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Sunday, May 22, 2005 - 9:10amSanction this postReply
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Platonic relationships are as useless as nipples on a boar hog!
Hi Luke,

Very interesting article. So what are you saying by this statement, that if Lorraine had given you a sexual relationship that things would have worked out between you?

This is a mistake that people often make. Good sex is not just titillation, but also such things as love, intellect and values. In fact the later are much more important than the former, because titillation alone will die away sooner or later, but the love is longer lasting. Also the titillation side can be generated if you work at it - it involves the hindbrain after all - the love cannot.

With Lorraine you would have only experienced short-term thrills.


(Edited by Marcus Bachler on 5/22, 9:47am)


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Sunday, May 22, 2005 - 9:37amSanction this postReply
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Luke they wanted you to at least *try* to make a move on them. When you didnt they were hurt.



Post 2

Sunday, May 22, 2005 - 9:37amSanction this postReply
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If it had been sexual, Marcus, at least I might have gotten some worthwhile value out of the experience!   ;-)

A roommate once told me he had only two reasons to argue with a woman:
  1. He has already gotten some from her.
  2. He knows he will get some from her.
All kidding aside, I actually agree with your statement.  A sexual relationship with a busybody like Lorraine would not have gone well.

That said, my general experience suggests that many or perhaps most women like to hew to what John Gray calls the "home improvement committee" syndrome:
The most frequently expressed complaint men have about women is that women are always trying to change them.  ...  She forms a home-improvement committee.  ...  She thinks she's nurturing him, while he feels he's being controlled.  Instead, he wants her acceptance.
Even in a close "platonic" relationship, this annoying behavior can still assert itself.  Of course, this episode took place in 1989 and the infamous Mars and Venus books did not start to hit bookshelves until 1992, so it took me a while to learn about this and to interpret old incidents according to the new model.

John, trust me, they did not want me to make a move on them.  I actually welcomed friends to spend time with me while I was single until this incident.  I expected a basic attitude of civility and respect and gratitude and got it from the guy friends who stayed, but not these gals.  Bah!

(Edited by Luther Setzer on 5/22, 9:41am)


Post 3

Sunday, May 22, 2005 - 11:13amSanction this postReply
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Liked it, although where I come from it's: tits on a boar.

Post 4

Sunday, May 22, 2005 - 11:22amSanction this postReply
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Luther, your finger was on a little red button marked, "Trap Door." Kathleen watched your finger tapping on the red button while she stood in a low spot on the floor. You had her on trial. When you say things like, "Who asked you, Kathleen?" and "I don't care what you think" you eliminate the possibility of a deep relationship, romantic or otherwise.

We all have access to the red button. We ought not be so obviously willing to press it. Especially when we have invited them to be guests in our home.   


Post 5

Sunday, May 22, 2005 - 11:51amSanction this postReply
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Lance, you obviously have a different sense of the proper relationship between host and guest than I have.  I never had trouble with other guests turning themselves into busybodies who wanted to mind my business.  Only these two did that.  I put a prompt, permanent and well earned kibosh on any future opportunities for them to do so whether they liked it or not.  I would prefer spending time alone than spending it with people like these.


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Post 6

Sunday, May 22, 2005 - 12:30pmSanction this postReply
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I put a prompt, permanent and well earned kibosh on any future opportunities for them to do so whether they liked it or not.  I would prefer spending time alone than spending it with people like these.

Luther, I expect you and these girls are best off not being in each other's lives. And your article did make me laugh.

What I gather from your posts on SOLO (a limited source to be sure) is that your focus is on judging instead of communicating. Even if Kathleen were a terrific girl she would have had a hard avoiding the trap door. 


Post 7

Sunday, May 22, 2005 - 2:31pmSanction this postReply
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I liked your article. So do you think men and women can ever be close friends outside of a relationship?

Post 8

Sunday, May 22, 2005 - 2:56pmSanction this postReply
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Jeff, I have remained very leery of platonic relationships since this incident.

I am sure it is possible for some men and some women to form lasting platonic relationships, especially if they already have committed romantic relationships into which to direct their sexual energies.  But for a straight man and a straight woman each to have no partner while being "best pals" with each other strikes me as, well, unnatural.  I can understand close relatives like siblings and cousins doing this, but not unrelated straight people of the opposite sex.

As I have stated earlier, most men and most women think so differently from each other a la the Mars and Venus allegories that only a sexual relationship would make attempts to understand each other worthwhile -- and even those returns frequently prove marginal at best.

I know of several couples who started as "best friends" and eventually consummated the relationships with marriages.  As far as I know, they remain married these many years later.  That pattern strikes me as much more natural than either platonic relationships or whirlwind romances.  Romantic relationships last in large part because of that mutual understanding, shared values and respect that comes from a close friendship.  In my case, I learned the hard way that what struck me as obvious regarding the sovereign individual did not strike my houseguests the same way.  The absence of this shared core value and its busybody implications led me to terminate relations with them.


Post 9

Sunday, May 22, 2005 - 5:06pmSanction this postReply
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It just occurred to me that originally, in ancient Greek, was Platonic relationship meant to be between men?

Post 10

Sunday, May 22, 2005 - 5:17pmSanction this postReply
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Per Merriam-Webster online:

Main Entry: platonic love
Function: noun
Usage: often capitalized P
1 : love conceived by Plato as ascending from passion for the individual to contemplation of the universal and ideal
2 : a close relationship between two persons in which sexual desire is nonexistent or has been suppressed or sublimated

I do not know enough about sex in ancient Greece to comment much further.  I guess that, given the open homosexual behavior of men in ancient Greece, they could have engaged in platonic love as well as sexual love.  Today, we would call this brotherly love, a fine concept to describe close bonds of friendship between straight men.

(Edited by Luther Setzer on 5/22, 5:22pm)


Post 11

Sunday, May 22, 2005 - 5:30pmSanction this postReply
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Luke,
I got the impression from watching the movie "Maurice" based on EM Forster's novel, that since homosexuality was so rampant in ancient Greek, Plato advocated the unconsummated passion between men (the "individuals"in your quote) as the highest form of love. I am not sure that at that time men would share their "contemplation of the universal and ideal" with women. Of course I maybe wrong. I'd like to hear from our Classical scholars around here.

Urrgh, Luke, I just see you additional paragraph. Yes, the phrase itself sure applies to both sex. I am just wondering about Plato's original intention.

(Edited by Hong Zhang on 5/22, 6:36pm)


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Post 12

Sunday, May 22, 2005 - 7:53pmSanction this postReply
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LUUUuuUUKE!!!
 
Dayamm!!!
 
You are one funny mother at times...

LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL...

You had the patience of Job with those two. Thanks for giving me a belly-laugh.

I don't think your problem with them was Platonic, though. It was a bit more scatological.

I've had good warm and caring Platonic friendships with women over the years (never Platonic relationships for God's sake!!!)

Dayamm!!!  LOLOLOLOL...Those two nosey women in all your shit all the time and you with no where to hide... LOLOLOLOL...

(tears streaming down my eyes from laughing too hard...)

I'm with ya' bro. I'm with ya'...

Michael



Post 13

Sunday, May 22, 2005 - 9:36pmSanction this postReply
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Plato advocated the unconsummated passion between men (the "individuals"in your quote) as the highest form of love.
I hope you don't mind me entering the fray to throw in my two cents.

It's my understanding that it was the consummated passion between men that was held as the highest form of love in ancient Greece.

I could be wrong; I'm certainly not a scholar on the subject but given my...errrr....history, I've always paid attention when info about ancient Greece & homosexuality there came my way.  And it's my understanding that Plato - and others of that time period - considered sex and love between men to be the highest, "untainted" by any "weakness."  It was the ultimate celebration of masculinity.

Jason


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Post 14

Sunday, May 22, 2005 - 11:14pmSanction this postReply
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I'm going to be the skunk at the beach party on this thread:

I am the only one so far who is basically on the side of the girls or the one girl (if..and that's a big if...you left nothing out.)

People who know you feel free to offer advice, to voice disagreements about living, etc. It's a sign of caring, of openness. People just out of college constantly do this with their peers, friends, etc. They are debating and exploring how to live.

It should often be viewed as a sign of respect that they don't have to pull punches, can tell you what they think.

All your friend (apparently) did initially was give you well-meaning advice about nutrition. Whether she was right or wrong about eating (she was right,which is an important consideration), "that's my call, so don't bug me" is a rather rude, abrupt, hostile response and isn't likely to generate a pleasant visit.

As were your long series of responses: "What in the world is it to you, anyway?"..."Who in the world asked -you-?"..."I don't care what you think about it. I don't care what you feel about it."... "[no right to express your opinions] in my home and not in my car."

For some reason there is a lot of emotion and anger associated with their advice and their differences of opinion with you.

Your story doesn't make it convincing to me why.

[Maybe it has to do with your recently having broken free from God after a long struggle and asserting an emphatic independence and not wanting anyone -else- to tell you what to do.]

Friends feel free to tell you exactly what they are thinking and it's not always pleasant, but can be valuable. I would have interpreted it more benevolently, not as an assalt on my autonomy. Unless it was delivered from the start in a hostile, unfriendly manner.

Once you start off the weekend by being rude, you can expect it to escalate. But YOU seem to have been in great measure the cause of this. People when treated that way then tend to bristle and be quarrelsome on other things. That sounds like what may have happened. Someone slaps me down that way, I am likely to respond the way the girls did and be less tactful and diplomatic in the subsequent conversations.

Was it really days and days of butting in and criticism or just occasional suggestions? Other than getting off on the wrong foot, did they seem to be wanting to do *nothing else* than criticize you, try to improve you? Were there other values, other enjoyment of each other's company...or would there have been if things hadn't started badly? Or had Lorraine always been this way even before the visit?

I've seen Objectivists write people off, break long term friendships by "taking offense" and reacting super harshly over in retrospect rather small or time matters. Hence (in part) all the splits, schisms, broken relationships they are party to. Being antagonistic or offensive on rare occasion happens in any relationship: It's called getting up on the wrong side of the bed.

A single bad weekend or angry or disrespectful exchange or crossing "personal space" boundaries is hardly reason to refuse to ever speak to someone again, when the instances are on the incredibly trivial level of the ones you mention.

And especially if your impoliteness or taking offense bears a great deal of the responsibility.

You hurt her when you suggested you would never speak to her again. The fact that she cried suggests that she cared about you and certainly wasn't intending to show contempt for you or just visit to have a place to stay.

Callous "parasites" seldom do that.

"It only got worse -- much worse." But you only list somewhat waspishly disagreeing over atheism, advice that you should get out more. Hardly a big deal(unless you believe in automatically cutting off relations with any old friend who are religious).

My best friend in college was a Christian Scientist. Other friends have tried to improve me (and they weren't all women). My view is I generally appreciate that they care about me. It makes me feel closer to them rather than more distant (assuming they aren't constant sources of negativity). I don't feel my autonomy or space has been violated. And we can have a discussion and I can say many things. Including I disagree and I do or do not want to discuss it. I don't feel pressured. I just politely respond or I change the subject, or whatever. I have not the slightest problem either shrugging it off or taking good advice to heart if that is needed. Whichever. No biggie.

I am often stunned at the harshness and the bitterness with which Objectivists take offense and primly, righteously "write people off" for things far, far less than dishonesty or theft or immorality. And assuming a kind of perfection which they themselves are not examples of. Give me a nice, mellow "forgiving" Christian any day :-)

I wasn't there and perhaps I'm reading too much into it given my sensitivity on this issue, but I definitely get that feeling in the tone or flavor of your story.

Phil
(Edited by Philip Coates
on 5/22, 11:24pm)


Post 15

Sunday, May 22, 2005 - 11:40pmSanction this postReply
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And on this ...

"most men and most women think so differently from each other a la the Mars and Venus allegories that only a sexual relationship would make attempts to understand each other worthwhile -- and even those returns frequently prove marginal at best,"

... you're not actually serious, are you??

Post 16

Monday, May 23, 2005 - 5:16amSanction this postReply
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MSK, thanks for the commiserations.

Phil, you clearly have a much higher tolerance for nagging than I have.  In any case, had I taken Stephen Covey's course on empathic listening before this event, the results might have proven quite different -- or perhaps not, since my patience still has limits.

Yes, Phil, I meant what I said about payoffs.  I also suggest consulting the first of John Gray's Mars and Venus books to learn about how widespread the problem of unsolicited advice from women to men really is.

(Edited by Luther Setzer on 5/23, 5:41am)


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Post 17

Monday, May 23, 2005 - 5:50amSanction this postReply
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PHIIILLLiiiiiiiiIIIIIPPP!!!
 
"You seem very inflexible, Phil."


I will agree with one thing you said. Many Objectivists do tend to make snap judgments on nonessentials and write people off they shouldn't.

But THESE TWO? In all your shit all the time? All vacation long? And not even get laid?

LOLOLOL...

Hey Luke! Try to see if you can come up with the telephone numbers of Lorraine and Kathleen and send them to Phil.

Let's see how long it takes him to join the Bear Hog Nipple Club.

//;-)

Michael




Post 18

Monday, May 23, 2005 - 6:47amSanction this postReply
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Jason,
It's my understanding that it was the consummated passion between men that was held as the highest form of love in ancient Greece.
You mean "the consummated passion between men" was held higher than that between man and woman? Hmm, I am not sure about that! But sure it's higher than the unconsummated ones. I would not stand by what I wrote there at all. I'd just like a clarification.


Post 19

Monday, May 23, 2005 - 6:56amSanction this postReply
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Phil,
You are not the only one who feels that way. Perhaps we both are being too senile?? ;-)

(Edited by Hong Zhang on 5/23, 7:00am)


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