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Ben Archer

I'm seeing a girl who has a boyfriend...

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I really like Ben, I mean I'm dating him and all, but Fabio is a modern day Mozart on the keys. Flash forward. I really like Fabio, but Pieare really knows how to handle that whammy bar on his guitar. etc. Just plug yourself in to the equation.

Be wary, since she was able to 'cheat' on her boyfriend with you (the kissing part) and claim that she's not 'in love' with him, then she might pull the same stunt on you down the track. Assuming you two enter a relationship.

This has been something I've been worried about since we hung out last night. She was quick to have a heart–to–heart with her current boyfriend, telling him the reasons she wanted to separate. She didn't mention me to him however, just told him the honest reasons why she didn't feel in love with him.

I asked her if she would hypothetically have a problem staying over my place for the night, since she was again planning to sleep at her sister's house, and at first she said "No." The reason was she still had to get some stuff of hers from his place, and didn't want to have to lie to him if he asked where she stayed last night—she didn't want to "hurt anyone's feelings."

I told her that if I was in his situation I'd want to know the truth; and that despite her intentions to ""let him off easy," it would be easier for him to let her go if he wasn't pining over what he could have done differently and speculating over the suddenness of it. I told her it wasn't a choice between me and him; it was a choice she had to make to pursue her own happiness and that she shouldn't act out of a sense of obligation or pity for him.

I asked her, "If I decided I didn't want to be with you (hypothetically), would you go running back to him?" She thought about this for a moment then said, "I guess not." At that point she decided to stay over and not act out of fear of what she might have to say to him.

Once again I'm having trouble seeing the larger picture here. I was impressed with how she acted quickly on her decision, but less so with how she didn't want to "hurt anyone's feelings." But now she seems to have decided to do what I suggested, which is be honest and act for her own sake.

Ask yourself: If I observed this same behavior in a potential business partner, would I even remotely consider going into business with them?

I hadn't thought about it that way. When it comes to business I'm pretty ruthless with whom I decide to go into any sort of partnership. In my experience any business partnership based on trust and favors—instead of good accounting and solid contracts— always fails. With our best business "partners", we speak strictly of business, and have no personal friendships with any of the owners/staff.

And as far as ages go, I'm 26 and she's 22. Thank you all again for your perspective.

Edits for clarity.

Edited by Ben Archer

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I asked her if she would hypothetically have a problem staying over my place for the night, since she was again planning to sleep at her sister's house, and at first she said "No."

What I mean to say here is that she did have a problem with staying at my place for the night.

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Ben, it seems you've only known the girl for two weeks (in my opinion, not enough time for her to be staying over, but that neither here nor there.). Two weeks is a very short period to time. If there's someone else in the picture, of course she's going to be conflicted in her feelings. You two can hardly know each other at this point, and maybe that's what you should be concentrating on. Give her some space, share a meal, go to a movie, yada yada yada. Get to know each other, for pete's sake. And did you expect her to come without a past. There's an old boyfriend in her life whom she still has regards for. What's so weird about that? God may have made the world in seven days, but as far as I know, he still doesn't have a girlfriend, so creating a relationship just takes a bit more time.

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She told the other guy she wants to break up, right? Seems you're on the right track here. As long as she doesn't go back to him it seems like everything's good now.

It's funny how the hard-line Objectivist responses here basically advised you to head for the hills, while the more human approaches turned out to be a better course of action. Now that I've opened my mind to it, it's amazing to see how poor Objectivist thought is in the realm of love.

I hope everything works out for you.

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Now that I've opened my mind to it, it's amazing to see how poor Objectivist thought is in the realm of love.

I hope everything works out for you.

Thank you. What actually happened is I took a step back to see what she would ultimately do, and she did end up going back to him. She apologized to me profusely, but I wasn't emotionally invested so it was easy to laugh about it.

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It's funny how the hard-line Objectivist responses here basically advised you to head for the hills, while the more human approaches turned out to be a better course of action. Now that I've opened my mind to it, it's amazing to see how poor Objectivist thought is in the realm of love.

I call premise-check on this. I'm about as hard-line an Objectivist as you're likely to find, but I was one of the advocates of the more so-called 'human' approach. IMHO the people giving the 'run for the hills' answers were jumping to conclusions in advance of the evidence, i.e. they were not judging objectively. I don't particularly want to engage in a debate on this point, though, so I'll just note that it is not self-evident what the 'Objectivist approach' to any given concrete issue actually is.

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Thank you. What actually happened is I took a step back to see what she would ultimately do, and she did end up going back to him. She apologized to me profusely, but I wasn't emotionally invested so it was easy to laugh about it.

haha, guess that shows how much I know. I guess she was lying to you, though, if she said she was breaking up anyway. Sorry it didn't work out.

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haha, guess that shows how much I know. I guess she was lying to you, though, if she said she was breaking up anyway. Sorry it didn't work out.

You very well could have been right about her...there's no hard and fast Objectivist manual to decoding the mysteries of a mind like hers.

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You very well could have been right about her...there's no hard and fast Objectivist manual to decoding the mysteries of a mind like hers.

No. The warning signs were there. Kevin just has more experience reading them (and he was emotionally detached).

Edited by ~Sophia~

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No. The warning signs were there. Kevin just has more experience reading them (and he was emotionally detached).

Kevin has very little experience with her and this situation compared to me. Hindsight is 20/20.

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Kevin has very little experience with her and this situation compared to me. Hindsight is 20/20.

A person does not need to have an experience with her - just experience judging people. There was enough information here related by you of her past and current actions to make that judgment.

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A person does not need to have an experience with her - just experience judging people. There was enough information here related by you of her past and current actions to make that judgment.

It still would have been a guess. He could have ended up being completely wrong about her. My initial suspicion was the same has his, which is the only reason I posted on this forum in the first place. There's a lot more to what she communicated besides the few tidbits I relayed here. I have no regrets about the situation; I'm only discussing this further because the term "experience judging people" is pretty subjective, and unrealistic. Coming to that kind of judgement without all of the facts was not my intention, since I'm not one to judge by my past experiences and feelings—that will simply lead me to be pessimistic and maybe even cowardly in complicated situations like this.

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There's a lot more to what she communicated besides the few tidbits I relayed here. I have no regrets about the situation; I'm only discussing this further because the term "experience judging people" is pretty subjective, and unrealistic. Coming to that kind of judgment without all of the facts was not my intention...

Whenever Leonard Peikoff talks about the process of judging people he puts a tremendous emphasis on getting all the facts. Details matter.

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I have a suspicion that this lady is a master of having her cake and eating it, too.

Don't tell me about a person's positive qualities when they're a deceptive liar — particularly in the romantic realm. Integrity is fundamental; to the extent she has brains and is likable, that only makes her more dangerous.

You're sexually gone over this woman and it's frying your intellect.

Boom, baby.

We will eat your heart (and mind) for breakfast. Better run fast.

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Sorry to revive an old topic, but since people reread these topics as such, I wanted to provide my point of view.

Kevin was absolutely right about the situation given the facts and it wasn't a matter of "hindsight is 20/20" - I suggest reading these two books for anyone interested: "Character Disturbance" and "Wolf in Sheep Clothing" both by George Simon. It gives you a clue on how to judge and deal with people in an rational way from a psychology viewpoint (as judging their actions, which is a good indication of their character and predictor of future actions, instead of trying to psychologize).

Edited by thenelli01

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On 3/15/2019 at 9:53 AM, thenelli01 said:

Kevin was absolutely right about the situation

I think he was half right. I mean, I'm looking at this years after the fact. From what I gathered here, too much emphasis was placed on the girl not telling every single little fact. Of course you judge actions, but what we think the actions mean is not always correct. Did her actions mean she was a liar? I don't think so.

But anyway, the books you mention. How does the author suggest how to figure out what to do to take into account the people can change and acknowledge mistakes? Or how does he distinguish judging the actions of people you've only known for a week, compared to the people you've known for years?

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6 hours ago, Eiuol said:

I think he was half right. I mean, I'm looking at this years after the fact. From what I gathered here, too much emphasis was placed on the girl not telling every single little fact. Of course you judge actions, but what we think the actions mean is not always correct. Did her actions mean she was a liar? I don't think so.

Absolutely might have been too certain of a word... I think that might be influenced by my own recent experiences to be fair, but I wanted to say something because I saw someone was viewing the topic and I thought those books might help.

You don’t think kissing another guy and then telling him what happened BUT leaving out that part constitutes a lie? It’s fine if she is confused, but it’s not fair to string him along and leave out *material* details that violate his understanding of the relationship and impact the decisions he makes moving forward. 

That is what Ben, and anyone else in a similar situation, should be worried about regarding a potential relationship with this person.

There were other red flags too that other people brought up (again just based on the info given, we obviously don’t know the full context). One big one is the fact that the first post says she knew Ben for only 2 weeks, was kissing him on the second meetup and saying she wished she met him earlier. It’s a red flag that someone is willing to go behind their partner’s back, cheat on them, and then lie about it, especially for a person they only knew for two weeks. 2 weeks is not a long period of time to know someone. Someone that does that to a person they have a commitment to can easily do it to you just as quickly when someone new and more interesting pops up... and you have reason to think they just might.

[Granted, maybe there were other things going on in the girl/other guy’s relationship that we don’t know about, but I’m just going by the facts given]

The issue isn’t that pursuing a relationship with this person will necessarily result in a bad outcome stemming from these issues. It may or may not. But I think the risk is higher that the same result will happen to you and you need to protect yourself.

From Ben’s standpoint, she didn’t do anything necessarily morally contemptible to him that I can see (at least at first). But I think the subsequent posts by other people in this thread were right - set boundaries. State what you are willing to accept and let the other persons actions dictate the course of the relationship. Of course, the boundaries need to be objective, fair and clear (they shouldn’t be unrealistic or unfair to the person in a sort of power move). If you’re really interested in the person and they prove themselves through their actions, might be worth a shot (obv depends on context and the person involved). But I’d be weary about continuing to pursue a relationship with this person. Trust is an essential part of any healthy relationship and it’s a tricky thing trying to rebuild it after it’s broken.

6 hours ago, Eiuol said:

 

But anyway, the books you mention. How does the author suggest how to figure out what to do to take into account the people can change and acknowledge mistakes?

Set boundaries and expectations in clear and concise terms .. and see if their actions correspond with their words. His main point was that change starts here and now (not some time in the future) and the responsibility is on the person with the character/behavioral issues to make the corrections, not you. Doesn’t mean you can’t help when someone asks for it, but they need to be the self starter of their own change. If they truly changed, it will show through consistent changed behavior. You can’t know their true thoughts/feelings, you can only judge a person by their behavior.

He is religious, but he has a very rational approach towards psychology in my opinion.

6 hours ago, Eiuol said:

 Or how does he distinguish judging the actions of people you've only known for a week, compared to the people you've known for years?

That’s a good question - I don’t remember if he distinguished between the two, but I don’t think he did, at least explicitly. But if I remember correctly, he did provide a bunch of anecdotal stories from his own practice in “Character Disturbance” that accounted for varying types of relationships.

sorry for any typos, I’m on my phone.

Edited by thenelli01

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On ‎3‎/‎16‎/‎2019 at 4:20 PM, Eiuol said:

I think he was half right. I mean, I'm looking at this years after the fact. From what I gathered here, too much emphasis was placed on the girl not telling every single little fact. Of course you judge actions, but what we think the actions mean is not always correct. Did her actions mean she was a liar? I don't think so.

But anyway, the books you mention. How does the author suggest how to figure out what to do to take into account the people can change and acknowledge mistakes? Or how does he distinguish judging the actions of people you've only known for a week, compared to the people you've known for years?

Do you disagree with above? Just curious - I want to see if my thoughts are flawed in some way.

I also think it’s important to remember that there is a difference between someone who makes a mistake/error in judgment and then corrects the issue vs. someone that consistently makes the same error over and over again.

And I think your distinction between the period of time you know someone is important too... in the sense that I’d be willing to give someone more of the benefit of the doubt the longer I knew them and if their errors are antithetical to my judgement of their character over a long period of time. This would seem to be important in the amount of chances I’d be willing to give them before I’d consider it a lost hope (and obv depends on the seriousness/context of the situation).

You still need to set up boundaries in every relationship you are in so you don’t end up in a situation that is against your interests. 

I'm interested in your opinion.

 

Edited by thenelli01

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On 3/16/2019 at 10:23 PM, thenelli01 said:

You don’t think kissing another guy and then telling him what happened BUT leaving out that part constitutes a lie?

It is difficult for me to say if it was a lie. But it's not transparent, when transparency is important to any kind of relationship. Friends or otherwise. On the other hand, being transparent doesn't have to mean telling everything immediately. When it comes to a huge conflict that would shake up your life, you might hesitate telling someone else so you can take the time to figure out what to say.

Not to say that the girl in this case acted entirely well. I'm saying that these are redeemable moral errors. Sometimes people come along where your prior commitments should be given up. Unfortunately, this is where people go wrong. It's difficult to navigate.

You might fear that she could "easily" do it again. But sometimes when a person does something wrong, they are less likely to repeat it. That is, if they acknowledge what they did wrong. The key factor I think is, how much room will you give people for mistakes? The girl wanting to kiss Ben, or developing a crush him, was not the mistake; the mistake was simply not telling her current boyfriend (for some people, kissing is a very ambiguous line). Our information is limited, maybe the brief period of time is a sign of impulsivity. But it also might be a willingness to make the hard decisions, even if the method of following through the decision wasn't the best. 

But I agree that boundaries are important. Expectations starting now, and making them clear, without changing them later. This sounds like a good way to find the type of person they want to be, and can succeed at being. That's how you can prevent cases where someone turns out to be a liar, an abuser, a drug addict, a lazy bum, or goes back on their promises. It's how you can maintain relationships with people who have made mistakes, without worrying that every single instance of a moral error is increasing probability that they will do the wrong thing.

When it comes to people I've known a few weeks, I give them some leeway, even more so if I'm extra fond of them and in a short time learned a lot about them.

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