Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum
Sign in to follow this  
Concerto of Atlantis

Love at first sight

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

I remember reading (perhaps on this forum, I can't remember) that Ayn Rand believed that love at first sight was possible. What were her reasons for this?

She saw Frank O'Connor.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sometimes all it takes is one look at someone to learn all you need to know about them.

In philosophical terms, I believe this is largely a sense of life issue--similar (in a sense) to the way one might react to a great work of art. But I could be wrong. Does anyone know if there is anything in the Objectivist literature that confirms or contradicts this view?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest jrshep

I agree with you, AshRyan, that it's a sense of life issue. Further, I would ask how there could not be love at first sight. If one sees or finds (or even mistakenly thinks that one has found) something that one has been looking or longing for, how could one possibly be indifferent upon finding it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If one sees or finds (or even mistakenly thinks that one has found) something that one has been looking or longing for, how could one possibly be indifferent upon finding it?

Well, if I saw a lady who looked like the perfect woman for me to spend my life with, I certainly wouldn't be indifferent--I would be very, very excited !

But would I be in love ? Would I be committed to her? I definitely wouldn't, until I have found out that she doesn't only look like, but is, the perfect woman for me to spend my life with. Appearances can be misleading, and I wouldn't want to base what is perhaps the most momentuous decision of my life on what I hope to be true. I'll be in love when I know she is what I am looking for.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Well, if I saw a lady who looked like the perfect woman for me to spend my life with, I certainly wouldn't be indifferent--I would be very, very excited !

Sadly, in today's culture, if you were too excited and showed too much interest, your ideal woman would probably think you were a wimp and ignore you.

Best never to show too much interest, even if you should run into Dagny Taggert.

Chicks rarerly pursue men who pursue them. (Forgive the use of the term)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Best never to show too much interest, even if you should run into Dagny Taggert.

Chicks rarerly pursue men who pursue them. (Forgive the use of the term)

I once thought this but no longer do. If we are speaking here of rational women, that is a mis-identification of what it is that is turning them off. It is not that they you show them too much interest, but the way in which you show it to them which turns them off.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If by "love at first sight" you mean seeing a person, liking their physical appearance and projecting onto them certain attributes of character because of it, and feeling a strong emotion of attraction to what you imagine the person is like — and then, through the process of getting to know him or her, learning that your initial estimate was correct — then yes, I do think that love at first sight is possible.

In a sense, all love is "love at first sight" — meaning that we know pretty quickly whether or not we're attracted to a person; whether or not he or she is our "type." That initial spark can eventually grow into an inferno, or it can become snuffed out. But without that spark of interest on the part of both parties, no romantic relationship is possible.

When an initial attraction leads to romance, we often think of it as a case of "love at first sight." We tend to forget about all the other people for whom our feelings of attraction vanished the instant they opened their mouth.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I once thought this but no longer do.  If we are speaking here of rational women, that is a mis-identification of what it is that is turning them off.  It is not that they you show them too much interest, but the way in which you show it to them which turns them off.

That's actually a good point. Allthough in my more bitter moments I think the term "rational woman" is an oxymoron (even among O'ists).

But that's a whole different topic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It is not that they you show them too much interest, but the way in which you show it to them which turns them off.

I quite agree. For example, there was a guy A who always agreed with everything i said. Told me I was always right. Carried my books to class, bought me lunch, etc. and I couldn't stand him. Why? Because he had no mind of his own and was trying to impress me by giving up his identity. Then there was another guy B whom I was interested in but who only treated me as a friend...with a casual conversation etc. After graduation, I learned he was just too shy and that he'd been interested in going out with me the whole time. Now if he'd shown a little more interest...not like guy A, but just enough to show that he was interested then we'd have gone out. Finally guy C, my husband, he showed enough interest in me to send special emails but retained enough of himself to argue and debate with me (which i loved). Hmm, hope this doesnt sound too confusing. In conclusion, be yourself!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I quite agree. For example, there was a guy A who always agreed with everything i said. Told me I was always right. Carried my books to class, bought me lunch, etc. and I couldn't stand him. Why? Because he had no mind of his own and was trying to impress me by giving up his identity.

This sort of hints at what I was talking about, but the point is broader. I spent a long time trying to answer the following question: why did it seem that "nice guys" were unable to get girls?

It is tempting to say, "Women are attracted to jerks," and for a long time, that's exactly what I believed. But I'm now convinced that the answer to my question is not a mystery, and that the answer to the riddle had been right under my nose all along, in the novels of Ayn Rand.

Betsy Speicher has written a lot on the topic of "sexual surrender" on this board and elsewhere. She points out how metaphysical differences between men and women regarding sexual intercourse, affect what each sex wants from a relationship. Specifically, she explains how a woman's desire of "sexual surrender" includes or leads to a desire for a man to assume a role as the person "in charge" of the relationship. [betsy, please correct me if I'm mis-stating your views]. If a man does not assume that role, romance won't blossom.

The problem with nice guys, then, is not that they are nice, but the particular manner in which they are "nice." Specifically, they don't assert themselves, but instead try to make themselves likeable by making themselves practically invisible. This can take many forms, such as not making the first move, or not even telling a girl he's interested in her until he is sure she is interested in him, by which time she has figured he isn't interested in her, and thus starts to view him as a friend (this is why "nice guys" so often get the "just friends" talk).

In any case, what is lacking is masculine self-assertion - and is it any wonder that self-confident women aren't attracted to walking dish rags?

What is so awful, however, is that this "Nice Guy Disease" (which is usually just a rationalization for giving in to nervousness) is preached as a virtue by our anti-masculine society. I reached my teens during the 90s and remember well the lesson we were taught: what women want in a man is a male version of their best girl friend. What a nice message. It took away all the pressure. We could let women make all the decisions. They were the one's responsible for making the first move, for initiating the first kiss, for demanding the "first time."

Of course, it was all a big lie, and everyone ended up unfulfilled. Except the jerks who at least appeared to be masculine and self-confident. They were having a field day with girls who had to choose between guys who acted like girls and guys who acted like asses, and (with good reason) chose the latter.

The antidote to that mess is to realize that romance isn't Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan - it's Dagny Taggart and John Galt.

===

Edit: I have to confess, however, that I very much enjoyed Sleepless in Seatle.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Edit: I have to confess, however, that I very much enjoyed Sleepless in Seatle.

Me too. Tom Hanks went out and pursued the woman he wanted

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I refuse to be one of these spineless 'new age' 'nice guys'. Thankfully there are still plenty of females out there that want to be pursued with confidence, who enjoy the whole 'chase' associated with courtship and understand what it means to surrender yourself to a man. If I ever get attracted to a woman, I ALWAYS let them know - and I do that for my sake. It would drive me insane if I were attracted to someone and they didn't know.

But going back to the original issue of love at first sight... I don't believe in it. Yes, there are a lot of things one can decipher about someone at first sight - i.e. physical characteristics, poise, confidence, etc. but this alone is not enough for me to rationally identify their values and see if they are compatible with mine. First appearances can also often be misleading.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
First appearances can also often be misleading.

Yes they can, but this doesn't mean you can't fall in love at first sight. It just means that it is wise not to act on the feeling until you've had a chance to check the other person out.

It also doesn't mean you shouldn't fall in love at first sight. I have seen more unhappy relationships between people who selected their mates for "sensible and rational" reasons without any strong emotional involvement than I ever have from a passion that began at a first meeting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Chicks rarerly pursue men who pursue them. (Forgive the use of the term)

On the contrary, a rational woman will only have an interest in a man who has the gumption and ability to pursue her.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's my problem, these statements hardly apply to me because of my sexual orientation, well, if you as objectivists believe in an "orientation". There's no better way to put it. But l have lived my life believing that females were interested in the jerks and it was sickening. What was hard for me was that I was never the stereotypical gay man which I believe why many women have been attracted to me. I'm not saying I have to beat women off with a stick, but that I have a lot of disappointing encounters. I do wonder what they think though. Maybe, "What a waste?"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Here's my problem, these statements hardly apply to me because of my sexual orientation ...

Why would that be? In a homosexual relationship, is there not usually one partner who is more masculine, and one who is more feminine, at least as far as pschological traits?

What was hard for me was that I was never the stereotypical gay man which I believe why many women have been attracted to me. I'm not saying I have to beat women off with a stick, but that I have a lot of disappointing encounters.

Have you considered getting into the brokering business? I know of a lot of single heterosexual Objectivist males just hungering for the right female. :yarr:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Why would that be? In a homosexual relationship, is there not usually one partner who is more masculine, and one who is more feminine, at least as far as pschological traits?

Have you considered getting into the brokering business? I know of a lot of single heterosexual Objectivist males just hungering for the right female.  :D

Why would that be? In a homosexual relationship, is there not usually one partner who is more masculine, and one who is more feminine, at least as far as pschological traits?

In ways. Some more than others. Though I don't seek submission, I so seek a dominate male. But from an Objectivist perspective, what the hell is he going to dominate. I'm a dominating male my damn self! :yarr:

Having the same educational traits as many homosexuals, I find myself left with anything that has to do with history, social sciences, and art so no can do for the suggestion! :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
In a homosexual relationship, is there not usually one partner who is more masculine, and one who is more feminine, at least as far as pschological traits?

Based on a dozen or so homosexual couples I know, gay men exhibit the closest thing to sexual equality I have ever seen. Lesbian couples, on the other hand, generally have one partner who takes on a feminine role and the other who is more masculine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On the contrary, a rational woman will only have an interest in a man who has the gumption and ability to pursue her.

I hate to be bitter, but I have heard that said before but IME it rarely plays out. But then again, perhaps its because the women weren't rational to begin with.

Anyway my experience has been that if you act disinterested, arrogant, and have the looks and or money to back you up, you'll never be lonely on a Saturday night. If you are decent, kind, thoughtful and honest, you may very well die a virgin.

I know, very bitter.

Maybe one day I'll meet a 'rational woman' but I wont hold my breath.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have had that feeling of instant attraction before and it is a great feeling. However the woman I cared about the most (and am no longer with) - I didn't think anything of her at first meeting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Anyway my experience has been that if you act disinterested, arrogant, and have the looks and or money to back you up, you'll never be lonely on a Saturday night. If you are decent, kind, thoughtful and honest, you may very well die a virgin.

Maybe part of the reason women are not attracted to nice guys is that they like to live vicariously through their partners, and it is more fun to live vicariously through someone dangerous?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
What is so awful, however, is that this "Nice Guy Disease" (which is usually just a rationalization for giving in to nervousness) is preached as a virtue by our anti-masculine society.  I reached my teens during the 90s and remember well the lesson we were taught: what women want in a man is a male version of their best girl friend.  What a nice message.  It took away all the pressure.  We could let women make all the decisions.  They were the one's responsible for making the first move, for initiating the first kiss, for demanding the "first time." 

Of course, it was all a big lie, and everyone ended up unfulfilled.  Except the jerks who at least appeared to be masculine and self-confident.  They were having a field day with girls who had to choose between guys who acted like girls and guys who acted like asses, and (with good reason) chose the latter.

This is a really ineteresting observation. I noticed the same thing about women gravitating towards "jerks" and using "nice guys" for short term friendship. (There is actually a pretty funny site dedicated to this at 'intellectualwhores.com'. Its all about the phenomenon of nice guys getting butchered at the hands of shrewd little female operators who will use them for hundreds of dollars worth of dinners and gifts and then tell them about how bad their biker boyfriend is treating them. The site is hysterical allthough it is very juvenile.)

I always thought this had something to do with evolutionary biology and the phenomenon of the 'alpha male.' But you make the point that women are in essence offered a false alternative; the humble weakling or the arrogant bastard. Given a woman's need for some type of 'hero worship' I can see why women have chosen what appears to be the confident 'alpha' male. And as you indicate, this can be layed at the door of the new left, specifically with feminism and its war against masculinity.

I have been to a few places around the world, Japan, Thailand, Brazil, Argentina, etc. and I have noticed that American men tend to be the most "pussy whiped" out of all of them. Also, not suprising, North American women are considered the world over as 'ice queens'; ie spoiled, manipulative, prudish, and thouroughly bitchy (and IMO there is more than a little merrit to this). I can't help but believe that this has to do with the two main cultural influences causing this "war of the sexes"; namely old school religion and new school feminism.

I would love to live in an Objectivist world just to see what the women would be like. And I wouldn't mind the lack of an income tax either.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Anyway my experience has been that if you act disinterested, arrogant, and have the looks and or money to back you up, you'll never be lonely on a Saturday night. If you are decent, kind, thoughtful and honest, you may very well die a virgin.

That's a false alternative.

I recommend being decent, thoughtful (as long as you avoid the type of "kindness" that is altruistic and self-sacrificial), and honest AS WELL AS assertive, self-confident, and proud as you actively and single-mindedly pursue your values.

Especially if you value a woman.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...