Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum

Dating & Love

Rate this topic


Recommended Posts

This is a personal message I wrote to Aspiring Objectivist, in response to a situation he brought up in a thread titled "Can You Love Who You Can't Truly Respect?" With his permission, I am posting it here, because it might be of interest and value to others.

Aspiring Objectivist: She "likes" me, too, but is not ready to date yet because of an experience in her past.

MisterSwig: I got that line, too, when I was in high school. My favorite though was: "My father won't let me date."

I agree with MisterSwig that her statement is a line. It always is.

One thing you need to know about women is that they do not reject you directly. There is always some "reason," some excuse offered. She turns down the date not because she's not attracted to you, but because she has a class that night, or she's working late, or she's just getting out of a relationship and she needs time to herself, etc... She says these things in part because she doesn't want to hurt your feelings. A noble motive, perhaps, though it usually just ends up confusing us men and giving us false hope.

We are not currently in a relationship - we are very, very good friends, and I have been open with her about my thoughts, and she knows completely how I feel about her, the good and the bad.
Now, you're 16; still young, but definitely not a kid anymore. At some point you're going to have to make a choice: you're either dating a woman, or she's a friend. As a strong, confident, romantic man, you cannot allow yourself to have ambiguous relationships with women. You have to decide early on whether you're interested in a woman; whether or not, generally speaking, she's your "type." If she is, you date her. You request her phone number, you ask her out, and you take her out on a date. If she's not interested, for whatever reason, fine. Move on to the next candidate. You don't become bosom buddies and hope that, somehow, the friendship will transform into a torrid love affair.

I know you're confused about this girl, and you're not sure if you want a relationship with her. But your statements indicate a certain attitude which is very mistaken, yet very common among sensitive and intelligent men -- one which is terribly a-romantic, which women find enormously unattractive, and which brings men nothing but misery. Especially disturbing is your statement about how you have been so "open" with this girl about your feelings for her. A lot of guys think that a romantic relationship begins with a confession of feelings. It might for Ross on Friends, but in actual reality, it doesn't work that way.

Nimble: If you guys arent even dating yet, and you give her lectures, that might be WHY YOU ARENT DATING YET. I hate getting lectured. You might want to try getting to know her better before discussing your most deepest convictions and beliefs.

Aspiring Objectivist: I don't lecture her. . . . If this level of intimacy in a friendship doesn't permit the sharing of convictions, I don't know what does.

Be very careful with the "sharing of convictions." It's extremely easy, if you're expressing views which conflict with her's, to make a woman feel like you're attacking her personally. It's a terrible turn-off, yet guys do it all the time. If she expresses opinions that you disagree with, listen to her, and try to elicit her core values which underlie her position. Then, later on, decide if what you've observed is so out of line as to be a dealbreaker. If it is, then you don't date her anymore. If not, then you accept it about her and you never ever argue about it.

People in relationships come "as-is." You must never try to change the other person in any way, or even appear to be trying to change them. You must never argue or debate or try to make her "see the light" on any subject, ever, even if you know you're right. You wouldn't like it if a woman did something that made you feel like you're not good enough for her -- yet -- and that she can't accept and love you for who you are. And believe me, women are ten times more sensitive than men in this respect.

All right, enough abuse. You're to be commended for your willingness to consider important personal issues in so thoughtful and intelligent a manner. Most guys your age are wrestling with questions such as why the beer isn't coming out of the keg or whether they'll "score" on their date tonight. Keep on using your mind, don't beat yourself up over your feelings, and enjoy the process of dating and love. Before too long the rational women will be seeking you out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 153
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Kevin Delaney writes:

Now, you're 16; still young, but definitely not a kid anymore. At some point you're going to have to make a choice: you're either dating a woman, or she's a friend. As a strong, confident, romantic man, you cannot allow yourself to have ambiguous relationships with women. You have to decide early on whether you're interested in a woman; whether or not, generally speaking, she's your "type." If she is, you date her. You request her phone number, you ask her out, and you take her out on a date. If she's not interested, for whatever reason, fine. Move on to the next candidate. You don't become bosom buddies and hope that, somehow, the friendship will transform into a torrid love affair.

This is GREAT advice. Ignore it at your own peril (I certainly did!).

People in relationships come "as-is." You must never try to change the other person in any way, or even appear to be trying to change them. You must never argue or debate or try to make her "see the light" on any subject, ever, even if you know you're right. You wouldn't like it if a woman did something that made you feel like you're not good enough for her -- yet -- and that she can't accept and love you for who you are. And believe me, women are ten times more sensitive than men in this respect.

This is not great advice. At all. If the object of your affection is of such low self-esteem that they cannot handle any sort of argument or debate, no rational individual would want to be with them. This has nothing to do with trying to change a person, that is, his or basic personality, character, or values. This has everything to do with treating them as a mature adult who understands that he or she is not omniscient or infallible and thus can learn from others.

In fact, one of the greatest things about a romantic relationship is learning from the other person, which you can't do if you take the attitude, "You is how you is."

Now, of course, this is a contextual issue, and much depends on how your approach such debates (and what you choose to debate about). I'm not denying this. But treating women as fragile creatures who can't differentiate between "You're wrong about X," and "You're not good enough for me" is condescending.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Kevin, about changing your partner, did you mean that in a strictly guy must not change girl, or did you mean that neither partner must change the other. I disagree with the girl changing guy side, if that's what you meant, but am unsure about a guy changing a girl. But I kind of see where you're coming from. Does it have to do with the girl being the value searched out by the man??? Anyhow, please explain this further... Thanks, Megan

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think we need to remember that we cannot change anyone but ourselves...

If you go into a relationship hoping for the other person to change you will never be truly happy. Your partner will resent your constant disapproval and 'nagging', and it will create disharmony between what should be a successful partnership.

Its not that you are trying to live up to your partner's expectations, its that they instill in you a desire to be the best you can be. My mate would be considered of 'lower intelligence' than i; and his family is of a lower working class than my upper middle class backgrounds... his family is generally uneducated and mine is mostly university graduates... he has different beliefs re: philosophy and the state of the world, but we do agree that we want to be honest, we want to work hard and we love each other...

As a strong, confident, romantic man, you cannot allow yourself to have ambiguous relationships with women. You have to decide early on whether you're interested in a woman; whether or not, generally speaking, she's your "type." If she is, you date her. You request her phone number, you ask her out, and you take her out on a date. If she's not interested, for whatever reason, fine. Move on to the next candidate. You don't become bosom buddies and hope that, somehow, the friendship will transform into a torrid love affair.

this is fantastic advice... please, i ask all men, do not be ambiguous with the women you date. i do think you can go on to be friends with a gal if she isn't interested in more or if you are not interested in more, but you should make sure that it is clear up front that this is a friendship...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

OK, OK, I'll believe it is great advice, even fantastic advice--heck, I'll even say it's AWESOME advice ... as soon as anyone explains why.

;)

Because it makes you and your beloved miserable, and will almost always destroy the relationship in the long run. I made that mistake twice, becoming "best friends" with girls I was in love with and it turned out so Totally Not Dandy that I went a wrote a book about it.

In other news, I'm about to go have lunch with the first girl, who is now married, and who I have not seen for over two years. I know it's a long shot, but I'm thinking there's a chance.... :)

Oh, I mean, :yarr: yarrr

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Don: I'm not saying that women are fragile creatures who can't handle arguments or debates, nor am I saying that arguments and debates cannot be of great value in certain contexts. I'm saying that arguments and debates are not romantic -- and that they serve no positive purpose in dating or in a relationship.

You may think that your arguing and debating is not about trying to change her; that you're only attacking her ideas, not her as a person. But what you intend and the way your message is received are likely very, very different.

We as men tend to be highly competitive with one another. It's one of the ways in which we bond: We jokingly insult each other, we wrestle and fight, we argue and debate -- about everything -- and it's not only not a big deal to us, we respect each other more afterward. It brings us closer together.

This behavior is often mystifying to women. They don't do it with each other, and they sure as hell don't want us to do it with them.

Whatever it is that's so important that you need to impress upon her, I guarantee it's not nearly as important in her eyes as how well you listen to and respect her words and opinion.

Ladies, do you agree?

In fact, one of the greatest things about a romantic relationship is learning from the other person, which you can't do if you take the attitude, "You is how you is."

I don't understand this statement at all. You can't learn from the other person if you accept that they are as they are?

Of course there is a tremendous amount that we can learn from a romantic relationship. But there's a difference between what can be learned and what can be taught.

Megan: I'm a little confused about what you're asking. I think that neither men nor women should try to change each other. It's one of the few truly "uni-sex" principles which I would say applies equally to men and women. How do you see it?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Kevin Delaney: At some point you're going to have to make a choice: you're either dating a woman, or she's a friend. As a strong, confident, romantic man, you cannot allow yourself to have ambiguous relationships with women.

Capitalism Forever: OK, OK, I'll believe it is great advice, even fantastic advice--heck, I'll even say it's AWESOME advice ... as soon as anyone explains why.

Because friendship and romantic love are two completely different things.

The attitude I'm opposing is the notion that romantic love is a graduated form of friendship. That first we become friends, then close friends, then best friends -- then lovers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Kevin Delaney writes:

Don: I'm not saying that women are fragile creatures who can't handle arguments or debates, nor am I saying that arguments and debates cannot be of great value in certain contexts. I'm saying that arguments and debates are not romantic -- and that they serve no positive purpose in dating or in a relationship.

Why the heck not? Isn't quite possible that both partners are interested in ideas? It seems to me that would be more common than not for an Objectivist couple.

You may think that your arguing and debating is not about trying to change her; that you're only attacking her ideas, not her as a person. But what you intend and the way your message is received are likely very, very different.

This is more condescension on your part. Yes, women and men in general have different conversational styles, but if both partners take this into account, women are not so stupid as to be unable to grasp that a discussion of ideas is not an attack on them as people.

We as men tend to be highly competitive with one another. It's one of the ways in which we bond: We jokingly insult each other, we wrestle and fight, we argue and debate -- about everything -- and it's not only not a big deal to us, we respect each other more afterward. It brings us closer together.

This behavior is often mystifying to women. They don't do it with each other, and they sure as hell don't want us to do it with them.

Okay, but now you're confusing the way one discusses ideas with discussing ideas. Sure, there are ways of discussing ideas that can sometimes lead people to feel threatened, but there are ways of discussing ideas that do not lead to that. If both partners are rational, I can't imagine why this would be a problem. Let me ask you this question: have you dated any Objectivist women?

Whatever it is that's so important that you need to impress upon her, I guarantee it's not nearly as important in her eyes as how well you listen to and respect her words and opinion.

Well yeah, but they aren't mutually exclusive, you know.

I don't understand this statement at all. You can't learn from the other person if you accept that they are as they are?

I don't see how discussing ideas and values equates to not accepting the other person as he or she is. I've been clear on this point: it is usually pointless to try to change someone else's basic values and fundamental ideas. But then again, you probably shouldn't be dating someone whose basic values and ideas need to be changed. That's not what we're talking about. You made a blanket statement in regard to debating ideas and that simply is not defensible.

Of course there is a tremendous amount that we can learn from a romantic relationship. But there's a difference between what can be learned and what can be taught.

Yeah, and there's a difference between missionary position and doggy style, but just because you prefer one doesn't mean you should discard the other. We learn in many different ways, and one of the ways we learn is from others teaching us and by teaching others.

No, I don't believe you should look at your romantic person as your student. There should be an intellectual give and take, with mutual respect and sensitivity. But it is outrageous to put up a sign that says, "Just say No to ideas!" I, for one, couldn't be with a woman who wasn't.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Speaking as a woman, I didnt like the implication that you couldn't argue with someone you were romantically involved with. I'm most attracted to someone who will stand up to me and tell me what they think. Someone I can have a lengthy intelligent discussion with, and if it so happens, an argument with. There is a difference between arguing and discussing. Yes, it's great for the man to listen to my ideas, but hell, I want to hear his too! Isnt that something men are always complaining about? The woman asking "What are you thinking?" Yeah, we really do want to know. So tell us!

The same happens when you have those arguments with your buddies and you respect them more after they are over. Stand up to me, tell me what you think, when you think it, or else I will think you are a coward or wonder why you dont want to tell me. I have discussions with my girl friends all the time, and it's great when we come to a mutual understanding. I can see her point and she can see mine.. we are free to move on. And using the fullest extent of your knowledge in a debate is just FUN! :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A common problem is substituting "I wish" for "it is"-- that is, taking a primacy of consciousness approach to romance.

It is very easy to meet someone, find a good trait or two, and develop an infatuation. The thinking may be along the lines of: "Gosh, she's beautiful, and wouldn't it be great if we were dating? If only she weren't religious. And if she were a little smarter. And if she respected me more. And if she'd realize what a jerk her current boyfriend is..."

Notice how the positive traits are taken out of context, and the negative ones are evaded. If you want a relationship with someone, remember who it is you are having the relationship with -- all their traits, good and bad. If you can't live with the bad, then don't pursue a relationship. It is this particular person, in the flesh, not some abstraction or fantasy that you are considering.

The kernel of truth in the advice against trying to change someone is a call to focus on the facts -- i.e., who she is -- rather than the fantasy -- i.e., who you want her to be.

Yes, people can change, but there are degrees of appropriateness. The object of affection may be willing to change a minor trait, but asking the Pope not to be Catholic is out of the question.

And this is not the first time in the history of the universe that a guy has been attracted to some, but not all, of the qualities of a particular gal. It happens every day.

Another bit of advice: it is easy to overlook criticism coming from the gal you are interested in. She may be critical of your ideas, even sneer at them, and you galze over her response with the thought that she's naive or you can change her.

Well, what for? Self-esteem means treating yourself with respect, and not accepting unwarranted insults. If the gal doesn't have respect for you, there is ABSOLUTELY NOT EVEN A SNOWBALL'S CHANCE IN HELL that a healthy romantic relationship can develop. Some women like to use men; it's a power trip for them, a secondhander's attempt at self-esteem. They may flirt a little with you, just enough to get your attention, then get you to do something for them. They may declare to your face that they respect you or that you are "such a good friend." But they use you just the same. It sucks, but it does happen, and it pays to watch out for it.

Remember, there really are plenty of fish in the sea, and if this one gives you such trouble, move on. Why waste your time on someone who is marginally acceptable? Keep looking for the brass ring, the one about whom you don't have to fight with yourself, that you can love, lust for, trust and respect.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Because it makes you and your beloved miserable, and will almost always destroy the relationship in the long run.  I made that mistake twice, becoming "best friends" with girls I was in love with and it turned out so Totally Not Dandy that I went a wrote a book about it.

In what way was it Totally Not Dandy? Did the relationship break apart? Or did she never love you back? Or was it just boring? Or something else?

(Sorry for being so inquisitive...if my questions get too personal, just tell me it's none of my business.)

I couldn't imagine loving a woman without being friends with her. Romantic love means that I admire a woman so much that I want to spend my life with her. Friendship means that I value a person's company. The latter is a subset of the former.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

FaSheezy: I'm most attracted to someone who will stand up to me and tell me what they think.

I don't mean to imply that a man should ever hide his true self or yield his convictions to hers. I think a man must "stand up" to a woman when necessary -- and lord knows she's gonna test him on this. She has good reason to: after all, the fundamental thing she is attracted to in him is his masculine strength. But I maintain that the best way a man can be firm and unyielding by refusing to engage in arguments and debates in the first place.

She tries to start an argument. He looks her straight in the eye and calmly says: "Look, I'm not getting into this with you." Silence.

Argument avoided, masculine strength intact.

Discussing ideas, as you point out, is different from debating. Discussing ideas and sharing convictions can be fine, especially those held in common, but as I said in my initial post: Be careful. You shouldn't be discussing heavy issues on dates anyway.

This all goes back to why we want to find and date people who share our basic values. Less conflict. More love.

FaSheezy: The woman asking "What are you thinking?" Yeah, we really do want to know. So tell us!

I think you enjoy wondering much more than knowing. :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

But I maintain that the best way a man can be firm and unyielding by refusing to engage in arguments and debates in the first place.

She tries to start an argument. He looks her straight in the eye and calmly says: "Look, I'm not getting into this with you." Silence.

Argument avoided, masculine strength intact.

Oh my God, Kevin - I hope you are kidding! :D

1. What kind of woman will have this kind of treatment? No woman I would want.

2. What are you gaining by avoiding an argument? You are keeping the tension active and destructive instead of defusing it by reaching a resolution.

3. Your words carry a hidden threat of physical force. That's why you feel your "masculine strength" is so vindicated. In fact, you're a coward that can't deal with abstract subjects with the power of the mind.

4. You make sure you will never learn anything from your partner, because arbitrary force/behaviour and not reason, are your means to resolve conflicts.

5. It sets a precedent that it's ok to disagree, but it's not ok to argue. Meaning that eventually you and your partner will grow further and further apart - but will never be able to bridge the differences.

6. Your concept of masculinity offends me. This is the masculinity of a gorilla at best, and a mobster at worst. Your masculine strength should not be used to shut your wife up whenever you feel like it. It should be used for achievements or, at worse, protection from physical threat.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Eran --

Your post is so outrageously off-base that I’m not going to respond to it -- EXCEPT to make very clear that what I indicated about a man refusing to argue does not in ANY way carry "a hidden threat of physical force." Any such implication exists solely in the mind of Eran Dror.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Your post is so outrageously off-base that I’m not going to respond to it -- EXCEPT to make very clear that what I indicated about a man refusing to argue does not in ANY way carry "a hidden threat of physical force."

Then please explain what your masculinity has to do with refusing to argue.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Kevin,

Ignore my last question. But I must say, that from personal experience, I do believe that you can change your partner, if you are both rational individuals. I greatly influenced my boyfriend, and we have a great relationship. Do you have any concrete facts that prove otherwise, or is this only a theory. Because I hate to say it, but I think you are wrong.

p.s. and no he's not whipped. lol

megan

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I couldn't imagine loving a woman without being friends with her. Romantic love means that I admire a woman so much that I want to spend my life with her. Friendship means that I value a person's company. The latter is a subset of the former.

Oh no no no. You mis-understand me completely. What I meant was that one should not take up a friendship with someone one has a romantic interest in if that person doesn't share those romantic feelings. That is a recipe for disaster, to use a cliche.

As for the specifics of my past, they really aren't that interesting, except that the latter relationship ended on really bad terms (mostly because it turned out she was evil). The first one...well, we are now great friends, but that's only because I'm not longer interested in her romantically. Oh, plus she's an angel and forgave all the crap I put her through when we were in high school.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Kevin Delaney writes:

I don't mean to imply that a man should ever hide his true self or yield his convictions to hers. I think a man must "stand up" to a woman when necessary -- and lord knows she's gonna test him on this. She has good reason to: after all, the fundamental thing she is attracted to in him is his masculine strength. But I maintain that the best way a man can be firm and unyielding by refusing to engage in arguments and debates in the first place.
Listen, I try to be a benevolent guy, but this is a joke, right? First of all, the fundamental thing a (rational) woman is attracted to is not "his masculine strength." The fundamental thing she is attracted to is his character and sense of life. As for that last sentence, I can't even imagine what you're talking about.

She tries to start an argument. He looks her straight in the eye and calmly says: "Look, I'm not getting into this with you." Silence.

Argument avoided, masculine strength intact.

Discussing ideas, as you point out, is different from debating. Discussing ideas and sharing convictions can be fine, especially those held in common, but as I said in my initial post: Be careful.  You shouldn't be discussing heavy issues on dates anyway.

This all goes back to why we want to find and date people who share our basic values. Less conflict. More love.

You know, I won't guess as to what you mean by this, but as written, it displays a disgustingly low opinion of women and a basic mis-identification of what is masculinity.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh my God, Kevin - I hope you are kidding!  ;)

1. What kind of woman will have this kind of treatment? No woman I would want.

2. What are you gaining by avoiding an argument? You are keeping the tension active and destructive instead of defusing it by reaching a resolution.

3. Your words carry a hidden threat of physical force. That's why you feel your "masculine strength" is so vindicated. In fact, you're a coward that can't deal with abstract subjects with the power of the mind.

4. You make sure you will never learn anything from your partner, because arbitrary force/behaviour and not reason, are your means to resolve conflicts.

5. It sets a precedent that it's ok to disagree, but it's not ok to argue. Meaning that eventually you and your partner will grow further and further apart - but will never be able to bridge the differences.

6. Your concept of masculinity offends me. This is the masculinity of a gorilla at best, and a mobster at worst. Your masculine strength should not be used to shut your wife up whenever you feel like it. It should be used for achievements or, at worse, protection from physical threat.

I know it's bad form to quote a large block of text, but I just had to say: Amen.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is a continuation of an issue raised in another thread, on the difference between "friends" and "lovers." (See: Response to a Question About Dating & Love.)

"I couldn't imagine loving a woman without being friends with her. Romantic love means that I admire a woman so much that I want to spend my life with her. Friendship means that I value a person's company. The latter is a subset of the former."

I suppose you could say that lovers are "friends," in the same way you could say that a married couple are roommates. In a sense it's true, but it's not very meaningful, and is largely a case of definition by non-essentials.

"Friends" is an inherently non-sexual concept -- not just in the sense that is describes two people who are not romantically involved, but that their relationship is of a different category entirely from that of lovers. By definition, "friends" does not even indicate two people who are (or might be) in the early stages of a romance: the term excludes even the possibility of romantic involvement.

The issue is confused in part by the fact that most people do not use terms very exactly, particularly ones related to issues of love. For instance, one often hears women who are in highly passionate, sexual relationships speak of their boyfriends or husbands as their "best friend." They clearly don't mean "friend" in the same way that they would say "I just want to be friends" or "He's just a friend."

(This puzzled me for years, until one day a female acquaintance pointed out that when a girl is growing up, she often has one friend who is the focal point of her entire social life; a girl in whom she confides everything, and whom she trusts above all others: her best friend. When a woman speaks of her lover in this way, she's ascribing all of these positive traits to him -- and saying, essentially, that he is her top human value. Boys usually don't have nearly as strong an experience with a "best friend," and thus men don’t use the term nearly as often to describe their wives or girlfriends.)

In part, "friends" vs. "lovers" is a semantic issue, but there is a much deeper and much more serious confusion at stake: namely, what exactly is a romantic relationship, and how does such a relationship develop? Is romantic love a glorified form of friendship? How should a man approach a woman in whom he's romantically interested? Does he become her friend, grow through the stages of friendship with her, and then at the top find romance?

It's a tragically common problem among men today: A man meets a woman, feels an attraction to her -- and has no idea what to do about it. He often ends up becoming her "friend," enduring months of frustration and confusion, hoping the entire time that the relationship will -- somehow -- turn into something more, and wondering how on earth it possibly could. (And, vastly more often than not, it doesn't.)

Part of the thesis of my book is that we, as men, have never discovered romance; that we are largely ignorant of the process of romantic love. Yet we're also the initiators and prime movers in a romantic relationship. We struggle and we fail because we don't understand the principles that make love possible; we don't understand our role and responsibility in the process, and consequently we're often frustrated in our attempts to connect with women.

One major principle I believe we most urgently need to discover is that of dating -- a science which, when properly understood and implemented, can slash off entire categories of disappointment and confusion for both men and women; one which can form a solid foundation for a lifelong, passionate love affair between us.

It's the process of dating -- not friendship -- that leads a man and a woman to a happy, lasting romantic relationship.

But that's another subject for another post, another day. . .

I'm interested to hear any comments or responses to this issue.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Why would you think that when I speak of "masculine strength," I mean ANYTHING other than strength of character?

If you want to read into a statement about refusing to argue an attempt to "shut your wife up" or a threat of physical violence -- you take that up with your psychiatrist. Don't project such vicious nonsense onto me.

If you're trying to apply Ayn Rand's principle that when people choose not to deal with one another by reason, their only alternative is physical force, you need to check your premises in a very big way.

You might also want to check AR's Introduction to the The Virtue of Selfishness, in which she states that she refuses to engage in debates -- with presumably anyone. I suppose Miss Rand was declaring war on the whole world.

Megan: I'm sure your boyfriend has been very positively influenced by you. But is it the same kind of "changing" that I was talking about?

People obviously can learn a great deal from each other in a relationship, and should. But we can only learn and change to the extent that we want to.

I've known many people who went into relationships, some even marrying, with the idea that they could change certain aspects of their partner that they didn't like. Every one ended up having very serious problems because of it. Invariably, the "changer" would became increasingly frustrated, while the "changee" would become increasingly resentful.

To state it in positive terms, I believe that your love for a person must communicate that you see, respect, and admire them for who they are -- not who they could be.

In other news, I have started a new thread about the terms "friend" and "lover." See: "Friends & Lovers"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Friends" is an inherently non-sexual concept -- not just in the sense that is describes two people who are not romantically involved, but that their relationship is of a different category entirely from that of lovers. By definition, "friends" does not even indicate two people who are (or might be) in the early stages of a romance: the term excludes even the possibility of romantic involvement.

The issue is confused in part by the fact that most people do not use terms very exactly, particularly ones related to issues of love. For instance, one often hears women who are in highly passionate, sexual relationships speak of their boyfriends or husbands as their "best friend." They clearly don't mean "friend" in the same way that they would say "I just want to be friends" or "He's just a friend."

I would agree with this, and with most of what you write in this post. However, I would add that one of the key factors in successful romances is the "best friends" element. That aspect is subsumed by the total relationship, but it is an essential element within the total. According to Edwin Locke, the number one trait that successful couples have in common is agreement with the statement, "My romantic partner is my best friend." That jibes with my own experience as well.

Link to comment
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...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...