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General Relationship Thread

Posted Apr 18, '13 at 10:01pm

Xzeno

Xzeno

2,082 posts

Man, I wish I could meet a sexually aggressive older wo- haha I'm just kidding. Or am I?

People, by which I mean CT and to a lesser extent Strop, do like to make that assumption though.

Anyway, to answer Strop's previous, likely rhetorical question leveled at me, it probably makes you a bad person.

Anyway, senior male or female makes no difference. A senior dating a freshman is messed up. 18 to 14 is not just 4 years. It's a huge difference. Keep it in your pants.

 

Posted Apr 19, '13 at 1:05am

EmperorPalpatine

EmperorPalpatine

4,977 posts

It's a huge difference.

How so? It's only social pressures that make it awkward. Back in Shakespearean times, girls were often expected to be married by their mid-teens or sooner.

 

Posted Apr 19, '13 at 1:17am

pangtongshu

pangtongshu

8,481 posts

Back in Shakespearean times,

That's the key word in that phrase.

Although I may not fully agree with Xzeno, as my mind is joyfully more twisted than his, I get what he is saying. The younger side of that relationship is not as developed as the older side mentally, emotionally, etc. There is an understanding of certain actions that may be taken place within a relationship, but surely not as much as with the older side's

 

Posted Apr 19, '13 at 2:20am

EmperorPalpatine

EmperorPalpatine

4,977 posts

Of course, but the point was social structures and norms are fluid, especially when it comes to dating and the like. What's acceptable now might be considered horrible and tragic in the future, and what's not acceptable now might become commonplace. To say it's "messed up" ignores that fluidity. And to assume that it's purely being predatory is asinine.

 

Posted Apr 19, '13 at 5:37am

nichodemus

nichodemus

11,982 posts

Knight

Of course, but the point was social structures and norms are fluid, especially when it comes to dating and the like. What's acceptable now might be considered horrible and tragic in the future, and what's not acceptable now might become commonplace. To say it's "messed up" ignores that fluidity. And to assume that it's purely being predatory is asinine.

That's not even answering  his point, but meandering around it with an irrelevant reasoning. We live in the present, and as such, whatever Xzeno says will hold water as his standards match our modern standards. Even if what we accepted as suitable and tolerable relationship ages was different and will be different, since such a point adds nothing nor does it even act as a good counter. It doesn't ignore ''that fluidity'', simply because his statement is geared towards the modern opinion and as such, is true.

 

Posted Apr 19, '13 at 12:06pm

Strop

Strop

10,823 posts

Moderator

It's all well and good to speak of fluidity but one must appreciate the extent and the nature of that fluidity, because both are limited. Saying "messed up" doesn't ignore the fluidity, it just makes a statement that is relevant to the situation now. There would have been a time when it was not, but that time is not now. You're welcome to make arguments about why it ought not to be the case, but that would require delving back into insightful statements and not quibbling over semantics.

Anyway, to answer Strop's previous, likely rhetorical question leveled at me, it probably makes you a bad person.

Allow me to play Devil's advocate by posing a counter-example (Nicho may have some comment on this): I have a socially conservative, very traditional Christian Singaporean colleague who specifically wanted to go out (and marry) a girl whose primary quality was innocence and vulnerability, specifically so he could be, essentially, her knight in shining armour. He was very earnest about this, too, as he firmly believed that he had a duty to "be the man" just as the woman had a duty to "be the damsel in distress" (now I'm being facetious).

Naturally my female friends did not understand this and thought it was pretty darn creepy. I, myself, have very different tastes and like girls who are independent and capable. But I did not think him a bad person for feeling the way he did.

As for the topic of cougars... interestingly my medical registrar counterpart asked me what I thought the actual definition was, given lack of consensus, and I arrived at the conclusion that there were trends as to the age group and demographic of involved parties: the women were often referred to as being at least in their 30s and older, and the men late teens to early 20s. Why was that?

I figured the first part had at least a precursor in Sex and the City, in which the single women protagonists were all identified as having reached "the big three oh". As a decade milestone the (perception of) expectation is still on women to have already made serious moves towards settling down with mister right (if not already done so) and having kids (if not already done so), a serious shift from the modern values of the affluent early 20s which are deemed "way too early to have kids". There's a conflict in there somewhere, like opposing pressures squeezing an individual who straddles this age.

As for the men, there's an increasing phenomenon called the late 20s crisis. A young man often seems to go out and graduate and then work and party with wild abandon and no thought... this directionless flailing seems to catch up to them not in the 40s anymore, but the 20s, wherein they go seeking some kind of enlightenment by travelling or doing some new agey thing or whatever. It's this wild abandon that characterises the "boy toy", since men are also, to an extent, also expected to "mature and settle down".

At least that's my take on the matter.

 

Posted Apr 19, '13 at 12:21pm

nichodemus

nichodemus

11,982 posts

Knight

Allow me to play Devil's advocate by posing a counter-example (Nicho may have some comment on this): I have a socially conservative, very traditional Christian Singaporean colleague who specifically wanted to go out (and marry) a girl whose primary quality was innocence and vulnerability, specifically so he could be, essentially, her knight in shining armour. He was very earnest about this, too, as he firmly believed that he had a duty to "be the man" just as the woman had a duty to "be the damsel in distress" (now I'm being facetious).

I don't think that it's the norm here, but I wouldn't say it's unusual. Phrased in a different way and viewed in a more charitable light, said conservative Chinese man is in some senses, fulfilling his social and family obligations/pressures?

 

Posted Apr 19, '13 at 4:31pm

pangtongshu

pangtongshu

8,481 posts

Naturally my female friends did not understand this and thought it was pretty darn creepy.

Why would they think it creepy? That is a pretty normal thing for people to do

[Psychologist Robert] Sternberg maintains in his article "Love Stories" (1996) that through the interaction of our personalities and the environment, we create stories about love, which we then try to fulfill. Various potential spouses fit these stories to a greater or lesser degree. According to Sternberg, marriages tend to last when the partners fulfill the roles they have created for themselves in their love stories

According to Sternberg, love is not just a single story. He has come up with 24 model stories but cautions there are probably many more. Two of Sternberg's stories are the "fantasy" story and the "gardening" story. The fantasy story is similar to a fairy tale. A woman who has a fantasy story expects her mate to be a "knight in shining armor" to protect her from danger [...]

 

Posted Apr 19, '13 at 6:22pm

Xzeno

Xzeno

2,082 posts

But I did not think him a bad person for feeling the way he did.

I don't hold him responsible for his feelings. He's a bad person for thinking that's an okay way to see things.

Why would they think it creepy?

Because it is? The model is blatantly oppressive and reduces one party to a passive object. Whether it's normal or not, it's wrong. More or less, you and Strop have articulated exactly why desiring innocence probably means you're a bad person.

Anyway, I appreciate Nicho's clarification regarding the fluidity of values and how it is and isn't relevant to points. In general, demonstrating that values have changed before is not sufficient for demolishing a specific value judgement. I am not a relativist. Some of you might be, but really, I have more faith in you guys than that.

Anyway, I feel like I might have been a little harsh and unclear regarding 14/18 pairings. Allow me to clarify through analogy.

I'd compare it to a 25 year old dating a dog, except a dog is far more capable of providing informed consent on an equal playing field than a 14 year old. That type of age gap is, given normal levels of development, outsiders not included, not purely predatory simply because I think something requires either malicious intent or a degree of malice aforethought to be predatory. Some people really don't know any better. But that doesn't make it desirable in those situations. I just wouldn't hold it against them too much.

 

Posted Apr 19, '13 at 8:54pm

Strop

Strop

10,823 posts

Moderator

said conservative Chinese man is in some senses, fulfilling his social and family obligations/pressures?

He completely is, yes. This is the same guy who broke up with a previous girlfriend, it seems, purely because their parents did not like each other.

More or less, you and Strop have articulated exactly why desiring innocence probably means you're a bad person.

Now even I'm thinking that you're "probably" too rigid in your stance, unless you'd like to rephrase. In particular I'd like somebody to expand on Sternberg's narratives, because it's something I've been thinking about in the context of my own relationship. Passivity isn't necessarily a bad thing, to me, at least, it's just become a dirty word in the context of a population that knows even less about what it's talking about when it comes to relationships in this day and age, and Bella from Twilight.

except a dog is far more capable of providing informed consent on an equal playing field than a 14 year old

How old is the dog? lol

The social ramifications for a dog propositioning a person or consenting to a person appear to be somewhat different to the social ramifications for interactions between people, so...

 
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