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A complicated romance issue

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I haven't responded to this thread in a bit now as I've been trying to take some more time to think on this and sort out exactly what my thoughts, feelings, and concerns are here now. It has been taking me a while to do this and I think I've figured out two reasons why it is difficult for me to say for sure on this issue.

The first reason is something I'm pretty sure isn't entirely rational of me, I know it's not good, but I'm not yet sure exactly how to straighten this issue out and correct it. I think by now after what has gone on lately I feel very guilty over having so badly hurt somebody I care about so much. Now, I know it is pretty normal to end up hurting people you care about now and then even if you really didn't mean to, but this isn't something I'm used to accepting because for most of my life I've been able to maintain a number of friendships, some of them very close even, and I haven't hurt these people - haven't even really fought with them - since I was probably in early elementary school, so I'd gotten used to the idea that if I was just careful and well intentioned and tried to understand the people I care about, then I don't have to end up hurting them. I have tried to act with our best interests in mind and to understand this person I value so much and I've been trying to do the best things I could think of based on what situations I was in and what information and time I had to work with, yet nonetheless I've found myself unwittingly causing great pains to somebody who more than ever I have just wanted to make their life better for my being in it, to be a boon and not a burden, to counteract the pains and help bring his life further into the good, not to contribute further to sending things into the bad. And furthermore some of the things lately which have upset him are things I didn't expect would upset him, or at least not so badly so, and often they have come from when I thought I was doing things to make things better. So now that this still can be happening after so much time trying to understand, it concerns me more than ever if I won't just keep unwittingly making things worse. The general result of this being it hard for me now to figure out exactly how I feel about him because now I have a sense of having no more right to him or even to the positive feelings I've gotten from him before, so they're sort of like they've been locked away and put out of my access anymore almost and so I can't get to them to try to assess their exact nature now. :/ Now, I know it should be up to him who he wants to have around him of course so I'm not about to just run off right away, but it is a real problem on multiple levels that I can't well access and determine my feelings for him because one thing he has definitely told me now is that he doesn't want to end up going through anything similar to all this again so he only wants me staying with him now if I can definitively say by my own standards that I love him now.

Now to the second complicating issue. I've been asked before why I cared about the explicit philosophic positions of somebody so much in romance and I've given some explanation about not wanting to see them hurting themself and this is certainly true. Thinking on it more though I think an even bigger concern for me is that because this is something which is so big in my life I think if I could never have a strong connection with at least somebody else who shares this with me that I'd always feel a little lonely. And I don't really think just a regular friendship with somebody I shared this with would quite cut it to solve this for me. Now, first off with this there is that I don't know that this loneliness would necessarily be something I couldn't just deal with, but second off, there's another reason even then which even if I really needed this wouldn't necessarily mean he and I could not well be together, but that's another issue I don't want to get off topic discussing, so just know that there is a reason even then it doesn't necessarily mean doom for us. This just is a bit of something making this harder to figure out because I think as long as that aspect goes unfulfilled for me that I see that and it makes it harder for me to appreciate the other person for who and what they are as is. At this moment, I don't know that I necessarily can say I have so much of an issue with this person I care for as they are not sharing this philosophy so much as that I just lack at all having that role filled for me and so maybe I sort of hold it against him for not providing me with that right now as the closest of people to me basically. Hmm . . .

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Hi Bluecherry,

I wanted to respond to your last post because it seems that you've been doing a lot of introspection on the issue and the two items you've come up with are very essential and core items to deal with. In fact, I think your second item is an extremely important item for you to make a decision around, and it seems you're having trouble sorting it out.

First, as to guilt for hurting someone. This guilt may be valid or invalid. That is, it's possible that the situation is such that you should not feel guilt for what you have done, and also the reverse. THe desire you have, to "try to make things better" is generally a good one. But it can lead to actions that coudl be considered meddling. It really depends on the situation. The thing we can't control in a situation is someone else's response to our actions. You may have taken actions that are reasonable and the person may be responding irrationally. If so, then you have to sort out the situation to realize that you should not be feeling guilty. However, the actions you were taking, even though motivated by good intentions might have reasonably hurt the other person and they are responding rationally. In this case, you've let your desire to be a good influence get away with you and you need to understand what you're doing is not right. In order to decide which situation you have, one would have to know more about the details of the situation.

As to your second item, this is far more critical. You are having feelings of loneliness because your partner doesn't share and recognize key values that you hold. This raises a very important principle in relationships, that of "psychological visibility". That lonliness will prevent the relationship from being a full value to you, and it is a valid feeling. In a relationship that lasts, two things must occur, a. each party must value the other, and b. each party must feel valued or "visible" as a result. This must happen for both parties, and a, and b are not necessarily mutual. I wrote a little bit about this awhile ago, and you can find it under point 3 in this post. If feelings of invisibility persist and they very well might, the relationship will not work. You will continue to feel lonely, and you will eventually develop negative feelings about it, as you've described. If it continues this is one of those things where you must develop a sense of self-esteem and recognize your need for visibility. It's perfectly possible that you value him and he feels valued (visible) and he values you, yet you don't feel valued. In which case you are not gettign what you need from the relationship and you need to say so, and possibly end it. It is not his fault then. It simply is. But this aspect, visibility is a crucial aspect to resolve. It is how our values translate into long lasting durable feelings of love.

Edited by KendallJ
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  • 2 weeks later...

I've been busy and on a trip for the past week or so, so I haven't been able to give as much thought to this as I'd like yet, but I just got a message from this person now saying with some things going on in his life he really needs me to try to get this figured out soon, so I'm trying to hurry up some.

As to the guilt, I don't know if I'm over that entirely, but he's told me by now and with other things that have gone on that I'm forgiven for the things that have happened which have hurt him. He's pretty sure by now that a lot of what has happened which has been hurtful has been the result of me acting in circumstances which are like things that have happened to him before and he knows he's ended up doing some unwise things in such cases too, so he can sort of understand that way and not see it as too terrible of me.

To the other point, he has told me that if it would help me and allow me to be comfortable in the relationship that he is willing to get to know and understand the philosophy as much as he can and thus make it something I could at least discuss with him well and have him understand me better and its influence in my life even if he doesn't come to accept it himself. I'm . . . presently unsure if this on its own would be sufficient or not . . . I've got to give him credit for sure at least to say I know he really cares about me that he'd be that dedicated to doing this much to try to make things work for us and that does mean a lot to me, though I'm still not sure yet if not both sharing that value would still make it not enough . . .

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What are you doing? Skip, I'm an adult and not just barely either. Nobody coerced me. They know better than to try to play psychologist to somebody they are close to and have no tried to do anything more for me than somebody who is close to you and cares about you normally could, no mind games or anything like that. There is nothing criminal here and I am a competent person to make decisions for myself, not an abused child.

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All I have to add to this thread before I wash my hands of this is a minor statement and all of its major implications. What bluecherry refers to when she says he 'cares about me,' is his willingness to not only force bluecherry herself (who looks and acts like she's 16) into a sexual relationship with not only himself but another woman who he was involved with beforehand. But also, to act as her psychologist while he screws the kid. This is not an insult, this is factual matter that can (and should) be verified by the police. I regret my (nonsexual, and mostly virtual) involvement with the kid, and hope that someone else reading this thread can do what I have only come to feel bitter and sick about with no possibility of action. Action like, prosecution of the criminal she will continue to fall back to.

What are you talking about?

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BlueCherry,

In your original post, you mentioned that the guy you're seeing has psychological issues. Fair enough, if they're within reason. However, the thing that jumped out like a red flag was your judgement that switching to a "just friends" relationship could somehow be physically dangerous to you. In my judgement, if you have a real reason to be fearful in that way, however slight, you should end this right now. As Jennifer said in her reply, his problems are his. In other words, he is not your patient. The world is so full of good guys; why choose someone from the bottom of the barrel.

Edited by softwareNerd
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softwareNerd, such is a moot point by now I think given I've now been told I am not to try to be with him again unless I could be fine with even if he never agreed with Objectivism and so that takes away any reason for a waiting period anyway, that waiting period as friends being where there could have been some issue.

Skip, nobody is forcing my hand here. I'm writing for myself on my own convictions. (Or in some cases, my own lack of convictions.)

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There seems to be only one real issue that I can identify: you're dating someone with conditions. The excuse that you "haven't gotten around to" reading the objectivist works that are important to you together is invalid. You've had 2.5 years. If it were that important, I'm sure you both could have made time. The fact that he hasn't gone out of his way to read them alone (while you're still dating) is significant as well. It sends a message that either 1) your wishes aren't that important to him or 2) he doesn't care to learn that much about objectivism.

If you choose to only date someone who is an objectivist, that's fine. However, attempting to mold someone INTO an objectivist is not. It has to be undertaken freely, otherwise it's analagous to forced religious conversion. Not only that, but you should be prepared for the fact that he may not be the TYPE of objectivist you want. As this forum clearly demonstrates, all objectivists are not equal and they disagree on a lot of major topics. Additionally, there are many people who only embrace part of objectivism or who agree with only a few of its principles. They're not objectivists in the true sense, but there's a good chance this person you're dating could be in that category.

It seems to me that there's too much work going into this whole thing. It shouldn't be that hard if you both agree. I think there's a level of appeasement going on here and that will lead to the other person resenting you. You're not embracing them for who they are, you're embracing them conditionally on who you want them to BECOME. Not to say you shouldn't have standards, but those standards should be met through common interest, not prodding and threats from you.

As a man who has been rejected by, and is friends with, far more women than I have ever dated or probably will ever date, I can attest to most men not wanting to REALLY be friends with women who turn them down. They don't get the concept of total rejection with no possibility of parole :P I agree with the other posters who said that there's almost no way this could work as a friendship, even temporarily, after 2.5 years. Under those conditions, I would EXPECT him to resent you because you're sending a thinly-veiled message that "You're not good enough. Once you embrace what I want you to embrace, then you're welcome back into my good graces." I think it would be beneficial to stop trying to nudge him towards a goal he clearly hasn't embraced.

You've had enough time to make a decision. Either accept him for what he is or don't.

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Yeah, but as I said up a couple posts, by now he only wants me back if I could be fine even if he never really agreed with Objectivism anymore. So that's no longer an issue of possible resentment over me being seen as trying to force him into anything. Right now I think it is largely an issue of me trying to figure out (as quickly as I can) if I could be satisfied without him ever agreeing with Objectivism and if just the rest of the stuff I treasure about him could be sufficient to keep me happy for as long as we could both could be around each other. There is one more minor element to this equation I'm trying to sort out in my mind too which maybe could tip the balance, but that's pretty much the issue at hand.

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Yeah, but as I said up a couple posts, by now he only wants me back if I could be fine even if he never really agreed with Objectivism anymore. So that's no longer an issue of possible resentment over me being seen as trying to force him into anything. Right now I think it is largely an issue of me trying to figure out (as quickly as I can) if I could be satisfied without him ever agreeing with Objectivism and if just the rest of the stuff I treasure about him could be sufficient to keep me happy for as long as we could both could be around each other. There is one more minor element to this equation I'm trying to sort out in my mind too which maybe could tip the balance, but that's pretty much the issue at hand.

Sounds like you have the situation well in hand then. Just as a opinion, I don't think anyone NEEDS to agree with whatever philosophy you embrace for the two of you to be happy. You may PREFER to date an objectivist, but the argument that you couldn't make a relationship work unless you were both objectivists is a weak one.

I would examine why your significant other being objectivist is so important to you. Say you were dating some religious zealot. It would be pretty hard to respect that person if they thought you were a filthy sinner who deserved to burn in hell for all eternity because you didn't embrace their faith. The same goes for being too strict with objectivism. Do you not respect this man as a person because he's not objectivist? Whatever this guy sees in you, whatever he loves you for, it's clearly independent of your objectivist views. Even if your objectivism is what is responsible for who you are, it's still indirect to him. You could take the objectivism out of your life and he'd still love you, regardless of HOW you got to be the way you are.

Now, the challenge for you is to determine what you love about HIM. Whatever it is, it didn't appear because he was an objectivist. I doubt if he ever was. So, in the abscence of objectivist thought, he still was and is a person who has many great things in him that you treasure. To hold stubbornly onto objectivist dogma at this point would be silly. You keep your beliefs, he keeps his. If you're both open-minded, intelligent people, you can at least mutually respect each other's right to your respective views, even if you don't agree with them.

There's plenty of people who are completely happy with each other and who see the world very differently. I keep coming back to religion, but there are believers who marry aethesists, muslims who marry christians, agnostics who marry objectivists, and all other combination of relationships that would never work out on paper. The point is, no matter how tightly you embrace your personal philosophy, there's more to life than that. They're just GUIDELINES so that you can reach whatever potential you posess in a way that makes you fulfilled. That's why philosophy is relative. It doesn't matter HOW you attain fulfillment, just that you attain it. You're not selling out because you're with someone who doesn't think the same way you do. There's truth to the old adage "opposites attract." That's how it became and old adage :P

There must have been instances in your relationship where the two of you were completely living in the moment, not thinking about philosophy or the future or anything but the immediate present. Philosophy didn't matter right then. Now it's about how the two of you make each other feel and whether you want to continue that or not.

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Say you were dating some religious zealot. It would be pretty hard to respect that person if they thought you were a filthy sinner who deserved to burn in hell for all eternity because you didn't embrace their faith. The same goes for being too strict with objectivism.

Firstly, this reminds me of Ayn Rand's "extremism: the art of smearing" lecture. But, I guess to have a good understanding of what you mean, you would have to explain if you are attaching a moral connotation to consistency and if so, why.

IF you are indeed implying consistency as the vice, and advocating "shades of grey" as it were in this view, then the same absolutely does not go for being "too strict" with Objectivism. You are discounting the fact that Objectivism is based entirely on reason, while religion is based entirely on non-reason.

To hold stubbornly onto objectivist dogma at this point would be silly.

What dogma would this be?

There's plenty of people who are completely happy with each other and who see the world very differently. I keep coming back to religion, but there are believers who marry aethesists, muslims who marry christians, agnostics who marry objectivists, and all other combination of relationships that would never work out on paper. The point is, no matter how tightly you embrace your personal philosophy, there's more to life than that. They're just GUIDELINES so that you can reach whatever potential you posess in a way that makes you fulfilled. That's why philosophy is relative.

I disagree. You don't say to your lover "I love you, but I don't agree with (or don't regard as important or significant) any/most of the values that you hold important, or I don't regard them as important....but I still love you anyway for your own good or because you deserve it or because we share some non-essential values, or for no particular reason at all (except that it has nothing to do with the things you value in life or regard as important)". That sounds like a very insulting and disingenuous way to tell someone you care about them. What would you expect a man or a woman to say in response to a message, whether explicit or implicit, like this?

It doesn't matter HOW you attain fulfillment, just that you attain it.

So, are you saying that "the ends justify the means"?

You're not selling out because you're with someone who doesn't think the same way you do. There's truth to the old adage "opposites attract." That's how it became and old adage :)

I think there's more to that statement. "Opposites attract, at first. Then they repel." But, many times it doesn't work like that at all.....relationships are based on common values. The more important the values, the stronger the potential relationship. No values = no relationship. Why would you be friends with someone while explicitly or implicitly discounting or outright disagreeing with their highest values? Why would they want to be friends with you?

There must have been instances in your relationship where the two of you were completely living in the moment, not thinking about philosophy or the future or anything but the immediate present. Philosophy didn't matter right then. Now it's about how the two of you make each other feel and whether you want to continue that or not.

That's the illusion - that it doesn't matter. But it does matter. "Living in the moment" all the time requires context dropping. What's the context? Your life. Not 30 seconds, 30 days or 3 months into the future, but 30, 40, 50 years or more depending on your age. If you spend too much time "living in the moment" and ignore the future, you're shortchanging yourself and the other person. People need to think long range. The longer the range, the better :)

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Thanks to both of the above people for responding - shadesofgrey for putting the effort in in general and prosperity for addressing already what I found troubling in shadesofgrey's post now that I've gotten to read all of it.

Anyway, to get to my next thought here. I am definitely not convinced that everybody who supports Objectivism necessarily is doing anything in any way wrong by having people who don't support Objectivism for mates. However, for as long as I've known about Objectivism generally I've never really understood exactly how these other people have sort of reconciled I guess to themselves that they are committed to what they can expect will be a permanent romantic relationship with somebody who does not share with them this large value. Based on the nature of romance and the importance of philosophy I just haven't gotten how that really works for people. :)

I've explained some things earlier about why I'd see Objectivism as valuable to have in a mate - having it available to help that mate in their own welfare, having them better able to understand and interact with me, having more things for us to share and bond in in activities and sentiments.

There are indeed many things of value to me in this other person, many of them optional personal values, sense of life issues, and also many of the things generally being very close to beliefs and values in Objectivism. However not everything fits with it so well and it doesn't have the same amount of integration as a real consciously held philosophy. I've said how I wondered about if I could never have as part of my life that deep of a connection with somebody who shared such a large value with me as Objectivism is for me if I may still feel a little lonely at least on some level. And as somebody else said to me a few days ago on the subject, to know you are well aware of and mean the same thing when you say you love each other can be something very special.

I also would really value that somebody could love me for the same kinds of things that I love about myself, that they could treasure my commitment to understanding and integrating this philosophy into my life for furthering my well being and life in general -- as opposed to being loved in spite of or without much consideration of this. Sort of like how where art and romance are seen as having similarities through involving sense of life I'm reminded of Dagny speaking to Richard Halley in the valley and how he speaks of wanting her to hear his music in particular and how he values that she likes his music because it isn't valuable to him just that people like his music in general, it's that he wants somebody who can understand it and like it for the same reasons he does. Now, on the up side and largely part of why I haven’t left before, I do know though that this person I care for does value a lot of the same things I do value about myself, including much of what ties into my philosophic positions.

I'm a little unsure of what to make of things here because he does want to even get to know the philosophy for what impact the philosophy has on me as that can help him then be better able to deal with me and not misinterpret things and he even from what he's seen of it so far (not so much, no book length readings have been done or anything like that) thinks its a fine philosophy, but so far he seems to conclude that a philosophy like this (or maybe philosophies in general) is really just helpful to some people who need the extra guidance and that he's totally fine without it and that it would just be something unnecessary and cumbersome for him, just slowing him down. :); I'm not sure if maybe after serious examination he'd change his mind or not about that point, but I've decided I should go about making my decision here based on the assumption of him not doing so and just never seeing Objectivism as anything that could actually be good for him, since anyway I've got to decide now if I could love him exactly as he already is. This is an oddly frustrating point to be in -- somebody here thinks the philosophy is all fine and well, just that they're one of some special ones who are good enough that they don't need it and it would just be a hindrance to make themselves bother with it. (I know Rand has whole write ups on why everybody needs philosophy, but I know also that there's really not going to be time soon even to show him this stuff to see what his reaction would be toward that. He's REALLY busy right now.)

So I'd like to ask here now how people who do support and strongly see the value of Objectivism deal with - both in their thoughts/view and their actions - having intended permanent romantic partners who they have strong reason to believe will never also see the correctness and/or value of Objectivism (to you and/or them and/or human people in general.)

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So I'd like to ask here now how people who do support and strongly see the value of Objectivism deal with - both in their thoughts/view and their actions - having intended permanent romantic partners who they have strong reason to believe will never also see the correctness and/or value of Objectivism (to you and/or them and/or human people in general.)

This is a tough one that I've personally struggled with for many years. Do you get what you think you can out of the other person and settle into the idea that "this is the best I can find"? Or, do you keep searching, knowing full well that it could potentially lead you to a life of solitude in terms of romance. How valuable is romance in your life, and is it worth the risk?

What I found with my past relationships is that I could only admire, or love, the other person "down to a certain point". There were always fundamental differences, usually religion. I found that I was really running up against the wall of altruism. I just could not find an Objectivist, let alone an Objectivist that would also have a personality that complemented mine. Fortunately, I don't have that problem anymore.

I think it's perfectly OK (from a moral standpoint) to date non-Objectivists as long as you keep in mind that the probability of it becoming a long-term, deeply romantic and satisfying, relationship is nil (or pretty darn close). Kendall hit on a very good point. You have to value the other person and you have to feel valued or "visible". At some point, you have to face the very real (and likely) possibility that you will discover where their flaws are, and you'll have to make a choice about leaving (or the relationship will end) and start over again, or trying to get them interested in Oism. How do you reconcile that they'll never (or may never) see "eye to eye"? Well, you look for the best in them and focus on that. Just realize that if you are being honest with yourself, the feeling of love and admiration for this person is likely only going to go "so far" unless something happens and they decide to choose O'ism as their philosophy. I say that not because I think you should be searching out "titles", or because Objectivism is "magical", but because of what is common among people who choose Objectivism as their philosophy. I think the philosophy brings out the best in a person, helps them define themselves, and gives them the tools required for genuine self-esteem. Just be mindful that you can't "convert" anyone. You can show them everything, try to convince them to get interested, but in the end, accepting the philosophy is something that has to be initiated by the individual.

Personally, I found the process of dating non-O'ists unsatisfying and emotionally draining.

Edited by prosperity
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I don't know whether or not it will be helpful, but Dr. Peikoff was asked about this issue, generally, in one of his podcasts, Episode 15 -- May 19, 2008.

The question asked of him was: "Should an Objectivist pursue a serious romantic relationship with a Christian? A few weeks ago an Objectivist friend of mine informed me that his girlfriend expressed profound disappointment with his atheism, but nevertheless my friend said that they try to co-exists with their philosophical differences because of his strong feelings he has from her. This is a very serious relationship; they are talking about marriage. What would you advise him?"

It's the second question in the podcast, and starts at about 4:30.

Edited by Trebor
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To bluecherry:

In love, the self is celebrated, not denied, abandoned, or sacrificed.

The purpose of romantic love is, among other things, to celebrate self-esteem, not to create it in those who lack it.

(These come from Nathaniel Branden).

I'll add that there are 3 words in "I love you" --- understand these words fully before you bring Objectivism into your relationship.

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There's another one as well. In his podcast, Episode 62 -- May 18, 2009, Dr. Peikoff responds to:

["This gentleman's girlfriend wants to marry him."] "The girl is Christian and very liberal, and the issues of atheism and politics are very important to me, so I want to be married to someone who agrees with me. Assuming I could pursuade her, is it right to mold my girlfriend into believing what I believe, and what would it say about her if she alters her values just because she wants to marry me?"

Go to 10:30 in the podcast.

Edited by Trebor
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To bluecherry:

In love, the self is celebrated, not denied, abandoned, or sacrificed.

The purpose of romantic love is, among other things, to celebrate self-esteem, not to create it in those who lack it.

(These come from Nathaniel Branden).

I'll add that there are 3 words in "I love you" --- understand these words fully before you bring Objectivism into your relationship.

Good point, and I'll ask a question that takes it a step further.

You say that he is willing to learn about O'ism in order to understand you, and that there are many things you do like about him.

That sounds almost as perfect as you could get in a non-O'ist.

So what if he was perfect in EVERY way, except for his unwillingness to embrace O'ism? Would you still have this demillia? Or is this the only problem you have?

If this is the only problem you have with him, then I have to ask where the problem is. He seems to be bending over backwards to try to understand you on your terms, and to try to work with you. I know O'ists who would not do as much as you describe in order to come to know another person.

Furthermore, I'd ask are you meeting him halfway, trying to get to know him? Or are you forcing him to do all the work in order to make the relationship work?

If everything about him was perfect except his personal following of O'ism, (and I'm not saying that it is) but you still could not be with him, then I suspect your love of O'ism itself may trump your love for any human. If so, you will always have a problem getting to love a non-Oist, and even many O'ists who do not agree with your EXACT views of O'ism.

If your love of O'ism keeps you from finding happiness with a person who is otherwise perfect, then there is something wrong with your view of O'ism, as it is causing you to give up on being happy. If that is the case, You have to look for where you went wrong, or realize that you may be out of relationships for a long time to come.

Now, this person is not perfect (or so I assume from what you said.) so there are more issues there. Those issues may be the deciding factor(s), and his unwillingness to "convert" to O'ism (pardon the religious sound of that please) may play a role as well, but I cannot see how that unwillingness alone can make or break your relationship potential, given all he is willing to do to give you the visibility you need, unless you do love O'ism more than the person you are to be with.

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  • 1 month later...

For the “tl;dr” version, you can try skipping down to the sentence I’ve put between asterisks.

I’ve left this thread alone for awhile now in hopes that somebody eventually would offer some answers to my earlier question on how others have handled, both in thought and practice, having mates who do not share their support of Objectivism. It looks like that request of information will remain unanswered though. :( I’ve spent time now, among some other things, trying to assess on my own without any examples how I might deal with this and what exactly dealing with this would entail.

Earlier I’d been told rather simply that he wanted me back only on the condition that I could love him even if he never came to share my support of the philosophy. The first thing thinking upon this brought up for me was that it was difficult for me to answer this question in part because I didn’t think I could just immediately and all at once change over to full on loving him; we haven’t had for quite a while as much experience together as we used to have and over the past several months much has happened to damage the closeness and warmth we’ve shared. This has left a sort of injury that needs proper time and attention to heal first before we could try to go on ahead further.

So, this lead to altering the requirement a little to now be that I would be wanted back only if I could assure him that I *could* love him even if he never came to share my support of Objectivism. I didn’t need to love him right away, just be able to say that I would. I went on to try to keep mulling over how and if I could eventually manage that, thinking upon the subject as best as I could from the standpoint of what I would think of the subject had it been presented to me back during the best of times between us prior to our bond taking a beating. There were still some things complicating this question for me though and I hadn’t finished sorting that out when one conversation took a bit of a sudden turn on the issue. It was clarified to me that part of why it was being so strongly insisted to me that I would only be wanted back if I would love him was not just for the good feelings of that in itself basically, but because he believed that as long as I loved him then it was secured that he wouldn’t have to worry about being left due to anything to do with anybody else. He figured if I loved him then I would have to care too much about hurting him to do anything else which could again result in hurting him like in these past several months, namely possibly breaking up with him because of something aside from, to put it briefly but a bit roughly, me personally finding there was something about our relationship I’d made a mistake about. I mentioned I thought I would care too much about somebody I loved to ever stay with them out of what seemed to amount to pity here, staying when it isn’t about seeing them as so right for you, but instead because you thought it would hurt them if you left and maybe they couldn’t handle that well. Somehow this lead into I think it was possibly an objection of it not being just pity because . . . ah, it was something that lead into the idea that as somebody you loved they were as much as you could ever personally value somebody. He was then HIGHLY disturbed to find out that unlike him (though I’ve tried to make this clear to him before) I don’t have just a “yes” or “no” when it comes to love for one thing, that I can love somebody more or less than somebody else possibly. The fact that he would be lacking something I would really like to have in romance then lead him to the greatly shaken and worried conclusion that at any time he could be left for somebody who had all he did of my values but also shared my support of Objectivism even if I did love him.

So this lead to a new adaption of the criteria to make his goal more explicit, namely that he didn’t just want to know that he would be loved, but that I would not be leaving him for somebody else possibly later on. Both of those parts of the criteria seemed to strongly rest upon one issue which I’ve really been thinking over a lot lately, namely the issue of my romantic criteria. I have a pretty short list of things I’ve been wanting in people romantically and all of them hold importance and aren’t just stupid, petty little things. They are all either things which if not met would make it impossible in practice for me to be with somebody or else they are very deeply intertwined in matters of who I am which if the other person couldn’t deal well with would make it so they couldn’t relate well with me and/or I couldn’t relate well with them. That I had a pretty short list of things and none of which were trivial had made me conclude that I should have a pretty reasonable standard here. However, I’ve come to find more and more that though I knew my list was composed of a number of unpopular positions, they seem to be not only maybe even more unpopular than I’d at first thought, they are even much more difficult to find any of them together. The result of this being that I now wonder if maybe I really don’t have a realistic criteria after all. Looking back over my criteria though, there’s only one thing on there which if not met wouldn’t make it down and outright impossible immediately for me to be with somebody regardless of how much we may otherwise like each other: the shared support of Objectivism. If I can’t get everything on the list, then all but that one is the best thing around for me. In addition to this, due to personal long history which has lead me to being used to being able to count on the people I care about being there, I do not handle the idea of losing people I care about well at all. If I came to care that deeply, I’d be very averse to losing him, probably to the point of wanting to avoid future romantic considerations of anybody new anyway to ensure stability in my connection to such a strong value. So, this much put his mind more at ease about hypothetical “better” people for me coming along and having me just run off.

As for the earlier part of the criteria about loving him, that lead down still further curious paths. First is the matter that, as stated earlier, I don’t need to love him right away. Next, I haven’t yet entirely sorted out still if I could love somebody who doesn’t share my value of Objectivism, but he does seem to be the best any other human being could be suited for me, lacking mostly only one thing and sharing still a number of contained individual convictions from that one thing and wanting to come to learn about it to understand and support me. So then there’s also the fact that the love issue was being required of me really in the first place to ensure I wouldn’t be running off, so now I think if I understand correctly the requirement of me to be accepted again is now that I should be willing to give it the best try I can to love him, but if I can’t, as long as it’s as much as I could care about any other human being, then this will be sufficient to meet what he would ask of me to be with him again.

I seem to have come to something odd and maybe a little troubling to think of here. **What if I’ve really got a standard of requirements for love that no other real person could meet?** This may not make me unable to be with this other person here now perhaps, but I have to wonder if there isn’t something rather . . . messed up with me maybe just in the idea that I might have standards that can’t be met. How does one go about fixing something such as this that they know is messed up? And until or unless it is fixed, what should/could one do? I tried before asking about how others deal with loving non-supporters of Objectivism wandering if maybe I could learn how to make it a non-issue. Since he does plan to try to learn about it a lot I have hoped many misunderstandings related to the issue may stop happening at least, though that still doesn’t cover how to deal with the simple fact of the difference between me valuing Objectivism personally and him just valuing me and so learning about it to support his value of me, not personally sharing the value with me. I may be making too much of an issue of this perhaps, but even if so, that doesn’t in itself lead me to an answer of how to put that issue aside. So, any possible ideas on this stuff? ^^;

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  • 2 weeks later...

Been thinking more and had some more thoughts, as thinking tends to generate those things. My questions and issues from the last post still stand, this is just an addendum. More exploration on the reason(s) behind why I may hold a desire to have my overall philosophic convictions shared in anybody I’d have for a mate.

I went to my first classes of the semester yesterday. One of them was a class on the workings of language. During that class the teacher spoke about how as children we can learn many of the general rules about what will become our native language (and other languages perhaps too at a young enough age) just by listening without much keeping track of the rules explicitly. Consequently there’s all kinds of things we know about how our language works, but that are much more difficult for us to explain what we’re doing and why. We did some exercises where we could all petty easily tell what to do to finish making some sentences into questions, but then the harder part was to go on and explain the rules we followed to arrive at our answers. Since this was expected to be a little difficult for us to do on our first class anyway (the exercises were mainly to make us more aware of just how much about our language we take for granted) and because I seem to have a number of oddities and difficulties with grammar that I’d like to work on, I was a bit proud of myself when I was doing pretty well figuring out what the exact steps were involved we’d been taking to get our answers. This made me a little happy, but then I had another thought that kind of brought me down some.

I had the thought that if I tried to tell this person I’ve been discussing in this thread about my experience in class that I’m sure he’d say that was nice, but he wouldn’t grasp the significance in the same way I did or some other people would. It may seem to him a silly little thing to be proud of, though he’d still be glad for me just that I had something that made me happy and I’d gotten a single, small victory in an area of difficulty for me. While I recognize too that it was a small accomplishment I had, I still see it as worth being a little excited and proud about because of the greater overall significance of this topic to my life. The obvious first thing is that as somebody who wants to write professionally eventually, getting a better handle on the mechanics of the language I’ll be writing in is useful in that are. Second of all though I can see how a better grasp of handling language can help me in keeping my own thoughts flowing well and in better being able to made myself understood by others. I see more connections is why I see more significance to some small accomplishments and hence why I get more excitement and pride from certain things than other people who see them as more disconnected, isolated things would.

This brought me back to another thought I’d had before, but viewing it in a little different way now. When I first came across Objectivism, seeing it was largely like playing connect the dots for me. I largely had the right basic ideas already, but their connections and interdependence hadn’t stood out to me so well, especially not exactly how those connections and interdependence worked. That brought me back to remembering how I’d long noted how much this other person was like myself before I came across Objectivism. So now I can see some problems here of what it is like for the me of now dealing with somebody who is like the me of before. That in itself is one difficulty. However, furthermore it brought up something else.

Central conclusive issue: So, he’s like me before I came across Objectivism and I’m to make the assumption he’ll never be going down the kind of philosophic path I took after that. In romance one is supposed to be with their equal. So then, am I to infer I really have not made much progress in all this time if my equal is essentially like myself before I knew of Objectivism? And if that is not so, then since I know nobody else’s nature can just on its own bring the quality of me down, then am I to assume that I have earned something which I’ll never be getting? I don’t want to look down on him or hold it against him if in his best effort he still doesn’t end up quite grasping validity to Objectivism in general as a full system, but I maybe might feel like if I’ve earned a certain thing in my character and will never get that additional credit to who I am returned in kind in an area about equals, then there may be a little sense of injustice there perhaps? :/

Edited by bluecherry
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*grumbles about lack of edit button on older posts necessitating three posts in a row*

An addendum to the addendum I suppose. I manage to define my problems better bit by bit, but unfortunately it has thus far not helped much to get me toward a solution.

[more background] I've noticed of late that I've been starting to get a sort of vague dread, something of a feeling like being trapped when it comes to this issue. I never used to have any such sense when it came to our relationship. I have always wanted to be with him and wanted to continue being with him as long as we can both cling to existence. I still don’t want to lose him, yet I feel like there would be a sort of . . . something like a pit of some very sticky substance I’d be wandering into and find myself ensnared in. So I tried to think about where this could be coming from, that I could want to be around somebody yet still feel like somehow there was something of a sense of being trapped. One of the key things about this sense of the entrapment was that this metaphor of a trap only worked to reflect my feeling if the trap met certain features, it had to be one which involved an inability to make much of any kind of progress in spite of my great efforts against what was acting as a restraint. [/more background]

So what I figured out that this may relate to is an issue of progressing, of growth. Individually I think we could each grow still of course and that we could be supportive of each other in our separate endeavors. (Exactly how supportive he could be for me I don’t know, I couldn’t really know until we already had gone through with the readings and discussion on Objectivism for me to find out what his sort of final conclusion on that will be and so since he won’t be doing that at least until or unless I decide to stay with him, I may never know or have to take almost a shot in the dark, or at least in a VERY foggy, dreary mess.) However, though I think we could each individually do some growing still, I'm concerned as I think it would be more like we were growing regardless of each other or even in spite of each other rather than going on to grow together. I really like the idea of being able to grow together in romance, to have common aims and desires. I like the idea of somebody in romance who not only won’t try to hold you back, not only will support you, but they will also serve to be an inspirational drive to you to further want to go farther, do more, do better, do sooner and you to likewise serve to be the same inspiring drive for them. So now I worry such a thing won’t happen with us.

I think I didn’t have this sense of it being a trap for me before because I thought we would come to share this overall integrated philosophic system and so we would end up with some more significant shared aims and going together and driving each other farther. Now I worry that much as we may like each other’s company at any point, we’re still heading off on our own in different directions and the “we” here is not really going anywhere at all. Instead of going farther and being a driving force for each other, we may now serve at best, in regard to this issue, to heal up each other some when we’ve gotten worn down along our lonely travails. While having somebody you can enjoy in good times and can help you when you’ve been knocked down is still really nice, I’m a little bugged by this thought because that sounds more like how I think of what friends should be like, at least in regard to this issue. >_<

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  • 1 month later...

Yeah, yeah, old thread is old. Nobody is making you read this though. You are free to move along. I know well that by now I’m mostly just talking to myself, thinking aloud, storing a kind of record of a (very, very slowly) developing train of thought here. So, moving along . . .

“Why me?” It’s at least a sort of stupid question on the surface, I know. I don’t mean it the way that question is typically used though. I’m asking why I in particular seem like I may be stuck on needing another O’ist when it comes to mates when other O’ists don’t. I know I’ve come up with the reasons that I’m bugged about relationships with those who are not and will not be O’ists, however nobody else who evidently does not have these problems has not come along to kindly explain to me why they are not so plagued by them. So I haven’t been able to figure out what I could do to just render the issue moot. So I’m still trying to tackle the issue differently, hence taking the approach of trying to figure out what’s the difference between me and those other people who aren’t bothered. What really eats at me here, nagging me, is that I’ve heard something that makes sense to me to be where people who have their lives particularly caught up in the philosophy itself are the ones who have reason to be more interested in other O’ism supporters being their mates because otherwise they’ve got a much bigger mess on their hands than others would have trying to sort out their differences with a non-O’ist mate. It makes sense to me and seems to be how things play out generally and it is the case that there’s nothing which says it is at all wrong for somebody who supports O’ism to be with non-O’ism supporters. And yet, here I am having such a hard time with this and I don’t seem to have so much of who I am centered around dealing with the philosophy itself more than most of these other people who are fine with non-O’ism supporting mates. I’m not a professional philosopher nor am I somebody involved in a lot of activism or running any clubs about Objectivism or anything else like that. I don’t think either that it is the case that I just take the philosophy more seriously than all these other people. Plenty of them seem more knowledgeable about it then I am and at least as committed to trying to live by it. Surely the issue is not that they are any less ambitious than I am. Some, maybe, but I doubt that is the case with most. It’s not like I’m Rand or Galt setting out to do achievements as monumental as theirs on the one hand while on the other hand it is quite uncommon you’d find somebody who supports O’ism but really would never aspire to do much of anything since that wouldn’t fit in very well with rationally seeking your long term best interests.

What is a bit different about me though is that I’m, well, a bit different. Yes, I know, nobody is really quite “normal,” but this is almost a sort of trademark issue for me in a way. It seems to be both my strength and my weakness. That I already have so many other additional unusual things about what somebody else would have to want in me and which I would want in somebody else makes it all the more extremely, nigh on absurdly, limiting to want to be trying to find somebody within the pool bloated puddle of people who share my support of Objectivism. It may be the case that looking for all this crap in anybody else could mean I’ve ruled out the entire rest of the world. I really just might be the only one with all these things about me that I’m looking for. If that were the case, it would leave me in a rather unusual spot - I’m the only one who meets my criteria for love, so then how do I go on and readjust to loving myself in the new light of the fact that it is that very thing of what is myself which ensures I will never again find anybody else to love and will always be feeling a little lonely deep down? Whole ‘nother tangled mess there. (And this should not be taken to mean I think I’m bad, I don’t, just the fact that what I am is not wrong doesn’t mean it hasn’t left me with a problem on my hands.)

It’s a tiny shred of something to consider, but when you’ve been mired on an issue this long, any bit of a potential lead is something that you won’t want to let go too easily. I’ve had a bit of a thought about if perhaps, damning as it may be, the very fact of how odd I am already is precisely what would drive me to want somebody who shares my support of Objectivism. (If so, I am in a real pickle alright on figuring out what and how to change to try to deal with this because the root of the difficulty is in something that is rather ingrained in who I am.) The thought is that I’ve noticed a lot of the things which are the basic issues of Objectivism already seem old hat to me. Most of the time, I’m not all that interested in going over issues like why free markets are good, why religion is bad, what is the nature of “good” and “bad” anyway, why theft is not selfish, why we don’t need to worry that we’re all unable to perceive the real reality, that kind of stuff. That stuff is all so well established to me and stuff which tends to be a real pain in the ass to discuss with anybody else if they don’t seem to get what you have to say relatively quickly. I wouldn’t at all assume if somebody doesn’t get it before I get bored discussing it with them that it means they’ll never get it, but I often find then it is much less likely my efforts will bear fruit and so now I’m bored AND unlikely to gain anything aside from yet more argument practice on the same old issues. It just stops seeming like the expenditure is worth the reward. What interests me much more is the less explored issues building off all that stuff which is old hat to me by now. I like the freshness, the other stuff is stale to me. Done to death almost from where I stand. I like seeing things that look like they perhaps are going forward on to something new instead of getting stuck covering the old ground again and again and not really ever moving forward much.

Now how may this have any relation at all to whether sharing O’ism mattered to me in a mate or not? Well, the thought was that a lot of the more unusual issues and such about me may be positions shared by people who are not supporters of Objectivism, however, it may sort of undermine the value of the shared positions for me when that is the case. For a more normal example, somebody else who isn’t an O’ist may also be an atheist, but they may be so just because they haven’t heard of “god” before, or maybe they just heard somebody else who they think is smart making some arguments that they didn’t understand against the existence of any “gods”, but they decided to accept atheism because they figured that person just sounded so smart that they must be right. It seems like a bit more of a hollowed out victory to have somebody sharing your conclusions when they don’t understand how you got to them. So maybe I want somebody else who shares my support of Objectivism as a prerequisite in order to have it there as a base to work from so if they share views and values with me, I know it won’t be like just a sort of “happy fluke” because they don’t really know even a lot of the basics I was trying to draw from to make my conclusions.

So with somebody who may share a lot of my conclusions, but not my base upon which I was trying to draw them from, it makes the shared conclusions a bit less enjoyable. Also, we’re going to get caught up over issues which to me are just old as dirt and it goes from boring to irritating for me to constantly be beating a dead horse. To accept that as a lifelong situation, to be beating dead horses or trying to dance around their corpses and not trip over them while trying to enjoy victories that may largely amount to either “right answer, wrong reason” or just an enabler who doesn’t know well enough to begin to try to challenge me when I may be going astray, it just doesn’t sound very appealing. It’s one thing to do this sort of stuff with friends, I don’t have much trouble with it in that case, but when it comes to those who are supposed to serve the role of lovers, it just seems like such a disappointing irritation.

It’s a similar thought though I’ve had trouble with more generally in this issue of relationships where support of Objectivism isn’t shared. Even about things which are much more standard issues that we may agree on, there’s that sort of somewhat diminished victory about it. Of these more standard issues, it’s especially the ones related to relationships themselves that have made this diminished victory thing troubling. For example, I’ve come to know quite clearly by now what the differences are between what love is for me and what it means versus what love is for him and what it means. Even though I believe he does love me, it has always been frustrating how it seemed to not be quite the rewarding sort of honor or status to achieve that I thought it should be. Part of this has to do with something I mentioned in an earlier post about how, though there certainly are numerous good things about me particularly for which he loves me, there are also many things which I’m loved regardless of or even in spite of which are some of the things I really like about myself a lot. This more general kind of sense of diminished victory though seems to be stuff the other people who don’t care much if they are with other O’ists or not would have to deal with too and deal with it they do without seeming to be quite so bothered by it. How, I don’t know, but indeed they do. So what would make my more uncommon diminished victories particularly bothersome? Hmm . . . maybe just that it means there are more I’m putting up with of them and that these are especially personal concerns and even points of pride for me?

Well, still I don’t know for sure here, and it still doesn’t seem to be yielding any course of resolution, but at least it is a little something new for me to mull over after I don’t think I’ve had anything new to consider on this in over a month. Fucking hell has a month of no ability to make progress on an issue of such importance to me been scary and depressing.

Edited by bluecherry
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I’m asking why I in particular seem like I may be stuck on needing another O’ist when it comes to mates when other O’ists don’t.

Some other Objectivists do not, many do. Diana Hsieh touched on this issue in her podcast #18 link here . Nothing wrong with you when it comes to this issue.

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I don't mean to be snippy when I say this, so please don't take it that way, but would I be correct to assume you haven't read much of this thread? I have a number of reasons why if I was to be limited to Oists for mate options in addition to other criteria that it looks like I may well be left with nobody else who fits what I'm looking for and furthermore, right now while I ponder the possibility of having ruled out the rest of the human race in my criteria and if there is any way to change my criteria so it doesn't matter to me anymore, I am trying to figure this out all the while I have somebody who I may never be able to love, but who I do care for a whole lot who is painstaking waiting on me to come to a conclusion on these issues and decide whether I can remain in a relationship with him or not, when it is the case for him that he can't remain around anybody once they have broken up, so if I do decide to really leave here, it means really leaving leaving, as in I will lose him all together.

BUT!, if it were possible for me to send you any kind of cookies but the nasty tracking kind over the interwebs I would do so right now just for you being the first one to post in this place aside from me in ages now. I appreciate that much greatly.

I've heard Diana's podcast already actually. *nods* It is part of what got me considering what kinds of things made some people see Oism as necessary in mates though others did not. Thing is, I don't fit the sorts of things listed in the podcast as reasons why some people would need it, so I ruled those all out and had to try to figure out what else it might be then. I know also there is nothing inherently wrong with wanting an Oist mate anymore than wanting a non-Oist one, just the trouble for me here comes in at the part where I've got so many uncommon things I'm looking for in a person that by the time you throw in "must support Objectivism" into the mix, it gets to the point of minuscule odds it seems of there being more than just me who fits these things. The person who is waiting on my decision too I've concluded is probably as close as I could ever get to having everything I'd want without having the full list - the one thing I'd want that is missing is he doesn't also support Oism and by now I can see he probably never will, though when I started dating him I really went in thinking he seemed so much like me right before I found Rand that it would just be an easy transition for him like it was with me. I need to know as best as I can if what I'm looking for is really just an unrealistic expectation and if so, what can I do about that? Can I change what I want somehow? Are there things I can do to alleviate all the problems I've found with what being with a non-Oists does? Do I just have to suck it up and deal with a permanent state of not getting what I hoped for? Should I just be retiring early to hopefully-sane not-so-old cat lady status and say my goodbyes to the poor guy who has been patiently waiting on me to figure things out for months now?

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm not going to bother reading through all your posts, sorry, I just don't have the time.

But I'll pose you one simple question: what does it matter if your mate doesn't explicitly call himself an Objectivist if the way he thinks is in line with Objectivist thought? Or, to state the question without using the word Objectivist: what does it matter if your mate doesn't want to label himself as part of a group if he already thinks like that group anyway?

And one follow up question: do you care about being a member of a group or do you care about thinking rationally? Even Ayn Rand didn't like applying names to her philosophy.

I posted my own relationship thread a few months ago about "introducing objectivism into a relationship." Our relationship has been going quite strong for nearly 4 months now and we're both quite smitten with each other. I suggested she read The Fountainhead. She picked it up quite readily and is reading and loving it. I've never called myself an "Objectivist," but we have talked often about various issues: metaphysics, morality, politics, science, education, art, and even romance, dating, and sex. And we agree almost to the very word on all of those issues. I don't care at all that she doesn't label herself an Objectivist because I don't even label myself one. I've read just about everything Rand wrote and I agree with it all, so am I any less of an Objectivist for not caring about whether I call myself one?

Just ask yourself: are you going to throw away a potential relationship with someone who thinks rationally and is intelligent, just because he doesn't label himself an Objectivist? Which matters most to you? I think this is an issue with *you* that you need to resolve first. I see nothing wrong with your mate. If I were a woman, I'd date him.

Frankly I'm just as picky as you. I have very strict standards for romantic relationships. I mean very, very strict. That's why my current significant other is only my second. My first relationship was great, but she wasn't ready to go further (not my problem), so I had to let it go. This time around I actually have even more emotional intimacy than I did before. What I'm saying is: I think you should listen to me because, based on what I *have* read of your posts, I'm just as picky as you if not more so. But I don't think it's necessary that my partner has read every single book by Ayn Rand ever. All I care about is: how do they think, how do they feel, what do they want out of life. If their thoughts are rational, logical, and they are emotionally mature, and they have a passion in life, then I'm set. Frankly, I wouldn't care if my mate only read a couple of Rand books in her entire life. It's how he/she thinks that matters! You should give this guy time to read Rand at his leisure. Just suggest: "hey, I think you'd like The Fountainhead/Atlas Shrugged/etc., I think you'd be surprised how similarly you think, and on top of that they're really well written." Leave it at that. Maybe he doesn't have time right now to read a 700/1000+ page book. That's a lot to expect of a busy person.

Anyway, that's all I have to say. I hope I have been of some help, if not sorry for wasting your time.

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In my many unread posts, I believe I have perhaps clarified already a bit more that it is not just the name I care about. :P Although there are a pretty good number of conclusions we share and he's more rational than most people I come across, there are still many instances where we come to the same/similar conclusions for rather different reasons, which ends up causing problems still and then there are many other things philosophically which we just don't see eye to eye on at all and man can it get tiresome. As one major example that has been a real sore spot, his ideas about emotions and especially love are very different from mine. Just last night implications were made again to me that something might be wrong with my brain because I don't seem to be a jealous person and that I can love based on things that make sense as opposed to acting like I am rather unthinkingly driven by pheremones to pursue somebody who might be a good genetic match even though we both know I don't intend to have kids anyway. *sigh* Don't I feel like it means so much and I've accomplished such a feat to hear somebody may love me for the equivalent reason of "you smell nice"? :santa:; The guy is pretty good and all, but lets be clear he is *not* just an unlabeled Objectivist or something particularly damn close. He's also fairly good about being rational, but there are prominent areas of blatant ridiculousness that are quite troublesome, especially as he tends to be VERY squirrelly about avoiding letting much inquiry be done directly about those areas. He was a psychology major in college for example and I swear he's found a way to soak in some of the most annoying popular ideas from there and has many times over the years said he thinks I need to see a neurologist because he thinks the fact that I don't share many common nonsensical emotional reactions - like love of my family just because they're related to me for example - means there is something wrong with me. The fact that my explanations for my feelings make total sense doesn't phase him at all, nor so far has my efforts to explain why emotions can make sense if your ideas make sense due to the nature of emotions. Then there's the fact that he has many times insisted to me that there's something about me in particular which renders it impossible for anything which could prove many of his anecdotal based ideas to happen in my presence, but that's another whole big irritating issue in an of itself. I'm glad things worked well for you and that other girl, but it just has not gone so smoothly for me and my relationship, especially not as smoothly as I thought it would years back when I got into it under unusual circumstances.

(Also as a side note, I don't refer to myself as an Objectivist either though; I'm still learning a lot and don't think I am good enough in understanding and application at this time to fit the term along with the fact that I know some of my ideas, though they make sense to me as far as I've found in my inquiry so far, may potentially make it arguable if I could ever be considered really in adherence to the philosophy as long as I held those ideas. I won't change ideas just because they don't fit the term though. I'm not just stuck on names and clubs or anything like that.)

Also, if I do decide to go back and stay with him, it would not be with me in some huge rush to pressure him to read everything by Rand. I had for years had an agreement with him that we would each read some stuff from the other's recommendations, but I had not been pressuring him to hurry up and get it done at all because I knew he was often quite busy. By now though I've cut my recommendations to him down to just OPAR after deciding I'm done making any and all art recommendations to him after he decided on his own a couple nights ago to read one of my favorite books (it was one by Heinlein and he read it because he missed me and it reminded him of me) and - after I had always thought this book would be something he'd really like - he ended up having the most bizzarely bitter interpretation of so much of it and had a mocking, sneering overall assessment. I suppose I shouldn't have been quite so surprised though, he had a similar though slightly less strong reaction when he read another of my favorite books years back and at around that same time I just stopped letting him hear any music I was listening to at all because he was just about always similarly derisive of it. He'd only be reading any of it, even just OPAR, now whenever he could get around to it in order to hopefully get to understand me a little better, since I could only go back to him if I was ok with it even if he didn't change any of his ideas from what they already are. I'm expecting it would/will be an uphill battle too if done, since, though he wants to do careful reading of the ideas first and won't speak on it to me until he's done so, he seems to strongly believe he's found some huge fatal flaw in Objectivism near its roots. Based on what I know of his ideas, especially of metaphysics and epistemology, I expect it probably would mean more going round and round in circles discussing the issue with him. *head desk*

So, thanks for trying at least. For once somebody other than me dug this thread up. I was quite surprised to see that. As far as since I last posted though, things haven't really changed much for me in trying to figure this out except that by now even he is starting to question if maybe the conditions I'd have to accept to be with him, things he needs, would leave me unhappy living with them. However, he also couldn't be happy without those conditions of hid met either. So, it's a real tough spot he agrees that though we both still don't like the idea of losing each other (and he can't stay friends with former mates either, so it really is all or nothing), it looks like being together also would have to leave at least one of us trying to tough it out under conditions which may leave us still not so happy.

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