine and masculine roles.

    In saying that, however, how did you interpret the main protagonist? Was she a heartless tramp?
  • schopenhauer1
    1.8k
    but Schop was a misogynist of the 'don't know em, so i know i dont need to know em' stripe.csalisbury

    True.

    Either way, I can't take him seriously on romance, good as he is on some stuff.csalisbury

    I don't know, he seemed pretty insightful on certain aspects. Mainly when I invoke Schopenhauer here, I don't mean his specific writings on love and women (which I agree are of his lesser writings) but his general principle of will and the structural tragedies entailed in it (which is the kernel of his worldview and are extremely insightful). I also invoke him in contrast to Nietzsche, who tries to pull a fast one by embracing of what is painful to try to incorporate it in full acceptance. These are the people who prefer the frustrations, dramas, and soap operas because they want life to be its own drama that the individual plays out- a goal to strive for. Every Jack cannot have his Jill.

    But romance isn't just [boredomcureX]. Certain cases are escapes from boredom, yes, no question. But romance isn't like drink or metal gear solid (my two boredom escapes.) Sometimes, it just really is romance and gosh it's nice. Romance doesn't last forever of course, so that 'gosh it's nice' has to evolve. but, still - that 'gosh it's nice' isn't reducible to [treat x ] staving off boredom. It's something very ..... Well, I mean, you have some soft and sweet childhood memories, I'm sure, otherwise you wouldn't be a pessimist. It's like those memories, only in addition to the sweet sadness, its hot too.csalisbury

    Yes, I am aware. Romance is a "good" in the positive sense amongst a handful of them. However, it is still a longing out of a restlessness. If we were simply content, we wouldn't need Romance or anything else for that matter.
    It cannot dwell where, as Plato says, continual Becoming and never Being is all that takes place. First of all, no man is happy; he strives his whole life long after imaginary happiness, which he seldom attains, and if he does, then it is only to be disillusioned; and as a rule he is shipwrecked in the end and enters the harbour dismasted. — Schopenhauer

    However, the main point of my response here is how poorly this supposed "good" is attained and maintained. We haven't figured out the key to our own happiness in this seemingly important matter and so we fall into overanalysis, tropes, and other vague guidelines that simply make things worse. This story illustrated some of this.
  • TimeLine
    2.6k
    The problem is people usually want significant others. This is where humans are utterly hopeless with poorly designed social systems to solve the problem of finding, signaling interest, and maintaining a relationship with significant other to have sex and other experiences with. With no set rules, the system gets bogged down with meta-analysis and confusion. Then you people simply falling back into tropes as the prisoner's dilemma sets in. Anyways, as we both agree this creates much unhappiness. Writers use this unhappiness and confusion to write mediocre short stories and soap operas. They seem to be the only ones benefiting.schopenhauer1

    I have had women copy the way that I dress, the colour of my hair, professionally and personally in a way of trying to morph themselves into the person they think that men would be attracted to. Whether this is based on some inner vulnerability or not, it exemplifies the superficiality of their inner life or being. I believe Erich Fromm states it perfectly:

    Most people are not even aware of their need to conform. They live under the illusion that they follow their own ideas and inclinations, that they are individualists, that they have arrived at their opinion as the result of their own thinking - and that it just happens that their ideas are the same as this of the majority.

    When you suggest it is about wanting significant others, what this does is produce standards or a set of expectations about what you look like, how you dress, your pleasant mannerisms and thus femininity and masculinity is streamlined into a social system that defines qualities worthy of these 'significant others' and why I suggested watching Black Mirror's episode Nosedive, the series itself like a selection of short stories and as you say, all those soap operas and social media force-feed these perceptions that people are conditioned to believe is reality. Our motivations are prompted to adhere because the rewards - the congratulations by society - reflect positively on you, despite it not actually being you at all. Your happiness is superficial. You form bonds with people that are not real; that is why I often say that those who are feeling depression or anxiety are really feeling their authentic self trying to communicate through emotional responses about the unpleasantness of their circumstances, they just don't understand it consciously.

    I mentioned love because love and moral consciousness for me is the motivation which is authentic, prompting us to respond against the grain of social cliches and to see people for what and who they are. It produces real happiness.
  • schopenhauer1
    1.8k
    I mentioned love because love and moral consciousness for me is the motivation which is authentic, prompting us to respond against the grain of social cliches and to see people for what and who they are. It produces real happiness.TimeLine

    But romantic love also has something to do with attraction. It also has to do with signaling that attraction, and pursuing that attraction. It also has to do with luck (is the person available). It also has to do with social cues (don't look like a fool, seem charming, don't be too nervous, etc.).

    Then there is the idea that people are mostly self-interested. To let another person be a focal point may be the biggest downfall for many people who just cannot get over themselves as their only focus point. Any one of these things I mentioned, can doom someone to be alone.

    In this world, it's easier to find oneself alone and unloved than to find oneself with someone and truly loved (perhaps eventually in the way you describe: authentic, prompting us to respond against the grain of social cliches and to see people for what and who they are. It produces real happiness.). Hence, I put in the category of the tragic.
  • TimeLine
    2.6k
    But romantic love also has something to do with attraction. It also has to do with signaling that attraction, and pursuing that attraction. It also has to do with luck (is the person available). It also has to do with social cues (don't look like a fool, seem charming, don't be too nervous, etc.).schopenhauer1

    Some people often call their experience "love" but it is actually a type of dependence, or their attraction is motivated by a preceding loneliness, or because their partner perfectly epitomises the socially constructed ideal. It is why they say that one cannot love until they experience being alone and accepting or overcoming loneliness. They are no longer prompted to make these attachments, where social cues and signalling attraction becomes natural. You don't need to do any of what you say because you are comfortable with yourself. It is that deeper lack of self esteem that impairs our capacity to hear our own voice and what compels us to blindly pursue relationships with people that we prolong and maintain for the sake of it, despite there being no feelings or genuine connection.

    People who doubt themselves form such bonds where motivations are superficially conditioned by society and they do this because they lack the self-esteem and the courage, relying on the opinions and the congratulations from others as though such positive reception parallels meaning to their own identity. Conversely, those who are narcissistic and who cannot get over themselves are just as vulnerable to the above mentioned conditions and lack the same self-esteem but enhances that image by exploiting others, just like how cowards attack weaker people. It is rooted in the same superficiality but overcompensated by delusions of grandeur.

    In this world, it's easier to find oneself alone and unloved than to find oneself with someone and truly loved (perhaps eventually in the way you describe: authentic, prompting us to respond against the grain of social cliches and to see people for what and who they are. It produces real happiness.). Hence, I put in the category of the tragic.schopenhauer1

    Love is the only thing worth living for but as I said earlier, you cannot give love until you learn to love yourself, which is basically overcoming that deeper lack of self-esteem and feeling comfortable with being alone and unloved. That sounds easy, but it is probably the most difficult thing we could ever do and the tragedy here is that many people never do. They live in quiet desperation tolerating their partner and creating new and innovative ways to prolong the relationship and "make it work". That idea for me is daunting, of sitting next to someone on the couch as they talk about things you hate, watching them as they pretend to be something you know they are not, basically suffering only to keep things going. That is the real tragedy. Imagine what the protagonist went through but instead spending years and years having sex with someone you don't love. :vomit:

    A friend of mine recently broke up with his girlfriend of four years and everyone was in chaos, total meltdown as though he committed this huge crime. They were the perfect, iconic couple. She was a mindless drone but very attractive and popular and he was a borderline genius that dumbed himself down for her. He was losing his mind, but they looked good and everyone celebrated this image, keeping them going for years and years because he doubted himself. She was nice. Everyone liked her. Everything looks good. The underlying misery was that he felt trapped and obliged to do something he didn't want to do and in the end he finally snapped. It was like he needed to destroy it all in order to break up with her, completely smash down that social coercion forcing him to continue to do something he didn't want.

    He is profoundly happy with his girlfriend now, a small, chubby unattractive and unknown nerd who is genuinely one of the most beautiful people I have ever met. She does not parade around pretending to be nice. She actually is. There is real love out there, but it first starts with you.
  • schopenhauer1
    1.8k
    They are no longer prompted to make these attachments, where social cues and signalling attraction becomes natural. You don't need to do any of what you say because you are comfortable with yourself. It is that deeper lack of self esteem that impairs our capacity to hear our own voice and what compels us to blindly pursue relationships with people that we prolong and maintain for the sake of it, despite there being no feelings or genuine connection.TimeLine

    I think you are being a bit flippant with how relationships form. People aren't just self-actualized totally autonomous beings rolling around until they magically meet a significant other by way of pure attraction or kismet by way of their awesome self-actualized nature. Rather, people have to put themselves out there and work at trying to be with someone. This means, one has to initiate (whether that be a date, "hanging out", or offering to spend time together). This means that communication has to be kept open and flowing in a "natural way" (by phone, by text, by verbal communication). Initiating and communication can be frustrated at any moment and then chalked up to "it wasn't meant to be". Here is much of the anxiety and drama. To make such a flippant view of it, is to downplay the reality of the situation or ignoring of what is the case. Also, the person has to be mature enough to actually have the capacity to care for another person.

    Love is the only thing worth living for but as I said earlier, you cannot give love until you learn to love yourself, which is basically overcoming that deeper lack of self-esteem and feeling comfortable with being alone and unloved. That sounds easy, but it is probably the most difficult thing we could ever do and the tragedy here is that many people never do.TimeLine

    Indeed, but as you mentioned, here is the tragedy. Perhaps many people can be comfortable being alone, and unloved. It is tragic nonetheless that they do not experience what you call "the only thing worth living for". As I said earlier, meaningful relationships don't just happen automatically because one is in some "self-actualized" state. This would be to attribute a false cause to how relationships form. Indeed, in any counterfactual situation, the person who is indeed alone and "comfortable being alone and unloved", can live this way until they die, missing out on a rather large "good" of life.
  • TimeLine
    2.6k
    I think you are being a bit flippant with how relationships form. People aren't just self-actualized totally autonomous beings rolling around until they magically meet a significant other by way of pure attraction or kismet by way of their awesome self-actualized nature. Rather, people have to put themselves out there and work at trying to be with someone.schopenhauer1

    I kept my feelings for a guy I liked secret because he had a partner and everyday - I mean every, single fucking day - he would say something that would tear me apart because he had no idea how to treat a person that liked him nicely. I would spend my nights stitching up the wounds until finally I could no longer keep myself together. I knew we were very similar people, I knew we could have been great friends, but I kept on feeding him things about me that were not true because it hurt so much that I just needed him gone. I am a very strong woman, for instance, and I know he likes that, so I portrayed weakness to put him off and a number of other things where finally I got really sick because I hated myself mostly because I couldn't be myself. I have never in my life felt so vulnerable then when I liked him and I still find myself wishing - like our protagonist - we could just sit and talk this through where I am honest about who I am. We have every right to want to protect ourselves - by whatever means necessary - from that hurt and the best way of achieving that is through lies.

    Socially constructed ideals work in similar vein and is our way of communicating with the external world, where morality forms that contrast that articulates a structure in how we respond to others. We can never really know another person, we are always two magnets that repel from ever uniting authentically and so this "work" or "putting yourself out there" is really that attempt to explain yourself. The problem and what the story conveys is that most people don't actually know themselves, their attitude or decisions are aligned with socially conditioned ideals and they are motivated to quiet who they are that most of their activities are not shared but rather subjective, in secret.

    This is the whole point, how can we "put ourselves out there" if our self-esteem is vulnerable to criticism where we fear projecting that inner life because it betrays socially streamlined notions of happiness? People read books and think that there is somehow a way to behave - "play the game" - in order to reach some end and therefore act without ever sharing a bond; it becomes dependence whether emotionally or economically and they are fine keeping things going despite their unhappiness because it is the lesser of two evils, the other evil being loneliness.

    But, there are people who are instantly compatible, they actually work well with one another and when the barriers of society are shattered like what my friend did and where we can openly be ourselves, that sharing is authentic, it is "real love" because she is herself and she admires the other person who is also himself and where they both - as independent people - share a bond with one another.

    As I said earlier, meaningful relationships don't just happen automatically because one is in some "self-actualized" state.schopenhauer1

    No, one must first learn to love themselves because only then can they ever "put themselves out there" authentically and see others for who they are as well. I needed to go through all those struggles that I faced with him to realise that I lacked the confidence or self-esteem and I learnt more about who I was because of it. People who are stuck in unhappy relationships, for me, is way worse than being alone.
  • schopenhauer1
    1.8k
    This is the whole point, how can we "put ourselves out there" if our self-esteem is vulnerable to criticism where we fear projecting that inner life because it betrays socially streamlined notions of happiness? People read books and think that there is somehow a way to behave - "play the game" - in order to reach some end and therefore act without ever sharing a bond; it becomes dependence whether emotionally or economically and they are fine keeping things going despite their unhappiness because it is the lesser of two evils, the other evil being loneliness.TimeLine

    I honestly cannot make out some of what you are trying to convey here. I think you are saying something along the lines that people play some sort of game to live up to an ideal and are not authentically themselves when dating. I guess, when first meeting another person, people usually tend to hide their most radical beliefs and most unique traits, because there is a notion that people expect some sort of "normalcy" standard- perhaps one a society has signaled through various cues as "socially acceptable". Sometimes, this leads to two people falsely living up to social standards but never being themselves.

    But, there are people who are instantly compatible, they actually work well with one another and when the barriers of society are shattered like what my friend did and where we can openly be ourselves, that sharing is authentic, it is "real love" because she is herself and she admires the other person who is also himself and where they both - as independent people - share a bond with one another.TimeLine

    That's great, but again, most things don't work like in movies or fairy tales as "instantly compatible". In other words, it still takes work and putting yourself out there. You have to take the effort to meet, or go out into the world and be somewhere where this is possible. You have to show interest (usually the guy due to social expectations), and ask for a number, a date, a time to meet. The other person has to reciprocate interest by accepting. The date has to be actually followed through. A second date then has to be procured, etc. etc. This takes time, effort, work. Often, anywhere in this process, it is liable to fail, and often does. The chances to meet someone very compatible are slim. Again, we just chalk it up to "wasn't meant to be". But the process itself is rather clunky, which is rather tragic being that this is also something that is supposed to lead to a major good of life. As stated earlier, for something so important, we have some of the worst systems in place for its attainment. It is the lack of guidelines that could be a problem in this case. There is no defined procedure. It is all groping in the dark, and "putting oneself out there". Vulnerability. Showing interest in another in a vulnerable way, often repeatedly. Again, this dating process is where the anxiety, drama, and much of the painful part of the process occurs. It is not just instant, and it is not just fate, and it is not just kismet. It is a process that often leads to failure- failure to gain traction, failure to communicate, failure to be oneself, failure to fully find interest in the other or the other to find interest in you, etc. No amount of self-actualization will bypass the actual process. You can be yourself all you want, and fail at finding a companion, love, and all the rest. People can be alone their whole life and be comfortable with who they are and miss out on any meaningful romantic relationship. You seem to be overlooking that main point.

    No, one must first learn to love themselves because only then can they ever "put themselves out there" authentically and see others for who they are as well. I needed to go through all those struggles that I faced with him to realise that I lacked the confidence or self-esteem and I learnt more about who I was because of it. People who are stuck in unhappy relationships, for me, is way worse than being alone.TimeLine

    Yes, and why I said that relationships often lead to more frustrations and harm, and thus makes it that much more tragic. What is supposed to be an absolute good, becomes just another negative experience- and again people sweep it under the rug in manic Nietzschean phrases like "pain makes life better", "pain makes us learn", and other such sentiments. And again, Schopenhauer shakes his head.
  • TimeLine
    2.6k
    I honestly cannot make out some of what you are trying to convey here. I think you are saying something along the lines that people play some sort of game to live up to an ideal and are not authentically themselves when dating. I guess, when first meeting another person, people usually tend to hide their most radical beliefs and most unique traits, because there is a notion that people expect some sort of "normalcy" standard- perhaps one a society has signaled through various cues as "socially acceptable". Sometimes, this leads to two people falsely living up to social standards but never being themselves.schopenhauer1

    More like acting, People pretend to be likeable, they are motivated to perform because being socially accepted produces feelings of pleasure and since society has shaped our understanding of what is likeable, attractive, popular, our self-esteem depends on these social reactions that compels us to perform in a way that we think will enable the best response from others; the more positive the response, the more secure we feel. In contrast to this is the risk of negative, anxious feelings which develop when one is alone or ostracised since the opinion of the majority implies verification that you are unworthy in some way. It is this paradigm that causes us to feel alienated from ourselves.

    Have you seen those relationships between people, despite not being able to sustain a decent conversation with one another and where they are completely unhappy, deliberately create events with the unrealistic hope that things will improve? What - other than the congratulations socially for adhering to the "normalcy"- would compel two people to remain together despite lacking compatibility? What would make the two in our short story remain together?

    That's great, but again, most things don't work like in movies or fairy tales as "instantly compatible".schopenhauer1

    I actually think it can. I am not saying it is common, neither am I saying that it is not without some effort or work on both parts, but two people can be perfectly compatible, they just 'click' and my friend is proof of that to me although it took a really unhappy relationship to finally make him find the courage to be himself. He is incredibly attractive (according to society) whereas his current partner is not, but they are genuinely happy together. He just doesn't give a shit what anyone thinks anymore and for that reason he was able to see her for what she was and not for what society would see him to be if he was with her. Does that make sense? So yes, you do put yourself out there, that things take time and you still need to make an effort and make things work, but the motivations are different. This is the dichotomy between authenticity and unauthentic.

    Vulnerability. Showing interest in another in a vulnerable way, often repeatedly. Again, this dating process is where the anxiety, drama, and much of the painful part of the process occurs. It is not just instant, and it is not just fate, and it is not just kismet. It is a process that often leads to failure- failure to gain traction, failure to communicate, failure to be oneself, failure to fully find interest or have someone else find interest in someone, etc. No amount of self-actualization will bypass the actual process. You can be yourself all you want, and fail at finding a companion, love, and all the rest. People can be alone their whole life and be comfortable with who they are and miss out on any meaningful romantic relationship. You seem to be overlooking that main point.schopenhauer1

    I may be overlooking this because the line is very close to that former 'acting' that I initially stated, since one could merely be practising this faux behaviour to reach that intended success. I believe what you are trying to say, however, is that it takes practice to overcome that vulnerability to be yourself and indeed, this is exactly right. My experiences liking someone who did not like me back and all the grief that came from that strengthened me to finally reach that self-actualisation that my confidence is now really solid. In saying that, however, I cannot admire contrived behaviour and I have met men who are wonderful and where we do actually 'click' but, I believe you make your own luck or kismet. If you really love someone, you would make an effort.
  • schopenhauer1
    1.8k
    Have you seen those relationships between people, despite not being able to sustain a decent conversation with one another and where they are completely unhappy, deliberately create events with the unrealistic hope that things will improve? What - other than the congratulations socially for adhering to the "normalcy"- would compel two people to remain together despite lacking compatibility? What would make the two in our short story remain together?TimeLine

    I don't know, doesn't sound too good. Again, tragic.

    I am not saying it is commonTimeLine

    That right there is part of the tragedy.

    So yes, you do put yourself out there, that things take time and you still need to make an effort and make things work, but the motivations are different. This is the dichotomy between authenticity and unauthentic.TimeLine

    I agree with you about being authentic, but I think we must really emphasize the time and effort it takes to find a person and maintain a relationship with them. The fact that this is unequally distributed and rare, is a signal that something off about the phenomena of dating and relationships itself.

    I believe you make your own luck or kismet. If you really love someone, you would make an effort.TimeLine

    Okay, but again this is still not addressing the main point (which doesn't really have to do acting or being inauthentic) the point is:
    You can be yourself all you want, and fail at finding a companion, love, and all the rest. People can be alone their whole life and be comfortable with who they are and miss out on any meaningful romantic relationship. You seem to be overlooking that main point. And there is yet another part of the tragedy. That is really the crux of my argument. We agree- authenticity in relationships is essential.


    To summarize: Dating, relationships, love are often a source of harm, unevenly distributed, and often not even experienced by many people in the world. The avenues to experience these things are clunky, leads to many other negative experiences along the way, and often lead to failure in many respects. Here we are with this very desired "good" but have very poor ways to achieve it. And that is part of the tragedy of it.
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