Random Relationship Derailment Thread

How to explain ERE, arranging family matters
Kriegsspiel
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Re: Random Relationship Derailment Thread

Post by Kriegsspiel »

Irene O’Brien and Mel Maclaine had the time of their lives on their honeymoon.

But during their 2016 trip, the Dublin-based couple didn’t share the same bed, they didn’t eat a meal together nor did they officially consummate their marriage during their honeymoon. That’s because Ms. O’Brien, 37, a stylist and writer, and Mr. Maclaine, 40, a golf and corporate photographer, took separate honeymoons, otherwise known as solomoons or unimoons.

“Neither of us wanted to be where the other one was,” Ms. O’Brien said

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:lol:

prognastat
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Re: Random Relationship Derailment Thread

Post by prognastat »

If twilight/50 shades and their success have taught me anything it's that behaviour that should clearly fall into creepy can totally be romantic as long as the guy doing them is some combination of rich/handsome/in shape/stylish/suave etc.

I think the only steadfast rule is it's creepy when a man is showing interest and a women isn't interested even if she doesn't make this clear he should be able to tell and inability to do so makes you even creepier. This is further complicated by the fact that many women also seem to like "being pursued" and thus like to give off signals of resistance to a romantic advance even when they are in fact interested either to determine a guys willingness to put in the effort or not seem easy which then can lead to conflicting stories as pursuing a woman who is indirectly telling you she isn't interested could either end up with you being a creep and not pursuing it could mean ending up losing out on a chance at a relationship due to it only being a test.

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Re: Random Relationship Derailment Thread

Post by jacob »

Much of this has already been covered in viewtopic.php?t=9430 ... IIRC, the risk-adjusted return of that inquiry was negative!

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Re: Random Relationship Derailment Thread

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

Lillailler wrote:Is this the book by Christopher Alexander? His 'The Nature of Order' is one of my most valued books.
Yes, it is by Alexander, Ishikawa, and Silverstein. Brilliant work.
suomalainen wrote:Can a woman define "creep" for me? I've tried to get a solid definition before, but the best I've been able to get from IRL women is something along the lines of "you can just tell from the way he looks at you." Which, isn't all that helpful to anyone who is not the person making the judgment.
I don't think there is a universal answer to this question, and I am likely a bit of an outlier, but when Cats_and_tats made that statement it immediately made me think of "the nice guy story.":

A young soldier and a woman became pen pals without having met. They never even exchanged photos. Their correspondence continued, and the young man was finally free to travel and meet the woman with whom he felt he had hopefully formed the basis for a significant relationship. She wrote that she would meet him on the train station platform, and she would be wearing a pink flower in her hat. When the soldier got off the train, he searched the crowd, and finally determined that the only person with a pink flower in her hat was a very homely lumpen woman who was clearly waiting to meet someone. So, although disappointed, he approached her and introduced himself and made kind inquiries. Then, much to his surprise, a beautiful young woman, also wearing a pink flower in her hat, walked on to the platform, approached them and said "You may go now, Gertrude" to the much less attractive female. Then she turned to the young soldier and smiled and introduced herself, because he had proven himself worthy through his kind behavior to her servant.

IMO, this is a creepy story, on multiple levels, and the kind of guy who doesn't get why it is a creepy story will sometimes, likely unbeknownst to him, demonstrate creepy behavior.

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Re: Random Relationship Derailment Thread

Post by suomalainen »

@7 I don't get it (the beautiful young woman is being a creep, right?), so I guess maybe I'm seen as being creepy when I think I'm being "nice"? This is why I just prefer straight talk.

@jacob I didn't really read that thread and I'm not trying to re-open any gender wars. It was a pretty superficial question. I was just curious if there's, like, an obvious definition that a *normal* man could apply in his own life to determine whether he's being creepy (again, aside from the obvious where a woman *tells* him she thinks he's being creepy or should leave her alone).

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Re: Random Relationship Derailment Thread

Post by prognastat »

I mean I guess the attractive female pen pal is being creepy both in that it's manipulative towards the soldier and also kind of a dick towards Gertrude(aside from the whole servant thing which just makes it worse). If the guy is a creep in that story then I guess I'm in the doesn't get it camp. I mean maybe he is expecting too much to think he is going to be in a relationship from their pen pal relationship, however without knowing what they actually wrote this is kind of a moot point as based on that he could be entirely in the right or wrong for having expectations.

Hopefully this is actually the romantic tale of how Gertrude met a handsome dashing soldier who swept her off her feet when they met at the train station and lived happily ever after...

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Re: Random Relationship Derailment Thread

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

Hmm...I think that I didn't do a very good job of paraphrasing the story. Giving the homely servant a name was a bit of a give-away.

Anyways, I first encountered a version of this story in a relationship therapy group. Somebody seriously offered it up as advice for how young men should behave, sort of Kegan Level 2.5 version of "Goofus and Gallant."

Image

This person was oblivious to the fact that by seeking to trade "nice" behavior for beauty, the young man in the story was increasing the likelihood that he would end up with a woman who was not so nice. I have encountered a similar level of obliviousness in "Efficiency" by the WSPs, when they persistently argue that women are highly financially motivated in dating/mating*. Both of these lines of thinking can lead to a sense of entitlement and a level of blindness to the actual desires in the moment of the actual human female in the room. It's always kind of creepy when a man keeps moving forward in pursuit without ever really looking you in the eyes; and whether this lack of true contact is due to the fact that he is a "pig" who is only staring at your breasts, or a successful player who is distracted by the shiny reflection of his own ego, or the "nice" guy who is looking past you at his mirage of the ideal feminine is irrelevant.

* Again I am paraphrasing, but at some juncture in "Efficiency" the authors state that any man who doesn't think women are attracted by financial success is a man who has never been financially successful" and my immediate reaction to that was that the authors are obviously a different flavor of completely clueless, because any man who thinks that women are primarily sexually motivated by financial success must be a man who was never "naturally" sexy.

Since I am a demographically rare female representative of the Sexy Nerd (ENTP) league, what is apparent to me is that there are quite a few men in our society, almost certainly inclusive of the authors of "Efficiency", who are subconsciously playing out some kind of "Revenge of the Nerds" script in their romantic lives. So, these men dislike the sort of men who were already successfully dating very attractive girls when they were 16 years old. But, what they are neglecting to realize is that by dissing these men and their attributes, they are actually dissing some core aspects of female desire. And, the fact that the word "revenge" is right in the mix lends a never attractive lingering smell of stale acrid anger to this modus operandi.

Of course, women have their own just as f*cked up ways of being dysfunctional in dating and relationship, but that's a different topic.

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Re: Random Relationship Derailment Thread

Post by jacob »

@soumalainen - After 14 pages in the other thread---further adding to/starting the [war] issues discussed in this thread---it was largely unresolved. There's no obvious definition that a normal man could apply. The question is not "machinable" because it requires developing a theory of mind for the other gender which is nontrivial and requires more effort than normal people would apply.

slsdly
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Re: Random Relationship Derailment Thread

Post by slsdly »

@jacob, I'm not sure such a theory can be developed with sufficient effort. Knowing the cumulative effect of another person's relevant experiences, without prior knowledge of those experiences, means you will always be guessing. I discard the trivial solution of not interacting at all (in any reasonable sense, you cannot be a creep if you withdraw from society). Thus the only solution in my mind is to be charitable with yourself and others, and keep to good intentions. You are going to get it wrong, and it doesn't have to be a big deal. Someone may melt down and call me a creep because I commented on the rain storm I just escaped from, while sharing the elevator at my apartment building. That isn't really my fault for failing to predict what would overstep their boundaries. There will be some rules that are near universal, like maybe I shouldn't have that same conversation standing too close or breathing down their neck. But those rules will only getting you most of the way, not all the way.

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Re: Random Relationship Derailment Thread

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

jacob wrote:The question is not "machinable" because it requires developing a theory of mind for the other gender which is nontrivial and requires more effort than normal people would apply.
Absolutely true, but this forum is full of people who are capable of above normal effort and comprehension. One easy suggestion that is sometimes made to women is to investigate the wide realm of popular porn with open-minded curiosity towards acceptance. One suggestion that I sometimes make to men is to read a few popular romance/erotica novels with open-minded curiosity towards acceptance. Sallie Tisdale in "Talk Dirty to Me" made some excellent observations about how men, and even capitalists!, get it wrong when they assume that what women want is what they want, but with a sugary coating of romance applied. That's why Playgirl and most attempts at female or couples market oriented porn proved unprofitable.

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jennypenny
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Re: Random Relationship Derailment Thread

Post by jennypenny »

@Suo/jacob -- I dunno, I think it's possible to identify some behaviors that creep most women out beyond the obvious stuff. There are for me, anyway. I'd say any suggestion of or display of power over a woman (sex excepted if agreed upon) might set off her creep alarm. I mean like a boss making a casual joke about having control over the woman's job or promotion. Or a guy locking a door or pulling a car over to talk, or standing between her and her apartment or car door, even if done with innocent intentions.

Displays of power would also include any behavior that feels like stalking, even if it's meant innocently like hanging out at a bar a woman frequents to try to run into her again. It might work once, but after that it would feel like being watched. It could also mean following the woman on social media or joining groups she belongs to before it's appropriate (meaning before she suggests it).

Think about the ways women have had power over you, like weaponizing sex. Does that creep you out in some way? (what's the female equivalent of 'creep'?) I know some women will be extra nice or accommodating, including sexually, when a guy drops money on them. I'm only guessing, but I bet a warning bell would go off for most of the guys here in that situation, even if the woman was doing everything right on paper. That means women, too, have to be careful not to appear creepy, however innocently.

I think the instinctual response in women is probably stronger though because of the added safety factor. It probably doesn't seem fair (to the guys) but women are still usually the victim in such situations, even if that's slowly changing.

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Re: Random Relationship Derailment Thread

Post by Jean »

A woman displaying submission, without you feeling you deserves it?

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Re: Random Relationship Derailment Thread

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

@Jean:

Bingo! A good example might be the behavior of the Donna Pescow character in "Saturday Night Fever." Another somewhat dysfunctional behavior women sometimes display is aggressively providing unsolicited caretaking behavior. I call this "casserole toting" in reference to the stereotype of all the single church-ladies bringing casseroles to the attractive recently widowered older gentleman. I think men are generally too oblivious to this kind of behavior to regard it as "creepy", but it's still dysfunctional, because it does not "work."

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Re: Random Relationship Derailment Thread

Post by prognastat »

I'm honestly having trouble determining what would make a woman "creepy" to men outside of going straight into crazy territory. This might be due to women instinctively perceive men as a possible threat and men don't instinctively perceive women as such. Testosterone probably also plays a role in this by making you feel less concerned/threatened. Not that women can't be just as much of a threat as men given that we have invented weapons, even ones as effective as guns.

So I think creepy might largely be a gendered insult at least from the perceiving side. Do women regularly feel other women are creepy?

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Re: Random Relationship Derailment Thread

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

prognastat wrote:Do women regularly feel other women are creepy?
Yes, when they exhibit any sort of extremely needy, non-self-aware, stalker type behavior, which needn't be sexual, but still searching for unwanted intimacy. I have been directly and assertively hit on by other women for sex on occasion. One memorable incident involved a female body-builder co-worker inviting me to her gym, forcing me to do sit-ups on sloped board while holding my ankles down, and then inquiring if I would like to take a shower with her. That did not creep me out, because she was confident and friendly and readily took "No" for an answer. OTOH, on one occasion when I was an at-home mother, another female who was the wife of a former male co-worker, really, really wanted me to be her new BFF. She was lonely and desperate for company, although otherwise a reasonably attractive and functional individual, but what really put me off and gave me creepy feeling was when she told me she no longer had any sort of relationship with her own sister, because her sister was a bitch.

However, it is true that when a man is creepy, it is also more naturally scary, because of inherent differences in physiology and perhaps tendencies towards hormonal influenced aggression. I mean, I am usually something around 5'9" 169 lbs. and even a small man can take me down very easily.

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Re: Random Relationship Derailment Thread

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

I actually think we have now come pretty close to defining it.

Creepy = Needy + Aggressive

It's a quite primitive emotion. Imagine being approached by a stranger who appears to be desperate or diseased who simultaneously signals ability or willingness to use force or emotional manipulation to extract something of value from you.

Unfortunately, depending greatly upon factors of experience, personality type, and physiology, there do exist a minority of humans who will view almost every aspect of sexual desire, or even desire for intimacy, as "needy" or "sick" and there are other humans who will view almost any display of power, even as unconscious as spreading of legs to take up more space if a man, or simple gesture towards initiation of sex or playing at a bit of a tease if a female*, as signal of aggression. So, there are also a very few humans who will greatly over-react to both.

*Two of the most frightening interactions I have had with men have been on occasions when I was just being a bit playful, doing a mild in-my-mind and quite obvious adult version of "Nah-nah-a-boo-boo. You can't catch me!" , and then clearly having my saucy signal misread as aggressive, insulting challenge to masculine ego. It can sometimes be difficult to know when you are interacting with somebody who possesses a deep streak of this flavor of insecurity, so I have perhaps become a bit over-sensitized to any whiff of it. So, this one-or-two-bad-apples behavior combined with conventional wisdom have greatly reduced the likelihood that I will initiate sex, even though my innate personality type and drive naturally give me a tendency towards that behavior.

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Re: Random Relationship Derailment Thread

Post by P_K »

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Wed Mar 27, 2019 11:37 am
Creepy = Needy + Aggressive
This definition jives pretty well with my understanding. To return to the elevator example @slsdy made earlier, the situation reads very different depending on how executed.

Exchange 1
A man standing on opposite side of elevator of a woman calmly states "*Phew* looks like I just missed getting poured on." His selected tone indicates a touch of relief at actually having avoided getting rained on but mostly is one of detachment to indicate that this is a Small Talk exchange and that he understands that any response is not an indication of attraction nor is he even trying to do anything beyond eliminate the sometimes-awkward-elevator-silence by letting the two passengers have a single exchange and then letting silence take them the rest of the way of their journey. He looks straight ahead when he speaks and continues looking straight ahead after finishing speaking so as to not appear to be forcing some kind of response nor possible unwanted eye contact.

The woman, understanding this is just a Small Talk exchange and not really in the mood to invite further conversation, also keeps her gaze forward and says "Yeah you certainly lucked out."

END SCENE

Nothing in the above exchange would read as creepy to me, but a slight change in tone and body language can dramatically alter the interaction.

Exchange 2
A man, standing a bit closer than the opposite side of the elevator of a woman states somewhat calmly but with a touch too much enthusiasm "*PHEW* Looks like I just missed getting poured on." His selected tone indicates a touch of relief at actually having avoided getting rained on but also contains enough energy to indicate he wants an exchange to happen. He further intensifies this want by looking down at the woman while he speaks and then his gaze lingers a touch too long after. The act of looking down on the woman is a small but significant display of power when trapped in a small space with potentially hostile unknown person; so this, combined with the tone, creep the woman out and she is now afraid of responding because that would invite further conversation from a person who obviously wants a conversation which itself speaks to a want of connection, a connection that she has no desire to be forced to give to a stranger in an elevator. But, she is also afraid of not responding because not responding might be seen as a rude gesture which might cause the man to take offense or worse injure his pride and since he has signaled he wants a response he is probably more likely to be aggrieved than not. So the woman, in the hope of not inviting further conversation but pressed to reply anyway keeps her gaze forward, uncomfortably shifts her bag, and says "Yeah you certainly lucked out."

END SCENE

Arguably that was a bit more than slight change in tone and body language but I'd argue that a non-negligible number of people, in the moment of interaction, would not pick up on these things. Human interaction and social cues are complicated business.

And I'd admit that some persons would probably be creeped out by Exchange 1 above and maybe some not creeped out by Exchange 2. Vastly differing temperaments and experiences in life and with the opposite gender will influence a person's every interaction and you cannot plan on that in advance; but, I'd still suggest that you can dramatically improve your odds at not being considered a creep by understanding some of the nuances of social cues and adjust your signaling accordingly. It seems to me that this is something people struggle with insofar as they don't know it's a "thing" to be practiced at and if they are aware they are not quite so practiced as some delicate situations require (e.g., alone in an elevator with a person of the opposite sex).

ETA: Also, it is important to note that the tone and body language of the man in Exchange 2 signal a want of a connection even in the absence of a want of a connection. This might explain some of the discrepancy of the recollection of the same events by different people. I.e., the man feels like it was an innocent exchange because it was to him. But the woman recalls it as aggressive because it was to her.

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Re: Random Relationship Derailment Thread

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

@P_K:

Excellent analysis and descriptions. If you also take into consideration the fact that "Stranger in the Elevator" is probably one of the most popular themes in literary erotica enjoyed by females, it is hard not to have sympathy for inexperienced youngsters, some of whom will not be innately gifted with sense of tone, attempting to make their way through such a chaotic maze.

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Re: Random Relationship Derailment Thread

Post by Jason »

And here I was thinking the worse thing that could happen if you pushed the wrong button in an elevator is you end up on a different floor.

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Re: Random Relationship Derailment Thread

Post by Jason »

P_K wrote:
Wed Mar 27, 2019 3:58 pm
The act of looking down on the woman is a small but significant display of power when trapped in a small space with potentially hostile unknown person;
This is why if the elevators door open and I see a woman who happens to be a dwarf, I take the stairs.

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