Archive for the 'Love' Category

18
Feb
09

Lessons of Life and Love

Today, I came across an interesting post from one of my favorite blogs, My [Confined] Space. It was a rather poignant post about love and lost opportunities:

A Bawl Story

Yeah… The kind of stuff blockbuster movie tragedies are made of. However what was interesting was the range and content of the comments that followed (you can click on the image or the link at the end of the post to see the original comments @ M[C]S ). To me, the posts all seemed to take either one extreme or another. There were some people categorically stating that being in love with your BBF is a fatal mistake, and that you should run as fast as your little legs can carry you in the other direction. Others were deeply moved by it while others chalked it all up as BS, and shucked the whole thing into their mental garbage bins.

However there were a few who did seem to come away with at least one lesson from it, and I thought there were some good points made. Me personally, I thought this chap handled the situation entirely wrong, but being the anal retentive sociocultural explorer that I am, I couldn’t help thinking about what the real lesson of all of this was, and what I would have done differently if I were in that situation. The results of my musings were rather unsatisfying, but I thought they might make for an interesting post… If you are the type that frequently posts “tl;dr” just go on ahead, leave now, and forever hold your peace. Other wise grab a cuppa, (or whatever your favorite poison happens to be today) and get comfortable…

The very first thing that ran through my head while reading this was that it seemed unfortunate that, despite being best friends with this girl, this guy decided to hide something as important as the fact that he was deeply in love, with her, from her. I can understand why he did it, however his logic for doing so seemed seriously flawed to me. Having never discussed it with her, how could he possibly know she didn’t think of him the same way? This, to me, seems to be one of the fundamental flaws with relationships these days. Lots of unfounded assumptions compounded by having none of the important communication required to clear it up.

That is not to say, however, that telling his female compadre that he was in love with her would be guaranteed make things any easier. But as I see it, there is only one possible problem with telling her. And that is that she might get weirded out by it. To be honest, it sounds stupidly stupid to me. Yep. After all, if she really is your best friend, even if she doesn’t love you romantically, she should still love you enough to understand what you are going through, and be there for you, probably help you find ways to deal with your feelings constructively. But that’s just my opinion. In real life people don’t act in particularly logical ways. Bottom line, if she actually did get weirded out, then he would  have potentially lost a best friend. However from my perspective, if your so called “BFF” bails on you for committing the oh, so heinous, cruel and unforgivable sin of falling in love with them, then they weren’t particularly good friends to begin with. C’est la vie. .

However this train of thought brought me to another interesting consideration. The reality of life is that some people aren’t really honest with themselves about who their friends are and what kinds of people they are.  I’ve noticed some rather illogical behavior with people towards those they consider “best friends”. When those “BFF”s do something wrong, they are quick to excuse the behavior, sometimes even when they themselves would never condone that behavior from anyone else. From my perspective, that is not what a good friend is supposed to do. A true friend should not be ones personal “yes” man. A true friend should always be honest, and should challenge any of behaviors that they know to be wrong. Again, just my take on what friendship means. But I digress.

The point is, when people want things bad enough, they can, and often will, lie to themselves, and tell themselves that someone is their best friend, even though the person is not. I imagine this could happen even easier with a person whom one might be romantically attracted to. They become “best friends” but do not realize that even that “Best Friend” relationship is really one way. You are doing all the befriending, in spite of the fact you have *nothing* in common, (apart from maybe wanting to get them in the sack) and they are just along for the ride. As a result you end up with a best friend who isn’t really your best friend, and isn’t even really the kind of person who you would be friends with if you weren’t sexually attracted to them. Bummer. Big bummer. Anyway, where was I…? Right. Self honesty.

Barring the possibility that the target of ones affections turns out to be a flaky pastry with no fluffy layers, there should be only one other question one should ask, should they find themselves in this situation. Will *my* feelings change if I tell my BFF I love them, and happen to get rejected? This is the scenario that been known to kill people dead (mostly metaphorically, but sometimes even literally). However from my perspective, this reaction makes no sense. If you don’t tell her, you will live the rest of your life secretly in love with your BFF. You will still have to continue to treat them like your BFF. And whatever torture you are putting yourself through will not cease.

If you do tell her, one of two things will happen. Either she will say “Aww that’s cuuute!! But can we just be friends?!?”, (BTW, welcome to the hell that is the “Friend” zone!), and you will still live your life in love with your BFF, except now she can be more sensitive to your feelings towards her, and you can try to move on. OR the she says “What took you so long, you dork!” And all will be will with the world. Well not quite, but at least you will have jumped one of the major hurdles. But you have to be honest with yourself. Be aware that just because your are BFF doesn’t mean you are automatically in like Flynn. And also realize that a rejection of romantic interest doesn’t inherently mean they weren’t really your friends to begin with. Most people who think are really just you pulling a juvenile “sour grapes” tantrum. But you won’t be able to tell the difference unless you are really being honest with yourself.

The thing is, assuming of course, the BFF isn’t a type of cardiologist that eschews surgery with the traditional and time honored scalpel in favor of a wooden spoons, you can not be any worse off than you were to begin with, UNLESS you weren’t being honest with yourself to begin with, OR the person whom you think is your BFF isn’t really your BFF. In which case I say, “To blazes with them!!” Yeah. Yes, I’m sure you probably won’t feel that way as you stand there, fully awake, spoon carving itself a ragged path around your heart, sans anaesthetic, but the reality of it is that all you will have lost is an illusion. Nothing of any real value. What you *will* have, at last, is a clear and unclouded vision of where you stand with respect to the friend in question.

If they reciprocate, then good. You still have a lifetime of relationship ups and downs to contend with. But even if they reject you, If they cared about you before, they will still care about you after. If they are the person you thought they were, you will care about them no less. (unless you were, or are lying to yourself about them, which would really be your fault, not theirs) But you will now be free to decide how to live the rest of your life, with no regrets, no questions, no “what ifs” lingering over your head. That’s what i think. But then again I do have this tendency to oversimplify things… 🙂

A Bawl Story – [My [Confined] Space]

01
Aug
07

Is the battle of the sexes over? Ummm, I think not…

A recent study suggests that, contrary to traditional beliefs, both men and women enjoy sex for primarily the same reason:

After exhaustively compiling a list of the 237 reasons why people have sex, researchers found that young men and women get intimate for mostly the same motivations. It’s more about lust in the body than a love connection in the heart.

College-aged men and women agree on their top reasons for having sex – they were attracted to the person, they wanted to experience physical pleasure and “it feels good,” according to a peer-reviewed study in the August edition of Archives of Sexual Behavior. Twenty of the top 25 reasons given for having sex were the same for men and women.

Expressing love and showing affection were in the top 10 for both men and women, but they did take a back seat to the clear No. 1: “I was attracted to the person.”

“It’s refuted a lot of gender stereotypes … that men only want sex for the physical pleasure and women want love,” said University of Texas clinical psychology professor Cindy Meston, the study’s co-author. “That’s not what I came up with in my findings.”

Forget thinking that men are from Mars and women from Venus, “the more we look, the more we find similarity,” said Dr. Irwin Goldstein, director of sexual medicine at Alvarado Hospital in San Diego. Goldstein, who wasn’t part of Meston’s study, said the Texas research made a lot of sense and adds to growing evidence that the vaunted differences in the genders may only be among people with sexual problems. – [AP]

Well, as usual (I guess) somehow I didn’t find this study to be that helpful. It could just be me, but the results seemed to be a little obvious. Not to mention that the study seemed to cripple itself in the universality department.

The first issue I saw in the study was stated in the article. They were essentially studying college kids. And the vast majority of college age kids, both male and female, spend a great deal of time thinking about sex. Their primary motivation is fun, not marriage or settling down, etc. So of course, their reasons are going to primarily be lust driven. Strike one.

Next, even within the more sexually balanced middle-aged group, the claim to gender stereotypes may not particularly be culturally valid anymore.  I happen to have known several men who were really pushovers, and women who were much, much worse than men in terms of sexual predation. (Think “Sex in the city.”) Strike two.

And last, but not least, even within the hormonally boosted college demographic you could still see gender differences in the attitudes towards sex, with men tending towards being more opportunistic, and women apparently doing so to please their partner. That kinda hints that the men/Mars women/Venus thing still isn’t entirely as baseless as they suggest. Strike 3. Out!

Perhaps we shouldn’t simply abandon the idea of men being from Mars and women being from Venus. Maybe we all just ought to remember that both Mars and Venus still occupy the same solar system…

Why People Have Sex: It Feels Good – [AP]

09
Jul
07

Hi! I’m Troglodyte. Folks call me Trog…

I read an interesting article that kinda attempts to explain the source of a few of the common “politically incorrect” stereotypes of human nature:

“our thoughts, feelings, and behavior are produced not only by our individual experiences and environment in our own lifetime but also by what happened to our ancestors millions of years ago. ” – [Slashdot/Psychology Today]

Ok. So in essence we are basically all still cave people. How interesting. Anyhoo, much of the article deals with stereotypes. I’m not one to stereotype, however there is a big difference between predicting the behavior of the average member of a culture or race based on statistics, and attempting to predict the behavior of an individual member of the demographic in question by applying the statistics to that specific individual.

You can’t. But it’s a mistake I see people make daily. Anyone can tell you that any fairly symmetrical coin, if tossed in the air 100 times, should statistically land 50 times tails up and 50 times heads up. However nobody can guarantee which side will come up on the 50th toss. Or for any toss for that matter. It’s impossible. Stereotypes are the same.

Stereotypes are not pointless. A stereotype can actually be statistically accurate, and may be useful for situations where a gross generalization is needed. However it is a mistake to attempt to apply such generalizations at an individual level, since an individuals behavior can vary widely from the general parameters upon which the stereotype is based. So don’t do it.

All that aside, I found myself agreeing with most of what the article says, and though I found some if it rather surprising, it still made sense in a weird, instinctual way… Perhaps my inner caveman was nodding his head vigorously and going “Uh Huh! True Dat!”. Either way, take a gander, it’s a pretty good read, and it makes a lot of sense if you think about it objectively, even if some of it ostensibly flies in the face of “political correctness”.

Ten Politically Incorrect Truths About Human Nature – [Slashdot/Psychology Today]

02
Jul
07

Can’t Buy Love… But you can steal it?

I just ran into yet another law that completely misses the point. Apparently an Illinois man won a suit against a man whom he accused of stealing his wife’s affections:

Arthur Friedman used a little-known state law to mount the legal attack against Blinov. The alienation of affection law, one of eight across the country, lets spouses seek damages for the loss of love. – [Yahoo/AP]

OK, this just seems wrong to me on a myriad of levels. First of all, how is it possible to legally “steal” someones affections? And how exactly does the “thief” become liable? I understand the concept of one man stealing another mans wife in an emotional context, but as a suable offense it doesn’t seem right. To start of with, legally, a marriage is a contract between a man and his wife, not a third party. If she cheats on you with a third party, she has broken the contract, not the third party.

It seems to me that as a husband, it would simply be petty to blame a third party for your wife leaving you. It’s not like women are brainless creatures that must be protected from the advances of others because they have no will of their own. She was fully aware of what she was doing, and she knowingly decided to break her vows, not the guy who pursued her, even if he is a real jerk for doing so. If anything, the wife should have been sued. If not for the fact that I have seen even stupider laws on the books, It would amaze me that such a law existed. I’m no legal or social science genius but my guess would be that this law was written in considerably more chauvinistic times.

But even more silly than that ridiculous law, is the fact that, if my understanding of the article is correct, this was apparently a “swinging” couple, and (if we are to believe the testimony of a cheatin’ wife) it sounds as if it was Mr. Friedman who persuaded Mrs. Friedman to start “swinging” as a means to spice up their sex life! Honestly, none of this makes sense to me. First, If a couple is having marital problems, their first solution should be to TALK, openly and honestly to EACH OTHER about them! Maybe get counseling. Sleeping with third parties, while it may sound like a good idea to some, is rarely a good solution, as this couple found out!!

Now I’d be the last person to judge anothers life style. I’m sure many couples find that swinging spices up their sex life. I’ve actually even read of cases where it made the marriage stronger. But regardless of what activities a married couple engages in, I am fairly certain that they worked best when these couples were in a secure, honest and open marriage to begin with, and they came to the decision to do these activities TOGETHER. This couple apparently did the opposite. And then started pointing fingers and blaming others for the result. Typical.

[In my best “Bernie Mac” impression]

Listen up America! You need to start taking responsibility for your actions! Stop abusing and hiding behind all these stupid laws and deal with each other like real, honest, thinking, feeling human beings!! Stop being greedy and selfish and petty, and maybe you won’t have so many problems to begin with!! Aaaiight! I’m out! Peace Out America!
[/Bernie Mac]

Werd…

Illinois man files suit over lost love – [Yahoo/AP]




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