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13 October 2005 @ 12:02 am
The first rule of Dating Club is that there you do not talk about Dating Club  

The world is a lonely place, because the only certainty in this world is that we will die in it - alone.*

The passing of an equinox seems to set a priority flag in the "fuck the next available mate" in the brains of the creatures of the world.  In autumn, with the world dying around us, the predefined instinct to cheat death by  propagating our species by copulation (viz. fucking) kicks into high gear. In spring, the dawning of a time of new life, the fucking instinct is pretty automatic, what with every living thing on earth hell-bent on propagating itself as fast as possible.

Fall is the time in college when I remember people (who in my memories are always not me, though I know this isn't true) hooking up like mad - for no real reason other than it seemed like the thing to do. I was very, very bad at this sort of thing in college, and that was because I reaked of a disgusting pheromone that triggered violent reactions in women** to turn off whatever attraction they were feeling for me.

That particular fragrance is known as desperation.

Ed. - "The following contains a semi-cohesive rambling about what I believe lead to my desperation, and why I believe myself to no longer be desperate, and why you should probably agree with me, but it's not like I'm forcing you to read it. Savvy?"

The recipe for desperation is pretty easy, since it has no physical ingredients, and is created by your will alone. The only real step is to buy into several myths about human relationships, and then think about them way, way, way too much. Here are most of the key myths that come into play in this little psychodrama, and you have several elements of society and media to thank for their perpetuation. I express them here as pseudo-MadLibsy-regular-expressionish things:

1. "There has to be [an optional superlative adjective] somebody out there for [pronoun]"

Generally, what somebody means by "somebody" is "a dedicated long-term life partner". This is right up there with "the world isn't fair" as the kind of truism that people tell themselves to make themselves feel better or worse about their situation. The fact of the matter is that there is less than a one-to-one correspondence of available partners in the set of people who possess biological gender X to a single member of their preferred gender. Even factoring out the asexual renunciates and confirmed celibates of this world, there is still a significant statistical probability that you will not find a suitably dedicated long-term life partner in this particular incarnation. That doesn't mean that it doesn't happen; it just means that people who have a committed life partner are consistently working at beating the odds, and to remain in this subset of all people, they must consistently beat the odds until they die, or their committed life partner is dead.

We take for granted the enchanting unlikelihood of permanent coupling in this world, as we have been asked to deny the inherent sense of it (much like we have been asked to accept high school education and two weeks of vacation) as a reward for playing by the rules. This is not so.

The up-side to this is that that person who isn't with you, who you think is the one although they haven't told you they think you're the one? They're probably not - they're just as likely as anyone else in the pool of all possible people to be "the one".

2. "Dating is a[n] [activity|game] with well-established [rules|boundaries|codes of conduct]"

If there are hard and fast† rules to any aspect of human interaction, I would love to see them. [Societally normative gender] books and magazines like to make inventing-the-question-mark kinds of outrageous claims about how to successfully navigate interactions with potential life partners in a way to ensure a maximum score with as many additional side-quests completed as possible. People are not video games or ATM's - there is no magical button sequence that will unlock the secret costumes and levels of your to-be-beloved, no matter what the storybooks or hentai dating sims say.

From a relational perspective, every person is unique, since every person has different experiences, memories, operant memeplexes, et cetera. Our habit as thinking creatures (which we have used to great effect) is to make generalizations about the world so that we can understand it based around those generalizations. Our major failing in this endeavor is the inability to redraw our guiding interior maps when those maps no longer fit the territory. Redrawing these maps is a painful process of erasing our previously trusted boundary lines and landmarks to draw in new, untested regions and landmarks that probably don't fit the territory any better than the old ones.

While certain generalizations can be drawn after prolonged study, there is little you can know about somebody you're meeting for the first time that you did not acquire secondhand through hearsay.

3. "If I follow the [rules|laws|code|guidelines] of dating, I will find myself a[n] [modifier] [adjective] partner"

Since we have already established that there are no rules of dating or human interaction, let's assume that there exist (∃) guidelines G for dating which are neither as hard nor as fast† as the rules previously mentioned. G is a set of heuristic methods (rules of thumb) for achieving coupling. Some of them have broad application, like, "It is good form to avoid throwing anything sharp or slimey at a potential partner on your first date". Some of them have more narrow application, such as "It is good form to throw monkey excrement filled with razor blades at a potential partner on your first date", which is limited to cultures that value excrement more than they value life. Some of them have ambiguous application, such as "You should hold the door for your date as they enter" - an action which will offend just about as many people as it endears.

So, every person has their own set of guidelines for how people should behave (∀P) → ∃Gp), but there is no way to know what this is without asking them. If there were some sort of standardized interaction S(∀P) → ∃Gs), then everybody would already know how to behave to each other every day, in every way.

We might get this one sorted out about the same time the entire world is ruled under one government, and all of its people practice one religion (knock on wood).

4. "[With [the way|how] I [action|am adjective],] I deserve somebody [like|better than|who can] [noun]" and the ever-popular
5. "[Wo|M]en do[n't] like a [wo]man who [is|ca][n't] [activity|trait|characteristic]"

These two came out a little more complex than I would have liked (since they're the most important myth), so I will write it again more simply as, "I deserve somebody who will love me unconditionally".

There is nothing you can do to force somebody to love you romantically, conditionally or not. Nobody has to like you at all, under any circustances, "that way" or any other. There are power games, guilt trips, and forced arrangements which can arbitrarily create a temporary (or permanent) coupling, but those aren't love. You can have sex every night with people you'll never see again, but that isn't love. Love occurs because it is actively nurtured in an environment which has been made conducive to love. If you haven't been nurturing an environment within yourself to be receptive to the idea of sharing your most intimate thoughts and feelings with another so suitably prepared, you aren't ready for love.

The truth is, you don't deserve any of the "good" things that have happened to you in your life - they are gifts that can be taken away as quickly as they were given. Innumerable actions and failures to act have introduced you to this world, and intrude constantly on every aspect of your life, and while your actions are not without consequence, there is a large, interdependent web of things which have interceded on (or against) your behalf. Consider:

a. A valley of butterflies flapping their wings in Mexico change the air currents b. Somewhere in Australia, creating a thermal spike which c. Causes a server meltdown in a colocation facility in Sydney, which loses d. Your employer's parent company in Germany an exclusive contract with e. A vendor in Japan for untold millions, and causes f. Your employer in the US to take corrective actions by cutting staff by 25%, so g. Your division is outsourced to Ireland due to flat growth market levels outside of your control h. Which means you don't have a job anymore

Congratulations - a valley of butterflies in Mexico just outsourced your job to Ireland!‡ Whether you deserved it or not, it happened. Is it a bad thing you just lost your job? Maybe so - but the only thing you can do to "fix" your problem is to get another job. And so it is with dating - you just have to keep trying, learning, and being open to the idea that you know absolutely nothing about how this works - but you're willing to learn.


* - I think I found this in a notebook from when I was a proto-Goth/ teenager. Yikes. ** - I freely admit that I take poetic license in a self-deprecating way consistently when talking about dating and relationships. It's a crutch-like coping mechanism that I hope you will excuse. † - Hehe. Hard and fast. ‡ - Think about it. No, you think about it!

In the not-so-immortal words of a certain Mr. Owens - "Comments? Questions? Projectiles?"

 
 
Current Mood: beatific
 
 
 
a certain brand of escape: fuji's lunar eclipseatelierlune on October 13th, 2005 06:04 am (UTC)
Two thoughts.
1. Vis a vis #1: You have proven that myth #1 is in fact "highly unlikely", not "impossible". So, it's not really a myth, is it? It's highly unlikely that a lot of things will happen tomorrow (for example), but it'd be better not to count them out.

2. So you've thrown off all manner of illusions and ridiculous sentimental platitudes. Now what?
Hoc Est Qui Sumusdiscoflamingo on October 13th, 2005 03:53 pm (UTC)
Re: Two thoughts.
1. The "myth" portion is in its certainty. So it is a myth.
2. Now you start living.
a certain brand of escapeatelierlune on October 13th, 2005 04:03 pm (UTC)
Re: Two thoughts.
1. "In its certainty?" My empirical research says that it's certainly possible, if unlikely, so it's not a myth. Judging from what other people are saying, I'm not alone.

2. Who, me? I think you mean you. This is your manifesto after all, isn't it? You're living with this reality.
Hoc Est Qui Sumusdiscoflamingo on October 13th, 2005 04:19 pm (UTC)
Re: Two thoughts.
1. If you change the myth from "There has to be somebody out there for me" to "In all likelihood, it's certainly possible that there might be somebody out there for me", you see that these two sentences are very different, yes?
2. There's no need to get huffy. If you don't like my flippant answers, don't ask me rhetorical questions.
Gostor of Wafflekaulis on October 13th, 2005 06:23 pm (UTC)
Re: Two thoughts.
If you don't like my flippant answers, don't ask me rhetorical questions.

I need to frame that somewhere. Like, in a bronze arch over the doorway to my office.

a certain brand of escapeatelierlune on October 13th, 2005 06:39 pm (UTC)
Re: Two thoughts.
2. I'm not huffy. I'm very calm. You're the one who's not happy that people aren't agreeing with you more. Yes?

1. Not "might be". "Is".
Hoc Est Qui Sumusdiscoflamingo on October 13th, 2005 09:32 pm (UTC)
Re: Two thoughts.
2. I'm not upset that people aren't agreeing with me - I'm upset with myself that I can't understand what you're driving at and that I can't make myself more clear to you. If people want to agree to disagree, that's a call that's yet to be made.

1. Where I say "myth", you can feel free to subsitute the phrases "pleasant fiction" or "popular truism". When I say "certainty", I mean that something is guaranteed to be 100% true/no questions asked/logically undeniable fact. I do not believe that, for every person on this planet, there must exist (with 100% certainty) a person that will be their ultimate life partner. That person may exist, or they may be a pleasant thing you tell yourself when you are lonely. That person may exist, but you will never meet them because they were born on the other side of the world, and in a lifetime of trying, you will never meet them. That person may exist, and they may be down the street from you, at your favorite bar, or living with you right now. My claim is that all of those things are possibilities - the idea that a. this person exists for everybody, b. that they will run into each other, and c. that those people will have exactly the same feelings for each other is one of a large, large group of possibilities, which means that the chances of it happening are less than 100%, which means that it is not certain. If you can find some flaw with this line of reasoning that is not "I would prefer to live my life as if it were true"*, then please tell me what it is.

*Forcing yourselves to believe in things that you can't prove is a kind of faith - and faith is not a subject for argument. If you believe any one thing by faith, there is no sense in arguing about it, because you have cut yourself off from argument by the alogical nature of how faith works. I think this is a perfectly reasonable way to live the parts of your life that don't affect other people.
a certain brand of escapeatelierlune on October 13th, 2005 10:16 pm (UTC)
Just one this time.
1. That's what I'm saying - if it's a possibility, even a small one, then it can't be a myth or a fiction. Something > 100% true or possible =! 100% false or impossible.

I disagree with your reading of faith as being acceptable only for the parts of one's life that don't touch others, but that's out of the bounds of this discussion.

2. Please don't be upset. This happens often to me. It's sort of to be expected when you express Big Ideas like this one. It isn't your fault.
Hoc Est Qui Sumusdiscoflamingo on October 13th, 2005 10:23 pm (UTC)
Re: Just one this time.
1. Then our problem seems to be with what is the fiction. That such a person might exist for everyone is absolutely true - there is always a chance, however small. My claim is that the idea that "you are destined by fate to meet this person and live happily ever after" is false. Do you understand the difference I'm driving at?

2. No longer upset. Thanks.
a certain brand of escape: the truthatelierlune on October 13th, 2005 11:36 pm (UTC)
Re: Just one this time.
1. I can agree with that. There is no guarantee that said perfect person will drop onto your lap out of the sky. My father has told me plenty of stories about people who were "the one" for each other, and they weren't even able to recognize it until really, really late in the game, when they'd made bad decisions and unnecessarily messed each other over. So, you won't be guaranteed to know "the one" when you see it/him/her, either. That works for me.
ninja in the shadows: jack nightskyseiryu_16 on October 13th, 2005 06:56 am (UTC)
I'm hip to your jive. I sort of... gave up on dating in high school (and here and there in college) because I believed that dating, like many things, was a game whose rules I either didn't know or couldn't master, and I did not believe in myself enough to think I was TRULY a worthy catch. I thought my only positive features as a mate was to throw down in Tekken and love desperately, which by themselves aren't all that positive.

When I gave up these things and these illusions - the pining I was want to do after these few men I attached myself to, believing we had some sort of "connection" that they were somehow not quite able to notice just yet - and sort of went "There is a problem with ME that I have to solve, and trying to make myself into the type of person someone else might want instead of who I want to be is kind of fucked up." It was when I was neither pining nor desperate that I ran into Josiah, and actually I was so startled by how well we got along that I backpedaled a bit, telling myself not to start anything I couldn't be serious about - and then another thing came along and clocked me upside the head and told me to fucking get over it and just see what happens. And as you know things turned out well.

It's kind of faulty for me to say these things, being partnered, but were I not to have met Josiah, or things were not to have worked out, or so on, or if I somehow were as I am now, only single: I would be putting my energy into enjoying life. Dating can be frustrating as hell - when we have expectations instead of hopes, a very "desire leads to suffering" kind of Buddhist mantra. If we look at it all as an adventure, meeting someone new and seeing how they fit into your life and you fit into theirs, that's kind of exciting. Forgettable, new acquaintance, new friend, or something more? Can we make each other happy, can we amuse each other, is there a spark there between us? Will there be one? Adventure.

I guess also this is a product of a life like mine, where major, life-altering events in the last few years have come about from small, seemingly-insignificant things. I didn't want to go rent a movie that first night of my sophomore year - but I did and I met Josiah (we probably would have met some other time, but that night we got more of a chance to talk than many other times). I started a webcomic, and years later, took a risk on giving a lecture at a student-run gaming convention - where I met a new friend, from whom I met another new friend, who contacted me about a job opening, from which I got my start in the gaming industry. I made a random post on the blog of an ea_spouse, from which I met not one but THREE new friends. Butterflies wings and their motion have helped to shape my life, and thus for me sometimes silly things are charged with more gravity for all the motions they have in my life and the lives of others that I cannot see.

All in all, look on it as an adventure. There are risks in adventure, there can be loss - but it is worth it, if you know how to take it. Better to risk and lose than never take the chance and spend altogether too much time wondering what would happen if you had. A reexamining, and all that.

Anyhow, enough of my nattering. Godspeed ::hug:: And I'ma call you one of these days. Like, tomorrow. Mark my words...
Virtual Travellervtraveller on October 13th, 2005 07:35 am (UTC)
As you say, this does seem a slightly over analytical approach (okay - maybe I paraphrased).

I would argue that the hypothesis of #1 is flawed quite substantially. Particularly if you take yourself as the median. Murderers, thieves as such must skew the scale slightly? Okay - cheap joke. But the point is simply that the moment you make such comparisons is the moment it becomes a flawed argument - effort, will, desire vary between people - lifestyle all sorts of things. Ruins your calculation.

But it's irrelevant to be honest. The moment you start considering things to be dating is the moment everything is doomed.

The moment you chill with someone, look at your watch and are surprised at how much time has past, you find yourself eating ice cream in the rain or dancing in a thunderstorm with someone getting completely soaked. The moment you're not trying, not thinking, just reacting to the moment ... that's the point that influences change.

It's all very hard to quantify though. Things that might really annoy you in someone just won't in someone else. Things that were difficult or a struggle with someone become a careless breeze with someone else.

I've danced in the thunderstorm, surprised someone with a breakfast picnic and pointed a car in a random direction for a road-trip. I've considered what the hell was I doing and decided I didn't care (I ditched my entire life in England at one point). Following the flow, going with what felt good.

I didn't plan to move in with anyone, I didn't plan to go out with anyone, to some extent I didn't plan to marry either. These things were natural and without thought. They didn't even involve discussion (okay - maybe the marriage did 'cos I'm a romantic and thought I should ask properly).

Do what you enjoy, do what you feel, certainly don't over analyse or plan. If you're considering things as dating you've got it all wrong.
(Deleted comment)
Hoc Est Qui Sumusdiscoflamingo on October 13th, 2005 03:55 pm (UTC)
You wouldn't believe me if I told you I left it there on purpose for you to find, would you?
(Deleted comment)
astcetc snafuwonderlandkat on October 13th, 2005 01:21 pm (UTC)
I think you missed the most important myth (to desperation):

I will only be happy when I have a partner. Or the converse- my partner should be (and is?) my entire life.
Hoc Est Qui Sumusdiscoflamingo on October 13th, 2005 03:58 pm (UTC)
I think that's the culmination of the other myths. If there's only one person for you in all the world that will love you unconditionally, it follows that you'd better find them if you want to be happy. Also, I think Americans have enough problems knowing what it takes to be happy.

But really? It was very late, I wrote it on a lark, and I'm a little miffed that nobody has said anything positive about it.
astcetc snafuwonderlandkat on October 14th, 2005 01:05 pm (UTC)
Welcome to LJ where the audience never acts how you want it to.

I think in some ways the first myth, the primary myth, is that one needs a partner to be really happy, since many people eventually give up on the "soul mate" to marry someone who they think will be a good partner/provider/help-meet/dad/mom/etc/etc/etc.
Hoc Est Qui Sumusdiscoflamingo on October 14th, 2005 02:41 pm (UTC)
1. In once sense, yes, this is me blatantly fishing for comments on something that I put four hours into writing. While I'm interested in what people have to say (if they have anything to say at all), I'm more interested in what you in particular think, seeing as how I wrote it in response to a question that you posed. You don't owe me that, but I'm throwing it out there.

2. I think I didn't consider that particular myth because the question of finding somebody to be happy was never one I had to answer for myself, and I don't know many men for whom this is true (I've spent more of my time talking to men about this, so there's my bias). This might be another one of those American men/women things. When I was super desperate, I wanted a partner because I was supposed to want a partner - happiness never entered into it.
though she be but little, she is fiercehilabeans on October 13th, 2005 04:28 pm (UTC)
My first response was, "This is kind of depressing." My second response was, "Wait - he just laid out all the myths and misconceptions I've recently been rejecting, and did so in a very logical and well-thought-out manner, exactly as I might have done if my brain ran on logic more than it does." I think the reason it struck me as depressing is that it's kind of harsh in that it cuts through all the romantic myths we want to believe in. I'm going to assume it's better for us to have those myths out of the way (I can't be sure, since I haven't dated since I stopped believing them). It's sort of the feeling of, "Yuck, that medicine tastes nasty... oh, but I'm feeling better!"

And, just in case it helps you as much as it does me when the desperation starts kicking in, here's the story of my parents: They didn't meet until they were in their mid to late 20s. Mom thought Dad was a much better match for her sister than for herself. She was almost 30 (and he almost 29) when they got married. They've been happily married for 26 years.

The moral of the story? We still have time.
McRunsWithWolvestrickygrin on October 13th, 2005 04:58 pm (UTC)
Hm. Number one seems kinda passive. I thought the deal wasn't that there's someone out there built to your specs so much as there're people out there willing to work towards your specs if you're willing to work towards theirs?

Um. Is the myth of it all really that passive about it? I haven't been paying that good of attn.
Hoc Est Qui Sumusdiscoflamingo on October 13th, 2005 09:33 pm (UTC)
It can be passive or not. It works equally well if your one true love is born across the sea, and you must journey your whole life to find them. There is no guarantee that you will.
prof_vencireprof_vencire on October 13th, 2005 11:26 pm (UTC)
For REASONABLE people, it's the "there is probaly someone with whom I can make a relationship work, though both they and I may have to adapt to each other"

But you'd be surprised (or not) at how many people just think there is a magically perfect person for them out there somewhere.
Gostor of Wafflekaulis on October 13th, 2005 07:22 pm (UTC)
Yes.
That was fabulous. It was refreshing to read a disucssion of the topic that wasn't energetically bashing bad behavior. Your self-deprecating humor is entertaining; it's obvious that it's a reflexive tangent, and not the point of the exercise. It also nicely encapsulates the thoughts of a generic person laboring fruitlessly under the above [rules|myths].

I especially liked the last bit about nurturing an environment within yourself... that was very uplifting and pleasantly succinct. It's sort of the shining star atop the cake, er... that goads the donkey? Wait... I'm sure there's an idiom in here somewhere....

Without that bit, you'd primarily have a logical refutation of several fallacies without an impetus to act. That would be fine, but it's more open to interpretation.

I like that you include it. I like your implicit suggestion that most of the work one ought to do (in order to achieve said coupling) is the internal dismantling of these myths; not a distraction from the self, but an examination--not something to be checked off a list, but a continual need. I like that the only active part is the nurturing of the internal environment. It's very Te, or whatever that's called. Sure, there are lots of other "self-improvement" things one could do, but none of those matter half as much as the stuff you talked about.

Incidentally, if you can pick any environment to nurture within yourself, why not a lush mountain valley... full of butterflies? That sounds like a great place to share intimate feelings. I've heard it said people prefer to discuss those topics in confined spaces (psychologist's offices are "cozy" rather than "cavernous"), but I know a couple people who prefer wide-open natural spaces with no one around.
chesh on October 13th, 2005 07:57 pm (UTC)
I'll admit, some of the formulae really lost me. But given how amazingly dehydrated I am, there's a certain amount of "mental capacity? what's capacity?" going on.

I'm really liking the way you laid this out, though it could be stronger with some more rewriting.

Personally, I feel the whole "there's somebody out there for me" is a nasty and destructive little bitch of a thing because it's so comforting in the short-term (if I persevere, surely love will find me!) and so ego-shattering in the long term (did I miss it? did I fuck it up? do I not deserve true love?). There is a reasonable probability that you'll find people you're compatible with over your lifetime, but no situation is perfect. Even my parents, who are lucky and talented enough to have stayed together for over thirty years now, have had their bad times. They still have days where their patience runs thin, days where they snark about the other a lot, days where it seems to be more frustration than fun. To this point, though, the good days have outweighed the bad.

I guess it's especially bad because it implies that you need to find this one (or one of these few) person(s) in order to be whole happy, and fulfilled. I wonder how many bad hook-ups could be staved off by an appropriate pet or cuddle-buddy, a warm body to lay on your chest or next to you and provide that physical contact. Now that we don't have dozens of extended family around us always, providing that love and touch, it seems to be really easy for people to get touch-deprived and a little crazy.
prof_vencireprof_vencire on October 13th, 2005 11:19 pm (UTC)
Ooh, my favorite note, as relates to #1 is : Even if there is someone out there perfect for you, are you perfect for them? & There are some people who would be great partners for any NUMBER of people.

Also, to back up #1 : 50% of men cheat on their wives. A good 1/3 of marriages end in divorce (slightly different if you count only first marriages, but still over 1/4, which is a HUGE amount). There are less men than women and not enough lesbians/bisexuals to even it back out. Also, even if, say, there was someone who as a person was perfect for you... 6 billion plus people. I have barely met a few thousand people, even just in passing, and I certainly haven't had the opportunity to get to know in a manner that could be love inducing the vast majority of them.

I'm right between 2 and 3. There ARE rules, sort of, but they're incredibly complex and most of them reference an awful lot of the rest so it becomes a rather large, muddled equation. As well, some routes towards information gathering (so far as filling in the number values in the equation) are deeply flawed or uncertain. Still, generally, if you know a fair amount of the patterns and don't mind treating romance as little more than a logic/skill game, you can probably get someone. I hate to say it, but those "Science of Seduction" products have a remarkably high success rate. Hell, some of them even use ACTUAL SCIENCE. There's a... "Mathematics of Love" or something similar by an Australian Mathematician/Sociologist/Psychology super-genius woman that has a lot of good raw data.

I absolutely agree with the fallacy of 4. But then, I also have a certain "Taker" philosophical coloring. I don't really believe in rights (generally), just privileges. And generally, you have to earn those. Even when you have sufficient credit, though, the laws of commerce and chaos apply. A million dollars can't buy what's not for sale AND the shopkeeper has a right to refuse service.

With 5, it's again a matter of percentages. Also, you generally have to apply it to whatever sub-culture/demographic you're most active in. Hell, throw in mate type (preffered mate traits) and you get a slightly more reliable list of probability percentages. Then there's the "Like" vs. "Pity/Ought To" relationship issue. A lot of girls really don't like guys who cry a lot (though some do), but there are even more who will go out with/have trouble breaking up with some guy who does, mostly out of pity and guilt. Again, on the flipside, there are some traits which, in general, certain types (men/women/nerds/hipsters/preps) do prefer. If you treat these types as sub-species of the larger Gender Species, you can get some fairly reliable data. There are still exceptions, usually are, but again, if you're ruthless about it and the missing traits are things you can actually accomplish, again you can increase your chances. Most people can't do it so rationally and still have the capacity for "Love Love", but hell, that's their problem.
prof_vencireprof_vencire on October 13th, 2005 11:19 pm (UTC)
Of course, it still has a strong chance element. But that tends to be a near-universally applicable generalization. The best you can do is try to play the odds. Of course, some odds are so good you can almost rely on them as true things. Like the tired line about meteors at any second.

I would just finish off those damn butterflies. God, hurricanes AND I lost my job? Do chaos butterflies every do something constructive? I mean, come on.

But yes, a lot of people seem to think that "Love" is an external state/element/etc that has to be found, rather than, essentially, an internal state or lucky sync-up of said state between two (or hypothetically more) separate systems.

Also, while I was reading and notice the "†" next to hard and fast I immediately thought, "Heh. Hard and fast" then "I hope that's what the annotation is...

My own

1) You can trick someone into loving you, but this is almost always flimsy and usually means you won't love them. It's also difficult and kinda monstrous.

2) You can trick yourself into loving someone, but it's not easy and most people can't and it's really a screwed up thing to do most of the time.

3) People assume that there's a good person for them in the dating pool with them AS THEY ARE. This is not always true. Sometimes "being yourself" is a bullshit piece of advice. Sometimes you have to change yourself, preferably in a way not directly contrary to your inner nature. Finding out what parts of yourself are essential and which aren't is important.

4) "Love" is a poorly enough defined subject that most conversations go CRAZY when it gets brought up. Additionally, I've never encountered or heard of any state that couldn't be described with "Infatuation" "Lust" "Companion State" "Habitual" "Pair Bonding" "Excuse for Self-Sacrifice/Martyr Complex Fulfillment" and similar. It may sound cynical, but I don't feel that this means what most people call love necessarily has less value. Concrete social bonds are uncommon and often are only seen as displays of unhealthy mentation.

5) The whole "When you're not expecting it, it'll happen", yeah... sometimes I guess. Why this is taken as so damn true, I don't know. You can say you were surprised to feel deeply about anyone simply because how often do you meet people you feely deeply about, period? Most of the people we meet in general that become our friends we didn't mean to, but a lot of the time, it doesn't just happen. And for guys? Even more so. The most liberated of my female friends (and they are DAMN liberated) still prefer the guy to ask them (if they gal in question is straight. alt-sex preferences are another matter). When I hear about relationships starting, it often goes that the girl feels it "just happened" and the guy goes through the details of what actually made it happen. Not always, but in a statistically significant amount. ALSO flirting. Come on. The reason it doesn't necessarily happen when you least expect it is because, if you're not being at least a little pro-active (see: flirting), you can easily be made into a de-gendered friend. This is a bigger problem for some of us than others. Some of us are pretty enough that simply existing near people of a compatible sexual prefrence and type is flirting. God. Why this faith in "good things just happening"? Yes, we meet new people and etc in ways that "just happen" but goddamnit. There is no invisible pressure pushing things into place. It's more a tribute to our adaptability and social nature than anything else. --- sorry. There's even more, potentially, but damnit, I get irritated when people give this kind of advice. It's so damn EMPTY. Sorry. Disregrad what you like of this paragraph. I CAN actually defend my irritation, but it's not necessarily for here and now.


Last: Rationality is AWESOME. For some reason, people seem to think that understanding something means it can't be beautiful or awe-inspiring or just awesome. I feel that's bullshit. Of course, the feelers and the thinkers both seem to be full of screwing everything up when it comes to relationships, so whatever. Everyone is so crazy. Really crazy.
prof_vencireprof_vencire on October 13th, 2005 11:32 pm (UTC)
No one might agree.

Love needs more logic.
A Carnot engine of self-loathingcalypsomatic on October 14th, 2005 12:01 am (UTC)
Fuck it. I think about this stuff all the time, and I started to try to let it all out here, but without having read everyone else's comments, I'll just end up repeating them and/or ranting and/or getting preachy or bitchy or all those other things that women do. If you're really interested in my 21-year thesis on dating and related subjects, then ask me sometime when you have all day. Instead, here are some of the rules of love, the sources for which I don't have available write now, written by some dude in something like the 11th century. These basically defined romantic love as we know it, and are nothing but a product of the times.

When a lover suddenly catches sight of his beloved his heart palpitates.
The easy attainment of love makes it of little value; difficulty of attainment makes it prized.
Every lover regularly turns pale in the presence of his beloved.
Real jealousy always increases the feelings of love.
A true lover considers nothing good except what he thinks will please his beloved.
A lover can never have enough of the solaces of his beloved.
Marriage is no real excuse for not loving.
He who is not jealous cannot love.
It is well known that love is always increasing or decreasing.
That which a lover takes against the will of his beloved has no relish.
A true lover does not wish to embrace anyone in love except his beloved.
When made public love rarely endures.
Rosamundrosa_mundi on October 14th, 2005 06:48 pm (UTC)
I'm really bad at math, but
What're you doing next Friday?

*crickets*
Hoc Est Qui Sumusdiscoflamingo on October 14th, 2005 09:32 pm (UTC)
Re: I'm really bad at math, but
I'll be at a wedding in Wisconsin.
Rosamundrosa_mundi on October 14th, 2005 10:10 pm (UTC)
Re: I'm really bad at math, but
And I'll be in Chicago. I guess we can't have coffee then.

In retrospect, my question did not involve much forethought.
Nightwalkerhalfawake on October 14th, 2005 07:48 pm (UTC)
Wow, I'm impressed
I didn't think there was anyone out there who actually overanlyzes things as much as I do. But now I found out that you actually overanalyze things like relationships and dating even more than I do.

As for Myth #1, "There has to be someone out there for me," I agree with everyone who says that in it's current format, this statement is really depressing. And of course, a lie, because it seems to imply that if you do nothing, things will just fall into place and that's just never the case.

I say, go about your life, make friends with people you find interesting. Don't even think about dating until one of those friends you've made catches your interest in more than just a friendship way. Then, by all means, go for it. Just be aware that it means that you're sticking your neck out on the chopping block, and don't expect to come away clean, because relationships hurt even if they never end up happening. Sometimes especially so because that can mean that you wanted them to happen but never even got a chance.

I agree that Myth #2 is nothing more than a myth. Society makes up its own rules, and so do we. If we get to know people, we'll probably find out their rules, whether we like them or not. Which is one way of finding out if you want to get closer to someone or run away as fast as you can. Unfortunately, sometimes by the time you should be running away as fast as you can, you're no longer rational about it and don't find it easy to run.

With Myth #2 definitely being a myth, it follows logically that Myth #3 also has to be a myth.

As for Myth #4 and 5, I will simply refer to them in the revised format of the most important myth: "I deserve someone will love me unconditionally." It'd be nice if everyone had this kind of relationship with their parents, but with lovers? That's just not going to happen.

I think this myth can be rewritten in a more realistic format as two questions. Do I want someone who will love me unconditionally? And if I find someone who will love me unconditionally, will I in turn love her/him unconditionally as well? Two people loving each other unconditionally sounds like the ideal relationship to me. It doesn't mean that there wouldn't be arguments or fights, but if they truly do love each other unconditionally, it means that they would most likely not be serious, and would invariably be able to resolve them. Because if two people love each other unconditionally, how can you stay mad at each other?

However, if it is just one person loving the other person unconditionally, without it working in reverse, that is a recipe for disaster. One person might end up worshipping the other while the other person just thinks it it is a normal relationship. This is a good way to ensure that a relationship won't last.