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manavmehta

Dating - Any Objective Guidelines?

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Dating is the process of developing a potential romantic relationship. And sex (or sexual contact) marks the beginning of the actual romantic relationship.

I've had numerous sexual encounters that had absolutely no "romantic" aspect. My having sex with a woman implies nothing about my romantic feelings for her – and I’ve never had a sexual partner who insisted otherwise. For me and many others in my circle of friends, sex is athletics. An evening of sex implies nothing more than a game of tennis.

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I've had numerous sexual encounters that had absolutely no "romantic" aspect.  My having sex with a woman implies nothing about my romantic feelings for her – and I’ve never had a sexual partner who insisted otherwise.  For me and many others in my circle of friends, sex is athletics.  An evening of sex implies nothing more than a game of tennis.

We're not here to discuss how a hedonist views sex. The topic of this thread is "Dating - Any Objective Guidelines?" This forum is for the discussion of Objectivism, not hedonism.

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I have two main things to say about this conversation: the first is that everything Kevin said about women wanting men to approach them is correct, and please, please, please heed it, to any men out there wondering. Any woman who is even remotely in touch with herself romantically wants a man to come after her, not vice versa. Damn!! If I have to ask a man out, that's already a big fat red flag that he's not what I'm looking for--it's already clear to me that I am braver and more efficacious than he is. Francisco wouldn't have had to wait for me to ask him out--and wouldn't have wanted to wait, either.

The other is that y'all are giving way less credence to physical appearance than it deserves. You can tell a ton about a person's character from their appearance--much, much more than a lot of people think. And I'm not just talking about things like clothes, makeup, and hairdo, although those things are good indicators. I'm talking even about actual physical characteristics--like droopy eyelids (a prominent facial characteristic of certain wildly irrational members of my family), where wrinkles are placed or not (sunny disposition vs. sour will create a very different-looking face--haven't you ever seen that kind of dour, crabby old woman where you just know she's a bitch?), etc. I knew a guy once who was a complete slut, slept with three different women in the six months I knew him (sometimes simultaneously). He had an STD that caused him to get small, ugly bumps in the area around his eyes. Voila. Character into face, so to speak. And that's one of the more obvious examples. Most of these things are so, so, so subtle that you won't know what it is that's making you like her when you look at her--you just feel attracted. As such, you should trust yourself more. Don't say "oh, it's only physical"--physical appearance is not separate from moral character & sense of life.

Also, if you want to get better at identifying these kinds of things, you can. When you like or dislike someone early on in getting to know them--say you meet a new co-worker and she really rubs you the wrong way, ask yourself why. What is it about her that puts you off? Maybe it's that she's a phony. Well, how do you know she's phony? It's not like she walked up and said, Hi, I'm phony, nice to meet you. No, she did things like made exaggerated, unnecessary gestures with her hands when she talked, and held her eyes open unnaturally wide, and cocked her head in a cutsey way. Plus she wears all the latest in trendy fashions--especially the ugliest ones. Voila--character into face.

There are *all sorts* of clues that people give off about who they are very early on. The better you get at noticing these clues and integrating certain behaviors/looks with certain character traits, the more you can tell about people before they even open their mouths. AR talks about this in The Art of Fiction--concretizing your abstractions (abstraction: phony; concretes: What does phony look like? "How do you know it in other people?"). While she discusses it there in the context of writing fiction, it's also extremely useful for life. That cliche about not being able to judge a book by its cover? Well, you might not entirely be able to judge a person by her appearance, but you sure can get a headstart.

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I've had numerous sexual encounters that had absolutely no "romantic" aspect. My having sex with a woman implies nothing about my romantic feelings for her – and I’ve never had a sexual partner who insisted otherwise. For me and many others in my circle of friends, sex is athletics.  An evening of sex implies nothing more than a game of tennis.

I'm sorry to hear that. Have you tried kissing your sex partner? That sometimes helps.

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I have two main things to say about this conversation: the first is that everything Kevin said about women wanting men to approach them is correct, and please, please, please heed it, to any men out there wondering. Any woman who is even remotely in touch with herself romantically wants a man to come after her, not vice versa. Damn!! If I have to ask a man out, that's already a big fat red flag that he's not what I'm looking for--it's already clear to me that I am braver and more efficacious than he is. Francisco wouldn't have had to wait for me to ask him out--and wouldn't have wanted to wait, either.

You don't seriously want some pathetic puppy dog of a man to follow you around begging you to go out with him, do you? Nor do you want a bunch of guys asking you out and you have to turn them down all the time. You want ONLY they guy that you INVITE to ask you out. For example, Dominique broke the marble in her fireplace to let Roark know she wanted him. Miss Rand tripped Frank O'Connor to let him know she was interested. The woman needs to do the inviting. The man needs to respond, if he is also interested.

If you walk down the street and some guy whistles, does that make you want to respond? No. Why not? You don't want some street thug. Now imagine the consultant who comes to fix your computer. He always knows the right buttons to push. You want him to ask you out, so you give him an invitation... perhaps you ask him lots of questions, put on a skirt, bat your eyelashes a bit. You INVITE HIM... let him know you're interested. THEN he can ask you out.

Edited by Pony Girl

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The other is that y'all are giving way less credence to physical appearance than it deserves. You can tell a ton about a person's character from their appearance--much, much more than a lot of people think. And I'm not just talking about things like clothes, makeup, and hairdo, although those things are good indicators. ... Don't  say "oh, it's only physical"--physical appearance is not separate from moral character & sense of life.

Ramare, the point we were trying to make is that it's not that important whether a man has a certain hair color or whether his ears stick out or something. Men don't have to look a certain way. Men are not eliminated from the dating pool because they have blonde, curly hair (for example). They should take care of themselves physically, and that will show. (slim, good posture, etc) They should be focused, and that will show, you are right. Look in his eyes. If you see a void, stay away. But if his ears stick out or his nose is a bit big, it's not terribly important. Unless he is horribly disfigured, looks aren't that important. Would you pick a guy because he's "eye candy?" No, he has to know how to treat you. You have to be able to respect him, look up to him. The heroic quality is the primary thing that women want in a man. We want a man who is confident.

This is not the same for a woman. Women should be pretty and feminine. We are the value... a treasure for the man. That's why women wear skirts, high heels, bustiers and makeup. She needs to have a face that is proportionate, with delicate features. She needs to have a shapely body. Looks are much more important to men looking for a woman.

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How do I go about choosing a person to ask out on a date? This is very difficult for someone like me who doesn't want it be based on good looks alone (although that is important). I personally cannot tell a person's sense of life just by looking at their face.

Pony Girl, Manav’s question was about how to know when to ask a girl out. He showed some confusion about whether it was okay to ask a girl out “only” because he was physically attracted to her. He seemed to think he had to know something about her values and character, etc. I’m saying that not only does her physical appearance tell him something about her values and character, but those two things are hardly separate. They are two sides of the same coin.

You missed my point entirely. “Would you pick a guy because he’s eye candy” suggests that there is somehow a divide between attractiveness & intelligence—as if the man who is sexy is automatically a dolt. As if I have to choose between not-so-bright “eye candy” and somewhat goofy looking, but fabulously heroic! It’s a nonexistent dichotomy--for both genders.

The sexiest man I’ve ever met (we’re talking movie-star good-looking here) is also the smartest, with a whole host of other great qualities that make him my greatest friend in the world. (It’s not a coincidence that this is the case. Physical appearance & moral character/values are not separate things. That’s the great thing about there being no mind-body dichotomy.

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You missed my point entirely. “Would you pick a guy because he’s eye candy” suggests that there is somehow a divide between attractiveness & intelligence—as if the man who is sexy is automatically a dolt. As if I have to choose between not-so-bright “eye candy” and somewhat goofy looking, but fabulously heroic! It’s a nonexistent dichotomy--for both genders.

I am not sure if I entirely agree with you. Yes, there are undoubtedly handsome men in this world who are also heroic, or beautiful women who have a great sense of life. But that doesn't mean you will not run into people of either gender who are either very beautiful with a terrible sense of life (I am not just talking about intelligence here), or very ugly with a great sense of life. It is by no means necessary that if I come across the most beautiful woman I have ever seen, I am assured of having found **the one**.

Yes, I know what you mean when you say it is a nonexistent dichotomy -- it doesn't have to be the way it is with the conflicts you see these days between appearance and values, but unfortunately it happens to be the case!

I agree with your earlier post about facial characteristics reflecting a person's character and values (although I haven't learnt to read them). But in this post, you seem to be suggesting pure beauty, excluding the characteristics that reflect values.

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The sexiest man I’ve ever met (we’re talking movie-star good-looking here) is also the smartest, with a whole host of other great qualities that make him my greatest friend in the world. (It’s not a coincidence that this is the case. Physical appearance & moral character/values are not separate things. That’s the great thing about there being no mind-body dichotomy.

I think you have a mistaken understanding of the mind-body dichotomy. It has nothing to do with physical appearance or moral character. It has to do with one's mind and one's body being unintegrated entities that are in opposition to one another.

Since there is no mind-body dichotomy in reality, that means that your mind and your body are integrated. One cannot survive without the other. However, it doesn't mean that your physical appearance and your moral character are the same thing (or "not separate things"). It doesn't mean that your moral character is magically manifested into your physical appearance. There are several reasons for one's physical appearance, including genes, diet, exercise, grooming. Are you going to tell me that bad people can't be physically attractive?

Also, your previous STD example does not support your case. You seem to think that one could deduce a man's "slutness" from observing the "ugly bumps around his eyes." But has it occured to you that non-sluts get STDs too? Or that there may be other reasons for having bumps around the eyes? Perhaps these bumps would suggest a few pointed questions to ask your potential lover. But I don't see how you could objectively conclude that they are the symbols of sluthood.

Edited by MisterSwig

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