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Audio: Avoiding the Wrong Women

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If she decides to end it, it should be because that relationship wasn't satisfying to her, not because she met someone she likes better.

How is this an either/or? If a value is flawed but there isn't a better alternative is it rational to be unsatisfied?

Romance is an enormous value in the life of a woman.

Why?

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Good, healthy romantic love relationships are not fraught with drama, weirdness, mixed messages, confusion, complexity, ambivalence and ambiguity. Good, healthy love relationships are simple. They are straightforward, happy, mutually exciting and enjoyable affairs.

Keeping romance simple is primarily a man's responsibility.

I agree with you that relationships should be simple and happy. But women are taught to do drama. A healthy man will not put up with that. So if women want healthy relationships they have to change too. How can they learn to be better?

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How is this an either/or? If a value is flawed but there isn't a better alternative is it rational to be unsatisfied?

Yes. Why would being satisfied depend on what alternatives you have, rather than the nature of your current relationship?

If you're unsatisfied, your "better alternative" is to be alone and looking for someone who will satisfy you. That alternative is always better than being with someone who doesn't satisfy you and either looking or not looking for someone else. If you're looking, that's dishonest, if you're not, that's even worse.

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What about Dagny's relatioship with Rearden?

Or lets take a real example: I meet a lot of women. A few of them are good ones that I can really enjoy spending time with. However, unfortunately, the right one does not seem to be available. What would you suggest I do?

I would not give up on a good thing just because it isn't completely satisfactory. I like to enjoy life to the fullest, and having a good woman in my life is very enjoyable. Years of loneliness is not. Better then to pursue the good ones in an honest fashion.

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Yes. Why would being satisfied depend on what alternatives you have, rather than the nature of your current relationship?

Suppose you are in relationship A. It's going on alright, and is actually satisfying. You see potential for relationship B that is *more* satisfying than A. Having that comparison in mind, A becomes unsatisfying to the degree that A is inferior to B. Realizing one relationship will likely be better than another can create a feeling of unsatisfaction. Satisfaction depends on both alternatives and nature of current values.

If you're unsatisfied, your "better alternative" is to be alone and looking for someone who will satisfy you. That alternative is always better than being with someone who doesn't satisfy you and either looking or not looking for someone else. If you're looking, that's dishonest, if you're not, that's even worse.

I simply don't understand this part. I believe you're saying that one shouldn't be in an unsatisfying relationship. So breaking up is best in that circumstance. This is true if the relationship is relatively unfixable or not worth the effort to fix. Keep in mind, though, that unsatisfaction can be due to noting new alternatives as well, so something with greater potential ought to be pursued. If one is looking while in a relationship, that isn't necessarily dishonest - some people would say that multiple romantic relationships at once is perfectly moral. Sure, dishonest cases would involve lying and secrecy, but that doesn't have to be the case.

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If she decides to end it, it should be because that relationship wasn't satisfying to her, not because she met someone she likes better.

How is this an either/or? If a value is flawed but there isn't a better alternative is it rational to be unsatisfied?

A romantic love relationship is an either/or proposition: Either both parties are fully present and are committed to making it work, or they are not. There is no halfway point. There's no such thing as partial, semi- or "sort of" romance.

I personally would not want to be with a person who left someone to be with me. For that matter, I wouldn't want to be with someone who very recently got out of a relationship. To the extent that their relationship was serious and committed, a person needs time to get themselves together, be on their own, and experience being single for a while.

It's always suspicious when a person exits one relationship, then seemingly immediately becomes romantically involved with someone else.

Romance is an enormous value in the life of a woman.

Why?

Why don't you tell me, Louise? :)

I agree with you that relationships should be simple and happy. But women are taught to do drama. A healthy man will not put up with that. So if women want healthy relationships they have to change too. How can they learn to be better?

I have no advice for women. However, I'm extremely interested to hear more from you about how, as you say, women are taught to do drama. In what ways do you think this happens?

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"For that matter, I wouldn't want to be with someone who very recently got out of a relationship."

Hang on, that's a pretty different animal from leaving one relationship for another. "Rebound relationships" are based on feeling crappy because you lost somebody and looking for somebody else, anybody else, hoping to be comforted about the loss and not feel lonely. Those are about desperation and they aren't picky. They're trying to simply relieve bad feelings. Those feelings of loss aren't there to be a motivator for leaving one relationship for another like they are with rebound relationships. A rebound relationship often means taking somebody less compatible than one's former mate because that is seen as still better than being alone. However, to get somebody to leave one relationship for another the new person would have to be more compatible or there would be no motive left for leaving who one was already with.

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Why don't you tell me, Louise? :)

Because you made the claim. I want to hear your reasoning.

I have no advice for women. However, I'm extremely interested to hear more from you about how, as you say, women are taught to do drama. In what ways do you think this happens?

Through culture, through the behaviour of other women and romantic fiction. They might consciously emulate it because they think it's the good or they might learn it subconsciously. When they come across a problem in the relationship, women become emotional instead of rational and act on bad women's culture ideas they haven't learned to criticize in order to eliminate, thus drama.

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Suppose you are in relationship A. It's going on alright, and is actually satisfying. You see potential for relationship B that is *more* satisfying than A. Having that comparison in mind, A becomes unsatisfying to the degree that A is inferior to B. Realizing one relationship will likely be better than another can create a feeling of unsatisfaction. Satisfaction depends on both alternatives and nature of current values.

I simply don't understand this part. I believe you're saying that one shouldn't be in an unsatisfying relationship. So breaking up is best in that circumstance. This is true if the relationship is relatively unfixable or not worth the effort to fix. Keep in mind, though, that unsatisfaction can be due to noting new alternatives as well, so something with greater potential ought to be pursued. If one is looking while in a relationship, that isn't necessarily dishonest - some people would say that multiple romantic relationships at once is perfectly moral. Sure, dishonest cases would involve lying and secrecy, but that doesn't have to be the case.

Wouldn't you be sending the message that you will throw people away once you think there is a potential for the a better alternative? I would be hesitant to enter into a relationship with someone like that. There is a lot of impulsiveness, lack of introspection, and behavior that border's on "cheating".

For instance, John is dating Maggie, they are both engineering students with internships, so their relationship ammounts to watching movies together and having sex. The relationship is drama free and they get along for the most part. They graduate from their university and start pursuing their careers. John meets Anna at a party and starts talking to her, he really likes her an realizes that he wants to get marrried in a few years. He and Maggie don't really agree on a lot life choices. He talks to Anna more and realizes that they have a lot in common, and now he wants to get with her because Maggie is no longer compatible with his values and Anna might be.

I have to ask though, why did he wait until he found the right alternative to start finding his new needs? If he had sat down and thought about it he might have understood that he needed to break up with Maggie, and then he when he met Anna things would have been simpler. Breaking up with Maggie and then immediately going after Anna makes him look confused and unprincipled.

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Wouldn't you be sending the message that you will throw people away once you think there is a potential for the a better alternative? I would be hesitant to enter into a relationship with someone like that. There is a lot of impulsiveness, lack of introspection, and behavior that border's on "cheating".

I do not mean to suggest "throwing" anyone away as though they lose all value entirely, nor do I like that characterization. I'll start by answering your question about the John/Maggie/Anna scenario.

With that scenario, I'll be keeping in mind that you said nothing in particular is wrong with John's relationship with Maggie, and it qualifies as the relationship A in my example. So, why would John ever conceivably break up with Maggie? Well, it's rather simple - John feels a greater connection to Anna than with Maggie. Values are discovered, not decided upon, meaning that perhaps John's value hierarchy has changed. Without ever meeting Anna, how could John possibly discover a value that is significantly greater than Maggie? Sitting down and introspecting earlier about Maggie wouldn't be able to reveal much, especially since my premise is that only discovering new values will alter existing values. Another possibility is noting a mistake that John only comes to notice after meeting Anna. In either case, no one can know their needs as though it's just "out there" and nothing less than platonic perfection is acceptable.

The idea of discovering values, though, is almost exactly what happened with Dagny. She was quite attracted to Rearden, clearly, and knew nothing about Galt. Introspecting wouldn't somehow indicate Rearden is not worth her time or incompatible. But then, she meets Galt! At that point, it is absolutely possible to introspect, make a comparison between values, and discover: "aha! I like Galt so much more, even though Rearden is a fantastic person." Rearden wasn't thrown to the curb as though he never existed. (I couldn't help but notice this after reading Bluecherry's previous post, and it is relevant to the point I want to make.)

Going back to the Maggie/John/Anna scenario, John isn't necessarily bordering on cheating, lacking introspection, or impulsive. Go more abstract than the immediacy one relationship ending and another starting. Values as a whole should be pursued once they are evaluated to be better than an alternative. That's how any value is discovered: comparison between alternatives, and experiencing the relevant values. I'd even say not pursuing a better alternative is self-sacrificial, substituting a greater value for a lesser value. True, you said potential, that's why picking a new relationship is no simple task. Sometimes, great value can be gained from pursuing a potential. A risk, I could say (albeit, it should only be taken if it's almost a certainty it's too important to take lightly). The bottom line is that values change over the course of a lifetime.

Edited by Eiuol
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Eiuol, I like your take in the last post. But isn't this a time-sensitive matter? I mean, are there times where it is inappropriate to engage in that kind of introspection? For instance, after you have initiated significant long-term joint activities like buying a home or having children?

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holding sry

@bluecherry Ayn Rand supported polyamory. I don't have a problem with the idea, but I suspect it takes a huge ammount of work. Ayn Rand herself wasn't able to pull it off.

@Eiuol - Well how do you suppose breaking up with someone? Leaving someone for another person is a pretty big deal, and it would be difficult to maintain that relationship at the same time as the other. Also put this in the context of America, where the most common preference is for exclusive romance. Pursuing a new relationship pretty much means throwing someone to the curb. Are you proposing that John maintain both relationships?

My entire point rested on potential . Anna was a potential value. He speculated that she may be compatible with his life goals, but he doesn't know that for sure. If he left Maggie because of his new ideas about relationships, and then started dating Anna that would be fine. If he didn't break up with Maggie and continued to pursue Anna, that would be dishoenst. I think you forgot that Kevin Delaney was talking about how men shouldn't be attempting to steal women from other men.

Edited by Hairnet
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Lol, what? XD Dagny was never involved with more than one of these characters at a time.I don't see how what you said in response to me is relevant to my question.

"If he didn't break up with Maggie and continued to pursue Anna, that would be dishonest."

Nobody is proposing that. The scenarios discussed here always involve breaking up with one person before going after the other one.

". . . men shouldn't be attempting to steal women from other men."

Also, you can't steal a woman. I don't mean that as in that you can't do so morally, I mean it is downright impossible. The closest you could come to theft of a woman is abduction and that is still a long way from actual theft. The concept of stealing is inapplicable to people since people don't have owners like a TV or a car does. What is possible though with people is persuasion. Stealing and lying we already know are immoral, but since people can't be stolen and for the sake of argument I'd like to propose that no lies are involved then the moral arguments against those things cannot apply here. What do you propose would be the reason that it would be immoral to attempt to persuade somebody to be in a relationship with you instead of somebody else who they so happen to already be involved with? The only thing I can think of would be to say that it is unlikely to succeed, but that's typically the case even when somebody is not already in a relationship. You may be more likely to irritate the woman if you are blatantly hitting on her when she is clearly already in a relationship though.

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@Eiuol - Well how do you suppose breaking up with someone?

Like breaking up with anyone: being openly honest, explaining the sufficient reasons to break up. This doesn't have to involve totally excising the other person from your life at all, even if the one being broken up with would be sad for a while. John could remain friends with Maggie if he so chose, and given that you proposed no notable relationship problems in the scenario, I have no reason to suppose a lasting friendship would be impossible. Preference for exclusivity isn't important here, though. I'm assuming that whatever the preference is, the difference in value between Maggie and Anna is so significant that John would find breaking the romantic relationship with Maggie as the most honest action to take.

Hairnet, I understand you spoke of potential. I took that into account earlier by saying that a great value can be attained by pursuing a potential, even if it's a risk to some extent. So many things are potential values in life that if all one ever pursued is guarantees, no grand values can ever be attained. John pursuing Maggie at first would have been a potential as well, just like any relationship. John deciding to pursue Anna would be equally a potential, except that considerations mentioned in FeatherFall's post would have a heavy weight on how to consider new potentials. When there are long-term joint activities, there is a lot more to lose out of being mistaken, so if two people buy a house, that probably reflects a degree of valuation. It reflects a degree that a relationship is viewed to be long-term. Having children is another way to reflect degree of valuation in a relationship, where there is a considerable amount of integrated values. There are other ways to reflect degree of value.

FeatherFall, I don't follow what you mean by asking if there are times when the introspection I mentioned is inappropriate. I read that as "are there times when thinking is inappropriate" to which I'd reply "No."

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After reading this thread, an off topic non sequitor comment came to mind:

If you become a right man, there is no need to avoid wrong women, because they're only looking for wrong men.

In personal relationships... the fish always matches the bait.

Edited by moralist
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If you become a right man, there is no need to avoid wrong women, because they're only looking for wrong men.

In personal relationships... the fish always matches the bait.

A neat aphorism, and there is some truth to it. By working to become a "right man," a guy can do a lot to avoid the wrong kind of woman.

Part of becoming a right man, however, is acquiring knowledge. It means becoming savvy and sophisticated, and gaining an understanding of your subject.

Man is the initiator and prime mover in romance; if he can't identify circumstances that are favorable to him, and keep away from those that aren't, he's bound to wind up frustrated.

The sad fact is, many good men waste a lot of time and energy pursuing situations that are essentially hopeless.

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A neat aphorism, and there is some truth to it. By working to become a "right man," a guy can do a lot to avoid the wrong kind of woman.

A right man won't even need to try, because he will become the "wrong man" for wrong females who will naturally avoid him. In personal relations, people basically get what they deserve.

Part of becoming a right man, however, is acquiring knowledge. It means becoming savvy and sophisticated, and gaining an understanding of your subject.

My approach is different in that it's better to seek to understand yourself to be "the right bait for the right fish".

Man is the initiator and prime mover in romance; if he can't identify circumstances that are favorable to him, and keep away from those that aren't, he's bound to wind up frustrated.

Well if he does, it's well earned frustration. For what is wrong in a male is attracted to what is wrong in a female. That is the basis of their relationship.

In contrast, what is right in a man is attracted to what is right in a woman, and that is the basis of their relationship.

The sad fact is, many good men waste a lot of time and energy pursuing situations that are essentially hopeless.

As I see it, they're still males who have not yet become good men as long as they do that.

Edited by moralist
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A right man won't even need to try, because he will become the "wrong man" for wrong females who will naturally avoid him.

Anyone who is familiar with the thinking error called rationalism, ought to recognize it in statements like this.

In the audio clip at the start of this thread, I mentioned two categories of women who would be wrong for a man to pursue, but who are not necessarily bad people: women who aren't romantically interested in the man, and women who are already in relationships.

No matter how great they might be in terms of personality and character, these women are unavailable, and need to be recognized as such. When a man fails to do so, he can go on pining for a kind of relationship that very likely will never materialize.

I also talked about women who are overly negative, and/or have poor attitudes. These women can seem sexy on the surface, and might in fact have some good qualities, but experiencing romantic ecstasy with them is generally impossible.

There are other types — what about women who seek to exploit a man for his wealth, fame, social status, etc.? Has no "right man" has ever been swindled by a woman who wanted to take advantage of him?

It's important to be careful of statements that have a nice ring to them and might sound good on the surface, but upon closer inspection, don't match up with reality.

Edited by Kevin Delaney
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Anyone who is familiar with the thinking error called rationalism, ought to recognize it in statements like this.

It's quite rational without being rationalizing to state that people naturally seek out their own kind.

In the audio clip at the start of this thread, I mentioned two categories of women who would be wrong for a man to pursue, but who are not necessarily bad people:

You're quite correct. People who form relationships match each other... for better or for worse. The better or worse all depends on the quality of their matching values which could be anything from sublime to rotten.

women who aren't romantically interested in the man, and women who are already in relationships.

There's another category which may or may not include those first two. Those whose values don't match.

No matter how great they might be in terms of personality and character, these women are unavailable, and need to be recognized as such. When a man fails to do so, he can go on pining for a kind of relationship that very likely will never materialize.

Yes. That's how males behave... not men.

There are other types — what about women who seek to exploit a man for his wealth, fame, social status, etc.? Has no "right man" has ever been swindled by a woman who wanted to take advantage of him?

Right men cannot be swindled... however males are easy marks for females who share their values.

It's important to be careful of statements that have a nice ring to them...

The "nice ring" to which my statements refer is a wedding ring. ; )

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It's quite rational without being rationalizing to state that people naturally seek out their own kind.

The problem is with the conclusion you draw from that premise.

Values are discovered and judging people is something everyone has to learn. To seek out your own kind you have to discover what that is and learn to identify such people.

You're quite correct. People who form relationships match each other... for better or for worse. The better or worse all depends on the quality of their matching values which could be anything from sublime to rotten.

No, people who form relationship don't necessarily match each other. There could be something that matches, or they could incorrectly think they match. Good people can get into bad relationship because they misjudge their partner or act on bad premises.

Yes. That's how males behave... not men.

An empty assertion.

Right men cannot be swindled... however males are easy marks for females who share their values.

Nonsense. This is just like saying that smart people don't make mistakes, because if they were really smart they wouldn't have made the mistake in the first place.

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The problem is with the conclusion you draw from that premise.

Values are discovered and judging people is something everyone has to learn.

...and there is no better way to learn than the through consequences of relationships.

To seek out your own kind you have to discover what that is and learn to identify such people.

That process is much more than just an intellectual choice. People with matching values no matter what those values happen to be, are naturally attracted to each other.

No, people who form relationship don't necessarily match each other.

When it comes to males and females, and men and women... complimentary traits match. But same moral values match.

There could be something that matches, or they could incorrectly think they match. Good people can get into bad relationship because they misjudge their partner or act on bad premises.

Then they only thought they were good, and that's a very valuable truth to discover. This is the purpose of bad relationships... to teach us what we need to learn to become men.

An empty assertion.

It's just a matter of defining terms. I draw a moral distinction between males and men.

Nonsense. This is just like saying that smart people don't make mistakes, because if they were really smart they wouldn't have made the mistake in the first place.

I was referring to the ideal which is worthy of aspiration, is it not? To become wise is to learn from the pain of mistakes to be set free from suffering their repetition. Whatever remains unlearned will surely be repeated. And each of us freely chooses to learn the easy way or the hard way. Some with a gentle tap on the shoulder and others by a baseball bat over the head.

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I was interested to know if you were professionally involved in relationship counseling, psychology, or the like prior to these blogs and podcasts.

Why no answer to this?

I used to work with an Indian guy, he was a Hindu and I gathered he was from one of the better castes. He exuded a sense of entitlement. He was short and pear shaped, nothing to look at. He would spend his spare time giving romantic advice on the internet, he used a catch phrase “in love with love”, he would be in chat rooms (when that was a new thing) doling out advice, I saw some of it, it was simply cringe-inducing. He was quite an expert on how sexual incompatibility could be overcome by people who really love each other.

Anyway, it turned out he’d literally never been on a date in his life, age 30ish. We had a toothsome blonde working with us that he would gawk at, to such an extent that we finally had to keep them separated, no work task overlaps, and no sightline. He tried all kinds of passive aggressive ways of approaching her, and somehow thought it would be attractive to let her know that she’d have to convert to Hinduism to marry him, and quickly mind you, because his parents would be setting him up in an arranged marriage with someone from India soon. His cluelessness to the fact that she had zero interest in him was both comic and sad to observe.

The point being: anyone can play Dear Abby on the internet. Why should the denizens of Objectivism Online be interested in the opinions of Kevin Delaney on romance? What data set are you working from? It’s quite another matter if you want to study the life and opinions of someone like "Roissy in DC", who for a long time gave advice on seduction/game techniques, and could speak to success rates for various strategies geared towards the short-term goal of getting someone in bed. Successful long-term romance is something that, from my experience and observation, calls to mind the metaphor from Nassim Taleb’s earlier book, The Black Swan (I’m working on his new one, Anti-Fragile, at the moment). This is contrary to Tolstoy’s notorious phrase about happy families being all the same (and unhappy ones being unhappy in their own way), but I digress.

I know I don’t know enough to give advice on romance.

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Why no answer to this?

I did answer it — the extent of my professional involvement in romance is my blog, Webinars and other related programs. If I were a trained psychologist or relationship counselor, don't you think I would have mentioned that?

A person should listen my advice, if and when they find what I have to say interesting, it matches up with their experience (at least in part), it makes sense to them, and seems as though it might be valuable.

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