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Leading the Way in Romance

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bluecherry: Romance pertains to the dynamic or energy created by the masculine and the feminine coming into contact with each other.

If that sounds new-agey or vague, bear in mind that romance is predominantly an emotional issue — one which pertains primarily to a woman's nature and needs, not a man's.

Romance is the central aspect of a successful man-woman relationship, though it's far from the only factor involved.

Both men and women must learn what you might call "relationship skills" if they are to get along with one another and be happy. But a woman need only introspect to understand romance — meanwhile, a man must undertake it as a course of study.

Edited by Kevin Delaney
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I said women don't need any help in understanding romance.

I don't know where this phrase is coming from, given that this is an Objectivist forum. No one is born understanding romance/emotions/personal relationships, so it would make no sense to claim that women don't need any help in understanding romance. You said women invented romance? That may sound pithy, but that viewpoint probably is a result of how romance was treated in ~1920 because the norms from that time period largely stuck around.

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bluecherry: Romance is the emotion of sexual love, as experienced by and between a man and a woman, viewed from the perspective of a process.

I'm sorry if that doesn't make a lot of sense to you right now. It's the best I can do at this time, in this particular context.

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I do not see why it is good for any person to "test" another person's character traits. Character can only be judged over a wide range of time, and what the other person chooses to do in various situations. No testing is required, because character traits become apparent during normal interactions. If this is what you meant by test, I'm fine with that word, and it certainly applies to anyone in social interactions, regardless of gender. But if by test you mean use contrived scenarios or questions for testing character traits, that is a poor way to figure out character, on top of being inaccurate if any conclusions are made. I know that Kevin is speaking of gender polarity in terms of romantic relationships like you are, but (most of) the points he makes, they apply to both genders in my own experience. That is, except the part I quoted in my post #8.

Character can not ONLY be judged over a wide range of time. It may take time and effort to get to know a person well, but you can also make quick assesments of a persons potential. And how can a woman tell if a man is just swag and no substance? If he's got solid confidence or if he's a wimp? Or a creep behind a charming facade?

Consider that women are the ones being pursued and they have many suitors. How would she decide which ones are worth her time? Also consider that women are at much greater risk. How would she determine which men are potential dangers? Not all things are revealed by simple observation and interaction.

Lastly, women respond sexually when a man passes her tests. If he stands firm, confident and assertive she will feel sexual attraction very much unlike a man does.

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Character can not ONLY be judged over a wide range of time. It may take time and effort to get to know a person well, but you can also make quick assesments of a persons potential.

Character can only be judged over a range of time, otherwise it isn't character. By range of time, I mean multiple interactions and observations beyond single instances. Using single instances to judge character is called the fundamental attribution error, and is considered a cognitive bias. Quick assessments are possible, but those should not be used to judge character. The best they indicate is a lead, a hypothesis. How can you judge if a person is a swag with no substance? Why, just interact with them on several occasions! Quick assessments won't do - unless you want to treat the whole thing as a chess match of who will "win".

Observation and interaction is all that can be done. This is a proper method for reasoning about any topic.

For your last statement, are you saying males don't respond strongly to a firm, confident, assertive woman? Of course, there is way more to romantic attraction than that, but as a male, I do respond strongly to that. So, since I have one counter-example to your generalization of "unlike a man does", your statement does not hold.

Please, use some examples. Concrete examples. Data. Anecdotes even. Until then, even Kevin's OP is assertion without evidence.

Romance is the emotion of sexual love, as experienced by and between a man and a woman, viewed from the perspective of a process.

This definition is extremelyyyyyyy problematic. You already precluded all non-heterosexual relationships at the outset. By only considering heterosexual relationships, you remove a very large swath of other ways of considering romance, namely, considerations that *don't* take into account gender much or at all.

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This definition is extremelyyyyyyy problematic.

bluecherry asked me to define what I mean by "romance." My definition is contextually accurate.

I don't mean to imply that gay people can't experience romance — perhaps they can, maybe in some modified way, or possibly not at all. Or perhaps a gay person's experience of romance is exactly the same as a straight person's. I don't know.

I include "between a man and a woman" in my definition, partly to delimit the subject, and also avoid the irrelevant (to me) discussion of same sex relationships.

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Character can only be judged over a range of time, otherwise it isn't character. By range of time, I mean multiple interactions and observations beyond single instances. Using single instances to judge character is called the fundamental attribution error, and is considered a cognitive bias. Quick assessments are possible, but those should not be used to judge character. The best they indicate is a lead, a hypothesis. How can you judge if a person is a swag with no substance? Why, just interact with them on several occasions! Quick assessments won't do - unless you want to treat the whole thing as a chess match of who will "win".

Observation and interaction is all that can be done. This is a proper method for reasoning about any topic.

For your last statement, are you saying males don't respond strongly to a firm, confident, assertive woman? Of course, there is way more to romantic attraction than that, but as a male, I do respond strongly to that. So, since I have one counter-example to your generalization of "unlike a man does", your statement does not hold.

Please, use some examples. Concrete examples. Data. Anecdotes even. Until then, even Kevin's OP is assertion without evidence.

Guy walks up to a girl, beaming with confidence:

"Hey hot-stuff!"

"Hey yourself. What's up with that suit?"

"Um...?"

"Looks like something you inherited from grandpa, and it smells funky"

"..."

What would it tell you if the guy is lost for words, loses all his confidence, gets defensive or... simply answers with a confident: "I love this suit!"? That single instance may not tell you all there is to know about the guy, but it certainly gives a clear hint.

That's a bit silly and simplified example, but it happens alot. A few days ago I talked to a girl who asked about my tattoos. Sort of examining my arm, asking questions and hinting about disapproval(um, well, suggesting laser removal is a bit more than just hinting :D ). I answered simple questions about their meaning, but simply did not give a crap about her disapproval. At the end she smiled and just went: "Oh well, if you're happy I don't mind them".

That does say a bit about a persons confidence. Now, try a few different angles and you'll start to get a better picture.

Another thing would be getting into a discussion where she tries to get your approval, and subtly changes her view to the opposite to see if you'll still agree with her.

She may try to get you to do things for her. Buy her a drink or hold her purse.

Flaking or disrupting your plans.

See if she can string you along forever without it ever leading to sex.

This is not about getting a full understanding of your character. That may happen in time, with more testing and getting to know each other.

I'm not saying males don't respond to strong, confident and assertive women. I'm saying that reaction is not sexual in the same way that a womans reaction is.

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I'm not saying males don't respond to strong, confident and assertive women. I'm saying that reaction is not sexual in the same way that a womans reaction is.

Sorry, I meant to also ask what you mean by "respond sexually". I mean, that applies to me, if I understand you correctly. What does a man respond to sexually, then?

Another thing would be getting into a discussion where she tries to get your approval, and subtly changes her view to the opposite to see if you'll still agree with her.

That's called being dishonest. Faking part of a viewpoint in order to see if someone responds to the manipulation. The context isn't being a devil's advocate, but using manipulation in order to see if someone can be manipulated. Flaking or disrupting plans?! Get me to buy her a drink?! When the goal of doing these is to "test", these are also manipulative. As mistakes or requests, these are fine, but not when the purpose is to see what I'll do. I would be wary of any such person, especially in romance. You're right, that is not about understanding character: it's about manipulation.

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Sorry, I meant to also ask what you mean by "respond sexually". I mean, that applies to me, if I understand you correctly. What does a man respond to sexually, then?

Do you think men get aroused by a woman acting assertively? I can see respect, admiration and with other traits combined - attraction. Meanwhile, a woman can get turned on start to let go of control.

That's called being dishonest. Faking part of a viewpoint in order to see if someone responds to the manipulation. The context isn't being a devil's advocate, but using manipulation in order to see if someone can be manipulated. Flaking or disrupting plans?! Get me to buy her a drink?! When the goal of doing these is to "test", these are also manipulative. As mistakes or requests, these are fine, but not when the purpose is to see what I'll do. I would be wary of any such person, especially in romance. You're right, that is not about understanding character: it's about manipulation.

Why?

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"Romance is the emotion of sexual love, as experienced by and between a man and a woman, viewed from the perspective of a process."

Then how do females have some kind of special, priveledged position on this that they "invented" it (or something along those lines I think you said) or can know it by introspection whereas males cannot? Experienced by both sexes you said there.

--------------------------------------

"Consider that women are the ones being pursued and they have many suitors."

XD Many suitors? I have not observed this to be the norm. The only time I've seen this to be the case is if one is a particularly good looking female on a dating site or maybe at a bar. Well, or maybe if one is famous, but in that case males get females throwing themselves at them frequently too. Otherwise, I've rarely come across more than one person making any noteworthy attempt to pursue a female in a given time period, if any at all. Seriously, that line cracks me up. I'd love to go show it to my friends and ask how they've been handling these innundations lately.

"Also consider that women are at much greater risk."

Pepper spray/mace is a pretty popular option here, or a gun if you're really getting serious. Not going some place alone with somebody before you've gotten to know them is also a good way to not end up at risk. Not sure how these things Kevin mentioned would do anything as far as risk reduction though.

"Lastly, women respond sexually when a man passes her tests."

. . . nuh-uh? Again, what are you basing this on? I can't think of anybody I know who responds like that and this being said like it is applicable to all or at least most women. I'm very willing to bet there are some people out there that do, but they are not the norm in my observation.

Also, if my first experience with somebody is they have an ugly, smelly suit and they love it, fine, good for them, but I don't want to stick around somebody who smells bad. However, if the first thing out of somebody's mouth is an insult like that, that's a good cause to beat it quickly too. None of those other hypotheticals you mentioned a woman could do sound like something worth sticking around for either.

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Do you think men get aroused by a woman acting assertively?

Yes. Not as a rule, but yes, they certainly can, although I can't speak of frequency. Anyways, you spoke of what you said women respond to sexually. You said men don't respond to the same thing. Presumably, you think men respond sexually to something. So, what do men respond to? Evidence with it too, please. And I'll tell you if I have the same experience.

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Then how do females have some kind of special, priveledged position on this that they "invented" it (or something along those lines I think you said) or can know it by introspection whereas males cannot?

As I mentioned previously, romance pertains primarily to a woman's nature and needs, not a man's. A woman is made aware of the issue of romance very largely via her emotions; it is internal and felt by her, and tends to seem obvious.

On the other hand, a man must extrospect and acquire conceptual knowledge, if he is to make sense out of the male-female dynamic. (If he doesn't, he will become the proverbial "clueless" guy that so many women complain about.)

A man arrives at an understanding of romance through a careful study of women. A woman comes to understand romance, mostly by examining herself.

Edited by Kevin Delaney
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"Consider that women are the ones being pursued and they have many suitors."

XD Many suitors? I have not observed this to be the norm. The only time I've seen this to be the case is if one is a particularly good looking female on a dating site or maybe at a bar. Well, or maybe if one is famous, but in that case males get females throwing themselves at them frequently too. Otherwise, I've rarely come across more than one person making any noteworthy attempt to pursue a female in a given time period, if any at all. Seriously, that line cracks me up. I'd love to go show it to my friends and ask how they've been handling these innundations lately.

I'm sorry if that's not your experience, but the reality is that women get approached/invitations from men ALOT more than the other way around.

And what do you mean by "i've rarely come across more than one person making any noteworthy attemp to pursue a female in a given time period"?

Do you mean like at once? Or within the hour, day, week? Or let me put it this way: men rarely EVER get approached. They may get invited to do so, which is nice enough for those of us who are able to pick up on it, but men do the pursuing.

"Also consider that women are at much greater risk."

Pepper spray/mace is a pretty popular option here, or a gun if you're really getting serious. Not going some place alone with somebody before you've gotten to know them is also a good way to not end up at risk. Not sure how these things Kevin mentioned would do anything as far as risk reduction though.

The safest option there is to not take unecessary risks with someone you can't trust yet. Testing can reveal if someone is genuine or if the warning flags should go up.

"Lastly, women respond sexually when a man passes her tests."

. . . nuh-uh? Again, what are you basing this on? I can't think of anybody I know who responds like that and this being said like it is applicable to all or at least most women. I'm very willing to bet there are some people out there that do, but they are not the norm in my observation.

I'm basing it on experience and observation of hundreds, if not thousands, of cases. Depending on situation there are many ways that can be done; ignore, be un-reactive, call her bluff, assert yourself... whatever is apropriate for the given situation. Stay in control and watch the magic happen.

Also, if my first experience with somebody is they have an ugly, smelly suit and they love it, fine, good for them, but I don't want to stick around somebody who smells bad. However, if the first thing out of somebody's mouth is an insult like that, that's a good cause to beat it quickly too. None of those other hypotheticals you mentioned a woman could do sound like something worth sticking around for either.

You're missing the point by about a mile. It's not necessarily about the suit, or whatever else she may notice. It's about poking him a little with a stick to see if he's just full of hot air or actually comfortable with himself. While there certainly are some women who are intolerably rude and a waste of time, you have to look at the context and read between the lines.

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More than the other way around? Sure. But that isn't the same thing as many. :P I'm not talking about just me though, this is what I've seen with everybody. It's not meant to be a complaint. And by a given period, usually somewhere from weeks to months one person may be pursuing somebody and then most of the rest of the year nobody really is. Again, this is assuming we aren't counting things like a random creep walking up at a bar out of nowhere who is not looking for an actual relationship.

Not particularly important, but as a side note, I think my pursuing and being pursued ratios are pretty close to even. I don't just sit around and hope when and if I find somebody I'm interested in. :P

"The safest option there is to not take unecessary risks with someone you can't trust yet."

Yeah, I said pretty much that same point already. ;) None of these "tests" will tell you if somebody is safe and/or trustworthy though, they're all just designed to see if they can upset somebody or not. Somebody not being easily drawn into an argument over something absurd says nothing about he liklihood that they may be dangerous. In fact, the people who "pass" these tests are probably a little more likely to be risky because they are not easily intimidated (not that I'm advocating for aiming to try to date easily intimidated people.) Sticking around other people until you've gotten to know somebody better sounds much more reliable to me than relying on those tests and that also renders those tests unnecessary, redundant.

"experience and observation of hundreds, if not thousands, of cases."

Could you be a little more specific with the source of these things? Hopefully it isn't just what you recall encountering in day to day life because if that is the case then we just have gotten different results from the same thing and so neither can be said to be more reliable than the other as far as how representative these samples are, though it is still definitevly not universal.

Somebody "poking you with a stick" is still something I'd put on the list of reasons to ditch a person. Don't need that kind of junk in one's life. If one is comfortable with oneself and has good self esteem, one doesn't need to put up with that kind of treatment, one knows they deserve better, more respectful treatment and there is plenty of company out there that can provide that. About the suit, while it's nice one is comfortable with themself and their stuff, finding you just have different tastes on certain things can still be a turn-off. Just sticking to your guns doesn't mean you'll prove yourself appealing.

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I suppose this depends on what one means by "pursuing". For instance, if a women takes a neutral conversation and hints "come hither" is she "pursuing"?

I would not consider that pursuing, no. Pursuing is leading it towards something sexual. Hinting is a subtle invitation for the man to do that.

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I would not consider that pursuing, no. Pursuing is leading it towards something sexual. Hinting is a subtle invitation for the man to do that.
Thanks for clarifying. Women take the initiative with romantic relationships all the time. In a sense the man is being lead rather than leading, as the woman slowly creates the steps he can take and points to the stepping stones he can take to close in on her. In such cases, in an overt sense, the woman cannot be said to be "pursuing" the man, but is still the one in the lead.
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Thanks for clarifying. Women take the initiative with romantic relationships all the time. In a sense the man is being lead rather than leading, as the woman slowly creates the steps he can take and points to the stepping stones he can take to close in on her. In such cases, in an overt sense, the woman cannot be said to be "pursuing" the man, but is still the one in the lead.

That's not leading, it's just a very frustrated woman! No really, I feel a little sorry for her. Is there any way I can help? :P

Okay, i'm teasing. I'm kind of obnoxious that way. On a more serious note, I have never ever seen that happen. Not the way I understand you, which is a woman stringing him along all the way. Like giving him a map, a compass and an indian guide getting him straight to her heart and her bed.

There are of course many things women do to get themselves noticed, invite or encourage a man and making themselves available. But i'd say it's very rare that anything happens unless the man steps up and takes the lead.

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There are of course many things women do to get themselves noticed, invite or encourage a man and making themselves available.
I guess the distinction between "invite and encourage" on the one hand and what I described on the other is not clear to me. How about another example. Suppose, a woman goes out of her way to plan -- perhaps with the help of other friends -- that a certain guy is introduced to her, or that he is seated next to her on some occasion, or that he is left alone with her for whatever reason, etc. Does this get classified as "leading/pursuing" or is it "invite and encourage"? Or does it come under your other classification: "does not happen"? Edited by softwareNerd
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There are of course many things women do to get themselves noticed, invite or encourage a man and making themselves available. But i'd say it's very rare that anything happens unless the man steps up and takes the lead.

:huh: Have you ever been to a bar?

Edit: Seriously though, I see that all the time. You're not going to get really shy, introverted women making a move, but you will get women who see what they want and go for it.

Edited by mdegges
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More than the other way around? Sure. But that isn't the same thing as many. :P I'm not talking about just me though, this is what I've seen with everybody. It's not meant to be a complaint. And by a given period, usually somewhere from weeks to months one person may be pursuing somebody and then most of the rest of the year nobody really is. Again, this is assuming we aren't counting things like a random creep walking up at a bar out of nowhere who is not looking for an actual relationship.

What kind of men are we talking about then, exactly? Because if we're talking about only the men you might find desirable that could narrow the list down significantly.

I've actually made female profiles on dating sites just to see what kind of response i'll get. It was huge. I also have many female friends, and when going out I don't know how many times i've had to watch their back and go all alpha-male. It's a completely different world for women. Not saying either one is better or worse. It's just different.

Women generally have a much greater quantity. For men the great majority is clueless and don't have many options, if any at all. Then there are a few who know how to get what they want.

Not particularly important, but as a side note, I think my pursuing and being pursued ratios are pretty close to even. I don't just sit around and hope when and if I find somebody I'm interested in. :P

Usually it works rather poorly when women pursue men, but I do wish you the best of luck.

"The safest option there is to not take unecessary risks with someone you can't trust yet."

Yeah, I said pretty much that same point already. ;) None of these "tests" will tell you if somebody is safe and/or trustworthy though, they're all just designed to see if they can upset somebody or not. Somebody not being easily drawn into an argument over something absurd says nothing about he liklihood that they may be dangerous. In fact, the people who "pass" these tests are probably a little more likely to be risky because they are not easily intimidated (not that I'm advocating for aiming to try to date easily intimidated people.) Sticking around other people until you've gotten to know somebody better sounds much more reliable to me than relying on those tests and that also renders those tests unnecessary, redundant.

Testing happens in many different ways, shapes and forms. It can tell a woman if the man is stable, honest, has integrity, courage etc. If she for example finds that the man seems emotionally unstable, jealous and dishonest that should be a warning sign. Such things could otherwise take time to discover, and then she might find herself in a situation she won't like. Simply sticking around other people is not exactly viable either. How would you by, say, dating in public places, discover that he's jealous? Aksing him? Or, creating a situation where he actually could get jealous? "Hey, look at the guy over there - he's really tall and handsome!", or flirting with the waiter or whatnot.

"experience and observation of hundreds, if not thousands, of cases."

Could you be a little more specific with the source of these things? Hopefully it isn't just what you recall encountering in day to day life because if that is the case then we just have gotten different results from the same thing and so neither can be said to be more reliable than the other as far as how representative these samples are, though it is still definitevly not universal.

I've spent a few years studying all sorts of material on this stuff, observing and... um, I guess you could say practicing. I've participated in communities, exchanging experiences with others and I've met a few guys who make a living out of teaching men to attract women.

Somebody "poking you with a stick" is still something I'd put on the list of reasons to ditch a person. Don't need that kind of junk in one's life. If one is comfortable with oneself and has good self esteem, one doesn't need to put up with that kind of treatment, one knows they deserve better, more respectful treatment and there is plenty of company out there that can provide that. About the suit, while it's nice one is comfortable with themself and their stuff, finding you just have different tastes on certain things can still be a turn-off. Just sticking to your guns doesn't mean you'll prove yourself appealing.

You are reading the examples in an a narrow and concrete bound way.

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I guess the distinction between "invite and encourage" on the one hand and what I described on the other is not clear to me. How about another example. Suppose, a woman goes out of her way to plan -- perhaps with the help of other friends -- that a certain guy is introduced to her, or that he is seated next to her on some occasion, or that he is left alone with her for whatever reason, etc. Does this get classified as "leading/pursuing" or is it "invite and encourage"? Or does it come under your other classification: "does not happen"?

I would put that firmly under the classification of "invite and encourage". What you're describing is a woman working within the boundaries of trying to get things to happen, while not leading/pursuing in a sexual way. She may hope it will lead to that, but she's not making the first sexual move.

I have a recent personal anecdote which I classify as "leading/pursuing". Met a woman on the buss. You know the same old: she thinks i'm handsome, asks for my phone number, gets down on her knees and proposes. That kind of stuff. A bit old and tired routine, but she was real pretty and charming so I decided to give her a shot.

That's taking the lead. Howeer, I like to add, I was the one who took it from there. She took a more passive role while I took care of the plans.

:huh: Have you ever been to a bar?

Edit: Seriously though, I see that all the time. You're not going to get really shy, introverted women making a move, but you will get women who see what they want and go for it.

Bars, nightclubs, cruises, parties... yes, i've been around. Women tend to get a little bit bolder when they are in groups and alcohol is involved. Still, you don't see many women make actual moves. And no, looking at a guy, crossing/uncrossing your legs and playing with your hair does not count. If that's what you're thinking about, except for the stereotypical picture perhaps, that's an invitation. If you're thinking about starting up a casual conversation at a bar, that would be a borderline scenario considering the context. If you're thinking of a more straightforward approach, that's even more uncommon. Those things do happen though. However, what's extremely rare is for the woman to take it from there all the way to the bedroom.

Edited by Alfa
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