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Opposite-Sex Friendships

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Aaaww jeez, that's what you get for jokingly bringing up an absurd consequence of somebody's position ... they agree with the absurdity! I mean, this thread is about principles, not just personal preferences, isn't it? It's one thing for a couple to choose not to have kids for whatever personal reason, but quite another to say, as a general principle, that "One shouldn't have kids if one wants a happy marriage."

Hahaha. Seriously, though, my example was to say: here is some empirical evidence that there was at least some meaning to the principle. I don't think it is to say that nobody should ever have kids, but it is to say that you'd be fooling yourself if you think you can have them and still have the exact same kind of relationship you had previously had. Which is to say that the rest of your reducto ad absurdum may not hold water. But the trick is that you're addressing Jennifer's argument, which is a separate deal from Dan's.

And Dan, as far as I can tell (still haven't read his long post :lol:), is saying, "One shouldn't have intimate friends of the opposite sex if one wants a happy marriage," and since he is not ascribing it to any of his peculiar individual circumstances but rather to general facts about man's nature, the implication is that he means it as a general principle for all men.

Dude. Read his post. He's talking about psychology and emotional programming. I.e. he's saying that getting intimate emotionally with a female can do things to your emotional mechanism - things a happily married man wouldn't want his emotional mechanism to do.

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In fact, as quaint as it might sound, it was pretty much the norm when I grew up--in Communist Hungary, no less--that my neighborhood friends and schoolmates would have happy, two-parent, non-divorced, non-remarried families. "I don't have a daddy" was pretty much in the same category with deafness or blindness or sitting in a wheelchair, both in terms of frequency and of it not being considered the normal state of affairs for man.

We are deviating from the original topic but...Growing up in Europe I always herd that Hungary had the highest divorce rate in Europe so I did some digging and it looks like that was in fact the case. look here

(Ironically, it took the collapse of Communism for the leftist ideologies of feminism and "the Sexual Revolution" to reach Hungary and destroy many marriages.)

I don't doubt that feminism had its negative impact but I also think that higher divorce rates are to a significant degree (although I am sure it is not the only factor) a result of better economic conditions allowing women to sustain themselves (and their children) without the help of a man. It gives them freedom to leave when things are not great.

Edited by ~Sophia~
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I don't think it is to say that nobody should ever have kids, but it is to say that you'd be fooling yourself if you think you can have them and still have the exact same kind of relationship you had previously had.

Obviously, your life-style will change but it is not the same as to say that having children has necessarily a negative impact on your romantic relationship. For two rational people who are going through life consciously (self monitoring, controlling their focus and energy - placing and spending them properly) it can be an enhancement and a further, additional source of admiration.

Edited by ~Sophia~
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Obviously, your life-style will change but it is not the same as to say that having children has necessarily a negative impact on your romantic relationship. For two rational people who are going through life consciously (self monitoring, controlling their focus and energy - placing and spending them properly) it can be an enhancement and a further, additional source of admiration.

But, undeniably, it is something that will take away from your time with each other. So it had better be something you're more than a little interested in.

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What Sophia said. Children *can* actually *increase* your level of intimacy with your partner if you approach the entire child-having experience in the right way. It's going to change your relationship, but not necessarily detract from it.

My agreement with Dan is 100% based on my personal experience with watching the decay of my and other people's relationships. Seeking intimate opposite-sex friends outside of your marriage may be a symptom instead of the cause of the decay, or it may be a contributing factor. The fact remains that if you find yourself doing this in a relationship, something is going wrong. Simply refraining from the activity may not be enough: some major changes and re-evaluations may be necessary. But it's a place to start looking, at least.

Same-sex friends are not such a big deal because, in my experience, heterosexual people don't interact with same-sex friends the same way that they interact with opposite-sex friends. Heck, in my experience they don't interact with members of the same sex in the same way that they do with members of the opposite sex, period. Now, I don't know how a group of men interact with no women around (apart from watching movies which may or may not be accurate and are almost certainly exaggerated), but I know how women act when there are no men around. It may simply be that there's a sense that you don't have to make allowances for people not understanding you or mistaking your intent. When you're hanging out with your girlfriends, you're not struggling to form a connection, you're just relaxing.

Being the geeky type, I don't have a lot of female friends and most of them are the spouses of my male friends, so they're more friends-at-one-remove. I get along *very* well with my married male friends, and sometimes I miss that we can't just sit around and chat more . . . but I learned my lesson about that the one time I did "let my hair down" with a married guy. Never again.

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