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    Default Re: Relationship Woes and Advice 21: Time To Go Bar-Hopping

    Quote Originally Posted by Heliomance View Post
    Sigh.

    So, about two weeks after the catastrophic breakdown of the relationship between A (my forlorn romantic interest), B and E, A and E are back together. B, E's former girlfriend of a year, is feeling somewhat put out at the ease with which he has recovered from the breakup and the sheer speed of the turnaround, and general consensus in our friend group is that he is in fact being a charming, manipulative douchebag.
    So you're saying that your instincts about him being a manipulative asshat were right in the first place?

    Or is this a different charming as the devil character?
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    Default Re: Relationship Woes and Advice 21: Time To Go Bar-Hopping

    Quote Originally Posted by Coidzor View Post
    So you're saying that your instincts about him being a manipulative asshat were right in the first place?

    Or is this a different charming as the devil character?
    Same guy. Honestly I'm not sure what to think. I don't think he's necessarily doing it deliberately, I'm just not sure he's actually capable of the connection needed for a lasting relationship. At this point, I would strongly recommend against a relationship with him, for anyone, but I don't know to what extent I blame him.
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    Default Re: Relationship Woes and Advice 21: Time To Go Bar-Hopping

    Quote Originally Posted by Heliomance View Post
    Same guy. Honestly I'm not sure what to think. I don't think he's necessarily doing it deliberately, I'm just not sure he's actually capable of the connection needed for a lasting relationship. At this point, I would strongly recommend against a relationship with him, for anyone, but I don't know to what extent I blame him.
    If he ain't capable of a relationship, then a word might be had with him about accepting this fact and living the life of a footloose bachelor rather than go back and forth between girls in the same social group. *shrug* Hard to say though, for certain.
    Quote Originally Posted by Keld Denar View Post
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  4. - Top - End - #334
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    Default Re: Relationship Woes and Advice 21: Time To Go Bar-Hopping

    I did misunderstand your use of Gloomy Gus; as you've said, it's quite the understatement and I took it at the understated meaning, not the meaning you intended. Regardless, though, I still feel like it's often bad advice to tell others to change themselves to be "more likable" or "more lovable." Some things, like better hygiene or whatever, aren't so bad, but at a certain point I find the idea dangerously homogenizing. I know that's not how it's meant, but that's how I see it taken too often.
    Last edited by Vacant; 2012-01-23 at 02:44 AM.
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    Default Re: Relationship Woes and Advice 21: Time To Go Bar-Hopping

    Nobody is telling anyone to change.

    But you don't go through a list of every single character trait that you have on the first meeting with someone. You don't tell them your life story in the first few minutes.

    All we're saying is to try and get the best bits of who you are out there first. You wouldn't tell a complete stranger that you were a widower in the first 5 minutes, it's something that you have to tell them later on.

    Look at it like you're a storyteller, trying to tell someone the story of your life.

    You can report it fact by fact, and cover the material in alphabetical order, and they'll know everything there is to know about you.

    Or, you can be a good storyteller, and make sure the parts the listener finds exciting and interesting are emphasised, while the unexciting or bland parts are woven into the story more subtly, so they are still very present, and the listener heard and registered the information, but it no longer distracts from the parts of the story they're enjoying.

    It's the same story, the same facts, and everything fits together in the same way. But the way you told your story made it much more captivating and more likely to get and keep someone interested.

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    Default Re: Relationship Woes and Advice 21: Time To Go Bar-Hopping

    My point is most people who start Ulysses, Gravity's Rainbow, The Sound and the Fury or The Naked Lunch don't finish, but that's their loss and the plot of either told in a the linear fashion and standard that most readers find more approachable wouldn't be half as good a book. Similarly I've been told many times that The Great Gatsby is boring. Maybe your average airport novel is more approachable and more "interesting," but I know which kind of story I'd rather write.

    So, yeah you might tell a stranger you're a widower in the first five minutes, just as you might open a literary classic with "Today, mother died. Or maybe yesterday."
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    Default Re: Relationship Woes and Advice 21: Time To Go Bar-Hopping

    Except we're NOT talking about different stories. We're talking about the same story, told differently. The same things happen, the same people do the same things at the same time, say the same words, and think the same thoughts. Still, the *way* you tell ths story to someone entirely changes the way they think of it.

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    Default Re: Relationship Woes and Advice 21: Time To Go Bar-Hopping

    Yeah, it does; I'm not talking about different stories, either. I'm saying that if The Naked Lunch's exact storyline were to be written in a normal, straightforward fashion, I wouldn't like the result as much. If Benji and Quentin's sections of The Sound and the Fury were written more clearly it would be a lot more accessible and approachable to the vast majority of readers, but the magic that makes it what it is would be gone, even if every detail of the plot were left unchanged. Similarly, I'd rather read the originals than "No Fear Shakespeare."

    Dan Brown or L. Ron Hubbard or whoever is going to sell a lot more books and be a lot more widely read than Burroughs, or at least more widely liked by those who read them, but if they all wrote the same book in their respective styles, I know which book I'd rather read, which writer I'd rather be compared to, and which equivalent person I'd bother trying to approach, whether it was more difficult or not.
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    Default Re: Relationship Woes and Advice 21: Time To Go Bar-Hopping

    The difference in presentation is the difference between Star Wars and Eragon. Same story, different presentation.

    Star Wars was lovingly and painstakingly crafted. Tons of ideas were left on the cutting room floor. A good deal of time was put into doing that cool opening narration scrolly thing that still stumps imitators to this day until they look up how it was done. They had brilliant matte painters, set designers, and one of the world's best soundtrack composers.

    But Eragon wasn't just a throwaway. Millions of dollars were sunk into it. Many special effects creators spent time perfectly crafting fireballs. Fight choreographers and costume designers spent weeks, even months of their lives getting work done.

    And, for fairness' sake, take a look at the very original writings of each to see what we're starting from. I don't think you'll like either of them.

    Both of these movies took effort and work. But while Eragon worked in a direction that was pandering to the "original" and also satisfied the accepted standards of "money-making movie", it was schlock. Star Wars looked into itself, cut out what would have made it bad, and developed in its own direction, becoming a cornerstone of an entire genre and influencing the lives of people young and old.

    Moving towards what is popular is not bettering yourself. Avoiding changes to your person because you feel that you are perfect as you are is also bad.

    Do not be Eragon.

    Be Star Wars.

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    Default Re: Relationship Woes and Advice 21: Time To Go Bar-Hopping

    Quote Originally Posted by DeadManSleeping View Post
    Do not be Eragon.

    Be Star Wars.
    Ok, DMS? Can I sig this? It needs sigging. Just... yeah. I think it might be time to mix up my sig anyways.

    All that I say applies only to myself. You author your own actions and choices. I cannot and will not be responsible for you, nor are you for me, regardless of situation or circumstance.

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    Default Re: Relationship Woes and Advice 21: Time To Go Bar-Hopping

    Quote Originally Posted by arguskos View Post
    Ok, DMS? Can I sig this?
    Sure. Even out of context, it's some pretty good advice, I think.

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    Default Re: Relationship Woes and Advice 21: Time To Go Bar-Hopping

    Quote Originally Posted by DeadManSleeping View Post
    Sure. Even out of context, it's some pretty good advice, I think.
    It's not like I won't provide a link to the post, so that said context survives.

    All that I say applies only to myself. You author your own actions and choices. I cannot and will not be responsible for you, nor are you for me, regardless of situation or circumstance.

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    Default Re: Relationship Woes and Advice 21: Time To Go Bar-Hopping

    I don't think anybody questioned the idea that differences in presentation are important. In fact, the entire basis of what I'm saying is that I'd rather be John Gardner's Grendel than the CG movie of Beowulf. I don't recall saying nobody should ever change. I recall saying that telling people to change themselves to be "more lovable" is well-intended but dangerous advice. Not everyone should be Star Wars, not everyone should have whiny-but-growing protagonists backed by rogueishly charming deuteragonists, each complimented by adorable non-human sidekicks, facing off against monstrously pallid, black-clad villains. There's nothing wrong with any of those things, but not everybody is a space opera. What's wrong with being Tetsuo the Iron Man, Santa Sangre, or Heart of Glass?
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    Default Re: Relationship Woes and Advice 21: Time To Go Bar-Hopping

    Maybe I just haven't been paying attention, but I don't recall anyone saying "change yourself to be more lovable" I've seen "show your good features first", and "make who you want to be, who you are" and "try to be a better person", but absolutely nothing like what you appear to be arguing against.

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    Default Re: Relationship Woes and Advice 21: Time To Go Bar-Hopping

    Quote Originally Posted by Serpentine View Post
    Maybe I just haven't been paying attention, but I don't recall anyone saying "change yourself to be more lovable" I've seen "show your good features first", and "make who you want to be, who you are" and "try to be a better person", but absolutely nothing like what you appear to be arguing against.
    Ta-da:
    Quote Originally Posted by DeadManSleeping View Post
    The best way to attract mates is to know what's lovable about yourself, then enhance it and display it. And depression makes that really hard, man. Your chronic Gloomy Gus-ness is going to keep love from falling in your lap.
    Basically, I'm arguing with the notion that one should enhance one's "lovable" traits, or the notion that one has inherently "lovable" or "non-lovable" traits.
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    Default Re: Relationship Woes and Advice 21: Time To Go Bar-Hopping

    "Enhance" != "change"

    But that's not an angle I'm inclined to push anyway, so whatever *shrug* But your own argument appears to be branching far, far from that original line by DMS, and heading deep into the realms of "anyone who doesn't like everything about me, no matter how gross or obnoxious, can go jump in a lake, because it's their problem not mine and I'm never going to change or improve myself in any way because nuts to everyone else".
    Last edited by Serpentine; 2012-01-23 at 04:51 PM.

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    Default Re: Relationship Woes and Advice 21: Time To Go Bar-Hopping

    Relationships inherently involve you changing. Relationships change you. Some changes mean you grow closer, some further apart. To refuse to change at all isn't a good thing to have - you will change. Not completely, like in those silly chick flicks, but you will have to change at least slightly, unlike in the other silly chick flicks.
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    Default Re: Relationship Woes and Advice 21: Time To Go Bar-Hopping

    After all, every moment of our lives we change. So it stands to reason that choosing a change that's all for the better is superior to actively resisting change or choosing to change for the worse.
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    Default Re: Relationship Woes and Advice 21: Time To Go Bar-Hopping

    Change is inevitable. Except from vending machines.

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    Default Re: Relationship Woes and Advice 21: Time To Go Bar-Hopping

    Quote Originally Posted by Serpentine View Post
    "Enhance" != "change"
    If something remained the same, how would it be enhanced?

    Quote Originally Posted by Serpentine View Post
    But that's not an angle I'm inclined to push anyway, so whatever *shrug* But your own argument appears to be branching far, far from that original line by DMS, and heading deep into the realms of "anyone who doesn't like everything about me, no matter how gross or obnoxious, can go jump in a lake, because it's their problem not mine and I'm never going to change or improve myself in any way because nuts to everyone else".
    I really don't see where this perception is coming from, given that it isn't even close to what I'm saying and I've explained that it isn't what I meant several times at this point. I've explained in rather exacting language my issues with the idea of enhancing one's "lovable" traits (or, rather, changing oneself for the more lovable), namely that I think the idea of there even being "lovable" traits quickly becomes problematic and I'm fairly certain I'm going to find the traits selected as "lovable" even more problematic. To be blunt in the interest of clarity, it sounds like well-intended advice with a high risk of leading to Self-Help Sheeple mewling their most socially accepted traits and tired "interesting" anecdotes at one another in an unbearable cacophony of trite artifice. This isn't the advice's fault or me claiming there is anything wrong with the people saying it or the idea that one can, will, and should change, all I was doing was cautioning people to really consider what is "lovable" and/or what is actually worthwhile.
    Last edited by Vacant; 2012-01-23 at 07:45 PM.
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    Default Re: Relationship Woes and Advice 21: Time To Go Bar-Hopping

    So your problem is there is no set-in-stone checklist of lovable traits? Or something like that?
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    Default Re: Relationship Woes and Advice 21: Time To Go Bar-Hopping

    My twofold problem is that there is no set-in-stone list of "lovable" traits and that, if there were such a list, it would be wrong. Because this is insoluble, I object to the idea of "lovable" and "unlovable" traits existing, in general.
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    Default Re: Relationship Woes and Advice 21: Time To Go Bar-Hopping

    Smelling nice is, generally speaking, a 'lovable' trait, whereas smelling like a soccer player's lucky gym bag is generally considered 'not lovable' and, in the words of many foremost experts, 'wicked gross'.
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    Default Re: Relationship Woes and Advice 21: Time To Go Bar-Hopping

    Okay, fair enough. Is being friendly and approachable a "lovable" trait and, by extension, being taciturn and difficult to approach "unlovable." If the answers are (or either answer is, really) yes, that isn't okay or fair enough and is deeply problematic. If the answers are "no," how should one choose which contradictory trait to enhance?
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    Default Re: Relationship Woes and Advice 21: Time To Go Bar-Hopping

    Quote Originally Posted by Vacant View Post
    If something remained the same, how would it be enhanced?
    That's not the way you're using it. If I enhance or exaggerate a particular trait, that doesn't mean I'm eliminating other traits. It just means that that trait is the one more likely to get attention.
    Are you seriously saying that if you, say, had a habit of talking non-stop about a particular subject, picked your nose and preferred to wear hole-riddled track-pants, you would give those equal emphasis on a first date to your broad array of knowledge, impeccable table manners and ability to look amazing in a polo shirt?

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    For instance, I wear black fairly often, including fedoras and trenchcoats. Being six feet tall, some people find this intimidating. Ergo, if I'm spending time with a female where mutual interest is a possibility, I'll wear blue jeans and one of my other coats and not loom so much (never dated a woman taller than me, though not for lack of trying.)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maeglin_Dubh View Post
    For instance, I wear black fairly often, including fedoras and trenchcoats. Being six feet tall, some people find this intimidating.
    Dear lord is it annoying though. I've experimented with my look for years and I still haven't found anything to make people stop fearing me simply because I'm big enough that I could eat them. And I'm the smallest of my brothers, so I always feel short and insignificant, considering that I'm the only one in the family shorter than my 6'2" dad who isn't either a woman or a dog, and thus short practically by definition.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maeglin_Dubh View Post
    (never dated a woman taller than me, though not for lack of trying.)
    For some reason it seems like the taller a woman is, the more important it is to her that her lover be taller than her or like a dwarf in comparison, whereas once a man is actually tall he generally doesn't have any issues with a taller woman, except in cases where he starts to view her as more of a mountain to be climbed than a woman.

    Was really annoying when one of my then-girlfriends almost started seriously rethinking the relationship after she learned that 3 inch heels made her taller than me, before she realized that 3 inch heels were something that she hated.
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    If there were a set list of "lovable" traits, we wouldn't need to spend much time at all figuring out what was lovable about ourselves.

    It took me years to be able to look at myself and believe "yeah, hey, that's a trait about me that people might like". Is every person going to find my curious mix of sophisticated wit and sophomoric humor enjoyable? No. But some people will, so it's lovable. Is everyone going to think I look good with long hair even though it's got this kind of weird curly/wavy/WTF thing going on? No. But some people will, so that's lovable too. Is everyone going to feel connected to me even though I often prefer to do my romantic contact in large blocks with stretches between them? No. But some people will love that.

    There are lots of things about any person that will get mixed reactions. And as long as you know some people will love them, then it's okay to be proud of them. But I certainly don't expect anyone to love when I'm being lazy and not working towards my future, spending hours a day playing video games instead of studying so I can do something I actually care about. I don't expect anyone to love when I lash out at them even though they don't deserve it. I'm not saying anyone said differently, but it's important to note the difference.

    And no, not everyone can be Star Wars. I was suggesting it as the correct choice when presented with it and Eragon. I made some pretty clear reasons as to WHY it was the better choice in that specific case, and those could certainly be applied to any other cases where you must choose presentations. There's no need to extend a perfectly good metaphor into territory it wasn't intended to cover.

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    Default Re: Relationship Woes and Advice 21: Time To Go Bar-Hopping

    Quote Originally Posted by Serpentine View Post
    That's not the way you're using it. If I enhance or exaggerate a particular trait, that doesn't mean I'm eliminating other traits. It just means that that trait is the one more likely to get attention.
    That's exactly the way I'm using it. I just think that, beyond the most rudimentary elements of hygiene, the idea that certain traits are "lovable" and should be exaggerated to get attention is the reason a lot of people get others' attention but, increasingly, fail to hold their attention. Basically, I think the idea of emphasizing any other than the most basic of "lovable" traits is asking for a relationship to get started on some goofy, misleading premises.

    Quote Originally Posted by Serpentine View Post
    Are you seriously saying that if you, say, had a habit of talking non-stop about a particular subject, picked your nose and preferred to wear hole-riddled track-pants, you would give those equal emphasis on a first date to your broad array of knowledge, impeccable table manners and ability to look amazing in a polo shirt?
    No, and I've explained that I'm not saying this several times. I'm saying that I'm not going to emphasize my ability to look amazing in a polo shirt because I hate polo shirts. I'm going to emphasize my ability to look however I look in a pearl snap, an oxford, a tee shirt, and so on. If it's not as amazing as I look in a polo, that's fine, I'd rather not enhance my "lovable" appearance in a garment I find distasteful by buying a wide array of pastel polo shirts at Chad & Bros Polo Emporium. Maybe I have a handsome jawline, well, I like wearing a beard and if that hides my jawline, so be it. I'd rather a girl loved the fact that I wore a beard than the fact that I had a great jawline. This isn't just because of some stick-in-the-mud unwillingness to change, it's because a whole lot of different things are "lovable," because there are a whole lot of different people; part of what one should do is find the traits they'd actually want to be loved for. I don't want to be loved by a girl who loves polo shirts and dreams of being swept away by a man who knows the salad fork is the little one and how one should use one's soup spoon. There's nothing wrong with that kind of girl, but she's not my kind and it's a waste of time and a lot of potential for hurt feelings to pretend I'm hers.

    In short, she may love how I look in a polo shirt on the first date, but after she's over that, it's going to come down to whether she loves my habit of talking non-stop about lit theory whether the second date goes anywhere. I don't see why I should waste either of our time and money by putting on the polo shirt instead of just putting on a clean shirt of a kind I'd actually wear.

    This post made with apologies to people who like and/or wear polo shirts.
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  30. - Top - End - #360
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    Default Re: Relationship Woes and Advice 21: Time To Go Bar-Hopping

    Quote Originally Posted by Vacant View Post
    If it's not as amazing as I look in a polo, that's fine, I'd rather not enhance my "lovable" appearance in a garment I find distasteful by buying a wide array of pastel polo shirts at Chad & Bros Polo Emporium. Maybe I have a handsome jawline, well, I like wearing a beard and if that hides my jawline, so be it. I'd rather a girl loved the fact that I wore a beard than the fact that I had a great jawline.
    Oh look. Absolutely no one is saying that that's what anyone should do. SHOCK!

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