I am a woman born 1949 and my quest is to find a mindmate
to grow old together as a mutually devoted couple
in a relationship based upon the
egalitarian rational commitment paradigm
bonded by intrinsic commitment
as each other's safe haven and secure basis.

The purpose of this blog is to enable the right man
to recognize us as reciprocal mindmates and
to encourage him to contact me:

The entries directly concerning,
who could be my mindmate,
are mainly at the beginning.
If this is your predominant interest,
I suggest to read this blog in the same order
as it was written, following the numbers.

I am German, therefore my English is sometimes faulty.

Maybe you have stumbled upon this blog not as a potential match.
Please wait a short moment before zapping.

Do you know anybody, who could be my mindmate?
Your neighbour, brother, uncle, cousin, colleague, friend?
If so, please tell him to look at this blog.
While you have no reason to do this for me,
a stranger, maybe you can make someone happy, for whom you care.

Do you have your own webpage or blog,
which someone like my mindmate to be found probably reads?
If so, please mention my quest and add a link to this blog.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

168. Answering T's Questions - 2

Answering T's Questions - 2

"Also I have female friends, and I'm still on friendly terms with a couple of lovers from years ago even though there is zero chance for a romantic reunion.  I feel flattered to not be hated by women who once loved me.  How can you completely stop loving someone you once loved, if you parted on good terms and that love never turned to hate? "

This question indicates the complete and fundamental difference in attitudes as a consequence of how someone is determined by instinct.   A person, who automatically gets bonded by getting involved in physical intimacy, and a person, who does not, cannot understand each other, they do not have empathy for their different perception of the same activity.  

I value a man predominantly as a companion, bonded with emotional ties.   This means, there can never be good terms with someone, whom I have loved once, unless we continue to be together.   As long as there are good terms, there is just no reason to end the relationship.   If he would end the relationship in spite of being on good terms, I would call this dumping and a transgression, and it would destroy the good terms beyond repair.     The only valid reasons for me to end a relationship are, when I get hurt by the other's behavior, or when he behaves in a way, that I cannot longer respect and appreciate him.   For me, the reasons to end a relationship are exactly the same reasons, for which I do consider someone as not worth being in contact.    Therefore to me to end a relationship and still be on good terms is as logically impossible as is eating the cake and have it.  

When a man keeps contact with a deactivated intimate partner, this indicates me a fundamental and incompatible difference between the meaning and significance of a partner for him and for me.

1.  For that man, physical passion is a main criterion, enough to enter and to end a relationship.    Such a man would be a high emotional risk for me.   When such passion fades, he would dump me, while I feel bonded and get hurt, because I would perceive him as a companion.   For him, physical passion is a condition for a relationship, while for me it is only an extra benefit, that is not vital as a condition to share life.  

2.  Men have some spot in their brain, which determines, how they experience and perceive sexual contact with women.    A minority gets automatically emotionally bonded, when entering physical intimacy with a woman, as I have described already several times in previous entries, as it is for me and as I need it to be also with my mindmate.   
For the majority of instinct-determined men, unfortunately a woman's body is just like a toilet.   This sounds drastic, but that is how I see it.    Men use a ceramic installation in the bathroom for body waste number one and two without getting emotionally bonded with that installation.    Instinct-determined men use a woman's body to deposit waste number three without getting emotionally bonded with her.   
If such a man perceives a woman as not different from a platonic friend, even though there is a history of physical intimacy, this means logically, that he did perceive this intimacy as not more than she being a toilet for him.   He did never get bonded with that woman.   Had he been bonded, he would still be in a relationship with her as her companion.   Had he been bonded, she could never ever be a platonic friend again.  
A man, for whom a woman's body is a toilet, and a woman, who automatically gets bonded by physical intimacy, are a mismatch, because their relationship is very asymmetrical.   For the bonded woman, her partner is her bonded oneandonly, while she perceives herself as degraded to only be one of a bunch of other equally bonded women in his life.    She feels devalued, because he does not honor her with a symmetrical relationship.   For him, she is his actual toilet and he cannot see anything wrong in this, and he has no clue, what she is missing.  

That logically means, that a man's continued contact with deactivated intimate partners tells me clearly, that in that man's brain, a woman is only a toilet and I would only be a toilet too.   He is bonding-disabled.  But I deserve bonding, I refuse to be abused as a toilet, therefore I reject such men.   

3.  I have no illusion whatsoever as to having a chance to be given a unique meaning in a man's entire life.  At my age, that is not available anymore.  Anything that he does to me or feels for me, he has most probably done and felt before.  Anything, that a man has done in the past to another person, he is also capable to do to me.  At my age nobody has waited to consider me as the best thing that has ever happened to him.  I will never be any more special or important or better than all the others had been at some moment in the past.    Would I be with a partner and one of his deactivated intimate partners would also be present, the only difference between her and me would be the moment in time.   At that moment I would not be more special or more important than she had been once.  
While I cannot be special in a man's entire life time, I need the appreciation of being made special and unique during the time of the relationship.    I can never be special as only one more in a system of polygyny, where he is equally bonded forever with the entire crowd of deactivated intimate partners, who continue to be a part of his life.   
The only way to honor me with making me special is to remove all the others, who had been equally special, by ending all contact with them.  
If I cannot be special and the only bonded partner at the same time for a man, if he wants to continue the polygyny with his deactivated intimate partners, the man is not suitable for me.  

I am looking for a mindmate, for whom a woman is more than a toilet, who gets bonded and does feel the special bond created when entering physical intimacy, and therefore he has no contact with deactivated intimate partners.   

Unfortunately polygyny with deactivated intimate partners is a very widespread habit of men.   I have been in mail contact with men already too often, who appeared superficially as matches on dating-sites, until I discovered that their polygyny made them unsuitable.   This is my reason for explaining this extensively.  

Monday, November 29, 2010

167. Answering T's Questions - 1

Answering T's Questions - 1
"For example, suppose you meet a person who is otherwise ideal for you, but that person has very poor credit and has declared bankruptcy in the past, and even though he somehow always manages to get by, while living a life of frightening financial insecurity?"
"Would you be willing to have that person as a mate, but keep your accounts separate so you could be together?" 

This is a good question.   First of all, I am living frugally on a low income myself.  So I am more likely to be rejected myself for not meeting someone's financial requirements. 
But I can cope, I have never in my life had any debts nor have I ever bought anything on credit.    I also can cope, because I have many skills to repair and make things myself and save money, also I am capable to endure discomfort when this is a way of avoiding expenses.  

Therefore, T's question has several aspects in an answer.  

1.   I would not marry someone, who has debts.   That is too high a risk to my own survival.   But as long as someone is allowed to live in Germany without getting married, this is a different situation to be looked at.

2.  It depends, if someone's requirements and entitlements to a comfortable standard of living are in sync with his income.

Example 1:   The scenario is a couple arriving late at night at a bus station at the outskirts of a town in a warm country and it is a warm night.   They have provisions to eat and drink, there is a waiting room open all night and there is a toilet.   
They have two options.   They can either spend the rest of the night in that waiting room and take the first bus in the morning to the hostel, where they were planning to stay.    Or they can take a taxi, ask the driver to bring them to a hotel and pay whatever it costs.  
In accordance with my own needs and priorities, I would feel perfectly fine to spend the night in the bus station.    I enjoy traveling so much, that I prefer to invest my money in longer times of traveling with less comfort.   

2.1.  That means that if someone has also a low income, and he considers it a part of the adventure of traveling together to share a night in a bus station, all is well.   He may even experience such adventures as romantic and as adding to feeling close, just as I would.     
2.2.   I am not a gold digger, but if someone is financially comfortable and we are compatible, I have to acknowledge his right to invest his own income in his comfort, and if he rather shares it with me then share my frugal discomfort, I have no right to object.
2.3.  But if somebody is on a tight budget himself, and we share the expenses of traveling, and he then insists on investing the shared resources in his comfort, then this man is not suitable for me.   When I want to stay in the bus station, but that man intimidates me with anger to take a taxi to an expensive hotel, and he thus forcefully wastes my share of the expenses for what I do not need, this is an outrage.  

Example 2.   A certain amount of money is enough for either option one of eating in an expensive restaurant, or for option two of eating in a cheap restaurant plus the entrance fee to an interesting museum.    While the expensive restaurant is available at the moment of feeling hungry, the cheap restaurant requires to walk around searching for an hour.   So walking around hungry for an hour earns the visit to the museum.    Again, for me there is not a moment's doubt, that the visit of a museum is worth an hour of being hungry.  
Like in the first example, there are the three possibilities of the partner's attitude and behavior.
2.1.  I feel perfectly fine with someone, who is on a low budget and who agrees, that a museum is worth an hour of feeling hungry, and who makes no fuss about being hungry.
2.2.  I am willing to accept, if someone, who can afford it, wants to eat, when he is hungry.
2.3.  I feel outrage, if someone, who is on a low budget, coerces me into an expensive restaurant, when I have to pay half of the wasted money myself.

My mindmate is someone, whose subjective needs and feelings of entitlement to spend money on comfort is in sync with his income, and who does not force me to waste my money.   My mindmate is an Epicurean and not a Hedonist, therefore when money is limited, he agrees that money is better spent on immaterial values like intellectual experiences and not on physical comfort.  

166. Five Months of This Blog

Five Months of This Blog

Tomorrow it is five months, since I have started this blog and according to the blogger stats, there have been over 850 page views in November.    Page views does not mean, that anybody reads the page, but at least there is some hope, that my mindmate will also find this blog.   

Usually I am writing my entries without any constructive feedback, especially since having been attacked with some hostile comments made me deactivate the commenting option.

I admit, that positive feedback makes me feel good.   Therefore I appreciate the email I received from a guy, whom I will call T.  He is not my mindmate, one of several reasons is that he is too young.    But what he wrote, is encouraging:
"I found your blog very human and touching."

"I completely agree with you about rationality, social egalitarianism, religion, tolerance, liberalism, nonmaterialism, nonviolence, childlessness by choice, and lots more.  I think you're a very thoughtful and sensitive person who is very deserving of love. "

Writing in a foreign language, I know, what I am saying, but I am not aware of the more subtle connotations of how I am expressing myself.   Therefore such feedback is a much appreciated reassurance.
I am trying a difficult endeavor to find the middle between encouraging the right kind of men and making it very clear, what I do not want.
By now, I have already said about everything, that is needed to enable my mindmate to recognize himself.   The problem is to find him, and therefore I need to continue to fill this blog with text, so it would come up more often in google searches.    Thus I have been filling the entries with whatever I could think of and after being a bit inspired by reading books on psychopathy and narcissism, I have lately written a lot about the behavior of jerks, and I was aware that I may appear a bit too negative and harsh.  I know, that not all men are jerks or emotional morons.  
"I wish I could have met an articulate woman with as much self-awareness and clear thinking as you have when I was younger, but I really didn't. "

I was not always as self-aware as I am now at my age.   I paid a price of pain for gaining self-awareness by some experiences.  

But now I am very determined to stick to what I have learned and not repeat any painful mistakes from the past.   The first experience of some painful behavior leaves a scar, but would I repeat the same mistake, then rewounding an old scar would hurt much more than creating it.  It is a way of getting emotionally allergic to some behaviors.  Therefore I am very careful now not to expose myself to the same experiences again.  

I appreciate T's questions and I will reply to them in the next entries.  

Sunday, November 28, 2010

165. My Need to be Convinced

My Need to be Convinced

Rationality is a core of my personality and of my identity.   Acting logically and rationally is also a part of my value system, doing so adds to my self-esteem.    Whenever I catch myself as acting or thinking irrationally, this makes me feel bad about myself.   Irrationality causes me cognitive dissonance, that is unpleasant and as a consequence I have to restore rationality to feel better.   

When someone honors me by discussing things rationally and logically, I feel valued, esteemed and appreciated.   Convincing me by giving evidence and never making claims and demands without convincing me is the respect that I feel I deserve.    This of course requires the trust, that unprovable statements about introspection and feelings are honest.   

To feel at ease, relaxed and content in a relationship, I have the same need to avoid the cognitive dissonance of irrationality in the shared decisions and in everything, that I participate in or that I allow to happen to me, as I have in my own decisions while I am alone.  

This means, that my mindmate is someone, who
  1. shares all basic values with me
  2. always convinces me, when he wants or suggests something
  3. is willing and motivated to discuss every issue until there is a solution convincing to both and to give that discussion priority 

Otherwise, the consequences are very detrimental.
1.  What happens, when a couple does not share values, is already explained in entry 164.
2.  When someone makes a demand and forces or coerces it on me or uses the power of the situation to do what he wants, while I am not convinced, that the demand is rationally acceptable, or while I consider the demand as irrational, this has serious and dire consequences on me:
2.1.  I suffer the cognitive dissonance of participating in something, that I cannot rationally agree with.
2.2.  I feel depreciated, degraded and disrespected, because I am not honored with the effort of rationally convincing me.   I am not treated as a rational partner but as a subordinate and inferior.    
2.3.  If I consider the demand as irrational, I loose respect for the other.   I need to maintain my respect and appreciation for him as a rational person.   By not bothering to convince me of his being rational, the other forfeits my respect and appreciation.    I feel bad, if I have to admit to be involved with someone, whom I cannot respect as my equal, because he does not suffice according to my own standards of rationality.    It is therefore important, that he convinces me, that what may appear irrational to me without explanation, is rational. 
3.  When I suffer from cognitive dissonance, from being disrespected and from loosing respect for someone, whom I want to respect, this upsets, unrests, stresses and disturbs me so much, that I need to solve those issues as soon as possible.   The longer they are not solved, the more I feel an urge to do so.  
There are people, probably those with hedonistic leanings, who can distract themselves from anything by doing, what they consider as fun, no matter if it is visiting a museum, seeing a movie or having a good dinner.   With me it is the other way around.    Pending unsolved issues that hurt, like cognitive dissonance or being disrespected, a transgression, that I need to forgive if only the other would feel guilty, all such things impede me to enjoy things, that otherwise would be fun.   

Therefore, for me, convincing each other by constructive communication is a vital part of preserving a relationship and my mindmate can only be someone, who participates actively and willingly in solving all issues and conflicts as soon as possible.    

164. Shared Values and Criticism

Shared Values and Criticism

The longer I think about it, the more it is obvious, that there can only be harmony for a committed couple, when they implicitly and explicitly agree 100% on their basic values, that guides, how they treat each other.  
They need to have full consent, what behavior is a transgression.   If a woman feels hurt by a behavior, that in her value system is a transgression, while the man considers this behavior as his innate right as a man, they are not suitable for each other.   At least, such a man is not suitable for the woman, who suffers.   They should never get involved, if they cannot agree on basic values, and if they got involved by mistake, it will not last.  

The basic values are the firm ground of axioms, upon which decisions are considered as rationally and logically sound or defective.   Shared basic values enable a couple to solve conflicts in a way, that is logically convincing for both.   
If equality for a woman is a basic value, but for a man male dominance is a basic value, then they have no common ground.   They cannot rationally convince each other.   What is logical based on the equality axiom is not logical based upon the dominance axiom.   They have no rational possibility to solve conflicts.   He cannot convince her that dominance is correct and she cannot convince him that dominance is an outrage and a transgression.    Conflicts can never be solved.   If he succeeds in forcing his dominance upon her as his solution of a conflict, this makes it unbearable for the woman, until she frees herself.

Two persons, who share basic values, can give each other constructive criticism.   That means, they compare each other's behavior with the behavior, that both of them agree as good, correct and desirable.   When one gives feedback to the other, that a behavior was not as it should be, he knows that the other can agree and therefore appreciates the feedback as a support to learn to be, what the person strives to be, to become more himself according to how he wants to be.    When one considers a behavior as a blunder or a transgression, he can be sure of the other's agreement.

When they do not share values, criticism makes no sense and is destructive.   Criticizing someone for behavior, that is already in full sync and according with the value system of that person, means criticizing the other's value system itself, and that is rejecting that person for what is his identity.   

Example 1:   The dominating man considers it as his right to decide alone, when to come and go and where to be, just as a single man.   The egalitarian woman considers it as her right, that a couple decides together, when they are together and where.    
When he buys a ticket to leave without consulting her, in his value system, this is correct, in her value system it is a serious transgression and a betrayal.   
He will never feel guilty, and she will never forgive him.   

Example 2:   When the dominating man criticizes the woman for not sacrificing her own needs in favor of his, according to his value system of being entitled to privileges he finds fault in her, while she resists his entitlement based on her own value system of having equal rights.   He justifies his struggle to dominate her with his value system, and she justifies her resistance with her value system.  

In both examples they are indirectly rejecting each other.   She rejects him as dominating and he rejects her as refusing submission.    

There is no solution, they cannot have a happy relationship with incompatible value systems.   They cannot convince each other, they cannot solve their conflicts, they cannot limit criticizing to supporting each other, they cannot even really communicate.   

They could not even compromise, as long as one of them considers the exact same behavior as his entitled right, while the other considers it a very hurting transgression.

They are aliens to each other.  

Saturday, November 27, 2010

163. Nagging or Communication

Nagging or Communication

Without profound, rational, constructive communication, there is no chance for a couple to have a bonded, deep, lasting happy relationship.  
Communication alone is of course no guarantee for a happy relationship, but the absence of communication is nearly the guarantee for failure.  

Happiness in a committed relationship requires, that both feel to be treated in a fair exchange of giving and receiving by a caring partner.   It needs the trust to be treated with fairness.   It needs the absence of any fighting, it needs the absence of having to fend off the other's domination, intimidation, coercion and hurting in self-defence.  

There is only one method to reach this.    That is discussing every issue, every conflict, until there is an agreement, that is to both rationally convincing to be fair and to be the best way to handle the situation.    Some difficult issues may need dozens, even hundreds of hours of talking about.   In this case, those hours are a requirement to preserve the relationship, that is indispensable. 

Unfortunately, while some people enjoy deep communication about their relationship, their introspections, their feedback to each other's behavior, their dynamics of interaction, their feelings for each other, other people feel very uncomfortable and do everything to avoid it.  
If there are issues, or rather, when there are issues that need to be solved by a lot of talking, and one partner refuses to communicate, then this will ultimately destroy the relationship.

Nagging is a consequence of unresolved issues, when one partner refuses to communicate and to solve it.    There are two varieties of what can happen between person A, the avoiding one and person C, who wants to communicate:

1.  Person A makes a demand of person C, but expects compliance without convincing C in a discussion, that the demand is rationally justified and fair.    A refuses to discuss the issue, therefore C refuses to comply with the demand.    A feels entitled to get the demand fulfilled, and starts to put pressure on C, by whatever methods of nagging, that are available, anger, intimidation, annoyance.   But C feels justified to say no, because A refuses to convince.   C is aware, that nagging will be reinforced and rewarded, if C allows herself to be nagged until she submits.   Therefore for C, after having said no once, it is necessary to stick to it, and to resist all nagging.    A is welcome to discuss the matter rationally, but not to nag her into submission.   Therefore this leads to a lot of nagging and unpleasantness.   

2.  Person A has done something hurtful to C, or C would want to get something from A but by convincing him, that it is fair or in the interest of the couple.   C wants to communicate with A, but A refuses.    C starts to feel under inner pressure, stress, pain, urges because of all the unsolved issues, and the more piles up inside her, the less she can control herself from attempting again and again to start finally talking about all.   She starts to nag him to communicate with the same desperate attempt as a fly bumping again and again against the window pane.    This also deteriorates the relationship.

Therefore a relationship is doomed, when one partner has a burning desire to solve all issues by communication, and the other has a strong desire to obstruct and refuse this communication.

I consider it a basic requirement in a relationship to convince, to allow to be convinced and to never make any demand without convincing.   If they cannot convince each other, even by hours of talking, then they are just not compatible and should not have got involved.

My mindmate is someone, who enjoys deep communication, and for whom every minute of communicating is a valuable and vital part of the life of a committed couple and never unpleasant.  

Friday, November 26, 2010

162. The Price of a Relationship

The Price of a Relationship

A healthy, happy committed relationship is based upon a fair balance of giving and taking, seen on a long term basis.    When one partner subjectively feels exploited, used, taken for granted, contributions and efforts not appreciated, then something is very wrong.   

It is a delusion, that a relationship adds benefits to life without any cost.    There are three different prices to pay for a relationship.

1.  The price to have a relationship.
1.1.  The general price to have a relationship.   That means to accept all obligations of commitment, like sharing decisions, limiting the contact with the other gender and more, in short giving up the freedom of being and acting as a single.   
1.2.  There is the price to have a relationship considering the external circumstances of a specific person.   The couple agrees on the framework and definition of their future relationship, for example where to live and how to use the joint resources.   The disadvantages of the agreement are the price to pay.
2.  The third price is to earn and kindle the love of a specific person.   

There is a very significant logical distinction between the price to pay for having a relationship, and the price to pay for the benefits of living with a individual person.   

It is of paramount importance, that when the couple gets involved, they start on a basis of feeling both even.   From the moment of starting physical intimacy on, they need to start to care for each other, giving and appreciating what they get, without holding the price of having entered commitment against each other.    If one believes to have made onesided sacrifices by entering the relationship, and if he expects a payback for them, the relationship is doomed.    There is no equality, if one thinks that the other owes him something just for having accepted to have a relationship.  

The price accepted as appropriate to have a relationship is a personal decision, based upon the need for a relationship.    It needs to be a take it or leave it decision.   When the decision is to enter the relationship, then being bound by all obligations and agreements automatically becomes a duty to the other.    The other has no moral debts of gratitude or reward for someone accepting obligations and agreement as a duty.    If someone does not value the relationship enough to be worth honoring all obligations and agreements, then the only correct consequence is not to get involved.

That means that before getting physically involved, a person has to make a very clear evaluation:  Does this relationship supply enough benefits and advantages, that are worth to pay the price of accepting all obligations and agreements as a duty, that cannot be changed, once the physical intimacy has started?    As long as there is not a very clear positive answer, physical intimacy needs to be postponed.    

While of course accepting obligations and agreements as the condition for entering commitment are mutual, unfortunately men are driven by their instincts to want the use of a woman's body without first checking the emotional and intellectual justification.  But for a woman like me, her dignity is at stake, when a man uses her body without commitment.  

Therefore a decent, mature man does not enter physical intimacy, unless he is very sure, that he accepts all obligations and agreements as binding duty.   

A jerk lures the woman into bed as soon as she makes the mistake of assuming, that he is ready to get committed the same as she does.   But he does not feel any obligations towards her at all.   He starts to calculate in a very imbalanced way.   He is oblivious of the fact, that by getting committed, she has accepted as many obligations and agreements as she assumes wrongly that he has also accepted.  
Subjectively, he perceives that she has paid no price at all.  A jerk has no clue, that she has entrusted her dignity to him.  Also subjectively, he does not consider that he himself has to pay a price for the benefits of having a relationship.   Instead, he attributes every price to pay for the relationship as a price, for which she owes him some value in return.   

As a jerk and a hedonist, he does not think in a long term balance nor is he willing to give and see, what he gets back.   All he wants is getting all his needs, whims and desires fulfilled  immediately.   Since he feels entitled to get a return for the price paid for the relationship, he makes demands, he intimidates and coerces the woman to get what he wants.  
In reality, he pays as little of the price to have a relationship, as he cannot avoid, but he attempts of get the double return for what he pays.   He gets the general benefits of having a relationship plus the benefits, that he coerces out of the woman.   

When the woman resists, when she struggles to restore her dignity by attempting to get his acceptance of the duty of commitment, she suffers, the jerk gets angry and frustrated, and the relationship is doomed. 

Thursday, November 25, 2010

161. Emotional Moron, Jerk, Conscience

Emotional Moron, Jerk, Conscience

A decent and mature woman's nightmare starts, when she gets involved by mistake with a jerk or an emotional moron.     When he breaks an agreement or fails an obligation for the first time, she perceives it as a strong indication, that he does not value her enough to pay the price, for which he has got the relationship from her.   This is, when the conscience gets important.   

To illustrate this, here is example:

The woman has got physically involved based upon the assumption of both having a committed relationship.    For her, commitment means automatically the obligation to base everything on joint and shared decisions, that has an impact upon both of them.   

The man acts as if he were still a single man, he breaks the very agreement, which for her was a reason to accept getting involved.   
She considers and perceives this as a very serious transgression, as a betrayal and a breach of her trust.   She feels very hurt and she tells him so. 

Scenario 1:   The man is a jerk, he has no conscience.    He considers his behavior as correct, as his right and entitlement.    He explains his reasons to her, reasons that are only valid to his own selfish needs.   He considers his reasons as also valid for her.    He refuses to talk about it, because after having given her his reasons, he considers the entire issue as settled and finished.   Her pain, her disappointment, her lost trust are of no concern to him.   
Such a man is a nightmare for a woman, until she gets rid of him.  A jerk without a conscience is like a robot, who runs on a program.   When he has a desire, he fulfills it.  Once the program is started, it cannot be stopped.   She has no influence to stop him, nor has he a conscience to stop himself.  She has no influence to change his program.  There is no limit to what he is capable to do to her, she has to be prepared for any kind of abuse or damage.   What he has done once, he will repeat, whenever the same situation triggers the same behavior.  

Scenario 2:  The man is an emotional moron.   When he commits the transgression, he has no clue, that it is not correct.   When the woman explains to him, how much she feels hurt and disappointed, he is shocked and aghast about himself.   He would never want to hurt her.  He feels pain, because he knows, that she feels pain.   He cares for her emotional wellbeing and he has a conscience.  He feels guilty, ashamed, contrition, remorse.   He is really humble and meek, because he needs her to forgive him.   
He is very interested to learn, how she experienced his behavior, why it was unacceptable.  After a lot of communicating about it, he gains the insight, why what he has done is wrong and why it is so serious a transgression.     He is very motivated to learn, how he can avoid not only to repeat the same mistake, but also not to do similar things to her in the future.  
Therefore she finally can forgive him, and if he from then on feels bound by all agreements, the lost trust can slowly be repaired.   It is hard work and a lot of pain and effort, but they can finally find a way to have a happy relationship.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

160. Conscience as an Emotional Safety Net

Conscience as an Emotional Safety Net

Entry 158 was about the price to pay for a relationship.   There is more to it.

The price, someone is willing to pay to be in a relationship depends on how much value the relationship has in the subjective perception of that person.   This depends on the quality of the partner, how much personal needs and desires are fulfilled, and the scarcity or availability of a suitable partner.   

This has a short-term and a long-term variety.  

The short-term variety is just a deal between two persons in direct exchange of benefits, as already described for the hedonist.   He is willing to pay as little as possible and only for the purpose to get immediate satisfaction for his physical needs.  

While getting also short term benefits from a relationship is not altogether unimportant, the reason to pay a price for being part of a committed bonded couple is mainly calculated and evaluated long term.

In short, a hedonist decides the price of a relationship by the value of the immediate physical benefits and by the availability of a replacement.
A mature, bonding Epicurean decides the price of a relationship by the value of the person for his long-term goals and immaterial needs.  

Entering commitment implies for mature and decent people to accept, that some behaviors, that are perfectly correct for a single person, are hurting transgressions for partners in a relationships, and that they have mutual obligations, that single people are free from.   They agree, either implicitly or explicitly, what these behaviors are.   They consider the restrictions as the unavoidable price to pay for the benefits of being in a relationship.    If the price is too high, they do not get involved.   When they get involved, they have accepted getting good value for the price they accepted to pay.

When the couple gets involved based upon an agreement of the framework of their future relationship and on what behavior to expect and what behavior not to have to fear, they are not yet paying the price.    Entering commitment is like buying something on credit.   Each partner trusts that the other will pay when the occasion arrives.    Paying the price comes, when acting as bound by the agreement and fulfilling obligations is a sacrifice compared with what the partner would do, were he still single.  

There are two main factors determining, if someone will act as bound by agreements and obligations or not, they are intrinsic and extrinsic.  Both factors are ultimately rewarding good and punishing bad behavior.  
The extrinsic factors are the appreciation and evaluation of the partner on a long-term basis, considering all the previous experience together and extrapolating it into the future.   The reward for correct behavior is long-term happiness, the punishment for transgressions is loosing the relationship.
The intrinsic factor is the conscience, that requires moral, self-control, empathy, consideration, responsibility.  Correct behavior is rewarded by maintaining the own positive self-esteem as being a good person, while the punishment for transgressions are feelings of guilt, shame, contrition, remorse.   

Therefore, for a bonded, devoted couple, the extrinsic motivation of valuing each other usually is enough to fulfill obligations and agreements of commitment without hesitation, but the conscience is an additional safety net.   If ever there is a crisis bad enough to make one or both stop valuing the other, then the conscience requires to act decently, correctly and rationally.   But in the early phase of a relationship, when there is not yet a reliable bond, the conscience also has a very important function.    It helps avoid rush actions based upon misunderstandings and misinterpretations.   

That all means, that as long as a man acts bound by agreements and obligations without hesitation or complaint, the woman can usually interpret this, that all is well and that he values and appreciates her.    Were it different, would he only act by conscience, then the same conscience would also require from him to be sincere, tell her his reasons and initiate communication to solve the issues.   
As long as he honors agreements and obligations, she can feel safe, she can rely on what to expect and on what would never happen to her.    She can trust, that he will behave correctly not only based on the fear of loosing her, but also on his own urge to be a correct and decent person, who feels obliged to himself and to his moral self-esteem to honor all agreements.   

In entry 36, I already mentioned the importance of being guided by a conscience.    I just read the book by Robert Hare:  Without Conscience.    It is a lot of food for thoughts.
When entering commitment, it needs a careful assessment, if the other will pay the price, will honor all agreements without hesitation and without failing.   

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

159. Commenting Deactivated

Commenting Deactivated

I have deactivated the possibility to leave comments.   

Rational, constructive and polite feedback by email is welcome: 

Monday, November 22, 2010

158. Hedonist, Epicurean, Relationship - 1

Hedonist, Epicurean, Relationship - 1

A happy deep bonded relationship has its price.   Such a relationship is built by the efforts of two partners investing work and sacrifices cooperating to earn it.   

The higher people value something and the more they feel a need or a desire for it, the higher the price, that they are willing to pay.    This is also true for the price of a relationship with a specific partner.    There are three aspects in this.   The quality of the person, how much she serves the personal need and the scarcity or availability.     

Here is a big difference between a Hedonist and an Epicurean:
The Hedonist wants the woman's function for his physical desires.   He wants her body, her services as a housekeeper, her assets and income, if she has any.   Any woman is suitable for him, who serves his primitive needs.   A woman, who is educated, mature, ethical and intellectual has no more value in his perception than a woman from the gutter, who is illiterate.    The immaterial quality of the woman has no extra value for him, so logically he is not willing to pay any price for a relationship with such a woman.    Women for his simple purpose are plenty, therefore there he has no reason to pay a high price for any of them. 

For an Epicurean, it is the contrary.   He values the quality of a woman, the more she is educated, intelligent, mature, ethical, the more she fulfills his immaterial needs and wishes, the more intellectual benefits she can bring into his life.   Logically, she has more value for him, and he is willing to pay a high price for a relationship with such a woman, while he rejects the woman from the gutter.    He appreciates her, because quality women are scarce.

If he is not a psychopath, a hedonist can go through life without doing too much damage to others, as long as he has only relationships with other hedonists.   Two hedonists can satisfy each other's needs as friends with benefits or even mutually as dogs with benefits and nobody suffers. 
But if a hedonist gets involved with a non-hedonist, then his hedonism makes him a jerk or an emotional moron in the experience of the victim.   It does not matter, if the victim is an Epicurean or any breeder, particle, religious believer of any kind.   What is normal behavior to the hedonist is abuse and degradation for the Epicurean and other non-hedonists.  

The price to invest in a relationship consists of three rates, that can be paid in different currencies.   The first rate is the price to get the person interested, the second is the the price to win the person to enter the relationship, and the third is the price to preserve and improve the relationship. 
Hedonists want everything the easy way, for a low price if not for free, or they rather abstain than pay any price.    If a hedonist has easy money, either from a well paid job, or from an inheritance, pension, even welfare, then he is willing to pay money and buy the woman's acquiescence to get involved.   But there is nothing except money, that he would ever sacrifice for a woman.
As an example, a hedonist would willingly pay for a dinner in a restaurant for a woman, but if he would have to postpone eating and be hungry for an hour to find a restaurant, that the woman likes, he gets aggressive.   He considers the woman only as worth to pay money for her, but not worth enough the personal discomfort of suffering an hour of an empty stomach.
A hedonist is willing to pay, until he has the woman in bed.  From then on, he feels entitled to get the return from his investments.   He has bought his utility, now he wants to use it without paying any further price. 
As already mentioned, if the woman is also a superficial, materialistic hedonist, they may have found mutually a match.   Any other woman is doomed to suffer and the relationship is doomed not to last.      

What price an Epicurean hypoanimalistic man would pay for a bonded relationship with a quality woman will follow in another entry.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

157. Epicurean or Hedonist - 2

Epicurean or Hedonist - 2
In entry 131, I compared the basic differences between Epicureans and Hedonists with the focus on the different attitudes towards a relationship. 

But the differences are more fundamental. 

A Hedonist's behavior is in a simple way determined by the desire to feel physically well, to get physical pleasure and to avoid physical displeasure and pain.    His behavior is programmed by his physical sensations.     When he feels the urge of a desire, he becomes dysfunctional, until he has restored his homeostasis.  

An Epicurean evaluates situations and circumstances on a much more elaborate level.   What he feels is determined by attitudes and values, while his physical sensations are only the raw starting point.   Gratification delay, pleasant anticipation, earning, long term goals, past experiences, the knowledge of consequences upon the self and others are decisive for what he feels and how he acts.   

Therefore, the same physical sensation can trigger very different actions from a Hedonist and from an Epicurean.

According to Epicure, it is more important, with whom you eat and drink than what you eat and drink.    Therefore, feeling hungry is one of the sensations serving well as an example.  

When a Hedonist is hungry, he wants to eat immediately.  He is like a robot.   When the button of feeling hungry is pressed, he has a compulsion to eat.   If anything impedes him, he gets frustrated.   When he is hungry, he is not able to function normally as a civilized person, until he has eaten. 

When an Epicurean feels hungry, this starts a process of thinking, what to do about it.   The following are a few examples of possible scenarios:  
1.  The person has already eaten enough for that day and and decides to go hungry to bed, enjoying the thought that over night, the body will burn fat.  Thus the person can control the weight.   Not eating gives a good feeling of self-control to the Epicurean.
2.  The person burns the calories before replenishing them.   He may go on a bicycling tour and after a ride of a considerable distance he enjoys getting a special treat, that could be food like icecream or cake, that he would not normally eat.  The Epicurean enjoys the feeling of having earned a reward.   
3.  For a Hedonist, if he can afford it, going to a restaurant is a banal way of filling his stomach, and it is as unemotional as grabbing an item from the fridge.    For an Epicurean, going to a restaurant is an event, it is a special occasion of joy for all the senses.   It is important to be in good company, to enjoy the beauty of a picturesque place, maybe the sound of some music.    Filling the stomach is only a minor part in it.   Being hungry before going to the event is part of the pleasant anticipation and it is also a part of good planning. 

A Hedonist wants everything the easy way.   He wants to get everything for free or for the least price, without the efforts of earning.    Depending on his level of morals, he either takes advantage of others or he just renounces to have, what he cannot get easily.    He wants to get, whatever he can.   The Epicurean prefers tit-for-tat, he feels the need to give as much as he gets.  

A Hedonist drives up to the top of the mountain, looks at the scenery, that is nice, but he is not greatly moved.  If there is no possibility to drive up there, then he just never sees it.   The Epicurean hikes up the mountain, and feels great to have earned the view as a reward.   
A Hedonist calls AAA to make them change the flat tire for him.   The Epicurean feels proud of his achievement of doing it himself.     

In ancient Greece, Hedonism was a conscious philosophy.   Nowadays, hedonists do not think about what determines them, they are oblivious, that there is an alternative.   They just follow their innate inclinations and consider and perceive themselves as normal.  

Only Epicureans like me wonder, why hedonists are so restricted in their emotional lives.   It is another hen or egg question:   Are hedonists' brains void of the capacity for refined abstract and complex emotions like joy, bliss, elation, happiness?    Are they just not capable to feel pride from earning or self-control?    Are they void of feeling self-esteem by being more driven by morals than by greed?   Does they not attempt to get anything beyond consumption, because they cannot feel it?
Or is it a consequence of growing up in a society of affluence, of surplus, of easy consumption, that impedes children to ever experience scarcity and the value of anything?   Are they deprived of the experience of gratification delay and pleasant anticipation?  Do spoiled children never grow mature enough to experience the joy beyond consumption?    Are Hedonists so much the prisoners of their basic and primitive desires, that they have never experienced any refined abstract emotions and just do not know, what they are missing?

I have no answer to this.   But I know one thing:  A Hedonist and an Epicurean are a mismatch, that is bound to have many disruptive conflicts.    I am an Epicurean, and I am looking for an Epicurean as a partner. 

Saturday, November 20, 2010

156. Difference Between a Jerk and an Emotional Moron

Difference Between a Jerk and an Emotional Moron

A jerk has no conscience, he is not bothered, what he does to others.   He is selfish and feels entitled to get, what he wants.   He hurts others without hesitation, when it serves his selfish goals.   The jerk knows, what others consider as morally right or wrong, but he is not bothered to judge and control himself accordingly.  

Emotional moronity is the contrary or complete absence of emotional intelligence.   An emotional moron could have a conscience, if he could comprehend, that what he does is wrong.   He can see, that a cut in the finger hurts and he can even have empathy for such visible pain.   But he is unable to understand any morals or abstract ethical concepts of any kind.  He can do outrageous things to others and feel sincerely innocent. 
Moral obligations of any kind are beyond his comprehension.    Abstract and complex feelings like dignity or breach of trust and such are incomprehensible and as a consequence he does not understand people's pain, when they are the victims of his transgressions.  He does not even comprehend the meaning of what transgressions are.  When an emotional moron gets feedback to have hurt someone, he is clueless of what the other is talking about.   If he would beat up someone, he would understand, what he has done.   But if he betrays someone, he is unable to understand, that he has done anything wrong. 
The emotional moron has no comprehension, what others consider as morally right or wrong, therefore he judges and controls himself based on the error of doing, what is right.    He wants to be a good person, but is not capable to behave accordingly. 

This is a huge difference between the reasons, why jerks and emotional morons are detrimental to others.   Unfortunately, there is no difference in the suffering of the victims.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

155. The Love Bank

The Love Bank

I really like the concept of the Love Bank.   The full explanation can be found here:

In short, the concept says, that in a relationship, each partner is the bookkeeper of an account of the other partner's treatment.   Treating the other with care means making deposits into the account, treating the other bad means making withdrawals from the account.   When the withdrawals reach the credit limit of the person, then love is dead and it is the end of the relationship.   

It is a great concept, but it needs some elaborations, that I could not find mentioned anywhere.

If a couple wants to consciously use this concept, there needs to be a few conditions met:
1.   They share basic values and attitudes.   Based on this, they are capable to agree on how much deposit or withdrawal is the consequence of specific actions and behaviors.
2.   They both acknowledge, that the real value of the account is the one seen from the perspective of the bookkeeper, who is the target and receptive side of the behaviors.
3.   The communicate and inform each other of the current account balance, before it is too late.  

Based on these conditions, a mature caring couple can work on making a relationship a happy one.    This is something, that I would like my mindmate to cooperate in with me. 

But this concept also is a good method to show, why a mature, decent and caring woman and a jerk are not compatible, and why I do not want to have anything to do with a jerk.  

The reasons are the lack of the basic conditions.  
1.   The concept lists typical 'love busters':  
- Angry outbursts
- Criticalness
- Dishonesty
- Annoying Behavior
- Selfish Demands
- Other "bad behavior"
A jerk and the woman as the victim of these have incompatible definitions of the effect of those love busters on the love account.
2.  The jerk does not acknowledge, that the woman as the target is the one, who evaluates the effect upon her love account and thus her love for him.   He believes that he is entitled to define, what has to be her current account balance for him.
3.  He is in denial of her real current account balance and does not verify it with her.

To illustrate this, I will use my four scenarios from entry 124.   

Scenario 1: The jerk coerces the woman by using anger into a restaurant, that is not only not her taste but also too expensive, because she shares expenses with him.
According to the love busters, this is an angry outburst, it is a selfish demand and wasting her money against her will is bad behavior.   Therefore she books this as a considerable withdrawal from his account.   But he does not notice this, nor does he even consider any love busters to exist, because in his own mind, he had got, what he was entitled to.  Subjectively, he did nothing wrong to warrant any withdrawal.   As a consequence, after this transaction, his account is much lower than what he thinks it is.  
The jerk, who behaves like this, does many more things alike, and with time, his account goes so low, that it reaches the credit limit, that the woman is willing to give him.  Most of his behavior leads to a withdrawal, but he lacks the capacity to make deposits.      She closes the account, because she has fallen out of love, while he has no clue, that the account has ever even gone into the red zone.  
The jerk does not comprehend anything, because he is not only ignorant of the effect of his behavior on her, also his disrespect denies, that she is the one to keep the account of what he does and how she feels.    Subjectively he experiences her closing the account as an outrage to his right to dominate, and he angrily demands her to reopen it.   Were the account not closed already, his behavior would withdraw even more from it.    Still he is blind to reality.   She has closed the account, and he has no power on earth to force her to reopen it, no matter how much he rages and attacks her.   
That jerk is just too much a moron, he is incapable to do the only thing, that would give him a chance of her reopening the account.    He would need to be meek and humble, and he would need to make huge deposits to repay all the moral debts, that he had accumulated.   He would have to ask her, what she considers as deposits.   Especially he would need to repay all the open debts from transgressions, for which he never earned forgiveness.   Because earning forgiveness by sincere contrition results in huge deposits.
But a jerk is never meek and humble, no matter, what he has done, so the account stays closed for a jerk.    Before a jerk gets ever meek and humble, all rivers will flow uphill. 

Scenario 2:  She has successfully resisted his intimidation and anger, and they eat at a cute place, that she considers nice.   She considers it a fair compromise, he gets his food, and she enjoys the atmosphere.   But he is angry and grumpy and blames her for having made him continue hungry for an hour.  

Also they are getting into credit by repeated situations of this kind, but both of them with each other.  Whoever has reached the credit limit first, closes the account.   They are not compatible and the relationship is doomed.   
Subjectively, they both experience the other's behavior as equally a reason justifying withdrawal from the love account.   
But from my personal point of view, this guy also is a jerk, whom I would not want.   Because he withdraws probably the same amount for nothing more than an hour of delayed dinner, that is just a trivia and a bit of discomfort, as she withdraws for his degrading her to a utility to serve his needs while not being admitted the equal rights for her needs.   This is a moral transgression, that is much more serious than an hour without food.  

Scenario 3:  They accept the compromise and each enjoys, what is important.   Therefore it is a neutral event, that does not cause any change in the love accounts. 

Scenario 4:   They are a bonded, mature couple.   They both enjoy the other's joy.   Therefore the joy of the shared evening is booked as a deposit in both accounts.  

Therefore, my mindmate is someone to live a life of scenarios 4 and keep depositing in the love bank.   

Monday, November 15, 2010

154. Pages Added

Pages Added

I have added two pages that are shown now as tabs above.    One contains the Mindmate Basic Checklist, that has already been published as a blog entry.  
The second page is new.    It is the Mindmate or Jerk Questionnaire.   It is a compilation of what I had written when comparing suitable and unsuitable men and behaviors.  I put it in the form of questions.  They are meant for introspection and for checking out, whom I would consider a jerk, and whom not.  

Saturday, November 13, 2010

153. Fighting


I am not made to fight or to compete.    Fighting exhausts and depletes me, no matter, how justified my reasons for fighting were.    Even when winning, in the end, the emotional price of suffering the hostility is too high.   Unfortunately, fighting against hostile people cannot always be avoided, it is a part of survival.   

Therefore I need a relationship to be the safe haven, where I do not need to fight at all, where the exchange is based on giving and not on fighting to get, where the principle is caring.  A relationship should be a safe heaven to regain strength for the fighting with the rest of the world.   If I cannot feel safe, then a relationship has no value for me.

Therefore a partner, who uses pressure and coercion to get his own needs and whims out of me, destroys the value of the relationship and it is more stress than being alone. 

There are conflicts in every relationship.   But two egalitarian persons can cooperate to solve a conflict rationally, by communicating and finding a fair solution.   

Fighting is the attempt to gain power.    Fighting solves a conflict in favor of the more ruthless person, who is more brutal and less civilized in the choice of his methods and who has less of a conscience.    I could have the most logical reasons, the best evidence to find a fair solution, but if someone uses anger, aggression, rage, wrath to intimidate and dominate me, he can succeed to get away with anything, no matter how ludicrous and irrational it is. 

When a man converts a relationship into a power struggle, where the woman has only the choice to submit to his dominance and get harmed or to deplete herself by resisting and also get harmed, then such a man is a jerk and a moron.  
He is a jerk for harming her.   He is a moron, because he lacks the intelligence to solve conflicts by rational methods and is not able to do anything better than intimidate her.   

I can think of several explanations, why a man converts a relationship into a power struggle for his dominance.
1.   He could be so brainwashed as a macho, that he considers this as normal behavior.
2.   His ability of using logic and rationality in a discussion is insufficient for constructive communication.  
3.   He uses power to enforce his entitlement delusion, because there is no way to rationally convince anybody of really being entitled to privileges.  
4.   He trusts nobody and believes, that he cannot ever get a fair deal without usurping it by power.

My mindmate is someone, who is capable to use his brain to solve conflicts and does not fight for power.
Anybody, who fights to get power over me, is detrimental to me.    I can only protect myself by avoiding such people.  

Friday, November 12, 2010

152. Blaming and Grudges

Blaming and Grudges

When one partner disagrees with how s/he is impacted by the behavior of the other, then this is a conflict.   

When both partners are wise and mature, they perceive conflicts as tasks, they give each other feedback of how a conflict effects them, and they solve it together by constructive communication.    They know, that conflicts destroy the relationship, when they continue unresolved for too long.    They are aware, that if they value their relationship, they need to invest whatever time it needs, until they reach an agreement, that is convincing to both.  

Blaming and grudges indicate an unresolved conflict, which causes suffering or discomfort to at least one partner.  

There are two varieties:  
1.  The suffering or discontent person wants, suggests, attempts to embark in the conflict solving process, but the other refuses.    The person blames the other with justification for whatever is the conflict and for the refusal to solve it.   
2.   The suffering or discontent person has so little consideration and respect for the other, that s/he does not perceive the trouble as a conflict requiring to be solved.  S/he denies the possibility of any improvement.  Instead s/he devalues the other as flawed and defective, the person is not worth any effort or any effort is considered as futile.  

Obviously, if one partner considers the other as not worth to invest time in solving conflicts and improving the relationship, then they are not compatible.   Blaming instead of conflict solving is destroying the relationship.

My mindmate is someone, who is willing and able to solve all conflicts with constructive communication, until a consent is reached and both feel that harmony is restored.    For him harmony, agreement and consent in the relationship have a high priority, they are more important than his selfish interests and benefits for himself.  

A jerk, who does to me, whatever transgression he feels entitled to do, and who then refuses to solve the conflict, is not suitable for me.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

151. Embarrassment


Some time ago I went with someone to visit a museum.    Since he had a university degree, I thought, that he was an intelligent person.  
But when we handed our bags in to be stored, and got the luggage tag number 13, he refused it.   I was stunned, for a moment I could not believe my own ears and eyes.    He was such a moron, not only did he refuse the number, but he seemed not even to feel embarrassed about it.   
He rejected that number tag without any hesitation, just as others would reject a plate of soup with a fly in it in a restaurant.   

Some people get brainwashed as children to fear the number 13, but grow into adults knowing that it is nonsense and even if they feel uncomfortable, they are wise enough to hide it and to fight against it.  

He did not feel ashamed or embarrassed at all.   But I did, just for being in the company of such a moron.   I admit, that the person handing the tag was not of such importance, as I will not see her again.   But somehow I do not feel comfortable with people, who make a fool of themselves, while I want to respect them.

People, who feel embarrassed and ashamed of their own behavior, have a reason to improve it for the purpose of feeling better about themselves.    Some need the feedback of others to be even aware, that they have a reason to feel embarrassed.   But they can learn.     But a person, who does stupid or gross actions and does not feel embarrassed is doomed to make no improvement.   The whole world may consider him as weird wacko and a moron, only he himself has no clue.  

Later on I asked him, why he he rejected the number 13 and he came up with some lame excuse about being reminded of some unpleasant old woman.   Obviously, he did not want to talk about his real reasons.   He deprived himself of the chance to learn, how others perceive his behavior.

My mindmate is someone, who has enough perception for his own behavior so that he avoids making a fool of himself in public.    Therefore I do not have to feel ashamed to be with him.    Some women want a man to be proud of, I am much more modest, I just want someone, who does not embarrass me.

150. A Woo-Woo Experience

A Woo-Woo Experience

Many years ago, I was in the situation, that I was obliged to attend a Tai Chi lesson, and the circumstances were such, that I had to keep a straight face and control myself from laughing out loud.  
The instructor, or guru, stood in front of the group and made weird movements with his hands and arms, and we had to imitate him.   This by itself was just boring.   But with every of those movements, we were supposed to imagine something.   I have forgotten, what it was, but it was just absurd.   The whole thing was ludicrous, but it was also creepy to see, with how much earnest the others participated.  
I can hold my hands in some way in front of my belly, and I can imagine something.   But both have nothing to do with each other.    It made no sense.   Reality is much better than imagination.   It is much more joy to go on a hike, where is it beautiful.

I had forgotten about that woo-woo session, until I watched this show of Penn & Teller:
They show a woman presenting Tai Chi, and it brought my memories back.    She and her disciple were just as hilarious as what I had experienced.   Had I not known, that this is Tai Chi, I would have thought that someone had filmed two patients in a mental institute.  

It seems that once in a while the line between spirituality and mental illness gets blurred.   

In some dating-sites, people indicate to be 'spiritual but not religious'.    I just read the definition of spirituality in Wikipedia.   It sounds as absurd as religion, it seems to me to be a different label for the same wacko irrationality as religion, I cannot see the difference.  

It is important to know oneself and to be aware of one's own values, it is important to use a lot of introspection and then logically analyze it.   But this is based upon psychology and it needs no spirit, but brains and rationality.

All those weird claims of feeling connected with the cosmos and whatever else those spirituals report to experience, is beyond me.   I cannot even imagine, what that would feel like.   I feel what happens in my brain like joy or sadness, I feel bodily sensations like hunger or thirst, I feel sensation from the surroundings like the warm sun on my skin or a cool breeze on a hot day.    
But how would I feel the cosmos?   What strange feelings do those Tai Chi people have, when they make odd movements with their hands?  

Those same spiritual wackos attempt to stop thinking, and they call this meditation.   I prefer to enjoy thinking.   Thinking is fun, thinking makes me feel good.   Why on earth would people want to stop thinking?   

So any man, who identifies with being spiritual, who wants to stop thinking in favor of any woo-woo and new-age wacko thing, no matter how he calls it, is not compatible with me.    I am looking for someone, who is skeptical, logical and rational, and who enjoys thinking, someone who finds religion as ludicrous and hilarious as meditation and Tai Chi or any other spiritual exercises.   

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

149. Penn & Teller

Penn & Teller

A few days ago I discovered a site, where I can watch all the Penn & Teller shows from their bullsh*t sessions.    This was the first time, that I watched anything from them.    At first I was very pleased by watching some of their debunking absurdities like ESP, astrology, Feng Shui, reflexology and Ouija Boards, even though their language is too nasty and vulgar for my personal taste.  

But after watching some more I got aware, that they are not educating people, but instead are doing a lot of damage to the reputation of skepticism and atheism.      In the spectators' minds, Penn & Teller associate their debunking of irrationality with the macho attitude, that women are bodies to be used.   They do it implicitly between the lines of what they say, and explicitly by having dozens of naked women with instinct eliciting body language decorating their show.   They propagate the message, that women are objects for men to use.   Some of their shows are repulsive and sexist.

They are doing a lot of psychological damage:
1.  It is one of the false christian accusations, that atheists have no morals.    Many atheists make a lot of effort to refute that claim.    Treating a woman as equal, being faithful and monogamous is an important part of morals, because cheating hurts the woman, and hurting it immoral.   Penn & Teller discard monogamy. 
2.  Penn & Teller are role models for men, who are skeptics and atheists.   They indirectly encourage those men to abuse women, to be promiscuous, to cheat, to become less suitable for decent women.  
3.   They have a basic flaw in what they do.   They meddle two distinct things, the debunking of unscientific claims and the propagation of their opinion as better than that of others, when this is a question of personal values, which cannot be decided by the scientific method.  
While rationality concerning the scientific validity of things it is a dichotomy:  Something like astrology can be either be backed up by scientific evidence, or the evidence is lacking.   When it comes to human behavior as to what is best for the individual, there is no right or wrong for everybody, but what makes some people happy, is detrimental for others.   It depends on the disposition of the individual and the amount of instinctivity or rationality in their brain.   It is a personal choice and not right or wrong.
Penn & Teller are as fanatic as christian fundamentalists in declaring as wrong and absurd, what does not correspond with their personal inclination. 
We in the western world live now, maybe for the first time in history, usually in circumstances to choose our personal way of life according to our personal wishes.   It is a good thing to propagate tolerance to all forms of flexible life styles, including gay couples raising children and people having promiscuous and polygamous life styles, as all minorities acting upon consent.   Those, who are lacking the ability to be happy in a monogamous relationship have the right to do, what they want.   But the monogamous person, who gets harmed and hurt by any non-monogamous partner needs to be respected, accepted and protected. 
In the show on family values, Penn & Teller are very intolerant.   Instead of advocating tolerance for alternative life forms, they declare the alternative life forms as the new norm and they make monogamy appear as if it were weird and not some people's natural inclination and what makes them most happy.   Like Dorine and André Gorz (entry 100)   Penn & Teller are obviously very much determined by strong instincts.  They are another indication, how the strength of animal instincts in people influences their own values and attitudes and makes them intolerant for those, who are different.  
As long as they would only personally deny the fact, that some people need monogamy as much as Penn & Teller themselves seem to need promiscuity, they would not do much damage.   But their public denial of the value of monogamy and their role model for men is irresponsible and dangerous for the victims of cheating.    It may be the one decisive bad influence, that makes men finally allow themselves to cheat, while they have struggled to stay faithful to their monogamous wives so far.  
4.  They are repulsive to those people, who are most in need of the debunking of their irrational believes. 
In entry 71, I have the example about the absurdity of having a lawn.   Penn & Teller have made one show about the absurdity of lawns, that makes some excellent points.   Except that the first 3 minutes of the show spoil it all.   They start by showing about a dozen naked bodies spread over a lawn.   When the middle class home owners, with a sense for decency, those people, who are the most prone to make a fuss about their lawn, see this introduction on tv, they zap and never see the rest, that is meant for them. 
Some of the New Age nonsense and woo-woo are especially attractive to women.   But the debunking of that stuff is so much blended with the degradation and devaluation of women as sex-objects, that many, if not most of them are getting disgusted and repulsed by Penn & Teller.  They either never see their debunking shows at all, or if they do, the general repulsion impedes, that they understand the skeptical message.    

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

148. Reciprocity and Mutuality

Reciprocity and Mutuality

This blog is about my personal search for a mindmate, focusing on what I want and what I do not want in a relationship.    I may appear as detached and factual as if writing advice for others, and I am sometimes generalising.   But I am writing from my subjective perspective.  Therefore I have written a lot about what makes men unsuitable, what behavior I require from a man and what I do not accept.   It may appear as if I were demanding more than I were willing to give.  

Therefore it is time to declare explicitly:   Whatever I want, it is based on my acceptance of reciprocity and mutuality.   This means, that every time I mention something that I require of someone, I check the reciprocal position.   I ask myself, if I am able to give and to do the same for the other.   

This is the core of the egalitarian principle, of a symmetrical relationship based upon reciprocity.   I expect in return, what I am able and willing to give.    What I cannot give, I do not expect.  

That principle can only work, when people share their basic values.   The values determine, what someone wants from a relationship and what someone is willing to give and to invest.  
If one expects and demands, what the other cannot give, these two person are not compatible and should not get involved.  
A relationship can work, when both take responsibility to do their fair share in the balance of giving and taking.    It is part of taking responsibility for the own actions as explained in entry 146.  


Later Addition:   I gave this entry the title 'Reciprocity and Mutuality' and I omitted the reason, why I used both words.   Both are describing the symmetry of giving and receiving something.   But in my understanding, there is a difference.   Mutuality means doing the same thing to each other at about the same time.   Reciprocity is more generally returning a favor with a different favor, and there can be a long delay between.  
Exchanging gifts for christmas is mutuality, gifts to each other's birthday are reciprocity.   

147. A Good Question

A Good Question

This is someone's comment to the previous entry:
I'm wondering at your age are guys still immature or jerks? I would think by 50's 60's men AND women would have grown out of this younger phase and the problems in dating would be more about finding someone available (unattached, w/o kids, etc) rather than immaturity

This is a good question, and there is a logical answer to it.  

One enabling factor in the process of maturing are painful experiences, if people are capable to learn from them.   
When a woman gets involved with a jerk or any kind of an immature man, she suffers and learns to avoid a repetition of this experience by looking through a magnifying glass from then on for red flags.
But the immature man has coerced his onesided benefits out of the woman without suffering himself.   Due to his inability to bond and to be an equal partner he made the woman suffer instead.  Thus he has no instigation to learn and to grow mature.   His immaturity preserves itself, because he does not suffer from it.  
When he either has dumped a woman as not serving his needs or when he has driven her away with ruthless and cruel behavior, he feels not responsible at all, but blames it on the woman.  Such a man never learns, never improves and is still immature at the age of 60.   At that age, the proportion of available men of all men is smaller than at a younger age, so the proportion of jerks and immature men of all available men may be greater than at a younger age.  

Monday, November 8, 2010

146. The Difference Between Acting And Reacting

The Difference Between Acting And Reacting

A sequence of behavior starts with an action, that someone initiates, then someone else reacts, then follows a reaction to the reaction, and so forth.   Without the initiative of the first action, none of the later reactions would take place.   When someone's action or reaction is a transgression, and it was not provoked or triggered by any previous transgression, then the transgressor alone is responsible for everything, that follows.  

Only the person, who commits the first transgression, has a choice, what to do and how to act.   The transgressee has no choice.   She may be aware, that her reactions to a transgression are inappropriate, out of proportion or even foolish.   But she cannot prevent her reaction, if she cannot prevent to be the target of the preceding transgression, which comes as an unexpected and unwarranted surprise.    Therefore she cannot be blamed for her reaction.  
After she has learned, from whom to expect transgressions, she has also a choice:  She can avoid to expose herself to the transgressor by leaving him.         

I take responsibility for my behavior, as long as I am treated correctly.    I am determined not to commit transgressions myself.  

That means, that when someone gives me feedback, that something I have done or am doing causes him to feel hurt, disturbed, annoyed, harmed, I am motivated to do something about it.  I am willing to listen and I am willing to talk about it.   I am willing to change my behavior, after having found out, what exactly is the problem and after having been rationally convinced, that there is an alternative way of behaving to solve the problem and to alleviate the other's feelings.  
I am willing to do this, when I am made aware, that my behavior needs improving, I am also willing to do this to accommodate someone's special sensitivities.
Whatever I expect or require as correct from someone else, is the same as what I consider myself obliged to do or to refrain from.  

But I refuse to take responsibility for my REactions, whenever I am treated in an inappropriate way.    

Example 2.2. in entry 129:   If somebody would not react to a civilized attempt to talk about a serious issue, and it escalates, until I call him an idiot, then I do not take responsibility for this.   It is first his own job to correct his behavior and start constructive communication like a mature partner.   As soon as he does and stops appearing like a moron, I will gladly tell him that I have changed my opinion and that I no longer consider him and idiot.  

Example 1.2. in entry 130:  If someone would intimidate and threaten me, until I am a bundle of nerves, I do not take responsibility for my loosing countenance and control.      First the situation would have to change drastically to give me relief, before I can normalise my own behavior.

If someone dislikes my reaction, it is his task to stop ongoing transgressions and avoid a repetition of the transgression.  If he does not repeat his transgression, he will automatically not experience my reaction again.  
I do not take blame for my reactions and I do not accept, that my reaction is used as an excuse for further transgressions by someone, who did the first transgression.

Of course, all this is based on the precondition, that there is consent, what is a transgression by agreement before getting involved.   If there has been a misunderstanding, or if someone has lured me into involvement by pretending to share my values, but does not, then I restrict to take responsibility based upon my own value system.   If a jerk considers my refusal to accept the role of inferiority as a transgression, then blaming me for it is his mistake and not justified.  

If a jerk does not like the reactions, that he triggers in me, then he better dejerkifies himself.

145. Caring Man or Jerk - 7

Caring Man or Jerk - 7
There are also other forms of betrayal, that are more general then dumping as described in entry 143.    This concerns the obligation of being bound by agreements as an expression of basic morals. 

1.  For mature sensitive people, breaking a bond is a very painful and traumatic experience.    Wise people attempt to avoid it by not getting bonded prematurely.   They know, that they cannot prevent long term developments, but they can prevent short term disaster.   Therefore they do the following, before sealing commitment:

1.1.  They verify, if they are emotionally, ethically, intellectually compatible.  
1.1.1.  They make sure, that they share all basic values and attitudes.   They agree, what they consider both as transgressions.   They make sure, that there is nothing, that one considers a transgression, while the other feels no inhibitions to do it.  
1.1.2.  They both declare all their needs and requirement from the partner in the relationship. 
1.1.3.  Each makes a careful introspection, if s/he can fulfill the other's needs, and how much they perceive it as a sacrifice.   
1.1.4.  This includes also the extrapolation of fulfilling those needs for a long time to come, not only momentarily. 
1.1.5.  They both evaluate, if there are obstacles, that cannot be overcome.   If not, they calculate each, if the relationship is beneficial.  

1.2.  If they have no doubt, that the relationship is beneficial for both, they continue.  

1.2.1.  They plan the framework of the relationship, that includes how to organize the practical modalities of the life together, where to live, how to handle material resources and such.    
1.2.2.   They define the relationship.   What is exclusive for them, what has priority, what is shared, what behavior is a transgression, which needs they fulfil for each other and how.   Each agrees explicitly not to do, what the other wants never to suffer.    
1.3.  They both agree, that the framework and definition of the relationship are binding, as soon as the have entered and sealed commitment.   They both accept the mutual obligation to stick to it, until they both agree together to modify it.   
This makes the relationship reliable and predictable.  Every onesided change of this agreement is a betrayal, because it is a breach of the trust, that what is accepted at the moment of getting involved is really, what the relationship will be like.  
The sealing of the agreement has to be based on two principles.  WYGIWYA:   What you get is what you accept.   WYAIWYG:   What you accept is what you get.  
That means, that getting involved based upon an agreement is accepting exactly that agreement without any hidden agenda of changing it later or attempting to modify it.   It means also not to expect and demand more than what is included in the agreement.  
Of course, this does not exclude the necessary process of mutual adaptation concerning habits.  

When someone bases the decision to get involved in a committed relationship upon an agreement, while this person would not enter the relationship without this agreement, then this makes sticking to the agreement an obligation and breaking the agreement a serious betrayal and transgression. 

2.  Jerks dump easily, because they are bonding-disabled.   They do not feel bound by any agreement.   They get involved by infatuation, without consideration for the partner.  

2.1.  Some examples:  
2.1.1.   If one wants children, the other not, they are not compatible.    If they both agree on not having children, and a few months later, one starts to want children, this is not correct.   This person should have made a more thorough introspection.   But by getting involved, this person now has an obligation to stick to the conditions of having accepted a childfree relationship.   The jerk continues to put pressure for the purpose of breeding, it is betrayal, and if the jerk ends the relationship to find another breeder, it is also betrayal.  
2.1.2.  If the man has accepted not to indulge in any dangerous activity, because the woman would worry too much about him, then buying a motorcycle a few months later against her protest is betrayal and he is a jerk.   Planning to buy the motorcycle, he was not compatible and should not have got involved.   After getting involved, it was his obligation not to buy a motorcycle.
2.1.3.  An ethical vegetarian and a meateater are not compatible.   If the meateater agrees to stop eating meat, but starts to eat meat again after a few months, this is also an act of betrayal and he is a jerk.    The meateater has accepted to respect the vegetarians values, and is obliged to stick to it.
2.1.4.  When the couple has agreed, where to live, and this is for some external reasons the only possible place, but one changes his mind after getting involved, he is a jerk and this is a serious betrayal.   Refusing to be together at the agreed upon only possible place is a form of dumping.   

A jerk, who does not feel bound by agreements, is not suitable for me.  

Sunday, November 7, 2010

144. Attempting to Comprehend How Jerks Tick

Attempting to Comprehend How Jerks Tick

The jerk's lack of a conscience has been puzzling to me, because I cannot put myself into his shoes.   But after a lot of thinking, I finally have come up with an analogy.  
A meateater is for a vegetarian what a jerk is for a (non-jerkish) woman.     

1.  Subjectively, from my personal point of view, I despise and loathe jerks, while there is nothing wrong with being a meateater.  

I am a meateater and not a vegetarian.   I see a fundamental difference between animals and humans, as I already explained in the entries 22 and 58.   Humans know, that they will die, animals do not.  
I buy free range eggs, and I would also gladly pay a higher price for meat, if this would be for sparing sufferings to the livestock.    An animal, that is kept with enough comfortable space, well fed and painlessly killed, has a better life than many animals in the wild, and it suffers less than many people living in miserable circumstances. 
That means, in my personal value system, causing suffering to any living being, human or animal, is wrong.   Eating an animal, that has not suffered, is not wrong.
The ethical vegetarian, whom I mean in this context, has animal rights as a part of his value system.   He considers killing an animal as equally unacceptable as killing a human.    Killing an animal is a serious moral transgression for the vegetarian, that would make him feel guilty.    

2.  Seen from a neutral point of view, the vegetarian experiences the meateater in a very similar way as the woman experiences the jerk.  

2.1.  An animal is to a meateater, what a woman is to a jerk.    The meateater feel superior to the animal.   The jerk feels superior to the woman.   
2.2.  The meateater's perceived superiority allows him to eat the animal, the jerk's perceived superiority allows him to dominate and use the woman.  
2.3.  The feeling of superiority justifies the behavior as morally acceptable.    The meateater feels no guilt eating meat, the jerk feels no guilt hurting a woman.  
2.4.  For the vegetarian, eating an animal is a moral transgression, because he identifies with the animal as having equal rights.   For the woman, being dominated and used is a moral transgression, because she identifies herself as having equal rights.   
2.5.  The meateater and the vegetarian have incompatible basic values concerning animals, just as the jerk and the woman have incompatible basic values about the meaning of commitment.
2.6.  If a meateater refrains from eating meat, it is by extrinsic motivation as part of the deal in return for the benefits of being in a relationship.    If a jerk refrains from doing hurtful things to a woman, it is by extrinsic motivation as part of the deal in return for the benefits of being in a relationship.  

3.  In several previous entries I have already explained my suspicion, that the individual's basic values and attitudes are a conscious representation of the innate relative strength of some instincts compared with others and with rationality. 
Thus people do not to decide consciously, what to choose as basic values.    This seems to include also the evaluation, who is equal, and who is inferior.    The jerk could be driven especially by a strong hierarchy instinct.   The vegetarian could be driven especially by sharing the procreation instinct with animals.  
If this were reality, then ethical vegetarians would have more children then meateaters, and jerks would be mostly meateaters.   Hypoanimalistic people would be driven by neither instinct, but mainly by rationality, and therefore they feel superior to animals, but equal with all humans.   Unfortunately, these will stay speculations forever, as I have no way of finding any evidence.  

4.  I know, that as a meateater, I would not be suitable for the moral requirements of an ethical vegetarian.   As much as I would be willing to please him by not eating meat in his presence, I would just not feel any intrinsic inhibitions to eat meat in his absence and without his knowledge.  This would be a transgression in regard to his morals.  
I usually know, what are transgressions in other people's attitude, even when they are not in my own.  But a jerk does not even know, what are transgressions and that he is not suitable for a woman like me.  
I have the double task to be aware of who is not suitable for me, and for whom I am not suitable.   Jerks do not care, if they hurt a woman, so it is obvious that it is my own task to avoid them.   But many men, who are no jerks, overlook incompatibility or have the concept, that when they are infatuated, then tolerance can cope with incompatibility.   So I have to avoid them too.