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Edwin

How should Objectivists face unrequited love?

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I am in an unrequited love with someone. She went ahead and married another guy last december. I have reason to believe she did this not fully out her own choice. And she seems to be able to live with him.

I've tried being depressed, tried having sex with really beautiful models etc. But somehow I can't get over her.

How should an Objectivist handle this situation rationally?

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I am in an unrequited love with someone. She went ahead and married another guy last december. I have reason to believe she did this not fully out her own choice. And she seems to be able to live with him.

I've tried being depressed, tried having sex with really beautiful models etc. But somehow I can't get over her.

How should an Objectivist handle this situation rationally?

I am not a love expert, but I can ask a few of the obvious questions, because any good answer requires a much better understanding of the context you are in. With the given information, we could make hundreds of different assumptions that will lead to radically different solutions to your problem.

Why do you love her?

What was your relationship like with her until she was married? How is it now?

Were you ever intimate with her? Physically.

How often did you see her?

What do you mean it wasn't fully her own choice? Why do you believe this? How does it matter?

What do you mean by "I have tried being depressed"?

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If you love someone who just doesn't love you back, it is hard, but not tragic. You get a lot out of knowing she exists, recalling times together, etc. If, though, you don't understand why she chose as she did, that can be unbearable. Can't you arrange to have a conversation with her? The point is not to argue with her decision, but to understand her thinking. That ought to shed light on you-and-her, on him-and-her, or just on her.

We always read things into people, even when we know them well. You might try seeing if what makes her so desirable is something you "read into" certain of her actions, looks, etc., maybe something she shows the potential to be but actually isn't, yet.

Good luck with it.

-- Mindy

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We always read things into people, even when we know them well. You might try seeing if what makes her so desirable is something you "read into" certain of her actions, looks, etc., maybe something she shows the potential to be but actually isn't, yet.

True but be careful not to rationalize.

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I am not a love expert, but I can ask a few of the obvious questions, because any good answer requires a much better understanding of the context you are in. With the given information, we could make hundreds of different assumptions that will lead to radically different solutions to your problem.

Why do you love her?

What was your relationship like with her until she was married? How is it now?

Were you ever intimate with her? Physically.

How often did you see her?

What do you mean it wasn't fully her own choice? Why do you believe this? How does it matter?

What do you mean by "I have tried being depressed"?

I love her because she is beautiful, innocent and everything that a woman can be. The story between us is long. So I will shorten it in the interests of privacy. 1999-2006, I did not reveal to her I admired her because I felt I wasn't valuable enough. So I went to Singapore in 2003, got myself a good job, and then in 2006 I told her what I think of her. She is from a conservative family which practices arranged marriages, so she said she cannot go by her on choice about whom to marry. So we kept flirting over international phone calls for a while. I went out with her when I went back to her country. But she wanted to keep all this secret because it was taboo for her to be with me. Then I sent her flowers for a Valentines day and then her friends and relatives knew about the flowers. So she stopped talking to me. I tried asking my parents to arrange a marriage with hers, but my religious mom wouldn't agree. Soon after that she got arranged to be married to a local guy not as worthy as me. BTW we are of the same ethnic background. My parents and her parents are of the same religion, same creed etc. Everything was perfect, and yet it dint work out.

I've tried everything to snap out of the depression that followed. So far Objectivism is the only thing that has helped. I got a lot better after reading Atlas Shrugged. Yet the pain remained. So I had sex (i.e. the ones without love), but like what Rearden felt in his pre-marital casual encounters it is not making me happy.

So I was wondering how would an Objectivist deal with it.

Edited by Edwin

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True but be careful not to rationalize.

I don't see the incipient rationalization. Do explain.

-- Mindy

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Accepting arranged marriage in spite of having somebody else she actually values more? FATAL FLAW. I want to show this girl Fiddler On The Roof and ask if she really intends to go through with marriage to the butcher. From what you’ve said it doesn’t sound like the problem here is really unrequited love, since she returned your affections, so much as it is that this girl cares more about obeying traditions than she could ever care for other people romantically. Does she want to just accept devoting her lifetime to something mediocre when she knows damn well she could have better? If so, I know it probably won’t help you much, but there is clearly something about this girl which is a very palpable problem that she would let her life be run by traditions and others wishes when it clearly is to her detriment and so I think you could do better than what you could have had with her if you two had gotten that arranged marriage. The rest of your lives may have been at the beck and call of further traditional obligations with her. What you did say that you liked about this girl amounted to that you thought she had hit the genetic jackpot on looks and had good grooming and that she didn’t seem to be jaded and cynical and had a more positive outlook. There are a whole lot of people like that out there if you don’t have more specifics you can pinpoint about this particular girl that made her good for you. So, if this girl is really committed to letting others run her life to her detriment, you could probably easily do better, like I said, but as I also said, I know hearing that on its own won’t really make you all better.

To try to help manage the pain while you try to adjust to things, have you considered seeing a psychologist maybe if you are really in bad shape and this is making it hard for you to function? And what kinds of other things have you been doing in the mean time (aside from finding out that empty sex is no substitute for love)? Do you still have close friends you can spend time with? Being around other people you care about and doing things you still like and which can still inspire you can help some. Depending on how hard a time you are having going about your life, if you are having trouble focusing on and sticking to more complex tasks, maybe try watching more good movies or shows you may like as a form of art which can fill the role of art while keeping your mind occupied for a while without it requiring too much exertion from you. If you aren’t having too hard a time functioning though, maybe try to set yourself some kind of goal and project to work on for a moderate amount of time as something to keep you occupied and feeling like you are making progress. Try to do something you’ll care about and that you can be proud of. Maybe working on accomplishing more for yourself will help you feel more confident in the idea that you really could have somebody even better than this girl who you used to think was out of your reach? In general, try to keep busy with things and people you enjoy and not spending your time just left to dwell on your wounds. I don’t know if there is much more that anybody here could tell you to do, but if you really are having a whole lot of trouble for too much longer, do give some real consideration to that suggestion of seeing a psychologist. Helping people work through their problems like this is what they’re there for.

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Accepting arranged marriage in spite of having somebody else she actually values more? FATAL FLAW. I want to show this girl Fiddler On The Roof and ask if she really intends to go through with marriage to the butcher. From what you’ve said it doesn’t sound like the problem here is really unrequited love, since she returned your affections, so much as it is that this girl cares more about obeying traditions than she could ever care for other people romantically. Does she want to just accept devoting her lifetime to something mediocre when she knows damn well she could have better? If so, I know it probably won’t help you much, but there is clearly something about this girl which is a very palpable problem that she would let her life be run by traditions and others wishes when it clearly is to her detriment and so I think you could do better than what you could have had with her if you two had gotten that arranged marriage. The rest of your lives may have been at the beck and call of further traditional obligations with her. What you did say that you liked about this girl amounted to that you thought she had hit the genetic jackpot on looks and had good grooming and that she didn’t seem to be jaded and cynical and had a more positive outlook. There are a whole lot of people like that out there if you don’t have more specifics you can pinpoint about this particular girl that made her good for you. So, if this girl is really committed to letting others run her life to her detriment, you could probably easily do better, like I said, but as I also said, I know hearing that on its own won’t really make you all better.

To try to help manage the pain while you try to adjust to things, have you considered seeing a psychologist maybe if you are really in bad shape and this is making it hard for you to function? And what kinds of other things have you been doing in the mean time (aside from finding out that empty sex is no substitute for love)? Do you still have close friends you can spend time with? Being around other people you care about and doing things you still like and which can still inspire you can help some. Depending on how hard a time you are having going about your life, if you are having trouble focusing on and sticking to more complex tasks, maybe try watching more good movies or shows you may like as a form of art which can fill the role of art while keeping your mind occupied for a while without it requiring too much exertion from you. If you aren’t having too hard a time functioning though, maybe try to set yourself some kind of goal and project to work on for a moderate amount of time as something to keep you occupied and feeling like you are making progress. Try to do something you’ll care about and that you can be proud of. Maybe working on accomplishing more for yourself will help you feel more confident in the idea that you really could have somebody even better than this girl who you used to think was out of your reach? In general, try to keep busy with things and people you enjoy and not spending your time just left to dwell on your wounds. I don’t know if there is much more that anybody here could tell you to do, but if you really are having a whole lot of trouble for too much longer, do give some real consideration to that suggestion of seeing a psychologist. Helping people work through their problems like this is what they’re there for.

Thanks for giving me those words. It does make me feel a lot better. It is hard to deal with life problems without words to name them.

Thanks a lot.

Like you said I do consume a lot of art and I am working for a newly founded 3 employee company. But I was scared whether I was practicing some sort evasion by running away from bad memories.

Is it evasion if one chooses not to recollect bad memories and experiences like the ones I have had?

Edwin

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You are quite welcome. I'm glad if what I said really has been helpful. :)

You recognize the fact that those things happened and aren't trying to pretend like it never happened and she isn't really married to that guy. That's all you need to do. You don't need to keep thinking about them constantly. It is only going to hurt you worse to make yourself keep on reliving the great disappointment of how things turned out with her over and over. It will just get in the way of you progressing on with your life. Moving on is not the same thing as evasion. Evasion would be, like I said before, living in denial and still refusing to admit things had changed, trying to go over her house with plans to give her flowers or something the same as ever.

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I don't see the incipient rationalization. Do explain.

-- Mindy

It was meant as an addendum to your post, not an implication that you were rationalizing. That is, people should examine their attraction toward someone and the reasons thereof, as you said, but they should be careful not to rationalize. It would be a handy "defense mechanism" in such an unfortunate situation.

Is it evasion if one chooses not to recollect bad memories and experiences like the ones I have had?

One can learn from bad memories and bad experiences, and to refuse to might be a bad idea. But dwelling on them is a waste. I treat old, bad memories as tasks to be done and done away with (to the extent I'm able to do so). I keep my old, good memories closer than that.

Edited by L-C

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