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Introducing Objectivism into Relationship

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I recently met a wonderful girl: she's very intelligent, one of the most motivated people I've ever met, and unlike most women I've known, shows a great deal of interest in subjects beyond her immediate surroundings, like art, music, politics, economics, etc. And she despises concerns like make-up and fashion; she calls them a waste of time (awesome!) We often go on for hours talking about our political views or our favorite classical pieces. :wub:

She's heard of Ayn Rand on the news a lot (she's not explicitly Objectivist), and knows something about her books. All I've told her so far is how I think Rand's books are great reads and how she'd appreciate them, and that's about all I think I need to do. She's already got a great outlook on her own life, and that's why I was attracted to her. I've pretty much made my decision, which is that I don't think any pushing is necessary at all. I don't think explicit, detailed knowledge of Objectivism is necessary for a person to lead a rational and above all happy life, and that's what she's doing already.

My question is: what kind of views do the Objectivists on this forum hold on the issue? Do you think it's OK to suggest readings like that in a relationship?

(I've already shown her some of the Rand TV interviews and she was genuinely impressed, saying that Ayn Rand was brilliant and how she'd have loved to sit down to lunch with her).

Edited by Krattle
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It seems like a natural thing to do given the context you describe. You guys seem to have a lot in common and she seems to be interested, so it isn't as though you're forcing anything on her. I wouldn't think of it in the terms of you expressing such things because she might "need" to know them to lead a rational life, but just sharing something you value with someone you care for. You certainly don't have a duty either way in my opinion. I would just share what you feel comfortable sharing and she's interested in. You didn't state it explicitly, but it sounds like you may be concerned with "pushing" certain ideas or readings on her. From what you've written it really doesn't seem like you're that type of person. As the relationship deepens its bound to be discussed, as its a big part of your life. Maybe. You didn't state that you considered yourself an Objectivist and I don't want to apply a label to you. I would just share your values and let things happen naturally. I wouldn't feel bad about pointing her in the right direction if she was expressing an interest.

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Thank you for the comments!

It's awesome for me because most women I know are overly concerned with appearance and the latest fashions. I'm not saying she doesn't care about her appearance and hygiene (she does), but she just doesn't enjoy the typical "girl" things like talking for hours about the latest sunglasses, purses, dresses, lipstick, hairsprays, and hair styles. You get my drift? A girl who talks incessantly about that sort of thing turns me off immediately, unless they have some sort of redeeming feature.

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That she expressed such interest in sitting down for lunch with Ayn Rand means she is interested in her intellectually I think. I'd say say it straight up: Rand was a philosopher. She didn't just write fictions that are good, she wrote fictions that demonstrate her philosophy in action and then wrote nonfictions that described said philosophy. If she's interested intellectually, appeal to her intellectual interest. Don't dumb down the books to "They're good books, I think you'd like them."

Just my opinion.

EDIT: Also, I think your hesitation to tell her about Objectivism explicitly might be because you feel guilty for "pushing" Objectivism on her. Do you think there's something wrong or damaging about Oism that would hurt her if you tried to share it with her?

There's a girl I care about who isn't really all that philosophical. However, a lot of the things I tell her about Oism sound like common sense to her. I tell her about Oism because I want to arm her with knowledge in case someone tries to rationalize bad philosophical ideas to her. You wouldn't necessarily be mucking around in the beliefs she already holds. You'd be giving her a firm base to stand on if/when someone comes along and tries to push bad philosophy on her.

The idea of some Kantian or Yudkowskian coming along and convincing her that it's good to be an altruist and that our senses are invalid would, to me, be scary enough to warrant such teaching.

Edited by Amaroq
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Yes, I've told her that Rand was a philosopher. I haven't dumbed-down anything. I should just be more careful how I phrase these things on the forum... All her views on politics and philosophy I've heard so far have all been very much Objectivist and, much like you, what I've told her of the philosophy so far has also sounded common-sense to her and so I definitely want to give her that base to her ideas.

Haha, no, I definitely don't feel any guilt about introducing her to Objectivist ideas. It's just hesitation that she might not like it at all or something; I love our relationship and just don't want to lose it. In fact, I just learned today that she's already gone out and picked up "The Fountainhead" on her own. So, problem solved!

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*chuckles* Ooh nice. The girl of my dreams picked up Atlas Shrugged a few days ago. Her dad wants to read it first, so she'll read it after he's done with it. (It would be his second time reading it actually. She hasn't read it yet.)

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I think it depends on how serious the girl is about ideas. I'm with a girl who read Atlas Shrugged before I ever knew her and she has a generally positive view of Objectivism, but there are disagreements. I'd say to keep the disagreements to a minimal discussion point. At least in my case, I can be pretty stern and authoritative when we're discussing something I disagree with. So, I'd suggest focusing in on that which she agrees on and likes, and explaining why Objectivism comes to that specific conclusion.

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I recently met a wonderful girl: she's very intelligent, one of the most motivated people I've ever met, and unlike most women I've known, shows a great deal of interest in subjects beyond her immediate surroundings, like art, music, politics, economics, etc. And she despises concerns like make-up and fashion; she calls them a waste of time (awesome!) We often go on for hours talking about our political views or our favorite classical pieces. :wub:

She's heard of Ayn Rand on the news a lot (she's not explicitly Objectivist), and knows something about her books. All I've told her so far is how I think Rand's books are great reads and how she'd appreciate them, and that's about all I think I need to do. She's already got a great outlook on her own life, and that's why I was attracted to her. I've pretty much made my decision, which is that I don't think any pushing is necessary at all. I don't think explicit, detailed knowledge of Objectivism is necessary for a person to lead a rational and above all happy life, and that's what she's doing already.

My question is: what kind of views do the Objectivists on this forum hold on the issue? Do you think it's OK to suggest readings like that in a relationship?

(I've already shown her some of the Rand TV interviews and she was genuinely impressed, saying that Ayn Rand was brilliant and how she'd have loved to sit down to lunch with her).

I think my husband could have written this post six years ago when we first met (except that I had actually read Ayn Rand's fiction). He says I was "not a difficult convert." He never preached at me, but we discussed ideas from the beginning; I was much of the way there in my implicit philosophy, but he asked me questions that got me to give more thought to my beliefs. One of the things he mentioned in our wedding vows was that he loves me because I don't allow myself to be swayed by naive arguments, but that I will change my mind instantaneously if presented with a rational argument against my position.

He did buy me a copy of The Ominous Parallels (along with a couple of more traditionally "romantic" gifts) for our first Christmas together. It was partly a gift for my enjoyment (because I'm certainly a bookworm, and hubby also thought I would be interested in that book more than other nonfiction by Rand or Peikoff because of the tie to Nazi Germany's history) and partly a test to see if I would embrace the ideas. I must have passed, as I am now his wife. Looking back, it's rather funny that on our first date we discussed the FDA (at the time, I thought it served a useful purpose), and now here I am, the author of an 8,000-word article on why that agency should be abolished. :D

Like you, early on we talked a lot about great music and art as well as *ideas* -- and I think that is the key. If she's intellectually curious, and it sounds like she is, you are off to an excellent start.

Edited by stellavision
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She's definitely intellectually curious. It's hard to gauge just how much so, but so far no matter how complicated or detailed or abstract we've gotten in our discussions of ideas she always understands and follows right along in the discussion. She's also quite the bookworm!

Edited by Krattle
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She's definitely intellectually curious. It's hard to gauge just how much so, but so far no matter how complicated or detailed or abstract we've gotten in our discussions of ideas she always understands and follows right along in the discussion. She's also quite the bookworm!

Excellent!

I think the same trick my husband used on me might work for you -- The Ominous Parallels is, unfortunately, all too timely of a work right now. Perhaps you could suggest reading it together and talking about it? Or a shorter fiction work like Noble Vision (again, sadly, far too close to reality) -- the latter could be really fun to read aloud with each other, particularly since there's a romance within the story. Her reaction to the ideas will tell you a lot about whether she's really an Objectivist and just didn't know it :wub:

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I'll think about Ominous Parallels because, even though it's quite topical right now, we've talked a lot about "universal health care" and she already agreed that it's wrong because it violates the rights of doctors and consumers. She also hates what's happening to America right now and is always saying how the only right we have is to pursue our own happiness but never to make someone else do it for us. Frankly, I'm amazed she hasn't already read Rand.

It wouldn't be a good idea now because we're both very busy and she's already reading The Fountainhead, but perhaps in December...

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  • 1 month later...
My question is: what kind of views do the Objectivists on this forum hold on the issue? Do you think it's OK to suggest readings like that in a relationship?

(I've already shown her some of the Rand TV interviews and she was genuinely impressed, saying that Ayn Rand was brilliant and how she'd have loved to sit down to lunch with her).

Of course it is ok to suggest readings! It's not ok to push or force someone to read Rands books and pursue O'ism, but if with some suggestion from you she continues to pursue it on her own, then you're in business! I was first introduced to Rand through someone I dated, so I have experienced this first hand and sure glad I did!

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