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That's my favorite novel. :) And I'll note, that despite his Herculean efforts to "get the girl," he failed miserably.

I wouldn't say that Gilliat failed to win over Durachette, but more that Durachette failed to love Gilliat. The older I get and the more times I read that novel the more I think it is a shame that Durachette fell in love with a Lilly-white preacher boy who couldn't fight his way out of a paper bag to save his live! He was all kind and considerate, and couldn't get anything real done. It would be like Catherine Halsey falling in love with Peter Keating -- no real romance there, as they were both too busy pleasing others. But, I don't know, she was kind of Lilly-white herself, having been all protected by her uncle her entire life of ease.

But good God, to do what Gilliat did -- to show that he is a master of the world and the sea -- and then to be denied romance because of it :)

I cannot hate Victor Hugo, and I understand that he had a few mistresses that did things like that to him -- but what a story!

By the way, I wasn't saying I necessarily needed the facts as to why a woman likes me, since I take for granted that I am worthy of love; though, of course, I wouldn't want to be loved for something about me that I didn't think was important. No, I was referring to the need to get to know her in order to be rational about the relationship. One ought to follow reason instead of emotions even when it comes to romance. The fact that you feel all woozy about her does not indicate cognitively that she is worthy of it -- since one needs the facts for that. Having that emotion is all good and well, and I do enjoy it and I do get somewhat like Gilliat, which is one reason I decided to learn to dance -- and quickly! But without the appropriate facts, what kind of girl am I falling for? is it all psychological projection or does she really have what it takes? how do you know that if you don't communicate with her about your ideals and hers? I mean, unless you just want a short-term sex partner, there has to be more conviction meat on the bones. That's not to say that I couldn't fall for a non-Objectivist, but she would have to have a very high respect for man and reason for it to last. I doubt I could fall in love with an eco-freak, for example, unless she just had a misunderstanding of what the battle was all about and I thought I could convince her to be on the side of man.

But I know there are not a lot of people who agree with me on this. Most people take the position that an intense emotion cannot be misleading. Well, it can be, just as any other emotion is not a tool of cognition; neither is love. To tie this back in with Gilliat, you do realize that he never ever spoke to her? that he gained his evaluation of her in a clandestine manner, by getting up close to figure out what books she read? I mean, I can see why he fell in love with her, but she didn't know him from Adam. He was just someone in the neighborhood to her, and she liked to be cutesy and coy with him -- but they didn't get to know one another at all.

So, perhaps that is the real lesson to be learn from that book. Act on the facts, not on your emotions -- and get to know one another before running off to save the world in her honor :lol:

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I think I agree with Agrippa that the best policy is to show her you are interested, and then back off.

Sorry, but I attributed this to Agrippa, who isn't even involved in this discussion near the end. It was Aequalsa who made the comment about when to get her attention and how many times to try.

I get confused with all the pseudonyms: A=A, Agrippa=Aequalsa :lol:

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You seem to be suggesting in response to my comment that if someone lacks confidence, then they ought to merely just do things which give them confidence, learn a new skill, etc. But some people might have accomplished something, but feel more confident than they ought to, or conversely, feel less confident and proud than they ought to, the dominant ethic promulgated in the US is christian altruism, christianity being the religion which celebrates meekness, passivity, and suffering, and in fact considers 'pride' a sin. For the latter, it is proper for them to 'force' or 'retrain' themselves to be more proud of themselves, some of that change will come merely through introspection and realization, but emotional adaptions are not always instantaneous and sometimes it makes sense to act how you think you ought to be acting (by your own standards, or what you think your standards should be, and not just for the sake of other people in a second handed manner) Aristotle wrote "It is easy to be angry, it is far more difficult to be angry to the right degree, for the right length of time, and at the right person" something similar could be said of all emotional reactions and behavioral attributes.

Sure some people may have trouble appropriately pairing their degree of confidence to their accomplishments, but I don’t think this discredits this approach. In order for it to work you need to be able to assess reality and do some introspection. How much confidence should I derive from X? Well, how difficult is it to accomplish X? how many other people have done X? How long did X take? How much personal effort did I invest in X? For me this process is highly automated. When I do something I am constantly aware of how difficult it is because I feel how much energy, brain power, strength, ect. it takes to do it. When it feels difficult and I am still able to accomplish it, I start feeling the confidence grow. I have done all sorts of things ranging from very easy to extremely hard. I know how confident to be about each of my accomplishments by comparing them to my past ones. People who are too confident about too little and people who are not confident enough about a whole lot are not being honest with themselves about the magnitude of their accomplishments.

I agree that emotional adaptations are not always instantaneous. I have experienced this in my own life. When my values have changed or I have made steps toward improvement, sometimes I still have some residual inappropriate feelings. These seem to be the slowest to catch up. To deal with this delay I have mostly tried to be aware of this and redirect my thoughts when it comes up. I can see how a “fake it till you make it” approach could work here, but I think it is very important to focus on the making it, and not get stuck faking it.

Edited by megr.ferg
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I'm interested in what you think of this from the man's perspective. In the first example, for instance, you could easily just come off as not interested or wishy-washy. If he is showing confidence and interest by getting you to make a choice about what kind of music you like, are you not showing insecurity or lack of sincere interest by being evasive and or non-committal?

In the first example I do give an “uninterested or wishy-washy” response. I referred to it as a bit of a wall. Unfortunately a large portion of men I have run into have read a few too many pick up books, have less than honorable intentions, or both. As a result I do have a tendency to put up a wall at first. Of course I am aware that I do this, so as I get to know him I can adjust the level of the wall. If he seems to be fake or simply interested in the physical aspects of a relationship the wall get higher and reinforced. If he is sincere and confident it can come down. The flexibility of the wall is key. A permanent or fixed level wall is dangerous. I think men who have a good understanding of women know that women have been shamelessly hit on and smothered with the fake stuff so they are prepared for the initial wall. They also know that if the wall doesn’t start to come down it’s time to move on.

Similarly, in your second example, he has to push you into doing something you don't initially want to do. While you might find that an attractive quality in him (helping you be / do what you think you should be) I can't imagine how he would find that an attractive quality in you (needing to be coaxed and pushed all the time)

In the second example He does have to push me and I agree with you that having to push or coax someone constantly would be a huge turn off. Fortunately for me this is not the case, I am able to motivate myself, but that is not to say I couldn’t use a bit of a push from time to time. For me this is one of the best things about an intimate relationship. Both of the members are able to encourage and push each other to do more than they would have on their own. He may need some encouragement to finish a project this week and next month I may need a push to start a new one of my own. In my experience the pushing done by the male is more forceful and direct, this is what I respond best to. My pushing takes on more of an encouraging supportive flavor that seems to work well.

Presumably, if your relationship was of long duration and of this type, you would eventually get closer and closer to that person that you want to be, and in doing so, he would need to do less and less coaxing and pushing, so would he be less masculine then? If so, in the same way that basing happiness on helping people actually requires other people to suffer, being masculine requires women to always stay below their desired state. It's not getting there that's the goal, it's being helped to try to get there.

The person I want to be is someone who is always growing and striving for more. For me there are always new and higher goals to strive for, and any man I peruse should feel the same. We may push and coax each other to meet our goals, but then there will be new ones and we will get to start all over again. If anything as we accomplish more and more our goals will get more and more difficult to reach. He will be able to be more masculine and I will be able to be more supportive and encouraging.

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By the way, I wasn't saying I necessarily needed the facts as to why a woman likes me, since I take for granted that I am worthy of love; though, of course, I wouldn't want to be loved for something about me that I didn't think was important. No, I was referring to the need to get to know her in order to be rational about the relationship. One ought to follow reason instead of emotions even when it comes to romance. The fact that you feel all woozy about her does not indicate cognitively that she is worthy of it -- since one needs the facts for that. Having that emotion is all good and well, and I do enjoy it and I do get somewhat like Gilliat, which is one reason I decided to learn to dance -- and quickly! But without the appropriate facts, what kind of girl am I falling for? is it all psychological projection or does she really have what it takes? how do you know that if you don't communicate with her about your ideals and hers? I mean, unless you just want a short-term sex partner, there has to be more conviction meat on the bones. That's not to say that I couldn't fall for a non-Objectivist, but she would have to have a very high respect for man and reason for it to last. I doubt I could fall in love with an eco-freak, for example, unless she just had a misunderstanding of what the battle was all about and I thought I could convince her to be on the side of man.

But wouldn't you admit that it would be preferable for a woman to tell you the facts of why she likes you? Wouldn't that simplify your efforts profoundly? Believe it or not, there are actually women who do this - I have learned to be one such woman, but I will admit that it is a rare quality among women in general. As a woman, I have grown up observing the manipulations that some women exert over others. In truth, I am guilty of having exercised such manipulations myself, but I think there is NO positive end to this course of action if happiness, meaningful relationships, etc is really what one is pursuing. So, some women manipulate, some women disguise themselves behind veneers, and some women just keep things to themselves. They all have the same effect: feeling is not communicated. I am shocked at how many women persist with these kind of behaviors seeing as how they've committed them multiple times and failed each time... when will they get it! It doesn't work. I mean, seriously, how many times do you have to touch a red burner before you realize that is not a good course of action. Once. Being interested in one person, and writing that person too many emails without repsonse, and having that approach fail should, at the very least, suggest you may want to consider a different approach.

My boss has a great saying, and it's actually someone else's phrase, though I don't know who... The saying is "don't spill all your candy in the lobby." He uses that in reference to sales - to stifle my apparent dispostion to want to educate people about insurance ratther than listening to their reasons for wanting it. But it works nicely here as well: don't reveal too much of yourself too quickly, especially if there is no tit for tat. A lot of women tell someone too much about themselves and then they are frustrated when the other party does not return any information about themselves. This lack of return should be telling them two things: 1) there may be a personality clash that won't serve anyone well, and 2) if the person is not responding, they're not interested in what you're saying. People respond when they're interested. Stop spilling your candy! :lol: Offer a taste, and see if they want more. They will nibble on the first offer if they are. If they don't repsond the first time, chances are they are not even reading the superfluous attempts you send thereafter. I have witnessed this in a recently divorced co-worker of mine a lot lately. She meets guys everyweekend, they exchange numbers, and then these guys begin to attempt contacting her (phone, text, etc) during the week. She NEVER says, hey, I'm not interested. Instead, she just ignores these poor fellows until eventually they must get the hint. I have asked her why she even gives them her number if she knows she'll never call them back, and she says "it would be rude not to." What ?!? Is the non-response not ten times more rude! Thus, I am sympathetic to men's complaints about how women disguise their interest... because apparently a lot of women practice these nonsensical dating methods. If you were that guy trying to call her, wouldn't it be easier if she just called you back and said no thanks? Better yet, what if she didn't even lead you to have any dilusions about things possibly going somewhere from the beginning?

It is true; when women say yes you should take it as a yes; any other kind of response or lack there of should be considered a no. I don't believe you can convince someone to change their mind about loving you are not: people love each other for who they are, not because they believe someone telling them that they are someone worth loving. Be who you are and act accordingly, but being who you are does not preclude you from elimating ineffective dating approaches. Nor does authenticity to one's true self preclude one from being a little more confident than usual to make an introduction. Doing something out of your norm FOR anyone is bad, but doing something out of your norm (such as being a little more confident) for yourself is great (as long as you are not jumping so far out of your comfort zone that it would be impossible for you to continue in this behavior). And by introducing ourselves to someone we are interested in, are we not acting on behalf of ourselves more than anyone. Introductions are a way of acknowledging interest, and that doesn't ruin things at all. It gets things started. WHether or not the events and communications that follow continue to express that interest and make it grow is really something that both parties involved have to determine for themselves.

Don't look for hints from women. Do what I do with men: look for clear demonstrations, in action or in word. If you're unsure ask; if she thinks that's weird or doesn't respond to/ignores the question, then reconsider whether or not that is someone worth pursuing.

Edited by 4reason
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But wouldn't you admit that it would be preferable for a woman to tell you the facts of why she likes you? Wouldn't that simplify your efforts profoundly? Believe it or not, there are actually women who do this

Yes, I would eventually like to know why that girl wanted to be around me, but my point was that as the pursuer, I need to know what it is about her that makes the pursuit rational, rather than just basing it on a feeling I have for her. That feeling of interest is like the initial spark -- i.e. she got my attention -- but I want it to be interactive, and I need to know something about her for it to be interactive. Like I said, I love to write love poetry, but if I don't know enough about her I can't do that. So, what I am focused on is my pursuit of her qua male who is interested in more than just the fact that I have a tingle for her. I think love at first sight is possible, and I have experienced that, but for it to last there needs to be facts there and not just unidentifiable emotions that I get around her -- unidentifiable in the sense of finding out why I have that emotion in response to her; what is it about her that gave rise to that emotion? Some women just have an air about them that makes them seem all delectable, but after you get to know them they just have good genes, and I need more than that.

Don't look for hints from women. Do what I do with men: look for clear demonstrations, in action or in word. If you're unsure ask; if she thinks that's weird or doesn't respond to/ignores the question, then reconsider whether or not that is someone worth pursuing.

I'm not good at hints anyhow, but the real point you are making is about not splurging everything out at once if she isn't responding. I do find that if I do that, I raise my expectation with every letter, and then get a big let-down if she continues not to reply.

Men are willing to wait longer for that reply, unlike many women who give you that come-on and if you don't respond that instant, then forget it. But a man's interest isn't forever if he isn't getting a reply, either. But I think you have a point. If there is actual mutual interest, then it will be there, even if trickled out over time. At some point of awaiting a reply, one has to conclude that there is no mutual interest and move on. And just because one might actually love another for good reasons, that doesn't mean it is mutual. Just one of those facts of life.

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But wouldn't you admit that it would be preferable for a woman to tell you the facts of why she likes you? Wouldn't that simplify your efforts profoundly? Believe it or not, there are actually women who do this - I have learned to be one such woman, but I will admit that it is a rare quality among women in general. ...

I'm flattered whenever a woman I respect and admire can pay me a direct compliment or even state why she feels the way she does about me. I think something of this nature is reciprocal for both sexes. I'm sure you'd love it if a man that you respect and admire can do the same in kind. Though such compliments are subject to context (like other romantic gestures) I think in the right circumstance it can lead to a beautiful relationship. I don't even think it matters which sex pays the initial compliment either.

Don't look for hints from women. Do what I do with men: look for clear demonstrations, in action or in word. If you're unsure ask; if she thinks that's weird or doesn't respond to/ignores the question, then reconsider whether or not that is someone worth pursuing.

I really like what you say here. This is really great advice that took me years to learn. I've wasted many moments of my life pursuing relationships that went nowhere simply because there was no direct communication taking place. If I have any doubt as to where I stand with a woman, I will ask her directly. Her answer (or lack thereof) will tell me all I need to know.

I truly wish more women were like you in that way. If a woman is willing to be direct in the way you describe, she would show a great deal of respect for the man. Nothing makes my day brighter than when a woman I respect and admire demonstrates in word or action that she respects and admires me. It also shows me she has confidence and strength in that she is not afraid to voice her admiration. I think the same applies to men as well. As my standards for what I want in a woman have increased over the years, I have noticed the side effect that there aren't as many women that I'd like to date (if I were single that is.) As for the relationship I'm in, so much of what we have is based on direct communication and not shying away from what we think. Even though we know we aren't going to stay together in the long term (she doesn't want to move to NYC with me in three years) we are committed to enjoying what time we do have left.

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I think it's not "be yourself" exactly, for the reasons Matus1976 describes -- sometimes people use "being yourself" as an excuse to be lazy. After all, James Taggart just wanted to "be himself" with Cherryl -- but "himself" was a conglomeration of bad premises and malevolent motives. He wanted someone who would love him without his having to deserve that love. When people use "I just want someone I can be myself with" in THAT sense, they don't deserve real romantic companionship.

I think it's more "Be the person you want to be, and not the person you think you need to be in order to get this woman." That is, if a man takes a hard look at himself and realize that he has a lot of work to do in order to be a better person, he should do that work and not content himself with the lazy "I just want to be myself and find someone who loves me for who I am." Otherwise, the only romantic partner he has a chance of ending up with is the kind who would accept all comers -- hardly the "highest type of woman he can find." But he should not make the mistake of acting in a way counter to his normal self only to attract women -- that's second-handed. If he works out at the gym because he knows his pot belly could use a few crunches, that's good; if he thinks his body is fine, and only works out because he thinks doing arm curls with the heaviest barbells he can find will help him pick up women at the gym, that is second-handed. Any woman he meets that way will, if she sticks around long enough, figure out that what she thought attracted her to him (an interest in fitness) was a sham.

As for the original post, I agree that romantic gestures should be proportional to the value of the relationship, and the more they demonstrate how highly the man values the woman (or vice versa), the better. My fiance doesn't just bring me flowers; he brings me irises, because he knows I like purple and that purple flowers make me smile. He doesn't just bring chocolates; he brings my favorite chocolates. I love that he knows what I like and that it gives him selfish pleasure to see me enjoying something he has brought me. If he had just handed me a bouquet of red roses on our second date, I would have been put off, because he didn't know me well enough at that point to value me highly or to know what I liked.

This was a very good post Stella, thank you! I agree with you here.

I do think it is important not to come across as too desperate regarding women; and sometimes I think a man can come across that way if he writes and writes and she doesn't reply. Sometimes, you just don't get a reply right away, though wondering about them in the silence can drive you crazy! I think I agree with Agrippa that the best policy is to show her you are interested, and then back off. I'm not sure having her come to you will work well.

If the wondering drives you crazy you are probably giving it too much importance too early on. I mean, in the stage where you are not even sure if she's going to respond you havent really established a relationship where it would be appropriate for such strong emotional responses. Sure, if she seems like a good woman you could have some expectations, however if you find your emotional reactions not to be in line with events, where your relationshis is at, and what she really means to you(or should mean to you) then I think it's good to look at the sitution carefully and make a little "reality check".

I think aequalsas advice of communicating interesting and then backing off is spot on. When I see the opportunity(which doesnt happen that often, i'm not so good at it yet) I also like to do it in a way that can spark her curiosity and interest. It can for example be just presenting myself and then walking away. Or like a girl from school I went out with a couple of times recently... had not talked to her much, but on my way to lunch one day I stopped to look at her and said; "i'm going to lunch now", then left. She found me later in the resturaunt. In my experience this works much better than very overtly communicating interest, like "Omigosh you're so pretty, can I take you out some day?". And once you have shown interest it's her move, and she will come after you if she's interested.

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if you find your emotional reactions not to be in line with events, where your relationship is at, and what she really means to you(or should mean to you) then I think it's good to look at the situation carefully and make a little "reality check".

Oh, absolutely, but that's why I want the feedback, as a reality check on my urges to be with her. I guess what I have to keep in mind is that no feedback is feedback -- it shows she is not really interested in me in that romantic way. Although, it is interesting that other women I have contact with come right out and tell me they are not interested in romance, and just want to be friends -- which I am OK with, even though the desire to be more with her might still be there for a while.

I try to be open about my values, even the one's in the disvalue category, though I'm not sure anyone can really know me personally from what I write. One day I guess it will be mutual attraction. I've dated good women in the past, but when it became more serious they backed away.

Anyhow, thanks for the advise :P

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In terms of what is appropriate behavior, I go by the standard of reason, common sense, and observable cause and effect.

Well, I think it's obvious where reason and common sense bring you at first, to an objective system of ethics based on life. But what you do with that life is, I think, not so easily answered. For instance, I have a good friend who basically works and plays video games. He has no over arching goals in life he is working toward, doesnt learn new things, except new video games. But he works and pays all his bills. Is he living an immoral life according objectivist ethics? He's not hurting anyone, he's not mooching or looting off anyone, so I'd say no he is not. But is he living a 'good' life, a fulfilling life? He's happy and has fun doing these things, but could he be happier, and find even more joy in other things? This goes back to the what we find joy in is not automatically the thing we ought to find joy in idea.

Pleasure comes from the achievement of values, but those can be good values or bad values, and happiness is the joy that comes from good values, but what is the standard which you judge a value to be good or bad to adopt? And of all the potentially good things to value, which ones do you focus on? Obviously many values are obvious from merely choosing life as one's standard. I know we've had some discussions on this, this is all just variations of trying to identify a standard by which we consider our own lives fulfilling, and I think it applies to every aspect of our behavior - from how outgoing or not outgoing we are, how many deep sincere relationships we have, or what we find joy in and what we ought to find joy in. So in your standards of reason, common sense, and cause and effect, how outgoing do you think you ought to be?

I have been interested in human behavior (and thus have been observing people trying to identify a principle when possible) for a while now.

My advice to you is to make an effort to be more observing yourself and try not to repeat the same things if the outcome continues to be not what you want.

This isn't so much a 'I think I need to be more outgoing' thread, right now I think I have a good balance of outgoing-ness based on what I want to do in my life right now, but as a general question that is applicable to all aspects of our behavior, interests, and values I'm wondering what others think.

I don't think we can drastically alter our personality, drastically I mean from one side of the spectrum going completely to the other side. We can alter it somewhat and we can what I would call "make ourselves act in a slightly different way on occasion" (for example, putting an extroverted hat on when you are mostly an introvert).

I think we probably disagree on the extent to which our personalities are flexible. I agree that you probably can not make a complete full spectrum change, but over time and integrating new values and making chosen behavior reflexive then intuitive it can be altered significantly.

When presenting yourself to the other person (and thinking how I ought to behave) you have to keep in mind what you will be able to maintain long term. It is important to be authentic. You want them to like you for YOU, don't you?

Of course, I meant only to distinguish the idea of 'being yourself' (as a perpetual static entity) with the idea of self improvement and how one achieves self improvement. The purpose of the self improvement should never be another person, but they could certainly trigger it. But changes you try to adopt should not be so significant as to be ones that can not be maintained over the long term, I agree with that.

I will give you another example - myself. I can be quiet witty and funny (my close friends, co-workers, my son, people I have been in a close relationship with - think or thought so) but that is not predominanty my personality. Naturally, I am more of an observer and thinker than talker. The more extroverted side of me comes out when there some intimacy already established (with at least somebody if in a group) and it is off and on. (Complex _ I know :P ). Anyway, my point is that I don't try to act much more extrovertly than what I am most of the time. I did once - and it became something I felt pressured to keep up and it became a source of anxiety. My aim today is to present myself authentically and when in time I will become more fun to be around that will be a bonus and not an expectation I will be pressured to meet. Hope that my example, in terms of my reasoning - approaching the issue, will help you to make a decision for yourself (which maybe different for a good reason).

I'm much the same way, but again this is not a case where I feel I am too introverted currently, When I am with my co-workers on social outings, I am very sarcastic and witty, but outside of that particular context I rarely am, I decided a few years back that I don't particularly like sarcasm as a form of humor as much, but I grew up with very intelligent and very witty sarcastic people, so I happen to be really entertaining and since I have little to connect with my coworkers on outside of that (they have little interest in philosophy, science, politics, history, art, etc and mostly talk about sports and pop culture) I tend to adopt that mode. Normally I am more observer, thinker, but if I find someone very interesting I am quite extroverted and inquisitive.

I think if you feel you should be more extroverted, you should try to adopt the behavior in small steps. Say hi to one stranger a day, for example. Eventually the behavior will become reflexive, and you might find a little bit of joy or pleasure at the new experiences that come from those exchanges. Trying to suddenly be very extroverted, however, is a bad idea. How did you try to achieve a more extroverted personality? And why, if you care to share, did you decide you should be more extroverted?

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I think the issue of how many emails or phone calls or letters a man writes to someone he is interested in without getting a reply is probably very important. But, if I'm interested, I'm interested, and if she doesn't reply I used to write and write telling her more and more about myself, thinking that would win her over.

I would add that this is a very bad idea, 1st, it's based on the assumption that she doesn't like you because she doesn't know enough about you, even if she knew everything and had similar values, that doesn't mean she ought to or will like you. 2nd, it's generally disrespectful, if she doesn't like you, you should respect that (and her) by behaving appropriately.

If this was a person you just met, a couple of contacts are ok (imo probably max 3) but they should be less extensive each time and you should wait longer, to allow for legitimate things in life which may have come up and sidetracked her to pass. With no response, bow out gracefully, no fulfilling relationship can come from something unrequited so don't focus on that, and move on.

If you all ready knew her, and If you do legitimately like the woman (i.e. you know enough about her to feel the thinks you feel) then you can stay in touch with her, but at a very low level unless response is reciprocated, and even if it is, don't push the romantic interest issue. A Christmas card saying hello and wishing her well, for instance. No more confessions of feelings and no more exhaustive autobiographies. If you like her for proper reasons, than her reciprocating those affections should be irrelevant, she is still the person that you like and just leave it at that but be as much of a friend as she wants and you want. That's my stance, the ladies could weigh in on that though. This is also absolutely not something you should do with every woman you meet or get interested in, part of being well aware of the nature of your emotional reactions should include a natural sieving effect on your emotions, so you ultimately will come across fewer woman that interest you to that extent. Over the long term, you will forge healthy, fulfilling and rewarding sincere friendships at the least with people who do care about you (since caring is not dependent on reciprocation) and some of those may evolve into intimate ones of complete sincerity.

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I am not sure that I understand the nature of your disagreement with me. I make an assumption that you have already met or contacted the gal originally. Women have very good facial recognition capacities. They usually know that you are interested in them before you say a word. Writing and writing with no response is a little creepy. It's implies clingyness or if the girl is particularly sensitive, borderline stalking.

I'm not talking about writing and writing with no response, you said

I used to have a 3 call rule in pre-internet days. If I got no response after the second I'd call a 3rd time to let her know I was throwing out her phone number. That quickly got reduced to a two call rule and eventually to a one call rule. And truthfully, a 0 call rule is probably best. Make her call you. If you meet someone and have any chemistry, don't ruin it by letting her know that. My experience....if a woman is interested, she'll let you know. I have never seen a reason to ask her.

Make her call you? If you have any chemistry, don't ruin it by letting her know that? And, if she's interested she'll let you know? Those are the statements I'm disagreeing with.

Just talk to her the one time. If she wants to know more she'll make an attempt to see you or contact you. That's been my experience, at least.

That's part of the point, maybe she is thinking the same thing? So both of you are sitting there waiting to hear from the other one, because if they're interested they'll contact you. But, according to your statement, if you 'let her know' you have chemistry, than you 'ruin' it.

I don't see how what I said implied "acknowledging you are interested in someone some how 'ruins' it." Being opaque and repetitious is what ruins it.

Because that is exactly what you said:

If you meet someone and have any chemistry, don't ruin it by letting her know that

Being Opaque AND repetitious? Being opaque is being vague and evasive, which is what you do by not calling someone that you ask their number from. Being repetitious would be calling repeatedly, those two seem contradictory to me.

You don't need to be a master of human behaviour to realize when you have chemistry with someone. They usually make it really easy to know when they make as much of an effort to be with you as you do with them.

So when you explicitly make no effort to be with them (don't call them, you'll ruin it, wait till they call you) how exactly is it that they would make as much effort than to be with you?

Also, chemistry is something you should be careful about. Human behavior is a complex interaction of randomness, natural genetic influences, environmental and social conditioning, and volitional choices. The 'chemistry' of a reflexive and strong attraction for someone might very well come from the fact that, for example, their genetic markers relating to their immune system and manifested in pheromones smell great to you, because you have a genetic predisposition to find people with complimentary immune systems more attractive (google the T-shirt studies) such a thing is not something proper to base an attraction on, but if you adopt and integrate the idea that love is 'chemistry' (a literal quick reflexive reaction of attraction to someone you know little about) then the initial feeling of attraction, and your subsequent embellishing it, is basically rooted in a simplistic behavior response to stimuli OTHER than their values, interests, sense of life, etc. Proper 'chemistry' should be something that develops over time in proportion to what you know about a person.

If you ask someone out or contact them, just forget about it. If they're interested they'll call back. Otherwise move on with your life. That's all I am saying. This isn't about playing a "zero-sum exploitative game," or whatever.

Wise advice which I whole heatedly agree with. However, you said that you should not contact them - that is indicative of an exploitative competitive narrative of human relationships, because to do so, to make that first move, makes you 'weaker' since you are now at their disposal.

I making what I thought was a pretty obvious point, that you can't make someone like you by trying to talk them into it.

Nor did I ever suggest anything of the sort.

Oh, and you actually called to tell her you were throwing out her number?

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...but my experience with introspection has shown that I can *tell* when my "I prefer this to that" is actually an evasion based on things like "I'm afraid there might be a lot of work involved". I can't really explain *how* I can tell any more than I can explain *how* I can tell that object A is blue instead of purple. It's base-level perception (by introspection instead of extrospection)

You're saying that after introspection recognizing that something you are doing is wrong is a perception on par with perceiving the color of an object? I doubt that, that's a complex emotional response to some stimuli which you have perceived and then compared against your values. What you don't have explicitly identified is the value that you are judging that reaction against (neither do I, hence the inquiry) but it is most definitely not a mere perception, unless you are abstractly talking about just perceiving the emotional reaction.

so the only advice I can really give on *how* to discover a standard it to *practice examining what triggers your emotions and what you find yourself wanting to do as a result*. Once you do that, you'll be able to figure out the "why" in each case and thus define what your standards are and should be.

It seems your saying in the previous statement that you can't know what that standard is because it's a base level perception, but in this statement you are saying that if you do it enough, you will recognize the standard.

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For instance, I have a good friend who basically works and plays video games. He has no over arching goals in life he is working toward, doesnt learn new things, except new video games. But he works and pays all his bills. Is he living an immoral life according objectivist ethics? He's not hurting anyone, he's not mooching or looting off anyone, so I'd say no he is not.

But morality is not just a social construct. Viewing/reducing the concept of morality to a non-agression principle is a libertarian idea and not Objectivists. At the root of objective morality is the self so you would need it even on a deserted island (notice no mooching or force would have been a factor and yet you wouldn't be automatically moral).

The standard is what is in your long term self interest - it is flourishing life proper to a human being.

You apply that standard first and only then from among all the good choices is your enjoyment, your personal preference that should guide you.

So in your standards of reason, common sense, and cause and effect, how outgoing do you think you ought to be?

How outgoing I think I ought to be is situational - it depends on what I want to accomplish but my goals to some extend already take into account my personality (what is reasonable for me). It also, in the context of dating since that is under discussion here, depends on the raport I am getting. I have been naturally (with no conscious effort) more outgoing and chatty around some people in comparison to others. (Sometimes perhaps that is a sign in itself.)

I agree that you probably can not make a complete full spectrum change, but over time and integrating new values and making chosen behavior reflexive then intuitive it can be altered significantly.

That it has not been my experience.

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I think if you feel you should be more extroverted, you should try to adopt the behavior in small steps. Say hi to one stranger a day, for example. Eventually the behavior will become reflexive, and you might find a little bit of joy or pleasure at the new experiences that come from those exchanges.

Ahh, I talk to strangers all the time. I am very friendly and I am not shy.

I am however energized by being alone (I recharge my batteries alone). I enjoy thinking and exploring my thoughts. I generally do not need to seek out excitement in others (nor do I need to be "seen" - psychological visibility is only something I desire out of my romantic partner) because I am already stimulated with my own mind. (That is the part which I think is rather deeply ingrained central dimension of my personality). My moments of pride are a very private affair and my need for sharing about them is low, in general. Me sharing on them is a privilege I only grant a few.

How did you try to achieve a more extroverted personality?

By making effort to be less reserved.

And why, if you care to share, did you decide you should be more extroverted?

To see if I could do it if I wanted. To see if it would result in a permanent change in my preferences as described above (it did not). To lead a more balanced social life.

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I'm not talking about writing and writing with no response, you said

I think there may be some confusion here. I was originally responding to Thomas M. Miovas Jr.'s Post. In it he said that he wrote and wrote to a woman.

Make her call you? If you have any chemistry, don't ruin it by letting her know that? And, if she's interested she'll let you know? Those are the statements I'm disagreeing with.

Are you saying that after you have given a woman an indication of your interest and she does not write or call you, that you should continue trying to contact her? Because if not we have no disagreement.

That's part of the point, maybe she is thinking the same thing? So both of you are sitting there waiting to hear from the other one, because if they're interested they'll contact you. But, according to your statement, if you 'let her know' you have chemistry, than you 'ruin' it.

I am not sure how else i can explain this. If you a)meet a woman b)have chemistry c)you display some interest and then d) she doesn't respond, than I see no reason to continue pursuing her. Further, most often, it's been my experience that if she is interested, she will, in fact, contact me even when I have not contacted her first. I view the whole men chasing after women thing to be farcical, ineffectual and emasculating, so I personally don't tend toward that behavior. It comes off as a guy saying "please, please like me!" I could care less about all the women who don't like me. Only the ones that are interested in me matter to me in this context so I do not spend valuable time considering the ones who might like me "if only they got to know me." Nor do I sit around waiting for her. She's either there or she isn't.

Because that is exactly what you said:

Okay, I can see the misunderstanding in this part. I see very little value in telling someone I just met that I like them romantically or find them attractive. For one I don't know someone I just met well enough to make that assessment. Second, if I did, i can't think of a better way to make her not interested in me than to tell her outright that this is the case. This completely unbalances the relationship and forces her hand before she realistically has had a chance to determine if she is interested in me.

Being Opaque AND repetitious? Being opaque is being vague and evasive, which is what you do by not calling someone that you ask their number from. Being repetitious would be calling repeatedly, those two seem contradictory to me.

Again, this was in response to Thomas' post. 'And' properly should have been 'or.' I don't ask for phone numbers. I just give them mine if I want to see them. Sometimes they reciprocate. If they do I'll call once to see if they are still interested.

So when you explicitly make no effort to be with them (don't call them, you'll ruin it, wait till they call you) how exactly is it that they would make as much effort than to be with you?
They just choose to. Not sure why. Perhaps it's a double standard. It's just how it seems to work.

Also, chemistry is something you should be careful about. Human behavior is a complex interaction of randomness, natural genetic influences, environmental and social conditioning, and volitional choices. The 'chemistry' of a reflexive and strong attraction for someone might very well come from the fact that, for example, their genetic markers relating to their immune system and manifested in pheromones smell great to you, because you have a genetic predisposition to find people with complimentary immune systems more attractive (google the T-shirt studies) such a thing is not something proper to base an attraction on, but if you adopt and integrate the idea that love is 'chemistry' (a literal quick reflexive reaction of attraction to someone you know little about) then the initial feeling of attraction, and your subsequent embellishing it, is basically rooted in a simplistic behavior response to stimuli OTHER than their values, interests, sense of life, etc. Proper 'chemistry' should be something that develops over time in proportion to what you know about a person.

This whole discussion I am referring to Thomas's posts in which the subject is not an ongoing relationship, but intially meeting someone. Love doesn't enter into it. As far as 'chemistry' goes, we can use a different word if you prefer. What I mean by chemistry is that thing where, you meet someone and seem to get along well. Call it whatever you like.

Wise advice which I whole heatedly agree with. However, you said that you should not contact them - that is indicative of an exploitative competitive narrative of human relationships, because to do so, to make that first move, makes you 'weaker' since you are now at their disposal.

Again with the "an exploitative competitive narrative of human relationships?" What I advocate is specifically not competitive. Unless you mean in the sense that you should not invest significantly more in the relationship than they do, but that's just social etiquette. It is not pursuing someone but instead, allowing things to happen naturally, with no initial expectation. It may be right to call it exploitative in the sense that it takes human nature and specifically woman's nature into account, but not in the sense that they are being taken advantage of or being defrauded. Perhaps you can explain further what you mean by that phrase.

Nor did I ever suggest anything of the sort.

Again, I was referring to Thomas' post.

Oh, and you actually called to tell her you were throwing out her number?

When I was younger I did. I ran into that experience of getting a number from a girl(often without having requested it) and then gotten a flaky response after. So it was more out of annoyance that I did. Functionally useless, so

I stopped.

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Actually, I don't want people to think that I call and call or email and email someone I had just met or that I had met over the Internet. This was a few girls I thought I knew well from past encounters and conversations, but had gone through life changing events, such as divorces and such. Evidently I did not know them as well as I thought I did,or they had changed significantly -- or at least what I was writing them did not get me anywhere when it comes to reciprocation of interests. I definitely agree that to be coming across as begging for it is not good and emasculating, though I don't quite agree with Aequalsa that it is always emasculating to pursue a woman. There is a balance there regarding pursuing and getting replies that show she is interested or she isn't.

Regarding changing your character, that can happen over time, as my character changed once I became an Objectivist. I used to not be outgoing at all, and now I am more outgoing, at least as far as presenting myself to the public via discussion groups and I also have a job where I meet total strangers al of the time, which I could not have done without gaining more self-confidence. I also decided to use my real name when posting, for the most part, because I want to be known for my ideals and my values, and that I am willing to stand up for them.

I don't really think there is necessarily a rule by which one can say the woman must ask first or the man must ask first. In this more modern age, it can go either way. The point is that if you get approached, then make your decision based on what you know about the other as to whether or not you want to go further. All I'm saying is that as you get to know one another better, you can either confirm or deny that original something about her that got you interested -- and in absence of those facts, you can't decide, so maybe it is better not to pursue it further.

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Actually, I don't want people to think that I call and call or email and email someone I had just met or that I had met over the Internet.

I apologize Thomas. I misunderstood your situation. Although I would still suggest that what I said still applies since becoming romantically involved with someone who you previously only knew casually would be similar in the essential respects to someone who you just met. You would be getting to know them in a very different way.

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You're saying that after introspection recognizing that something you are doing is wrong is a perception on par with perceiving the color of an object? I doubt that, that's a complex emotional response to some stimuli which you have perceived and then compared against your values. What you don't have explicitly identified is the value that you are judging that reaction against (neither do I, hence the inquiry) but it is most definitely not a mere perception, unless you are abstractly talking about just perceiving the emotional reaction.

If that's what I meant, that's what I would have said. The initial process of introspection--examining *what* you feel--is perceptual, just like looking at something and saying "it's blue". Did I say that no further analysis was required? No, I simply can't explain HOW I know that I'm angry as opposed to sad any more than I can *explain* how I can tell blue and purple apart. Sheesh.

It seems your saying in the previous statement that you can't know what that standard is because it's a base level perception, but in this statement you are saying that if you do it enough, you will recognize the standard.

Um, NO. The standard isn't a perception. The info you use to determine what the standard IS is a base-level perception.

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If that's what I meant, that's what I would have said. The initial process of introspection--examining *what* you feel--is perceptual, just like looking at something and saying "it's blue". Did I say that no further analysis was required? No, I simply can't explain HOW I know that I'm angry as opposed to sad any more than I can *explain* how I can tell blue and purple apart. Sheesh.

I seriously don’t think anyone is wondering how you know you’re mad or sad or evasive or whatever, if you feel something, it’s a perception. The question all along is WHY do you feel that way (not how do you know you feel that way), HOW do you discover the reasons that feel that way, how OUGHT you feel, and WHAT should you do in order to get yourself to feel the way you OUGHT to feel if it should be something different.

You said initially,

(JMeganSnow @ Jan 9 2009, 04:01 PM)

...but my experience with introspection has shown that I can *tell* when my "I prefer this to that" is actually an evasion based on things like "I'm afraid there might be a lot of work involved"….

So, you can tell through introspection WHEN your reaction to something (preference for or against) is based on something bad (an evasion of hardwork) But…

“I can't really explain *how* I can tell any more than I can explain *how* I can tell that object A is blue instead of purple. It's base-level perception (by introspection instead of extrospection)”

You can’t explain HOW you can tell your reaction to something (preference for or against) is based on something bad

The standard isn't a perception. The info you use to determine what the standard IS is a base-level perception.

If you can’t know the ultimate standard through perception, then you can’t know the info used to determine it through perception either, because that info is also standards you have adopted and integrated. What info do you ‘perceive’ - your feelings? Your feelings are your automatic reactions to the things you perceive and your understanding of those, compared against the things you value. In order to understand your emotional reaction, you must know what it is that you value. But this is not something that is ‘perceived’ a perception is a group of sensations over time in objectivist epistemology, you can perceive your feelings, but not your values. It’s not ‘how do you know’ you are angry vs sad, it’s how do you know that your anger or sadness was based on something bad. You say you simply ‘perceive’ this, or at least the info you use to determine the standard, but you perceive it through introspection. You do not ‘perceive’ things by shutting your eyes, covering your years, a staring at the blank darkness of your minds eye. To understand that something is bad is to know the value you hold that it contradicts, and to recognize and identify clearly why you don’t want to do it, it is not a ‘perception’ it is an explicit identification of something implicit. You perceive your feeling, and through introspection identify the basis for your feeling, but you do not perceive the basis for your feelings, you know them, learn them, or understand them. I don’t think it’s reasonable to call ‘hearing’ a sub vocalized voice in your head which is identifying a value as ‘perception’

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But morality is not just a social construct. Viewing/reducing the concept of morality to a non-agression principle is a libertarian idea and not Objectivists. At the root of objective morality is the self so you would need it even on a deserted island (notice no mooching or force would have been a factor and yet you wouldn't be automatically moral).

The standard is what is in your long term self interest - it is flourishing life proper to a human being.

You apply that standard first and only then from among all the good choices is your enjoyment, your personal preference that should guide you.

True, that is the Libertarian ethic (sorry my libertarian upbringing haunts me occasionally) The root of Objectivist ethics is life qua man, or more precisely life qua man qua YOU, and ethically it is proper to try to live a eudaemonic life. But you would consider someone un-ethical or immoral who is not doing everything possible to live the most flourishing life (to him or her) possible? Personally I'm not sure I would so far as to say that everyone OUGHT to do everything possible to live the most flourishing life possible, though I couldn't quite understand why they wouldn't want to.

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I seriously don’t think anyone is wondering how you know you’re mad or sad or evasive or whatever, if you feel something, it’s a perception. The question all along is WHY do you feel that way (not how do you know you feel that way), HOW do you discover the reasons that feel that way, how OUGHT you feel, and WHAT should you do in order to get yourself to feel the way you OUGHT to feel if it should be something different.

I think what you are trying to say is that emotions are not tools of cognition. It may very well be a clear as daylight what you are feeling (unless you are repressed or evasive), but why you are feeling that emotion may not be clear and requires analysis. The analysis of an emotional state does require perception (or at least memory of a perception) coupled with acknowledging the emotion, and then introspecting to find out what you value system is that gave rise to that emotion for that aspect of reality. That is one reason I am saying that even love is not unquestionable in terms of you have the emotion and therefore you need "no other reason" to be with that person. One's actual value system held subconsciously might be sparked off on something about the other person that may not even be essential to his or her character or sense of life -- it is quite possible, for example, to find someone who's overt cheerfulness leads one to fall in love with them, but if you find out she has that cheerfulness because she doesn't pursue anything that is difficult or because she doesn't really try to solve "the problems of the world" (i.e. say the lack of philosophical questions) and oneself takes those kinds of issues seriously and finds happiness in seeking answers, then those facts are very important to take into consideration. And if one is true to one's values as an explicitly rational man, then her understanding of reason (or lack thereof) and its place in man's life is very important -- regardless of what immediate emotion one feels while viewing her. Over time, and with more information, one's emotions will change, but it is certainly possible to believe one is in love with someone without much facts to go on.

Regarding making yourself into the person you want to be -- i.e. following the discovery, say, of a fictional hero, sure, one has to decide how to get from where you are to being more like that character (provided that character is a rational hero). Similarly, it is possible to be in love with someone and wish one had more skills along the lines of communicating and expressing oneself if the one you love has those to a greater degree than you do. Our character and personality are not really set, though it is not easy to change; and one's sense of life will change as one's explicit philosophy changes (see Miss Rand's article "Philosophy and Sense of Life".) So, for any emotion, even the more fundamental ones like sense of life, understanding the relationship between the facts assessed and those emotions is very important in understanding why one has that emotion; and it is also import in moving towards a life stature goal -- i.e. perhaps wanting to be less shy, for example.

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