Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum

Complicated Relationship Issue

Rate this topic


Recommended Posts

Hi there, this is my first post here- I actually joined this site purely to ask some other Objectivists this question, get some help from people that may understand my values, as I've been an Objectivist for about 3-4 years now.

 

So, almost two years ago, I met a girl, named Sara, freshman year of college. She was one of the first people I met, and we got along splendidly. Not long after I befriended her, I found out she was a lesbian, with a girlfriend. This didn't bother me at all, as we were just friends. Over time, our friendship deepened- we spent all of our time together, she broke up with her girlfriend about halfway through the school year, and by around Spring I had developed feelings for her. We could discuss anything together, I spoke to her of Rand and introduced her to Fountainhead and her sense of wonder and discovery when reading it was extraordinarily reminiscent of my own. We shared virtually all of the same values, we shared our lives together throughout the year. I knew the problem, I didn't believe I would ever be able to start a romantic relationship with her, but I didn't care- I was too damn happy with her, I couldn't find myself attracted to any other woman for that entire year.

 

As the year was ending, she had sex with another girl. She felt awful about it, she didn't tell me about it for a week, and cried very much that night. I believe it's because she believes the same principles that I did, that having sex should be an important thing based on strong values, but she didn't even like this girl's personality, she just thought she was pretty. She felt awful about it, and needless to say, so did I. But after her night with this girl, for some reason, she didn't find her attractive anymore. I chalked it up to her learning a lesson by means of experience, as her sexual experience with the girl was one she heavily regretted.

 

Summer came around. We were still best friends, I still hadn't told her how I felt. We texted each other and talked every day. Midway through the summer, she started dating another girl. I found out through Facebook. The girl that Sara had slept with had introduced them. I felt like a fool. The two of them had a complicated relationship that I view with disgust still. For much time, Sara was convinced that she wanted to date her based on mutual values, as we had agreed upon. The very first time I talked to her about it, I discovered that she really didn't share any values with her, and there were plenty of things that bothered each other. Sara rather quickly realized that she didn't really like anything about her, except that she thought she was hot. She agreed she should break up with her.

 

The next school year began. Sara's girlfriend helped her move in the first day. I hung out with both of them, but whenever I was there, Sara would almost completely ignore her girlfriend because her and I got along so much better. She complained of how she believed her girlfriend was a boring person, but she would flip-flop between saying that she thought she was a great person and a really normal person. I believe she was trying to justify it to herself so she wouldn't feel like some sort of slut, but going by Objectivism, I believed that facing the damn facts was the real solution. Midway through the year, I had enough of her sleeping with this girl while we spent literally all of our time together- I view sex as an important thing, and see it as hypocrisy when she claimed she would much rather have me as her friend than to have ever met her girlfriend as she has sex with her.

 

I told her how I felt. I laid it all down, that I was sorry to put it on her, and that I understood she was a lesbian, and that I didn't expect her to date me or anything, but there were only two things to do: she could agree to join me as we quest to discover why we are attracted to what we are, so that we can know if we could be together one day; or we could just stop talking to each other, she can continue being lesbian, and I can move on with my life. She cried very much that night, and had no answer. The next day she broke up with her girlfriend, and I thought I had my answer. A week passed, and she disappeared all day, and I searched for her, desperate as to where she had gone. I couldn't find her. As I lay sleeping that night, I heard moaning next door all night- she had brought her girlfriend back over to have sex with her. I've never felt so awful in my entire life as I did that night- an immense sense of betrayal, my stomach was twisted in knots, and I was immobilized. I wanted to cry and vomit, but the sense of helplessness held back both.

 

I confronted her the next morning, weak from clenching my stomach for the last 8 hours. I asked her why. She burst into tears and told me it was because she felt it was all impossible, that she would lose me anyway, and I might as well leave her now. She said she did it because she knew it'd make me leave her. She left hurriedly for class, and I explained the situation to her (ex?) girlfriend.

 

Sara got back from class, and her girlfriend was pissed at her. I had dozens of unanswered questions, but Sara chose to calm down her girlfriend instead, all day, leaving me high and dry for a more in-depth discussion until the next day. Their relationship became one of friendship after this point, and to my knowledge they didn't have sex again. Seeing how manic the situation had made her, I chose to forgive her, even though the pain was so great from the night I heard them having sex. Maybe the pain made me more susceptible to forgiving her, I still don't know. Anyways, the next few months passed and their friendship dwindled until they finally stopped talking altogether.

 

After all this time, and another month passing by, even though we spent virtually all of our time together, we had still never discussed attraction, something of vital importance to our own relationship's growth. I brought it up with her, and explained my concerns that over the last month, she had changed, and she had altogether stopped discussing anything of importance with me, only trivial things, and how we needed to figure out our attractions. She cried once more, telling me that she didn't think she could ever do it (find me attractive in all my masculinity, that is). I begged her that we should discuss it, we've *never* discussed it, to not jump to conclusions so quickly, but she wouldn't listen. She said she didn't want to talk anymore because my existence made her feel awful about herself, telling me that she believed me too good for her to bear. She said she just wanted some alone time, and that she wouldn't form or seek out relationships with anyone else, she just wanted to be by herself. I agreed to it, and I myself cried for the first time in years that night.

 

The next day, she came back to her room with another random girl on her softball team whom she never spoke to beforehand. I saw and text her to please not do anything with her, that it's only been a day, and she knew how I had felt when she had done this before. I begged her. She promised me she wouldn't and that she wasn't even trying anything with this girl.

 

I heard the moaning once more as I tried to sleep. She'd lied to me, right to my goddamn face.

 

This time, all the same feelings returned, as well as rage. As soon as I was sure what I was hearing, I leaped out of bed, got out of my room, and slammed the door shut as hard as I possibly could, hoping she would hear it and know it as a sign that I would never speak to her again. I told my roommate what happened, and didn't dare go back to my room to try and sleep until 5 in the morning.

 

That was 2 and a half months ago.

 

I still think about her every day. This is absolute agony. I can't move on from her. Time isn't doing shit. I haven't even looked at her, let alone talked to her, for 2 and a half months. I still hear her and her random softball teammate fucking from time to time, and it's the worst feeling I've ever felt and I wanna break apart the damn wall and beat the shit out of her every time I hear it. But I can't do anything about it either! I think if I talk to her I won't be able to say anything except curse her for being such a complete asshole, for being a coward, for lying to me and betraying my trust after 2 years of having nobody but her.

 

I understand that the usual response to this is just take some time to get over her, but I haven't felt any better at all since the very first week we stopped speaking. I miss her so much, everything she says and does. I even keep myself busy with other things, and I don't purposely think of her, but I can't help it. I still don't really want to date or have sex with any other woman. So even though I want to be friends with her with all of my heart, everything is just broken beyond repair- if we realistically did start spending time together again, she now has another girlfriend or fuck-buddy of some sort in the picture, she still hasn't changed her approach to relationships, she still doesn't want to talk about anything, and I know if nothing is different, it will inevitably lead to me being hurt once more.

 

And I think I understand why I can't move on from her. It's because we still share all the same values. See, even though she has sex with these women that don't deserve it, so to speak, that she values her own self so little that basically any hot girl can have sex with her, she feels bad about it. Even though she doesn't understand herself and her own sexuality and is too scared to do so, she doesn't believe that it's right. She thinks that I'm perfect, and that she's unworthy. Her own lack of confidence seems to be her only flaw.

 

Of course, she could just be a masterful bullshitter, but I don't believe that she devoted 2 years of her life to bullshit. I believe we still share the same values and she's just too scared, maybe even cowardly, to figure it out for herself. But I'm so angry at her I don't want to even see her, but I'm so much less happy without her. I don't know what to do.

 

Help? Insight? Anybody?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 I believe she was trying to justify it to herself so she wouldn't feel like some sort of slut, but going by Objectivism, I believed that facing the damn facts was the real solution.

 

Help? Insight? Anybody?

 

First, you shouldn't do something to "go by Objectivism". It isn't a religion, though some people treat it as such.

 

It will never work out romantically between you two - She is a lesbian, she isn't physically attracted to you. If you cannot remain friends with her without hoping for something more, you need to cut off contact with her and move on. It is tormenting you and it isn't furthering your life in any positive way.

Edited by thenelli01
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Unfortunately, the answer is just time, like you guessed. It would probably also help to get out to other social activity so that you can begin to get her off your mind, despite yourself.

Who knows if this girl finds men attractive or not. But it's pretty obvious she doesn't find *you* attractive, at least physically. That's all you really need to know. By growing so close to her over several years, and by allowing yourself to entertain possibilities that will never come to pass, it's inevitable that you will feel some heavy loss. Again, time.

Hang in there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Complicated" doesn't begin to describe this mess.

 

You urgently need to discover the principle of simplicity, as it pertains to love & relationships.

 

Simplicity is the Law of Identity of romance. Without a clear understanding of it, and nearly-constant reference to it, you're liable to end up in all sorts of bizarre, agonizing, destructive scenarios.

 

Lucky for you, I discuss this idea in some detail in a recorded program available for free from my blog. You can listen to the relevant portion here: http://forum.objectivismonline.com/index.php?showtopic=24379

 

Also be sure to read my article "The Simplicity Square": http://LeadingManBlog.com/the-simplicity-square/

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Hi there, this is my first post here- I actually joined this site purely to ask some other Objectivists this question, get some help from people that may understand my values, as I've been an Objectivist for about 3-4 years now."

I kind of did the same thing when I started posting here. :P

 

Alright, important information here. It seems this stupid crap about friendship being just a "zone" one can get placed into with no established relation beforehand has given many people an absurd and frustrating sense of how romance and friendship work. Romance and friendship are not things you just get placed into, they're two separate tracks that a relation can grow along which are based on who the two of you already are. If you find yourself in one category and not the other, odds are that (barring some huge unexpected discoveries about each other which usually happen fairly early on) you won't be changing categorization in somebody's mind anymore than a tree will change categories in somebody's mind (barring some sudden discovery the thing is actually not a tree but a mechanical spying device merely very well disguised as a tree.) In fact, you never could have been in the other category no matter what different choices you made or what other context you were in. You are what you are, that other person is what they are. Though you may change in many ways, you're still the same person at your core where it matters most for these things.

 

Now, how can somebody date one person and be friends with another though they like the friend more? Because friendship and romance are not just two different levels on the same fundamental scale of liking people, somebody can be higher up in the friend scale (say, an 80) while somebody else can be lower and on the romantic scale, not the friend scale (say, a 60 on the romantic scale.) How can this be when it is generally recognized that romance is a stronger feeling toward somebody than friendship?  The scales aren't exactly  equal. The friendship scale may start at 30 and end at 100, but the romantic scale may start at 60 and top out at 150. Thus, somebody could be a friend that is 40 points higher up than somebody else who is on the romantic scale. Romance still holds a greater capacity than friendship even though on occasion this kind of thing where somebody is closer to a friend than a mate may happen. Generally though, the people who are at the low end of the romantic scale won't be able to last long. I think friendships stand a much better chance of lasting for a long time while having lower numbers since by its nature, romance is more demanding than friendship.

 

And a final consideration here: Supposing you consider yourself heterosexual, do you think you could ever have enough in the way of common values and getting along and so on to be attracted to another guy? Because I expect that's what the situation is like for her. Even if she became totally committed to having sex and romantic relationships only with people she had common values with, you still wouldn't be eligible. Her having sex with these other people is not the one thing standing in the way of her being with you.

 

I've sort of been on the other side of a situation like this. Somebody I met in freshman year of college and gotten very close to over a couple years informed me that either we would have to have a romantic relationship or that he was going to cut off all contact with me because he thought it was necessary for him to get over things and move on with his life. I knew well that, close as we were, I was not attracted to him romantically, just as a friend. I agonized over this decision. I couldn't bear the consequences either way. I literally spent years trying to figure out which was the lesser evil of my options or if there was any other way around it. Finally it got to the point where whenever we talked he would always want to hear about the decision I had to make and which I was frozen in terror about and so being around him stopped being something I enjoyed and started being something I dreaded. Being around him was almost purely an exercise in stressing myself out. So, this finally tipped the balance in favor of me losing somebody I deeply cared about. He was hurt and angry and I was very, very sad. But, I felt such a huge sense of relief for the first time in so long that I had no second thoughts about what I should have done anymore. I still think about and miss him as I do still care about him lots though I haven't heard from him in more than a year now. It's unfortunate to think that it was pressure on me in hopes of getting me closer which drove us apart entirely after it caused so much grief between us. Too much pressure on somebody to come closer can backfire and push them away.

 

Now, on the other hand, I've also had two cases where somebody I loved romantically chose not to be in a relationship with me. In one case, that person cut off contact from me completely. Six months later I still felt absolutely horrible and hopeless, no better off than right after it first happened. (How long this would have lasted on its own I don't know, since after six months I heard from him again. He had become clearly mentally ill though by this point thus making contact with him very rare and sporadic and non-sensical and also making it clear that a relationship in the future would just be totally out of the question no matter what.) On the other hand, with the other one I stayed friends with the other person and having them in my life still made a world of difference for me. I was grief stricken for the first couple days, but I adjusted and coped with things pretty well. I was encouraged to try to find somebody else to have a romantic relationship with and that certainly wasn't an easy thing to do even having pretty well settled into just friendship with this other person, but after about a year I found enough will to try looking around again. While I do suppose things may be different from person to person, I question the notion I seem to hear often that keeping this other person around will make it impossible to appreciate other people and things in your life again. Additionally, the first case where somebody cut off contact I still think about, miss, care about them, but I have by now gotten to the point where this isn't painful or all-consuming anymore. Point here being, time can help, but it is not at all unheard of for a few months to not be enough time. It's too soon to totally write off this pain ever fading.

 

You've got to stop getting so angry about her being with other people though. From the sound of things she doesn't harbor any ill will toward you. Even the one time she intentionally did something within earshot of you knowing it would upset you, she did so believing (perhaps mistakenly) that it would get you to do something beneficial for yourself. As for her sexual habits conflicting with her values, try to remember that that is her problem, not yours. She may have some flaws in her approach, but she's trying to pursue her own happiness just like you are. There isn't some plot to send you some kind of mean message behind this or something. Any errors somebody makes in trying to pursue their own happiness, as long as they don't involve violating the rights of others or seeking to harm others, I would say are cause to be saddened, not angered.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

She felt awful about it, and needless to say, so did I.

I understand feeling awful for a friend when they feel awful, but the way you state this makes it sound like you felt she owed you something, or you felt confused about your own feelings for your friend when you knew for sure she was sexually active. Still, it's not anything against you if she felt like she made a mistake. At that point, you said nothing about your feelings.

 

We were still best friends, I still hadn't told her how I felt.

Why did you not tell her? Clearly at this point you had feelings for her, and mentioned nothing about why you'd hesitate. Alright, she started dating another girl, so maybe you felt unsure again. But your wording makes me curious. Why did you say "she wanted to date her based on mutual values, as we had agreed upon"? Do you mean you two agreed on the principle, or do you mean the two of you had an explicit agreement? The former is great, but the latter, that doesn't make sense for friendship. She shouldn't need such an agreement with you. Also, you said "I discovered she didn't share any values with her" and then said Sara realized she didn't like much about the new girl. It sounds like you're presuming to know Sara's values better than Sara herself.

 

I view sex as an important thing, and see it as hypocrisy when she claimed she would much rather have me as her friend than to have ever met her girlfriend as she has sex with her.

Problem: it sounds like you're leaving something out. Did you by chance ask Sara to say if she would rather you be her friend or have the girl as her girlfriend? It is wholly unfair I think to ever pose such a choice. Perhaps there was a different interaction they had which Sara liked in a romantic partner, or any number of reasons. The problem I see at this point in the story is that you still didn't mention you had romantic feelings.

 

there were only two things to do: she could agree to join me as we quest to discover why we are attracted to what we are, so that we can know if we could be together one day; or we could just stop talking to each other, she can continue being lesbian, and I can move on with my life.

The Choice!! Only two options are available, you must choose one! The time is nigh!

The way you explain it is like you put an urgency on Sara, and she didn't want to make a mistake or regret a bad decision. In the first place, your question to her is unfair. You already said you didn't expect her to date you, so why did you need to go on a quest with you to discover why you're attracted to certain people? The way you phrase makes me wonder if despite not expecting her to date you, she was "supposed" to figure out why she didn't reciprocate. She isn't obligated to answer that. Also, she's a lesbian. Trust her judgment about her sexuality. That should be reason enough. I was attracted to a lesbian once too, so I do understand the dilemma, but as you said, it's better to face the facts.

 

As I lay sleeping that night, I heard moaning next door all night- she had brought her girlfriend back over to have sex with her. I've never felt so awful in my entire life as I did that night- an immense sense of betrayal, my stomach was twisted in knots, and I was immobilized.

Sounds like jealousy. Perhaps she "broke up" with her girlfriend because of your pressure, but realized it was a mistake to make a choice based on your demands. You mentioned nothing about being happy for Sara, only that somehow, she's wronging you. The wronging began with your ultimatum.

 

She burst into tears and told me it was because she felt it was all impossible, that she would lose me anyway, and I might as well leave her now. She said she did it because she knew it'd make me leave her.

Impossible indeed. She should not have been so underhanded, but really, you gave her a nasty and I think unjust ultimatum. It sounds like at this point you were starting to be a net negative impact on her life.

 

She promised me she wouldn't and that she wasn't even trying anything with this girl.

She shouldn't have lied, yes. But consider all the pressure you put on Sara. You sound like you're being controlling. Let her make her own mistakes. Let her figure it out. But the way you pressured her, maybe she felt that lying was the only way to keep you in her life *and* pursue her happiness. If she told you that she wanted to explore her sexuality in a way you probably wouldn't agree with, how do you think you would have responded?

 

I understand that the usual response to this is just take some time to get over her, but I haven't felt any better at all since the very first week we stopped speaking

What I'm seeing is a lot of mistakes made by both you and Sara. Things kept getting exacerbated until it exploded into a painful situation. So, it will take a lot longer than a week. It may take months before you feel better. Maybe in a few months, you'll have a new perspective so you can be friends again. I won't offer suggestions just yet of what to do at this point, I'm just telling you how I see the story you told.

Edited by Eiuol
Link to comment
Share on other sites

She's a lesbian, you're not...which should have ended all this before it ever began.  You really shouldn't even be that close a friend to a woman who you aren't dating and have no option to date.  Casual acquaintances aside, men should be friends with men; women, friends with women.  And don't tell women "how you feel" before you are even dating them. Date them and make them want you, then you don't have to worry about the "does she or doesn't she".  Once you are in a relationship, then you can talk about your feelings until you're blue in the face.

Edited by CosmoSlotnick
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I understand feeling awful for a friend when they feel awful, but the way you state this makes it sound like you felt she owed you something, or you felt confused about your own feelings for your friend when you knew for sure she was sexually active. Still, it's not anything against you if she felt like she made a mistake. At that point, you said nothing about your feelings.

No, I didn't feel she owed me something, it's the feeling of "the girl I like is sleeping with someone else", really not any different from what you'd see in a TV show.

 

Why did you not tell her? Clearly at this point you had feelings for her, and mentioned nothing about why you'd hesitate. Alright, she started dating another girl, so maybe you felt unsure again. But your wording makes me curious. Why did you say "she wanted to date her based on mutual values, as we had agreed upon"? Do you mean you two agreed on the principle, or do you mean the two of you had an explicit agreement? The former is great, but the latter, that doesn't make sense for friendship. She shouldn't need such an agreement with you. Also, you said "I discovered she didn't share any values with her" and then said Sara realized she didn't like much about the new girl. It sounds like you're presuming to know Sara's values better than Sara herself.

The former, yes, as in we had agreed that the principle of dating people based on mutual values was a moral thing to do. And no, I don't know her values better than herself, but she's a confused soul, and I like to think I'm an observant fellow. I recognized patterns in their relationship, presented them to Sara, to which she confirmed my speculation usually. For the sake of brevity, you can think of it as simply as me pointing out things that indicated lack of the principle of dating people based on mutual values.

 

 

Problem: it sounds like you're leaving something out. Did you by chance ask Sara to say if she would rather you be her friend or have the girl as her girlfriend? It is wholly unfair I think to ever pose such a choice. Perhaps there was a different interaction they had which Sara liked in a romantic partner, or any number of reasons. The problem I see at this point in the story is that you still didn't mention you had romantic feelings.

I didn't pose that question until later on, when I told her how I felt, though indirectly. I mean, I told her I have to stop talking to her so I can get over her, and she didn't want that at all. I told her the truth, that the only way I could still bear to be around her was if she wasn't sleeping with other people- not that we had to sleep together or anything aggressive like that, just if she could refrain from sex until we figure out why we want to have sex with the people we want to.

 

 

The Choice!! Only two options are available, you must choose one! The time is nigh!

The way you explain it is like you put an urgency on Sara, and she didn't want to make a mistake or regret a bad decision. In the first place, your question to her is unfair. You already said you didn't expect her to date you, so why did you need to go on a quest with you to discover why you're attracted to certain people? The way you phrase makes me wonder if despite not expecting her to date you, she was "supposed" to figure out why she didn't reciprocate. She isn't obligated to answer that. Also, she's a lesbian. Trust her judgment about her sexuality. That should be reason enough. I was attracted to a lesbian once too, so I do understand the dilemma, but as you said, it's better to face the facts.

I didn't expect her to date me, that is I figured 90% chance of not dating me, 10% chance she could one day, and I put my bet on the 10%, I suppose. We didn't really have anything to lose that way, and the other way we'd lose our friendship, so, I still don't think it was a bad idea. And no, she isn't obligated to reciprocate that, but she made a decision to try and figure it out.

 

And I think that's a silly attitude for looking at our sexual orientations. No, I definitely don't trust that she knows why she's a lesbian. I don't trust anyone on their sexuality, because nobody has figured it out. I've looked up dozens of psychological and biological and philosophical articles, and the plain truth of it is that we act on emotional whims when it comes to why we want to have sex with certain people. I don't know why I want to have sex with certain kinds of women, but I'll be damned if I throw my hands up and say "screw it, I'll do it anyway". I'm not on the Utilitarianist forums, so trying to understand sex is not a value I'm likely to give up anytime soon. I think it's extremely important for our own ultimate romantic happiness to be able to figure it out logically. I'm facing the facts, and the fact is you likely don't know why you're straight or gay or bi or whatever you are, I don't know why I'm straight, Sara doesn't know why she's lesbian, and ignoring such a big part of ourselves isn't going to get us anywhere.

 

Sounds like jealousy. Perhaps she "broke up" with her girlfriend because of your pressure, but realized it was a mistake to make a choice based on your demands. You mentioned nothing about being happy for Sara, only that somehow, she's wronging you. The wronging began with your ultimatum.

Perhaps I miscommunicated. When I first met Sara, she was in a relatively healthy romantic relationship with a girl. It was one I encouraged, and in fact I think I helped strengthen their relationship in a lot of ways until their ultimate breakup for reasons that would take up an entire other topic. This relationship was unhealthy. It was bad. Sara wasn't happy with her new girlfriend, and she was in a state of confusion and apathy with her, and almost entirely dated her for sex. I didn't mention being happy for Sara because this relationship was only bad for her. Again, the reasons for this are vast, but you can presume that she was simply unhappy with this new girl.

 

Impossible indeed. She should not have been so underhanded, but really, you gave her a nasty and I think unjust ultimatum. It sounds like at this point you were starting to be a net negative impact on her life.

Nasty, I agree, unjust though? What would you have me do? There were literally 3 possible things that could happen, and I told her all 3. I could stay with her while she dates this girl and be miserable myself. I could leave her and make her miserable. She could not date someone. She chose the third option. I don't really see anything else I could have or should have done other than maybe word it differently or time it differently. She didn't like the girl much anyway, and wanted to break up with her sometime in the near future regardless. Again, she wasn't sad to leave this girl. It truly didn't upset her given my own knowledge of the situation.

 

She shouldn't have lied, yes. But consider all the pressure you put on Sara. You sound like you're being controlling. Let her make her own mistakes. Let her figure it out. But the way you pressured her, maybe she felt that lying was the only way to keep you in her life *and* pursue her happiness. If she told you that she wanted to explore her sexuality in a way you probably wouldn't agree with, how do you think you would have responded? 

I agree, these are very possible. To be honest with the controlling issue, I really don't try to be, and I honestly would ask her frequently if I was doing anything wrong at all, anything that bothered her or made her uncomfortable, and she routinely said no, so if I really was being too controlling, I wasn't trying to be and there was no avenue for me to discover that I was. And I would have responded negatively, but I think you're asking a loaded question there: I don't believe that anyone should 'explore' their sexuality by experimentation, and I think that's a disgusting, horrifying concept. I think that sex should be something that you're very careful of, and agree with Rand on that front. I don't think I should have promiscuous sex, 'exploring' what I like and don't like, especially because I believe it's bogus. I know what I find attractive, it's automated, and I don't need to have sex with a man to know I don't want it. What I suggested to Sara was that we explore it by means of inductive reasoning, discussion, not physical experimentation. And so I answer your question that I would have responded negatively because if the only other way of approaching exploring one's sexuality besides reason is responding to emotional whims, which I fundamentally disagree with. If she had found out why she was gay and it was for good reasons, though, I would have responded positively, I think. I'd be personally disappointed, but I could be happy for her.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

" . . . the only way I could still bear to be around her was if she wasn't sleeping with other people- not that we had to sleep together or anything aggressive like that, just if she could refrain from sex until we figure out why we want to have sex with the people we want to."

"No, I definitely don't trust that she knows why she's a lesbian. I don't trust anyone on their sexuality, because nobody has figured it out."

"I know what I find attractive, it's automated, and I don't need to have sex with a man to know I don't want it"

"I didn't expect her to date me, that is I figured 90% chance of not dating me, 10% chance she could one day, and I put my bet on the 10%, I suppose."

"We didn't really have anything to lose that way, and the other way we'd lose our friendship, so, I still don't think it was a bad idea."

 

You've proposed that nobody knows the reason behind their sexuality, including you. You don't want her to have sex with anybody else until she does figure out what nobody else has been able to, assuming you really do mean to include her explaining why she's a lesbian among what she has to explain, or you'll be leaving though. You say both of you had nothing to lose this way, but it sounds like a recipe for never having sex again. Since you didn't find anybody else attractive anyway, this may not sound like you're losing anything, but the same is not true for her. Furthermore though, even leaving aside why one is only attracted to one sex and not the other, this is still an enormous challenge to communicate to others. Some things one likes about somebody are easy to convey, like some common interests and ideals, but the biggest things that separate who is suitable for a friend from who is suitable for romance are often nigh on impossible to put into words even when one knows very well what that difference is. It could takes ages to figure out how to explain that one to somebody else, supposing they won't believe that such a thing does exist and that you do know what it is unless you tell them what it is, if you ever even can figure out how to do so at all, thus still leading to life sans sex even of the values based sort. Further, you know for sure you don't want to have sex with any men, yet you've given it a 10% chance that maybe she's not really flat out just not sexually attracted to men. Why?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You've proposed that nobody knows the reason behind their sexuality, including you. You don't want her to have sex with anybody else until she does figure out what nobody else has been able to, assuming you really do mean to include her explaining why she's a lesbian among what she has to explain, or you'll be leaving though. You say both of you had nothing to lose this way, but it sounds like a recipe for never having sex again. Since you didn't find anybody else attractive anyway, this may not sound like you're losing anything, but the same is not true for her. Furthermore though, even leaving aside why one is only attracted to one sex and not the other, this is still an enormous challenge to communicate to others. Some things one likes about somebody are easy to convey, like some common interests and ideals, but the biggest things that separate who is suitable for a friend from who is suitable for romance are often nigh on impossible to put into words even when one knows very well what that difference is. It could takes ages to figure out how to explain that one to somebody else, supposing they won't believe that such a thing does exist and that you do know what it is unless you tell them what it is, if you ever even can figure out how to do so at all, thus still leading to life sans sex even of the values based sort. Further, you know for sure you don't want to have sex with any men, yet you've given it a 10% chance that maybe she's not really flat out just not sexually attracted to men. Why?

I'm glad you've caught on to my ultimate dilemma. So should this just be dropped? I mean, my whole philosophy of life is to understand myself fully. It's an ultimate goal of mine, and of hers. I could just abandon the notion of understanding this, but it conflicts with my values. Sex does not bring Sara happiness or fulfillment, because it's just a whirlwind of attractions that confuse her. She makes herself feel guilty for it, and my own jealousy I'm sure only contributes to the problem (something I don't *try* and do, by the way, but it's consequential of caring for her so much). So we're both unhappy, and the whole concept of "screw it, just have sex with whatever you feel like" doesn't work for either of us in the long term. I know it'd feel good for the moment, but I also know I'd feel bad in the long run. Same situation for her.

 

But now that we're on the same page, it brings up another proposition I was wondering.

 

I think I understand why I am attracted to Sara specifically- that is, she meets my sense of life qualifications, treats me with greater respect and loyalty, would make an excellent life partner, we share the same sense of humor and enjoy the same activities, believe the same principles, etc. (keep in mind, I have left out all the great things about her because I don't need any help or advice with them, but they are there). I believe that forming a relationship with her specifically would be a moral thing to do. So, I would act upon this if given the opportunity. So when I say I am confused as to why I am straight and the same thing with everyone, I mean the concept in general. But, as to why I'm specifically attracted to this girl, I'm clear in the head, and believe it to be fully logical. So, in my mind, I think that's why I'm only really attracted to her and not too much other women, and thus that's what I consider moral- to date someone only if I know why I want to. If I've made an error in reasoning with this premise that I hold, I would be fully open to being rebutted.

 

This same sort of understanding is what I want her to achieve. I know it'd make her much happier.

 

As to the 10% thing, from many factors that would draw this topic out on a tangent and are irrelevant to the larger concept, so unless you want to argue that people are either 100% gay or 100% straight, just roll with it.

Edited by schase7585
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Schase, you and your friend are young.  It's a time to experiment, and maybe that's what she's doing.  Her confusion indicates that she doesn't know what she wants.  That's perfectly okay.  She's trying to find out.  It may be a good time for you to step back.  Let her make some decisions.  This has nothing to do with reason, morality, right or wrong.  It's just someone going to a learning process.  Your problem is that you've put yourself in the middle of it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nasty, I agree, unjust though? What would you have me do?


The thing is, I never really believed those types of questions really are needed. There are never just a couple options in life, and I really think saying there are only three is shortsighted. One, there is not a good reason that you should be miserable over Sara's decisions. You lead an independent life even if care for her a lot. She is not depriving you of value, she isn't preventing you from achieving anything. You could have left her, but I think it's flat out cruel to ever do that permanently - pain over romantic rejection is temporary. Her not dating someone is just denying her own happiness in favor of your demands. There were certainly more options, including realizing that you probably are friends with her because she is a fundamentally good person. So, she would truly consider the best course of action, and would seek you out for advice if she needed it. You might not believe me, but such people, despite their apparent confusion and self-confidence issues (I have a friend like this), can figure things out on their own over time.

What I suggested to Sara was that we explore it by means of inductive reasoning, discussion, not physical experimentation.


I didn't mean experimenting with sexual technique or whatever. I meant going out and experiencing life, actually being able to make a decision and seeing how it impacts oneself. I don't mean having sex with anything that moves, I mean sometimes being able to notice that one doesn't know everything about a subject. That may involve Sara being willing to try a mostly-sexual relationship with another girl. Behavior like that isn't immoral, it's actually figuring out why some principles are good. Fortunately, if she thought it was a bad decision, it's not like she'd be damaged for life. She would have learned more about the meaning of sex, and grown as an individual. Notice that you said inductive reasoning - that takes experience a lot of the time! It is impossible to figure out everything about sex merely by talking about it. Perhaps your experiences in life have made it easier to make decisions regarding sex, while her experiences are clearly very direct.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The thing is, I never really believed those types of questions really are needed. There are never just a couple options in life, and I really think saying there are only three is shortsighted. One, there is not a good reason that you should be miserable over Sara's decisions. You lead an independent life even if care for her a lot. She is not depriving you of value, she isn't preventing you from achieving anything. You could have left her, but I think it's flat out cruel to ever do that permanently - pain over romantic rejection is temporary.

 

There are always two fundamental decisions in life, to think, or not to think. In a broad sense, there are often only a couple of options in life. There were only 3 options in this case, with a near infinite number of subcategories of decisions for how to approach each, but 3 real approaches given the situation. And saying that seems like saying that you wouldn't care if your friends and family die, even if you care for them a lot. Their death isn't depriving you of value or preventing you from achieving anything, but the people you care about become a value to you, and you want to maintain your values. As such, I feel fairly closely tied to her decisions, they definitely affect my mood a great amount. And your analogy also seems flawed- permanent romantic rejection doesn't warrant permanently leaving her? If I would *never* be satisfied in a relationship with her, why would I only leave for a few months? I'd be condemning myself to a life of permanent dissatisfaction, sacrificing my own happiness for hers. And pain over romantic rejection is temporary? I felt it for a year. I wouldn't describe a man that gets drunk every day for a year as being temporary or in a phase, I'd call him an alcoholic. Unless I lost my feelings for her, they would not go away with time if I'm seeing her every day, I would relive the pain of rejection constantly.

 

Her not dating someone is just denying her own happiness in favor of your demands. There were certainly more options, including realizing that you probably are friends with her because she is a fundamentally good person. So, she would truly consider the best course of action, and would seek you out for advice if she needed it. You might not believe me, but such people, despite their apparent confusion and self-confidence issues (I have a friend like this), can figure things out on their own over time.

 

 

Again, she feels unsatisfied in all her relationships. I'm not denying her happiness. She is frustrated by her own sexual desires. She has sex and it makes her feel bad, in a progressive, cumulative manner. And I did realize that I'm friends with her because she's a fundamentally good person, but that's not a course of action, that would be inaction, in which case, you're suggesting I go with option 1, stay with her being romantically unsatisfied myself. But it sounds like you're suggesting that I just *stop* caring about her romantically. I imagine you're experienced in this, so I imagine you understand how this is impossible unless one of changes our values. Doing absolutely nothing different and just trying to force myself to not like her romantically will not solve anything, and I'll only be lying to myself.

 

I didn't mean experimenting with sexual technique or whatever. I meant going out and experiencing life, actually being able to make a decision and seeing how it impacts oneself. I don't mean having sex with anything that moves, I mean sometimes being able to notice that one doesn't know everything about a subject. That may involve Sara being willing to try a mostly-sexual relationship with another girl. Behavior like that isn't immoral, it's actually figuring out why some principles are good. Fortunately, if she thought it was a bad decision, it's not like she'd be damaged for life. She would have learned more about the meaning of sex, and grown as an individual. Notice that you said inductive reasoning - that takes experience a lot of the time! It is impossible to figure out everything about sex merely by talking about it. Perhaps your experiences in life have made it easier to make decisions regarding sex, while her experiences are clearly very direct.

 

 

Figuring it out 5 or 6 times? For 5 years? Nothing changes with any of these relationships. She's not learning anything. Besides, am I the person that agrees with Rand that sex was a big deal? That you don't rush into it? That it should be based strongly on values? That it requires a lot of care because it *is* of such psychological importance? There's a difference between not knowing everything and gaining some experience and promiscuity, and I understand that. But I'm starting to get the feeling that no one else thinks sex is a very big deal. Rand (I understand not everyone agrees with her on this subject, but I'm hoping someone else on here will if nowhere else) said that because sex is so confusing and so important at the same time, it requires perhaps more care and application of reason than perhaps any other field of life. That's what I believe. So I mean, unless you convince me that sex isn't a big deal, I'm probably not going to budge that I don't think she should keep pursuing these relationships that make her unhappy, that are all the same as each other, while she doesn't learn anything from them and only wants them in a physical sense while she herself despises them because she desires a romance with me and is frustrated she can't feel the same physical attraction she does emotionally. I think it tears her apart, and I don't wanna leave it alone and doom her to misery.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My advice to you is to completely forget this person.  Your philosophy should be that she doesn't deserve you, she is dead right about that... now adays pathological liars seem more common than not.  As soon as you discover someone is a liar, run as fast as possible in the other direction, there is no fixing this.  You can't change people, you will have to eventually find someone who isn't so flawed to begin with.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are always two fundamental decisions in life, to think, or not to think


Yes, those are two fundamental choices. It doesn't follow that there are only a couple options in life. You say there were only 3 options, but I don't think those were your only 3 approaches. They may have seemed like the only realistic options, though. To me, it looks like jealousy got the best of you, so you painted the situation to yourself as a desperate one, a situation where your options were severely limited. Sara was presented with a person [you] who was reacting harshly to her own romantic choices (it sounds like she really did evaluate consequences of her actions), and a person she cared a lot about! I don't even know why you *had* to present a choice as you did. It's like there was an added consequence; "keep doing this, and you'll lose me!" Such a consequence didn't even have to be there.

When I was refering to feeling miserable, I meant that it doesn't sound like Sara was making a choice that would ruin her life. Also, you *know* she doesn't want a romantic relationship with you, even if she can't put it into words yet. You might feel sad that you think she made a bad choice, but she wouldn't be leaving your life. She wasn't actively depriving you of a valuable friendship. Sometimes, friends will make decisions you don't agree with. However, if you truly think your friends are good people, they will pull through and figure things out. I am sure you feel closely tied to her decisions, but you don't need to view her choices as ones you must always approve of.

permanent romantic rejection doesn't warrant permanently leaving her?


Right, permanent romantic rejection doesn't warrant permanently leaving her. She does not become valueless just because she doesn't agree to the relationship you want. The temporary pain is just realizing the disappointment that what you really want just won't happen, no matter what you do or say. Unlike working for a career, you can't always cause a person to just fall for you. So, for me at least, that means accepting the situation is that much easier, even with the disappointment at first. There is no good reason to be dissatisfied forever and still maintain friendship. Your pain should subside in time, as long as you don't obsess over the relationship you wish you had with Sara. At that point, you wouldn't be reliving rejection.

"And I did realize that I'm friends with her because she's a fundamentally good person"
"Figuring it out 5 or 6 times? For 5 years? Nothing changes with any of these relationships. She's not learning anything."

You seem to be saying that Sara is fundamentally good, but also fundamentally bad. If she's not learning anything, why is that? Is she frequently evasive? Did you mistakenly evaluate her as good? Or perhaps you are reacting to emotion, so you are portraying Sara in only negatives? Are your romantic feelings somehow making you avoid saying you made a mistake? There are many questions to ask. My point is, if she is a fundamentally good person, you must trust that she will pull through in the end, even if right now is difficult.

Keep in mind that I am *not* saying sex isn't a big deal. Yes, you can absolutely say Sara is making a mistake. My point is just that it's not like she'll immediately ruin her life. In a sense, she'll validate first-hand what is important about sex through her mistakes. Perhaps you have more sexual experience than her, so you have a better idea of what sex means? Remember, knowledge doesn't come from thin-air as a floating abstraction. In part, knowledge comes from experience. Judging the meaning of sex without ever having sex is impossible, even if in general, you have a good idea. At times, a mistake will happen - or at least, mistakes are discovered.
 
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, those are two fundamental choices. It doesn't follow that there are only a couple options in life.

Of course not, but you said *never* just a couple. There are frequently just a few.

 

You say there were only 3 options, but I don't think those were your only 3 approaches.

If you can think of another course of action to take, I'd very much appreciate knowing it.

 

They may have seemed like the only realistic options, though. To me, it looks like jealousy got the best of you, so you painted the situation to yourself as a desperate one, a situation where your options were severely limited. Sara was presented with a person [you] who was reacting harshly to her own romantic choices (it sounds like she really did evaluate consequences of her actions), and a person she cared a lot about! I don't even know why you *had* to present a choice as you did. It's like there was an added consequence; "keep doing this, and you'll lose me!" Such a consequence didn't even have to be there.

 

Check this out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unrequited_love

In the 'Advantages' section, notice it says, "Unrequited love has long been depicted as noble, an unselfish and stoic willingness to accept suffering." That is the opposite of my values. If you cannot relate, you've probably just never been in a situation of unrequited romantic feelings, but watching any movie with it involved will give you a basic idea of it being an awful feeling. I can say from experience it gets multiplied when you're utterly devoted to someone and they are not devoted the same way back to you. The consequence had to be there because our friendship wasn't worth the awfulness that I had been feeling for a year. You keep suggesting that I just stop feeling bad or jealous, but doing so would require a reevaluation of my principles to many that I consider hideous. I would need to devalue sex. I would need to believe that emotional closeness and compatibility shouldn't be primary factors in romantic attraction. Feelings are automated processes, and the only way to change them is to change your values/premises. I don't believe my pain was generated by improper premises in this case.

 

Besides, I think saying "stop feeling bad about her having a relationship and just be happy for her" invalidates your own premise that I'm ruining her own happiness. You're telling me to sacrifice my happiness to keep her happy (though wording it differently), but you could just as easily say the same thing to her; that is, you could tell her to stop dating the girl because it makes me unhappy, and that it would be cruel and unfair of her to stop talking to me because I was interfering. It is perfectly within my right to stop speaking to whomever I want, just as it is perfectly within her right to stop speaking to me and date whomever she wants. We chose what we did, we did not force or trick each other. She knew why she wanted to be my friend more than a meaningless relationship with a girl, I knew why I couldn't put up with that other meaningless relationship, and we both made a rational decision. I don't believe I would tell her that she doesn't have the right to stop talking to me whenever she wants, or that she doesn't have the right to stop speaking to me because I'm causing her emotional pain. I would call her a dick for lying to me or not wanting to talk or think about it at all, but if she had good reasons for it and wasn't acting on impulses then I wouldn't be mad at her for it.

 

When I was refering to feeling miserable, I meant that it doesn't sound like Sara was making a choice that would ruin her life. Also, you *know* she doesn't want a romantic relationship with you, even if she can't put it into words yet. You might feel sad that you think she made a bad choice, but she wouldn't be leaving your life. She wasn't actively depriving you of a valuable friendship. Sometimes, friends will make decisions you don't agree with. However, if you truly think your friends are good people, they will pull through and figure things out. I am sure you feel closely tied to her decisions, but you don't need to view her choices as ones you must always approve of.

 

This one relates to unrequited love again. The friendship wasn't worth the grief that her relationships caused me. It still isn't. It's not the friendship that I'd be deprived of, it's something much greater than that- it's the difference between a romantic relationship and a friendship, the reason you wouldn't settle for a buddy when you could have a wife. It's something I would never have with someone I would desperately like it with. I don't know why that emotionally evaluates to more pain than happiness, but it does- perhaps because the knowledge of her mistake and my utter lack of doing anything about it would permeate our entire friendship? I'm just speculating on that one...

Right, permanent romantic rejection doesn't warrant permanently leaving her. She does not become valueless just because she doesn't agree to the relationship you want.

 

That implies that not talking to her anymore is the same as admitting she has no value to me. That's not true, there are many reasons to not want to talk to someone, and in this case it's because of the pain of unrequited romance is greater than the satisfaction of a friendship. The fact of the matter is, I have a lot of friends. Of course, she is my best friend, better than all the others I've ever had, but a friend nonetheless. Putting myself in a position of friendship with her would condemn myself to romantic dissatisfaction for as long as I was with her. I do not think that I should 'settle' for friendship my whole life, a relationship with someone I care about the proper amount would be preferable, and I know I couldn't do that by just being friends with her.

The temporary pain is just realizing the disappointment that what you really want just won't happen, no matter what you do or say. Unlike working for a career, you can't always cause a person to just fall for you. So, for me at least, that means accepting the situation is that much easier, even with the disappointment at first.

 

That's sound advice. But, I guess it goes with the only way I can remember math is if I know why a formula works. I don't accept blind premises. I need a reason why she could never be with me. Being a lesbian is the obvious choice to claim as the reason, but neither Sara nor I believe it's ingrained in DNA, but rather a learned, psychological state, with genetic predispositions, much like black people don't have to like rap music, it's not in their DNA or genetic, but rather a matter of cultural or social significance. Man's sexual preferences change over time and with experience. Rape can make people never want sex again or change their sexuality. Sometimes a new way of thinking changes what you're attracted to. So, we want to know what premises she has that affect her in such a way that she would be lesbian. I don't even want to know it to try and change her or anything, but rather because it's also the only way I could get over her and accept that she can never be with me.

There is no good reason to be dissatisfied forever and still maintain friendship. Your pain should subside in time, as long as you don't obsess over the relationship you wish you had with Sara. At that point, you wouldn't be reliving rejection.

 

There is good reason, it's because maintaining the friendship causes the dissatisfaction. I wasn't dissatisfied before I met her, it was only after we became close enough friends. I could bring our friendship to a lower level than it was before, but there's no reason to do that because I have plenty of other friends and she wouldn't be anywhere above them in that case, so it'd just be pointless. I'm not consciously obsessing with the relationship I wish I had, it's automated and generated by premises, and so long as the premises remain, the feelings won't change.

You seem to be saying that Sara is fundamentally good, but also fundamentally bad. If she's not learning anything, why is that? Is she frequently evasive? Did you mistakenly evaluate her as good? Or perhaps you are reacting to emotion, so you are portraying Sara in only negatives? Are your romantic feelings somehow making you avoid saying you made a mistake? There are many questions to ask. My point is, if she is a fundamentally good person, you must trust that she will pull through in the end, even if right now is difficult.

 

She has the right morals in place, she just doesn't follow them for reasons I can't introspect, but presume to be caused by fear. Hence, she feels bad about these relationships she keeps revisiting. I haven't been able to offer her an explanation for why she wants what she wants and she can't introspect it herself, much as she'd like to, it just doesn't come to her mind. And yeah, I'm definitely only portraying her negatives, because I don't need help figuring out her positives, so they're irrelevant to the discussion, so to keep the topic focused we can just assume she's good. As to if my romantic feelings are making me avoid saying if I made a mistake, what do you mean? Like, did I leave a part of the story out? No, I don't think so. Avoid telling *her* that I made a mistake? No, whenever I asked her if I was doing anything wrong she said no, and whenever she made a mistake I always took the approach of trying to blame myself first. And no, I don't believe all fundamentally good people necessarily 'pull-through' by the end. I've seen it in friends and family. I don't want to give up on helping good people. I understand space to learn for yourself is important, and I give that space generally- maybe not enough with Sara, going by what you've said, but I don't think completely letting her handle everything by herself would be the best course of action. Maybe it'll work, but it'll also waste years of her life. She's the kind of person that looks back on the time she's spent with flawed premises and regrets all of it, and to an extent I am too, and I don't think we're wrong to do so.

Keep in mind that I am *not* saying sex isn't a big deal. Yes, you can absolutely say Sara is making a mistake. My point is just that it's not like she'll immediately ruin her life. In a sense, she'll validate first-hand what is important about sex through her mistakes.

 

That's what the first mistake is for, but it's clear that nothing is changing. You ever had a friend that keeps getting in bad relationships? The ones that clearly don't pick the right kinds of people for themselves? They don't learn from their relationships because it requires a lot of conscious effort and they apparently don't apply it, or perhaps misapply it. I guess that's her.

Perhaps you have more sexual experience than her, so you have a better idea of what sex means? Remember, knowledge doesn't come from thin-air as a floating abstraction. In part, knowledge comes from experience.

 

No, she definitely has more sexual experience than me. I have it better figured out than her though because knowledge of your current sexual attraction is not affected or defined by the act of having sex. It's introspection really requires no more experience than taking note of what makes you horny, then asking yourself why. I don't claim to have all the answers in this arena, of course, but this is just what it seems to be to me.

Judging the meaning of sex without ever having sex is impossible, even if in general, you have a good idea. At times, a mistake will happen - or at least, mistakes are discovered.

 

Perhaps you're right, I haven't had sex yet. I don't want to unless I know why first, either. There are no other women I would really want to sleep with besides Sara anyway, in my current situation, so I can't really gain the experience without forcing myself to sleep with someone I don't want to, which I don't think would be moral of me to do.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"I'm glad you've caught on to my ultimate dilemma. So should this just be dropped? I mean, my whole philosophy of life is to understand myself fully. It's an ultimate goal of mine, and of hers. I could just abandon the notion of understanding this, but it conflicts with my values. Sex does not bring Sara happiness or fulfillment, because it's just a whirlwind of attractions that confuse her. She makes herself feel guilty for it, and my own jealousy I'm sure only contributes to the problem (something I don't *try* and do, by the way, but it's consequential of caring for her so much). So we're both unhappy, and the whole concept of "screw it, just have sex with whatever you feel like" doesn't work for either of us in the long term. I know it'd feel good for the moment, but I also know I'd feel bad in the long run. Same situation for her."

 

You don't have to give up on ever understanding this. However, don't insist on putting a total halt on such a huge thing in each of your lives as romance and sex until and unless you've got this whole thing completely and explicitly sorted out. Especially if we're including understanding why neither of you is attracted to males, this thing could take an enormous chunk of your lives to do. If it was something that didn't take so long or that wasn't such a big deal, sure, you could wait until you've completely figured it out, but that isn't how it is. I'm not suggesting throwing out what you do know and acting on whims unquestioningly. Instead, go about your life utilizing the best info you've got on what you like, why you like it, and how it impacts you while your quest for complete understanding is incomplete. Learning takes time, but life won't pause until we've completed it. It's also important to note though that different people will learn different things at different rates and in different ways. You say Sara is bright and well intentioned, so I think that (leaving aside what sex or sexes one is attracted to) given time she'll eventually get to the point where she works out in her own mind what values are or are not behind any particular attraction she may consider pursuing and get to where she can easily act in accordance with this knowledge of herself. You can't force understanding on her, but I don't think you need to anyway, see? It just may not happen as fast as you'd want it to is all. That said, she may still have a more difficult time explaining these things to you even if she knows them for herself though. Especially why one is not attracted to somebody one finds to be a good person and somebody whose company they enjoy I think can be very hard to clarify to somebody else.

 

" . . . my own jealousy I'm sure only contributes to the problem (something I don't *try* and do, by the way, but it's consequential of caring for her so much)."

This is mostly an aside because it gets off onto a tangent, but such deeply caring for somebody doesn't always lead everybody to jealousy.

 

". . . so unless you want to argue that people are either 100% gay or 100% straight, just roll with it."

Lol. I don't mean to say that all that exists are strictly homosexual and strictly heterosexual people. :P I'm just wondering why it seems you do believe you can be sure that men are not for you, but you seem to not hold that she can be so sure about such a thing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well maybe sometimes there are only a few choices, but the number of options usually pertain to my level of creativity about a particular issue. How we group choices isn't really relevant though, since you're looking for solutions. Another course if action is to change your viewpoint on what love and/or friendship means. That isn't really easy, as it implies also re-evaluating your emotions. But if Sara is important enough as a friend, the effort may be worthwhile. You seem to be wondering just how you can be friends even with your feelings for her. So, while you may be unhappy now, you seem to believe there is at least a possible resolution that will make you happy or content without losing Sara as a friend.

If you cannot relate, you've probably just never been in a situation of unrequited romantic feelings,


Oh, you have no idea! I have been in such a situation more than once. I know it is difficult. But in time, I figured out how to attain a more positive viewpoint rather than complete misery. I'm posting specifically because I can relate. I'm 24 so I'm about your age; there isn't much of an age gap here, either. That usual sense of unrequited love I think is caused by some underlying selflessness, or at least with regard to a particular value. When you integrate someone with your life but the valuing is uneven, it's difficult to stop yourself from giving too much of yourself. The amount of give might be fine if it was mutual. If you leave it at that, and keep your perspective the same, you'll have to change your perspective, or abandon her entirely. Abandonment would be appropriate for abuse or just plain mistreatment. But all you've pointed out is that it saddens or upsets you to see Sara make decisions you think are bad. You aren't saying she's a bad person, so I think you can change your perspective.

I think if you kept on that path of thinking that all you see in your situation as pain, you'll end up like this:


I'm not saying "be happy for her", I'm only saying that you have to balance the idea that Sara will make mistakes with the idea you know she's a good person, by your own evaluation. Consider the value she does bring, and that you probably won't be getting less value in return. I imagine there is a lot of commonality and mutual value, so a large part of the solution for you is seeing her as an individual who will make mistakes, just as you certainly have done in your life at other times. Noting that how the friendship *is* does not derive from what you *wish* it was is also important. Now, all that may sound quite simple, but the difficulty is figuring out how your situation is unique. That involves understanding how you yourself process emotions.

As to if my romantic feelings are making me avoid saying if I made a mistake, what do you mean?


A stronger example is some people get into romantic relationships where they are mistreated, but stay in the relationship because they somehow really love their partner. So, a possibility is that you feel like this is a bad friendship, but shake it out of your mind because a person you like a lot couldn't be *that* bad. But, it sounds like you honestly evaluated the situation, and you just need help stabilizing your state of mind regarding Sara.

whenever she made a mistake I always took the approach of trying to blame myself first.


Have you stopped doing that? Red flag to me.

And no, I don't believe all fundamentally good people necessarily 'pull-through' by the end. I've seen it in friends and family


I'm talking about things where choice is possible, like romantic partners. When the context is only where choice is possible, failing to pull through would only happen in old age, because using reason will prevail in the end. I mean, I don't think I need to explain that statement. You guys are young, plus you've said Sara does think about this stuff.  Maybe not as well as you in this case, but she does.

But, I guess it goes with the only way I can remember math is if I know why a formula works.


They don't learn from their relationships because it requires a lot of conscious effort and they apparently don't apply it, or perhaps misapply it. I guess that's her.


See Bluecherry's previous post.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

schase

 

I wish I had seen this when you posted it. I don't know if you come back to read the forum or will ever come back. Nevertheless, I want to offer you some gold, for free, that will save yourself a lot of trouble and headache and heartache later in life if you understand it and begin to let some of these ideas graft themselves into your own understanding of the world. It's up to you what you'll do with the truth I'm about to smack you upside the head with.

 

You've accepted backward ideas about relationships and sex, and you've acted like an idiot with some of the ways you've treated Sara.

 

I say that with complete compassion and no malice, because we are all idiots, particularly when it comes to relationships; particularly when we are younger. And most people continue to be idiots with regard to relationships and sex, etc, for the rest of their lives. So let me suggest to you that you need a radical reformation of your view of relationships and sex; that some of your fundamental suppositions are tremendously flawed, and this is the reason why you don't understand Sara's reaction. 

 

I'm going to offer a few brief comments/insights, and they might not sink in, and you might resist them and think it's all bunk. I'd honestly love to chat with you in real time over the phone or on Skype or something, because that's the best way I could start to explain where your thinking went wrong. You could also talk to my GF (I'm 35, she's 24), and she could help you understand some things from a woman's perspective. I just don't have enough time to convey all that I'd like to convey in this post here. So if you read this and want to, send me a private message and I'll get you my Skype info or something.

 

Anyway, on to the synopsis of where you thinking is flawed (and it's just your fault, because the widely accepted conventions of relationships and sex are flawed, and it's so easy to just accept them uncritically).

 

1. Your idea of objectivist principles on sex is flawed.

 

As the year was ending, she had sex with another girl. She felt awful about it, she didn't tell me about it for a week, and cried very much that night. I believe it's because she believes the same principles that I did, that having sex should be an important thing based on strong values, but she didn't even like this girl's personality, she just thought she was pretty.

 

 Ok. I love Ayn Rand. I think she's right with about 95 to 99% of what she taught. But this is one area where she was off, and so are a lot of other objectivists who follow in her steps about this topic. The idea that sex is so important that you just can't do it with anyone except the person you want to marry and spend the rest of your life ... is bunk. The basic idea was right: People have good values and bad values, and you don't want to associate too much with people with low values. Therefore, it's not very smart (for many reasons) to have sex with someone with low values or no values. For example, they might be a moocher and start wanting and expecting you to take care of them financially, or they might be emotionally unhealthy and imbalanced, and it's not to your benefit to bring crazy people into your life. So it's smart, and a good value, to only associate with people who have high enough values, and even more so to only have sex with those kinds of people.

 

But this idea that they must be THE ONE person who you think has the highest values ever above anyone else, and that's the only person you should ever have sex with, is ridiculous. The motivation for that kind of thinking doesn't really come from objectivist ethics (Ayn rolls over in her grave, I can feel it); it comes from social conventions of our time, influenced by Western religious views of relationships. 

 

So Sara thought this girl was pretty and wanted to bang her. Good. She should go for it. The only advice I'd give her from an objectivist perspective is: Make sure you practice safe sex; make sure you don't get anyone pregnant if you don't want to (they're girls, so no problem there); and make sure her values are high enough. Yeah, don't bang people with really low values, because that will come back to haunt you possibly. But that doesn't mean you have to be romantically in love with someone in order to have sex. That's a social convention, and it's a broken concept.

 

As far as I'm concerned in my situation, if a girl has certain values that I need to see, and she's hot and turns me on, then I'm all for having fun and great sex, and she has the assurance that our friendship and relationship WILL NOT CHANGE, except for possibly getting better. But she won't need to worry about me forming romantic attachments just because we play and have sex -- and I assure you, that's a HUGE relief and benefit for most women, because they don't usually get that from guys. It's guys who put themselves in the "friends' zone" and burn bridges with otherwise great friendships, like you did in grand fashion with Sara. 

 

And this is because ...

 

2. Sex and love are two different things. 

 

Well, they're not completely two different things. Like I said, you need to "love" the values in a person enough to want to have sex with them, but this does not mean that they have to be romantically in love with you, and you with them, to have sex. This is why a lot of girls don't want to have sex with their guy friends, even though they enjoy them and enjoy their values and would otherwise have a good time. But they know that most guys start to "fall" in love with women as soon as they have sex with them. It's that whole "I've planted my flag and now I want to claim her before any other guy does" thing. And because women don't want to risk losing a good friendship, they won't risk it.

 

3. You don't "fall" in love with people; you grow in love with people.

 

I don't know the extent to which you are making, or have made, this mistake with Sara. You can't love someone you don't know well. You can't know someone well until you've spent a significant time with them. So the idea that some person (not necessarily you) would "fall" in love with someone at first sight, or after knowing them for a week, or even after a month, is ridiculous. Guys tend to create some perfect image in their head of a girl they have "fallen" for, and just don't know her well enough to even see any of her faults and shortcomings. Until you know all the good and the bad, you can't really say you can love someone. Once you have known someone for a long time, then you might find yourself growing in love with them, and them with you. 

 

So, this is further reason not to shortchange sex with someone whom you don't love but whom you do value as a friend and are attracted to. You might grow to love each other down the road, or you might remain great friends without any kind of romantic love. Don't worry about it, and don't think that you have to fall in love with every woman you are sexually attracted to and like enough to be friends with. This is probably the cause behind why you think you can't "move on" from her. The cure for your ONE-itis (the disease where you think there's just one person you could ever love, and no one else) is to go out and form healthy friendships with lots of other people, girls included, and sexual relationships, too.

 

4. What part of "I am a lesbian and like girls" don't you understand?

 

From the description you've given of your friendship with Sara, this is what I gathered. She told you she was a lesbian. You wanted to hope that she still liked guys, too. She slept with girls, giving you proof she likes them more than she likes you. You still held out hope she would want you sexually some day. You got jealous. She viewed you as a good friend. Maybe, finally, she found a guy who was ok with just being her friend and didn't want to get into her pants. What a great thing! But nope. You still refused to accept she was a lesbian and likes girls, NOT guys. You got jealous. And like a doofus (yeah, you need to accept that and learn and move forward), you destroyed the friendship by offering her a ridiculous ultimatum, a false dichotomy, of "either you LOVE me, or we can't ever be friends and I have to shut you out of my life and never talk to you." 

 

What a ridiculous notion. Do you know, that of all my former playmates and play partners, some of whom have gone on to find their own romantic relationships and boyfriends and fiances, that I'm still great friends with all of them? No burned bridges. Even the ones who decided they had fun with me but weren't interested in sex with me anymore as part of our relationship, they are still great friends with me, and I with them. Why? Because I don't issue demands like that, I don't try to treat people like robots, and I give people the freedom to choose what and who they spend time with, with "no strings attached" to the quality or nature of our friendship. Again: Sex and friendship/love/romance are not identical realms.

 

If I were you, I'd go to her and sincerely say: "I'm sorry I was a complete idiot. I understand we are friends and there is no sexual attraction, and I don't want to toss away that friendship."

 

5. Get rid of jealousy

 

Oh so much I could say about this, and I don't have time right now. But in my view, jealousy is something that is antithetical to objectivist ethics. Jealousy is essentially saying: "I want you to love me, regardless if you actually DO love me; I want to own you, even if it's not your free choice to be with me."

 

A robot can't love you. Neither can a slave. If she is with you by choice, then she's not a slave (although if she wants to be tied up and treated like one some night for fun, that's another story).

 

Jealousy is a disgusting, disgusting emotion. It also makes you unattractive, and ruins any chance of real love (the growing-in-love kind). It's also a very difficult emotion to purge, but it can, and must, be done, or else you will always be somewhat unhealthy and emotionally imbalanced when it comes to relationships. 

 

Again, if you want to actually talk, and you can also get a woman's perspective from my GF or other friends of mine if you want, then send me a private and I'd be happy to do that.

 

Good luck.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...