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Jealousy

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Smuel, Aug 7, 2018.

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  1. Smuel

    Smuel Well-Known Member

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    Attractive people are attractive. However, there seems to be an expectation that when you have a significant other (SO) you aren't supposed to think that anyone else is attractive any more. I'm wondering what are people's True Thoughts on this. The question comes from two angles - what do you really feel when you see attractive people who aren't your SO, and what do you really feel about your SO's hypothetical answer to the same question?

    Say, if you have an SO, and suddenly got the opportunity to go on a date with (insert your secret crush or sexy neighbour here), would you honestly in your heart of hearts not want to, or would you think something like "well, obviously I'd want to, but on balance I prefer my life now to how it would be if I wrecked it by accepting that date", or are you blatantly like "I'd go on the date and hope my SO doesn't find out."?

    Similarly, if your SO is attracted to someone else, how does that make you feel? Is it "yeah, this can happen, and I'm fine as long as they don't actually run off with anyone", or "it doesn't bother me as long as it's only for an abstract figure like a movie star rather than anyone in real life", or "I understand that this can happen in theory, but I'd prefer to maintain an unspoken masquerade where neither of us ever mention other people in that way", or "the thought that this may be a possibility drives me crazy and I will berate my SO for hours if they so much as hint that there is anyone on this earth who arouses their interest besides me."?

    Personally I've never met a woman who caused me to lose interest in all other women, and I don't particularly care what my SO thinks about other people. However, women I've been involved with have had quite different views on this subject, and at times I've had to pretend to not be attracted to anyone else, and also to pretend to be jealous, since that seemed to be the main criteria they used to gauge my interest in them. As a result I've pretty much given up on the idea of having an SO any more, because all the pretending isn't worth the hassle and also it makes me feel like kind of a dick.

    A lot of popular media implies that it's quite normal to become obsessed with someone to the exclusion of all others. So I don't think everyone else is pretending in similar circumstances. Some of them must actually mean it. Though on the other hand given the amount of cheating that goes on there must be some degree to which people pretend.

    Since you guys are obviously a good representative cross-section of society, I thought I'd determine the numbers by asking here. Though if you have an SO who might read the forum then you can't answer honestly, unless your honest answer is that you only have eyes for them, but then I won't know whether that's part of the masquerade or not. So basically this entire exercise is pointless. Fine, forget I asked.

    Geez.
     
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  2. Dark Elf

    Dark Elf Administrator Staff Member

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    Ugh, this is a fucking minefield.

    I agree with your sentiments on the matter, but this can be a touchy subject with women.

    One of my more hilarious experiences was when an ex asked me which celebrities I found attractive. Not knowing that I was getting myself into, I answered Shakira (which I still would, and this was back in 2005), and what with the ex being 1) adopted from India 2) the avatar of SJW identity politics, she got monumentally jealous to a degree that frankly scared me at the time. Apparently, instead of just answering the question truthfully, I should have known that replying with a blonde celebrity was racist, and in the ensuing, never-ending discussions that followed, I was, in her assessment, sort of thick-headed for not understanding that hurtful things she said spontaneously were totally justified and honest answers to questions she herself asked were pure evil.

    Yeah, so that relationship was kinda shitty.
     
  3. Smuel

    Smuel Well-Known Member

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    For what it's worth, I don't believe that jealousy or irrational behaviour is exclusive to women. There is plenty of evidence that men often have double standards when it comes to relationships, and can be abusive and controlling too. Though they're probably not the kind of people who would post introspective replies on this forum.

    The main thing that I'm wondering is what the proportions are. Like if 90% of people make genuine exclusive pair-bond connections, and it's only the remaining 10% who don't, then I guess the status quo makes sense. But if 90% of people are like us, then why on earth has society decided that we all have to pretend to be exclusive pair-bonders when we're blatantly not?

    My current working theory is that it's something like 10% of people are genuine pair-bonders, 10% are like us, and then the 80% in the middle really wish that they were pair-bonders too, even though they're not really, because pair-bonding sounds awesome on paper, plus they never know when they're talking to one of the 10% of genuine pair-bonders, so let's all keep up the masquerade.

    This seems kind of weak though. In some ways I'd prefer to discover a massive swathe of people who are genuinely devoted to their SOs because at least I could respect that.
     
  4. Jojobobo

    Jojobobo Well-Known Member

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    It seems like you have two lines of thinking here Smuel - questions on finding people physically attractive and questions on developing a degree of infatuation for someone else. These are all my perspectives from being in a relationship that's almost 13 years old, so there's bias naturally.

    In terms of is it okay to find someone else physically attractive? I'd say it's thoroughly normal, and I'd say it's pretty weird people would expect you not to. I'd like to think most people have the capacity or restraint to find someone attractive and not need to act physically on that desire. However if someone regularly finds other people physically attractive when they're in a relationship and still pursue it (without anything more than superficial physical attraction drawing them in), I think that's pretty much defined as being a shitty human being. Even if you're in a relationship that isn't all that serious you know that cheating on them is going to be hurtful regardless of how close you are (unless you've set ground rules that it's an open or casual relationship), so really you shouldn't be with them in the first place.

    Most of the time however I don't see think this is an issue; people looking for a somewhat serious relationship tend to be in a space where they're not after casual sex all the time with strangers. If you really can't keep it in your pants when your in a relationship where there's an expectation of monogamy, I think the person has some sort of personal issues in how they view the opposite gender (or whoever else on the LBTG+ spectrum) that they need to address.

    As to the question of whether developing an infatuation with someone, where you not only find them physically attractive but also find them a great person to be around otherwise - you feel there's a real connection, is okay or not? Again I'd say it's normal, and par for the course in any lengthy relationship with its ups and downs. I think too many people conflate a strong infatuation or crush with love however, when it's usually more about your current dissatisfaction in your relationship. The only thing to do in these situations is wait, and normally these feelings will die a cold death (so much so you might look at the same person and wonder what you were thinking). The benefit of a long-term relationship is that it allows you and your partner to develop shared interests and become a better fit for one another, so usually the frequency and intensity you develop these crushes should tail off, as naturally very few people could share as much in common as someone who you've spent years of your life with (or at least that's the case if you've not shackled yourself for unknown reasons to a thoroughly un-enjoyable relationship - there is always a choice).

    If infatuation feelings like this don't go away in a few months, then I think it's maybe the time to split up with your current partner and try and make things good with the sexy MILF down the road. I also don't think your partner needs to be told about it either, there's honesty and then there's crushingly telling someone who really cares about you that you're getting intensely interested in someone else. It's never going to make things better, and seeing as nothing has physically transpired it's more about selfishly assuaging your own guilt then it is benefiting them because you're so "honest".

    I'd also say that getting yourself into questionable situations when you're already in a relationship is usually a choice (unless it's some kind of hot unrequited stalker, or you're a magnetic adonis people naturally form attractions to), in that you have to cultivate a relationship on some sort of level with someone who isn't your SO for the circumstance to arise in the first place. Personally I always approach women (even when I find them physically attractive, or do like their company in some vaguely undefined thinking they're cool way) in the same way I approach men I've just met, acting thoroughly normal - or whatever it is I tend to approximate for that - and with an appropriate amount of mild interest. If you're always flirting with people and paying them more interest than you would do any other friend, it goes without saying you're probably going to get yourself into more dubious situations than someone who doesn't.

    Concerning women expecting you to be jealous to register interest, that sounds completely fucked up. I like to be as straight a shooter as possible in relationships with my SO or anyone else for that matter, so I think if I was in that position I would calmly explain that me spending time with them and obviously enjoying their company is me registering interest, and if they want to play games like we're teenagers then they know where the door is. I think when these behaviours are nipped in the bud your partner can then course correct and you can have an enjoyable relationship out of it, playing along will only ever lead to trouble.

    For my own jealousy, I'd say I'm not - I'm happy for my partner to go out without me so long as I vaguely know her evening plans should some emergency situation arise where I need to find her, usually with my obviously hilarious adage, "Don't do anyone I wouldn't do." Even if you suspect your partner is cheating on you, being jealous and controlling never makes anything anyone happier and people have a far better time when they're not watching their partner every minute of the day.

    I guess the last bit is media's portrayal of a person being obsessed with someone to the exclusion of everyone else. I'd say this can definitely happen, particularly if you're not too romantically jaded or you've found someone who's a particular good fit, but I would always expect it to end eventually and then people fit into the patterns I've mentioned above. If you've had a rough time of it in relationships, people are always naturally going to feel guarded for a while - usually people will grow on you with time.

    And so ends the relationship gospel according to Jojobobo.

    As you've posted before I've even submitted this...

    I think people change what they're looking for over the course of their lives and so putting people in tidy little boxes according to pair-bonders or non-pair-bonders is a little redundant. Possibly you could break it down by age, as I'd suspect trends change as you get older (some people probably do want to chase casual sex their entire lives, but I'd say they'd be the minority - though as you say maybe this is more a reflection of society telling me that people don't chase casual sex their entire lives), but it's hard to say.

    To put it a bit more clinically, I believe attrition makes people want to be pair-bonders because most people can't be bothered with so much drama as they get older and want a stable even situation, plus they like regular sex and the company of someone they find interesting. I don't think there's really anything more to it then time creeping up on people, and while some people will be callous risk-takers their entire lives usually as things go on most of those will have had enough life experience to know they'd be happier if they reined it in a little. I genuinely think it's that simple.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2018
  5. Smuel

    Smuel Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, if the deal with relationships was "Even though I may be beset with temptation, I care enough about you that I'm making a commitment to stay faithful" then I could understand it.

    What I can't wrap my head around is that people seem to think the deal with relationships is "I care about you so much that from now on I'm not even going to feel temptation in the first place."

    That's not how temptation works.

    If your response to that is "Oh Smuel, you poor naive fool, everybody understands this, and only ever means the first one." Then I would say to you - really? Are you sure? I mean, I've been reading books and watching movies for a while now, and I've even dated some people in real life, and I really don't get the impression that everyone understands that it's the first one. And if they do understand it, they're pretty keen on maintaining the masquerade of the second one, for some reason.
     
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  6. Jojobobo

    Jojobobo Well-Known Member

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    I guess people can be delusional idiots, and escapism in books and film is usually there to present an idealised version of something (most crime dramas are going to be an idealised version of a crime drama, same applies to romantic movies or plots with a relationship central to the story).

    I don't really know what to tell you, other then to try and date people who don't have ridiculous and quaint notions of how a relationship should work; I know those pickings might be slim, but there are non-idiots out there I assure you. Maybe there's a formula of buzzwords you can use on dating sites to attract people with appropriate expectations, rather than people looking to hit on an idea of commitment that is a complete fantasy, or at the very least pretty unhealthy.
     
  7. Smuel

    Smuel Well-Known Member

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    Some additional responses to your relationship essay above:

    Yeah no. When someone is having an emotional reaction to what you're saying, there is no "calmly explaining". If someone puts a lot of weight on emotions then they perceive your calmness as not caring about the issue at hand, and your explanation as an attempt to deflect from their point, which is that you have caused them grief and ought to feel bad.

    Sure, but it's not always in the same direction. I expect for every story about a wild youth settling into a commitment when they are older there is a corresponding story of someone who got married too young and is now divorced and loving it. Or still married and hating it.

    Basically I don't think people's fundamental nature ever changes that much. Someone might become more willing to compromise in one direction or another as they get older, but I don't think they'll be more or less subject to temptation. From my own experience, the part of my brain that directs my attention to bare female legs is just as active as it's ever been, and the current weather is not helping.

    That's funny, because for me the drama comes from relationships. Living alone and casually dating is a lot less stressful.

    You've answered the two questions I asked in the original post. So with you, me, and Dark Elf the data shows that 100% of men are rational beings with a realistic approach to attraction, while the women they've dated range from exactly the same to the other extreme entirely.

    So basically I've learned nothing new so far.

    BUT THANKS 4 UR EFFORTS LOL
     
  8. Jojobobo

    Jojobobo Well-Known Member

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    "Calmly explain" is maybe over-stating it, sternly shutting them down and making them feel like they're the asshole is probably more appropriate. Keeping some calm when the other person isn't chill usually provides the upper hand, I would say.

    I'd say people learn with experience usually, and also people don't find a pervy old goat who's trying to get with everyone attractive all that often. I think it's more unusual than not to not pair up eventually before 60.

    I'd say there's nothing really predisposing a relationship to be good or bad usually, so it's bad luck when you're constantly finding a lot of drama. From what I've seen most people in that position go for casual sex a lot and then eventually want to start dating again.

    Well I for one am glad I could be of service!
     
  9. Dark Elf

    Dark Elf Administrator Staff Member

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    Why do I sometimes feel that this is 99% of all social success?
     
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  10. Smuel

    Smuel Well-Known Member

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  11. ytzk

    ytzk Well-Known Member

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    That's a minefield for sure.

    Short answer: Don't put your dick in crazy.

    Long answer: She may have a point, and you may feel differently about temptation and fidelity when you age a bit, so you might want to wear blinkers 'til then as an investment.

    Or not. But she may grow less insecure over the years. Ideally, you keep the faith and stay honest with each other, or realise you are better apart without drama.

    It is OK to find others attractive. Saying it depends on how. Doing it doubly so.

    Qapla'!
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2018
  12. Smuel

    Smuel Well-Known Member

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    That's some great advice for Jojobobo, but how about answering my questions?
     
  13. ytzk

    ytzk Well-Known Member

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    Short answer: threesome.

    Long answer: a real commitment is a hormonal and neurological change, but males usually dont pairbond or imprint until their firstborns. Some never do.

    I would be constantly tempted in my twenties and thirties but nowadays I would commit just to get the statistical extended lifespan.

    I think you just want permission to leer or cheat. You got it.
     
  14. Jojobobo

    Jojobobo Well-Known Member

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    I think it's a zero sum when I'm already fairly crazy, but charming as always Smuel.
     
  15. Smuel

    Smuel Well-Known Member

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    So, reading between the lines, I think ytzk is saying he hasn't ever fallen in love either, which answers the first question. We're still at 100% of men being heartless bastards. Cool, cool.

    As for the second question, about how you feel if your SO indicates an interest in other people, ytzk avoids addressing it. Thus leading me to believe that he flies into a jealous rage, which I assume consists of briefly looking out from under a cloud of smoke, saying "Hey baby, that's just like, not cool, you know?" before taking another puff and promptly forgetting what he was talking about.
     
  16. Jojobobo

    Jojobobo Well-Known Member

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    Hmmmm.
     
  17. ytzk

    ytzk Well-Known Member

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    Well I am not reading everyone's entire series of essays.

    You seem irritable.

    I am trying to think of a time when it was a big deal to discuss being attracted to attractive people with my so. It was only as a teen with unrequited infatuation that i was jealous.

    Although, if my high school crush whistled me up for a sordid affair I would still to this day be tempted.

    I suppose by your definition my problem is that i fell in love once, and all the relationships since have been halfhearted and casual.

    But you seem irritable old bean. Is it possible you have been together for about three months? because the honeymoon stage is very different to the marathon.
     
  18. Smuel

    Smuel Well-Known Member

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    I guess it is a little irritating that I'm trying to conduct a scientific survey about jealousy, and in response y'all are mainly giving me relationship advice for a non-existent relationship.

    I was originally thinking that I should do a poll, since it would likely get more responses (no idea why I think that) and also allow people to respond anonymously, but then a) there are two questions, so I'd have to do two polls, and we're already at one thread more than anyone really wants on this subject, b) given the trolliness of this board I wouldn't be able to take the results at face value, and c) reading people's views is likely to give more insight into the data.

    There's been some interesting stuff so far, interspersed within all the lecturing, so if anyone else wants to respond to the two questions then that would be cool too. For those who don't read entire series of essays, the two questions are:

    1. When you're in a relationship, to what degree is your sexual attraction exclusive to your SO, compared to when you're not in a relationship?
    2. When you're in a relationship, what are your views/expectations of your SO's answer to question 1?
     
  19. ytzk

    ytzk Well-Known Member

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    But surely you realise that four or five internet game nerds is the worst possible baseline for relationship data.

    My people are traditionally blunt hypocrites, swearing oaths of fidelity before god and fucking anyone they can on the sly.

    So my own lecherousness is pretty uniform but I make a point of being upfront and honest.

    Honestly, the correct answer is always: threesome.

    If that doesnt fix your wandering gaze then it will at least fix the jealous so problem.
     
  20. Jojobobo

    Jojobobo Well-Known Member

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    If you're really that interested, post on reddit about it, on r/AskReddit or similar and tag it "serious". If it's popular enough you're looking at thousands of data points, easily enough to a statistical analysis on. As people are volunteering responses, they should be reasonably truthful too (unless people are posting with their jealous SO watching over their shoulder), and I don't think there's a particular demographic that fits reddit users so they should be fairly randomised.

    As ytzk said, I'm not sure what you were looking for by posting on a forum that in its hay day probably boasted only about 50 or so regulars in General Discussion (possibly this place was more popular than that at one point, but it seems like an okay estimate). My guess would be in some way you're not just after data as this is a thoroughly crap place to start.

    To answer your questions directly, neither me nor my SO care about the other forming an attraction for someone else - either purely physical or where there's emotional attachment too - at all. I know this because I've spoken to her about it directly, so there's no speculation here about what she thinks on the subject.

    That said, because there's a great deal of shared interests between us and history, developing a more serious interest in someone else doesn't really occur at all these days - so you become naturally exclusive to a good degree rather than exclusive by conscious choice.

    I'm still not sure what you're really driving for because if it's so simple as, "Do you notice the girl with the big swinging jugs and revealing dress on the street while you're in a relationship," then obviously due to hard-wired biology I do, as do women pick up on someone they find attractive. It's not really a question needing to be asked, and finding someone physically attractive is more or less thoroughly meaningless in the first place as it in no way equates to actively trying to fuck that person. Brad Pitt is a conventionally handsome guy, but just because he's attractive doesn't mean I'm powerless to stop myself trying to suck him off in the street if I met him.

    And I guess of course you're going to find a lot of people saying, "When I'm in a relationship, my man should only have eyes for me," because people often enter into relationships to feel validated, and there's a huge proportion of people who are insecure enough that their partner finding other people attractive does invalidate them. I suppose some people do genuinely only have eyes for their partner initially due to an intense attraction that makes other people seem like dog shit in comparison, but unless you're young or have had few relationships people aren't inclined to latch on like that.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2018
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