Relationships and Romance

VivisQueen

Adventurer
I give Rui the gold for making the most wonderful insights into modern relationships. I found that exchange really interesting.

Ayase gets a lump of coal for unbridled cynicism.

Someone in another forum mentioned unrealistic expectations. I think the less we are pressured to get into relationships to pass on the genes or prove we are a real man/real woman or whatnot, the more it becomes simply about what we want out of it. We don't just do it - we have to do it for a good reason.

On the one hand, it's great for freedom to determine your own future. But on the other hand, it leads us to develop quite unrealistic expectations of what we'd want before we'd give up what we have. People talk in this thread of compromise as if that's a bad thing. And often the things they talk about compromising over are quite materialistic, silly things. A relationships isn't just sitting around watching anime together. It's a dynamic thing you constantly have to work at and you BOTH sacrifice but also BOTH gain. And while it can be hard work, the point is that the emotional/physical rewards are also potentially great.

That's what I think the guy in the BBC video isn't getting.
 

MaxonTreik

Chuunibyou
I swear I've seen this article on the Beeb a few times already. I wish they'd get a Japanese correspondent that could, you know, actually pronounce Japanese properly. Regarding relationships, ayase has already said everything I would want to say, so I'll just say I agree with him.

I also don't like the anti-male tone that video has.
 

Sparrowsabre7

Za Warudo
ilmaestro said:
Kudos for use of "scientician".

This feels like the Beeb catching up to news that has been doing the rounds for a little while now, though, and I don't think it's limited to Japan, just magnified most readily there.

I do (in what can only be described as "all seriousness") blame the internet, largely. I don't massively agree with Rui that we have somehow entered a utopia of leisure time and range of activities (you either have no job, in which case no money to pursue such a large range of activities, or... you have a job) - what I think has happened is that those activities have become increasingly less social, despite how they would like to moniker the "networks".

Glad someone caught that :p I would agree with the notion that pursuits are becoming less social perhaps, but I would say that with social network we're actually closer than we used to be. I hate phone conversations so thanks to instant messaging I talk to my friends more now than I ever have before. I might see them less, but that is less to do with the internet being an issue and more to do with everyone getting jobs, being at uni, having less time etc. Becoming grown-ups basically :p
 

Sparrowsabre7

Za Warudo
Rui said:
Hmm, see, that's completely different for me. I can often 'learn' to find someone physically interesting after ignoring them initially. Actually, I've never been attracted to anyone on raw looks, and I'm not just saying that to seem nice artificially. The farthest anyone can get on looks alone is a neutral score in my world :s


R

I agree, people become more attractive the better you get to know them and have feelings for them I think.
 

Rui

Karamatsu Boy
Administrator
Sparrowsabre7 said:
I would agree with the notion that pursuits are becoming less social perhaps, but I would say that with social network we're actually closer than we used to be. I hate phone conversations so thanks to instant messaging I talk to my friends more now than I ever have before. I might see them less, but that is less to do with the internet being an issue and more to do with everyone getting jobs, being at uni, having less time etc. Becoming grown-ups basically .

Hmm, I'm more inclined to agree with ilmaestro from my limited experience, but it may be a matter of definitions. Instant messaging is great, and I know I'd never talk to my poor parents at all if we only had telephones as I don't like phone calls either. As it is, though, I get e-mails from them daily and we stay in touch pretty well even when we're out of the country. It's a source of endless relief for my mum that she knows she can reach me through instant messaging even though I'm an antisocial recluse outside of work.

However, and it's a big however, indirect social networking like Facebook updates and Twitter discussions seem to go in the opposite direction. Users build up huge groups of friends but the amount of meaningful interaction with all of them seems extremely limited. I think it's a very short term satisfaction and the people who get overly attached to social networking like this end up even more isolated and uncared for than people who avoid others to begin with. As not much effort is put into these shallow social interactions, users often misinterpret what others say (see MangaUK's Twitter feed for countless examples) or say things which sound rude and cause hurt unwittingly.

I am not overly fond of real world social interaction beyond what is necessary, but there's an awful lot more effort and meaning behind meeting up for someone to wish them a happy birthday, or phoning/texting them something personal, rather than being reminded on your wall that it's so-and-so's birthday today and spending three seconds on a wall post/tweet to them along with a hundred other people who don't really care about them. Social networking websites really cheapen the concept of 'friendship' and reduce time spent on one-to-one conversations when used in this way.

One of my friends deliberately put the wrong birthday into his profile on a social network once, to catch out the people who didn't really care about him. He found embarrassing them quite fun.

R
 

ayase

State Alchemist
VivisQueen said:
Ayase gets a lump of coal for unbridled cynicism.
Hooray! Now if I ever need a heart transplant I've got a spare. Thanks.

VivisQueen said:
Someone in another forum mentioned unrealistic expectations. I think the less we are pressured to get into relationships to pass on the genes or prove we are a real man/real woman or whatnot, the more it becomes simply about what we want out of it. We don't just do it - we have to do it for a good reason.

On the one hand, it's great for freedom to determine your own future. But on the other hand, it leads us to develop quite unrealistic expectations of what we'd want before we'd give up what we have. People talk in this thread of compromise as if that's a bad thing. And often the things they talk about compromising over are quite materialistic, silly things. A relationships isn't just sitting around watching anime together. It's a dynamic thing you constantly have to work at and you BOTH sacrifice but also BOTH gain. And while it can be hard work, the point is that the emotional/physical rewards are also potentially great.
Are they really though? I think that's the point both I and Japanese guy in the video (I should go back and see what his name is) are making is what do you gain, what do you want out of a relationship and is it worth the hassle? Is it worth compromising your own life and the things you enjoy for? And I think more people are starting to think that actually, no. It isn't. You can say what a relationship's not, but can you actually say what it is about then? As you rightly say, passing on genes and living up to society's expectations has been the reason for us pairing up and compromising in the past. So what's the reason for it now? Finding people similar to ourselves? If I was in a relationship with someone like me, I'd probably murder them as they slept.

Rui said:
Hmm, see, that's completely different for me. I can often 'learn' to find someone physically interesting after ignoring them initially.
Sparrowsabre said:
I agree, people become more attractive the better you get to know them and have feelings for them I think.
I don't know if it's genetic programming or what, but I guess each individual must be very different in this regard then. I can be physically attracted to horrible people I don't get on with and not at all to pleasant people I do get on with. Their personality has no bearing whatsoever on how physically attractive I find them. Those are two completely separate things to me.

And all this modern world bashing is just nonsense. It's starting to sound like the Daily Mail in here. Give people a bit of bloody credit for not being utterly moulded into shape by an uncaring and impersonal modern society. Society has never cared about the emotional needs of the individual. It's always been about making us function as a more efficient machine. Facebook simply makes socialising more efficient, and means you can project your public façade from behind a screen, where it's a lot easier to pretend to be what you consider a likeable person than it is in real life.
 

Rui

Karamatsu Boy
Administrator
ayase said:
I don't know if it's genetic programming or what, but I guess each individual must be very different in this regard then. I can be physically attracted to horrible people I don't get on with and not at all to pleasant people I do get on with. Their personality has no bearing whatsoever on how physically attractive I find them. Those are two completely separate things to me.

That must be a very strange feeling, especially in the first case. I can't even imagine finding someone I detested physically attractive. It's funny how the mind (and indeed the body) works.

I don't think anyone's bashing the modern world particularly or even online communication technologies (heck, we're all doing it right now). It's the impersonal, production line approach that some popular 'social' networking sites seem based around which I feel is contributing to greater isolation, however trendy and socially acceptable such a thing is right now.

R
 

ilmaestro

State Alchemist
I would like to point out that I am actually bashing online communication technologies, I hate the internet and only use it because it has lead to the demise of the previously referenced "actual" social pursuits to enough of an extent that it is borderline required.

If we were suddenly shifted into a parallel 2012 where the only difference was the internet only held a place for infrastructure and business, no-one would be happier than me.
 

ilmaestro

State Alchemist
It is largely a practical annoyance because too many people expect you to answer when they ring even if they ring at inconvenient times, but as a concept it at least requires a bit more effort than the internet and doesn't generally encourage unsocial practices as much as it helps to facilitate social ones.

If you meant more specifically using it, I have no problems conducting conversations via telephone, and I find it a bit crazy that you and Sparrowsabre do, given your ease with faceless communication via the internet.

If you meant "phones" in the more modern sense, they are a pox on society, although this is largely because of their connection to the online communication side of the internet and the far-too-internet-like SMS.
 

ayase

State Alchemist
Rui said:
ayase said:
I don't know if it's genetic programming or what, but I guess each individual must be very different in this regard then. I can be physically attracted to horrible people I don't get on with and not at all to pleasant people I do get on with. Their personality has no bearing whatsoever on how physically attractive I find them. Those are two completely separate things to me.

That must be a very strange feeling, especially in the first case. I can't even imagine finding someone I detested physically attractive. It's funny how the mind (and indeed the body) works.
I find the idea that you and Sparrow have someting in your minds akin to a physical attraction "dial" you can turn up and down at will rather weird as well. Probably a very useful ability to have all things considered, as it could widen someone's choice of potential partners consideraby. Others like me have an extra box to tick.
 

ilmaestro

State Alchemist
If I was physically attracted to people based on how nice they are and how well I get on with them, things would have got seriously awkward when I visited my mate who lived with his Nan.
 

Sparrowsabre7

Za Warudo
ilmaestro said:
If you meant more specifically using it, I have no problems conducting conversations via telephone, and I find it a bit crazy that you and Sparrowsabre do, given your ease with faceless communication via the internet.

It's faceless sure, but you also have to listen to any awkward pauses, you can't really understand how someone's feeling over a phone and everything is horrible stilted and awkward, with IMs if someone doesn't reply you can go off and do other stuff for a bit. It also allows more thinking time, with phone conversations you're often left wondering when is an appropriate time to call time on the conversation and end up just saying whatever to fill the silence, it's a hateful device and I wish it were dead, not least because of the incessant, interminable ringing whenver the person on the other end ******* pleases. You can't really say to them "sorry, busy right now" either because it might be important. With IM, everything you need to know is in the first message and if you're on IM that means you have time to spare.

And that is why phones are the tool of the devil.

addendum: I actually have no problem using phones for business conversations, sales calls, only personal ones. For me it's either face-to-face conversation or instant messaging and nothing in between.

ayase said:
I find the idea that you and Sparrow have someting in your minds akin to a physical attraction "dial" you can turn up and down at will rather weird as well. Probably a very useful ability to have all things considered, as it could widen someone's choice of potential partners consideraby. Others like me have an extra box to tick.

You're over simplifying, it's not a dial, not in the literal sense, it's not manually turned up, it's just on occassion, the better I get to know someone and realise that their personality synchs well with my own the more attractive they become, even though their base attractiveness has not changed. Of an average looking person and an average looking person who you get on well with, the latter is always going to be more attractive. If you're attracted by the pure physical aspect then that's a hollow excuse for a relationship.

ilmaestro said:
If I was physically attracted to people based on how nice they are and how well I get on with them, things would have got seriously awkward when I visited my mate who lived with his Nan.

Now you're just being facile :p I'm not saying that you immediately want to bone someone on the pure fact of their personality, I'm saying it's a factor. Besides you can like a person for who they are AND find them attractive and still not want to date them, because they aren't a good match for you as a partner, but are as friends.
 

Rui

Karamatsu Boy
Administrator
Very interesting!

Sparrowsabre's description of phones is close to how I feel. I've spoken with my husband perhaps five times on the phone in our entire relationship, and never for more than a few seconds at a time to ask some urgent question as a last resort. He hates them even more than I do, impressively. Nothing winds me up more quickly than settling down after a hard day, only for the phone to ring. It's always my mother-in-law, and she always starts with, "Hello, I fancied a social call...". It would be more tolerable if she scheduled it so I could at least choose which hour of my life I wanted to have wasted in awkwardly disconnected verbal communication. At least with physical discussions I can physically make myself unavailable whenever I want some peace and quiet.

I also find it hard to concentrate properly and remember details from telephone conversations. With text-based communication, everything is logged and since I've seen it written down, I can instantly recall all of the details later.

If we lived in an alternative horror-style 2012 with no internet, I wouldn't use the telephone more; I'd just sit at home or in a library on my own reading in my leisure time.

I'll stop ranting now on this side topic, as the ongoing attractiveness discussion is much better.

ayase said:
Are they really though? I think that's the point both I and Japanese guy in the video (I should go back and see what his name is) are making is what do you gain, what do you want out of a relationship and is it worth the hassle? Is it worth compromising your own life and the things you enjoy for?

If you're regularly having to compromise things you enjoy, then no, I wouldn't say it is worth it to me either. I'm content on my own. But picking someone you respect, who also respects you, means that you shouldn't have to compromise, hide or change anything. There are couples out there who sleep in separate beds to keep their own personal space, or who keep entirely separate lives during the day. I have some pretty unappealing hobbies by most peoples' standards, but I don't have to hide my BL from my other half or pretend not to like it; he helps me shop for it out of fascination, and I'm more than happy to help him find his obscure Disgaea nicknacks as well with my resources.

Choosing to be in a relationship was a value call, and the benefits for me (which will differ between all couples) are having someone with whom I can always speak to about things and share things I want to share. We can support one another emotionally and practically, which isn't a troublesome sacrifice at all if you care about the other person in that way. The other day he was ill, and I went to the chemist to get him some medicine. I didn't think for a second, "ugh, I'm wasting my time and money on this when I could be watching more Gintama!", because making the person I love's life better is also an enjoyable activity in its own right.

Lastly, there is also the simple physical aspect, in that I personally find casual sex about as appealing as punching myself in the face. Again, YMMV, but this is a definite benefit for me.

R
 

Tachi

Mushi-shi
Rui said:
Joshawott said:
My opinions on sex? It scares me if I'm honest. Due to my lack of self-esteem I've developed through my teenage life, I now have constant doubts if my body is appealing at all and other things like that.

Aww... I think for most people, those kinds of worries are normal (and the formidable people who don't worry about that kind of thing at all are sort of frightening).

R

Dance out with the wang out, Don't be ashamed of anything in life because you have the ability to change it and anybody who doesn't believe your a perfectly normal human isn't right for you.

(being that there's no such thing as a perfect human, its open to personal conception, beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder)

Regarding the issue at hand, i wasn't surprised in the slightest - i think that Ayase's first post pretty much summed up an intelligent repost to the problems.

Anyone who has read the manga sutra series will know how awkward the orients make the art of love. One of the main draws i've always had for japan has been the respect and honour that families and people are expected to uphold, the memoirs of a gesha was a brilliant film for showing how "to the point" things can get with the orients, holding the tea cup or passing the saucer is an art itself.

But on the flip side to this, is the current problems. its over complicated the things that we as westerners see as unimportant, true we still hold to certain things like;

"do i feel attracted to them"
"will they have atleast an equally successful career so that we each provide for ourselves as a couple"
"can they produce children"

And other things, unfortunately i don't see them changing their ways anytime soon so they may go the way of the panda.... sexless and dying race.
 

Sparrowsabre7

Za Warudo
Rui said:
Very interesting!

Sparrowsabre's description of phones is close to how I feel. I've spoken with my husband perhaps five times on the phone in our entire relationship, and never for more than a few seconds at a time to ask some urgent question as a last resort. He hates them even more than I do, impressively. Nothing winds me up more quickly than settling down after a hard day, only for the phone to ring. It's always my mother-in-law, and she always starts with, "Hello, I fancied a social call...". It would be more tolerable if she scheduled it so I could at least choose which hour of my life I wanted to have wasted in awkwardly disconnected verbal communication. At least with physical discussions I can physically make myself unavailable whenever I want some peace and quiet.

I also find it hard to concentrate properly and remember details from telephone conversations. With text-based communication, everything is logged and since I've seen it written down, I can instantly recall all of the details later.

If we lived in an alternative horror-style 2012 with no internet, I wouldn't use the telephone more; I'd just sit at home or in a library on my own reading in my leisure time.

I'll stop ranting now on this side topic, as the ongoing attractiveness discussion is much better.

ayase said:
Are they really though? I think that's the point both I and Japanese guy in the video (I should go back and see what his name is) are making is what do you gain, what do you want out of a relationship and is it worth the hassle? Is it worth compromising your own life and the things you enjoy for?

If you're regularly having to compromise things you enjoy, then no, I wouldn't say it is worth it to me either. I'm content on my own. But picking someone you respect, who also respects you, means that you shouldn't have to compromise, hide or change anything. There are couples out there who sleep in separate beds to keep their own personal space, or who keep entirely separate lives during the day. I have some pretty unappealing hobbies by most peoples' standards, but I don't have to hide my BL from my other half or pretend not to like it; he helps me shop for it out of fascination, and I'm more than happy to help him find his obscure Disgaea nicknacks as well with my resources.

Choosing to be in a relationship was a value call, and the benefits for me (which will differ between all couples) are having someone with whom I can always speak to about things and share things I want to share. We can support one another emotionally and practically, which isn't a troublesome sacrifice at all if you care about the other person in that way. The other day he was ill, and I went to the chemist to get him some medicine. I didn't think for a second, "ugh, I'm wasting my time and money on this when I could be watching more Gintama!", because making the person I love's life better is also an enjoyable activity in its own right.

Lastly, there is also the simple physical aspect, in that I personally find casual sex about as appealing as punching myself in the face. Again, YMMV, but this is a definite benefit for me.

R

I'd agree with that. being in a relationship =/= joined at the hip, you should both be free to spend time to yourselves as well. Admittedly there is a measure of compromise in that you can't just sequester yourself off from each other forever :p but it's not (or shouldn't) be a case of "give up everything you like if you want a relationship with me."
 

ayase

State Alchemist
Sparrowsabre7 said:
Rui said:
ayase said:
Are they really though? I think that's the point both I and Japanese guy in the video (I should go back and see what his name is) are making is what do you gain, what do you want out of a relationship and is it worth the hassle? Is it worth compromising your own life and the things you enjoy for?
If you're regularly having to compromise things you enjoy, then no, I wouldn't say it is worth it to me either. I'm content on my own. But picking someone you respect, who also respects you, means that you shouldn't have to compromise, hide or change anything. There are couples out there who sleep in separate beds to keep their own personal space, or who keep entirely separate lives during the day. I have some pretty unappealing hobbies by most peoples' standards, but I don't have to hide my BL from my other half or pretend not to like it; he helps me shop for it out of fascination, and I'm more than happy to help him find his obscure Disgaea nicknacks as well with my resources.

Choosing to be in a relationship was a value call, and the benefits for me (which will differ between all couples) are having someone with whom I can always speak to about things and share things I want to share. We can support one another emotionally and practically, which isn't a troublesome sacrifice at all if you care about the other person in that way. The other day he was ill, and I went to the chemist to get him some medicine. I didn't think for a second, "ugh, I'm wasting my time and money on this when I could be watching more Gintama!", because making the person I love's life better is also an enjoyable activity in its own right.

Lastly, there is also the simple physical aspect, in that I personally find casual sex about as appealing as punching myself in the face. Again, YMMV, but this is a definite benefit for me.

R
I'd agree with that. being in a relationship =/= joined at the hip, you should both be free to spend time to yourselves as well. Admittedly there is a measure of compromise in that you can't just sequester yourself off from each other forever :p but it's not (or shouldn't) be a case of "give up everything you like if you want a relationship with me."
I think you're oversimplifying my point somewhat, but that's understandable. No-one can be inside anyone else's head after all.

Now I admit to being somewhat selfish. I don't think there's actually anything wrong with that, because if by chance or circumstance life doesn't offer things up to you (emotional as well as material) then you can't consider other people's feelings too much in your pursuit of them, or you'll lose out. But I'm not so selfish that I think I'd rather be fulfilling my own desires than helping somebody when they need help. I agree with your sentiments on helping your husband when he's ill Rui, I wouldn't think that way either. But nor would I be thinking "This is a bother, why couldn't I be doing something I enjoy?" as I helped pick up some shopping an elderly person had dropped. That's not purely a relationship thing.

I think the kind of relationship you are in is rather exceptional (in a good way) but it's by no means the norm. Most relationships I know of involve having expectations of one another, conflict over these expectations ending in hollow apologies to avoid offending each other any further. And these aren't awful relationships where the people involved can't stand each other, they seem perfectly happy the rest of the time. But these everyday situations to other people are something I just can't stand. Of course I'm happy to acquiesce to reasonable demands from anyone I think deserves my time, but I have two ways of dealing with unreasonable people: Largely ignoring them and not letting them get to me (which pisses them off) or escalating the conflict (which... pisses them off). And frankly, the less people who are pissed off at me I have in my life the better. When I observe these conflicts in others' relationships, be the aggressor male or female, I'm usually holding my tongue thinking "Bloody hell, how do they stand for that? I'd be telling them where to go". I don't think I'm necessarily an angry or aggressive person though. I am aware that I'm incredibly strong willed to the point that anyone in a relationship with me would need to posses an equally strong will. And while I don't wish to appear sexist or arrogant, there seem to be very few of these people about. Even less who are physically attractive.

And that leads me to my next point. It isn't just compromise between the parties involved in a relationship, it's the fact that most people have to compromise on what they actually want in a partner. Imagine you meet someone and spend some time getting to know them well. You find that you like their personality, you share interests, you find them physically attractive. They're everything you ever wanted, right? Well tough, because they don't like you. So not only have you wasted a massive amount of time and potentially destroyed a friendship (though it might well be worse staying friends with your ideal partner than never seeing them again) but from that moment on you go through life with them as a yardstick to measure everyone else by. You might think it's wrong to do so, you might wish you had never even met them so you were rid of the knowledge that your perfect partner exists. But you can't be rid of that knowledge, and you can't stop yourself comparing others to them. Then you have to live with the knowledge that whoever you end up with after that isn't really the person you wanted. You've "made do", which makes the idea of any further compromise within the relationship even more unpalatable. For some it might not even be a real person (I'd tend to think that within the otaku community it probably isn't) but having an image of an ideal partner which few can live up to (and is then further dependant on them liking you) is something I think a surprising number of people carry through this life.
 

Rui

Karamatsu Boy
Administrator
Fair enough, ayase. If the choice was between one of those annoying-sounding relationships or solitude, I'd definitely pick solitude too. Having a partner, or even a friend, who gets offended or projects expectations onto me unfairly is not my favourite way to socialise at all.

On the last point, I don't actually have fair experience of this as I have never gone into a friendship looking for potential romance, but I have been on the receiving end and seen the frustration/disappointment involved when I wasn't interested in a person. In my case, I was very lucky. I didn't know my partner had those kind of feelings for me when he first brought the issue up, but I guess I did know I was special to him (and he was to me), and because we're both the kind of people who cannot stand drama-style mindgames this thankfully turned out to mean exactly what it seemed to mean. The world clearly needs more blunt people.

The problem with making do is an odd one. I'm sure certain psychologists have argued before that we're all chasing ideals based on our parents and other important figures even before we settle on a particular idol later on. For me, the only time that that would be a major problem (I hope eternally theoretically) would be if a partner was lost through death. If it was someone who had turned me down, I could rationalise it as us being incompatible after all, and if it's someone who doesn't actually exist, I knew this from the start so the fantasy would never be anything I got too wrapped up in however many rude comics I read about them. But to find the perfect human being out there, then have them taken away whilst still at the apex of that perfection, is surely the cruellest thing possible. It would be unthinkable to imagine anyone else being able to replace that, and I'm not sure I would have a big enough heart to accommodate a different kind of love for a different person.

R
 

Vashdaman

Za Warudo
A fib, but I do know some people I do consider fabulous, so I'll pretend and be a proxy for them.

Thanks for holding the fort down for me until I could show up, homie.


My opinions on sex? It scares me if I'm honest. Due to my lack of self-esteem I've developed through my teenage life, I now have constant doubts if my body is appealing at all and other things like that.

The actual sex is nothing to worry about. Trust me, if she already finds you attractive with the clothes on, she'll still find you sexy when your naked. As for penis size, psshhh , some people go on like this is the most important factor, trust me it's not. I'm not gonna lie, I've got an average sized penis (I'm talking average-medium, not average-large) yet I've whipped the girls I've had relationships with into frenzies that I can grantee even the hugest mandingo could never do.
You see, what both Rui and Ayase are saying is true. Yeah, there usually has to be a spark physical attraction, but from there on it's all about the attraction of personality, just be sincere, confident and creative and you'll be fine. I see a lot of guys who have the confidence, some times too much confidence (something I call the Jerome effect, as I know a guy called Jerome who personifies this approach) but have almost no creativity and aren't sincere, so they end up with partners who also lack these qualities.

A similar case, was this guy I know who is a fellow foot appreciator (not fetishist,I appreciate the WHOLE body, which is why I don't like pics of just feet, lol) and he said "Yeah but it's annoying, you can't tell your girl cause she'll think I'm a freak". I've never had a problem with this, don't get me wrong I don't blurt it out on the first date but when the time was right I've let every girl I've been out with know that I appreciate her feet, and they certainly didn't have the slightest qualms with it.

Hmm, apologies if you didn't have any issues with these things Josh, I didn't mean to suggest you were insecure of penis size or potential feet appreciation. I just thought I'd dispel those myths straight away.


I would like to point out that I am actually bashing online communication technologies, I hate the internet and only use it because it has lead to the demise of the previously referenced "actual" social pursuits to enough of an extent that it is borderline required.

:thumb:

I echo this sentiment. These "social" networks aren't really socializing, it's all pretend, its all just about the image. As Rui said the longer these people spend on these sites the worse their actual real social lives become, and its a sad thing. Even on a site like this, it can be argued that we are all socializing here, and to an extent we are, but it's an incredibly abstract, distant and remote form of socialising that lacks much of the joys of real world socialising. Socialising isn't just about the words you speak or write, it's about an exchange of energy, and this is something the net will never be able to recreate, even on something like skype (the closest thing on the net to real word interaction) where you can appreciate body language and facial expression (to an extent) this aspect of energy exchange is missing. Yeah life can be full of awkward pauses and exchanges, but that's all part of it. And don't forget, it's only as awkward as you let it be.

Why is it that we all want to be anonymous on these forums? We don't hide our faces or names to people we meet in the real word. I think most of us have an innate almost instinctual distrust of the internet, and I don't think it's without good reason.

I've spoken with my husband perhaps five times on the phone in our entire relationship

Interesting! I would love have phone bill Rui. I do also rather dislike having the potential to be contacted any time, which is why I usually don't take my mobile out with me (I know, why do I even have it) but I certainly haven't been able to minimize my phone time quite to the extent you have.....yet.

@ Ayase's question on whats the worth of relationships

As you mentioned, it's different for everybody, and like Rui pointed out many people do get into relationships for the wrong reason. But personally for me, I'm looking for an energetic, spiritual, intellectual and physical connection that will help both people involved to develop in all the previously mentioned capacities. Some people suggest that the only impulses we have to start romantic relationships are biological, I would obviously disagree. I genuinely am looking for a positive energetic and spiritual exchange. This all may sound like a bit much, but it is absolutely achievable. I have been with one woman who ticked all of the above boxes (and more!), someone I would call a 'great love', however due to my own issues (I felt I was too young to get so serious) I couldn't remain in that relationship, but I could never regret a second of it. And your forgetting to mention that we learn and grow so much through the compromises we make in relationships. Of course it could be that someone is asking too much of you, but everyone is different, not all women are like the ones you have been with.

Having said all that, I would agree with Ayase that being without a romantic partner is completely fine, if that is what one feels works best for them. There is an incredible and unreasonable amount of emphasis put on romantic relationships in the west, it's almost equated with the source of all happiness and life's biggest goal, in the media. This is wrong. But this is actually where I believe having deeper goals, practices or spiritual faiths can help. I have seen so many people in the west become completely distraught and lose all hope when a particular relationship breaks down. I believe this is because they are lacking in other, more important areas of their life and so placed too much attachment on the romantic relationship.

It just depends on the person,if you feel inclined towards romantic relationships (as I do), go for it, if not that's fine too.


Anyway as for the main subject of Japan. I think I would agree with Illmae to an extent, in that the internet might be contributing to the issue, but I don't think that's all. The larger, very materialistic driven culture also has much to with it too. But also importantly I think Japan might be going through a slight period of confusion (you could argue it began after the end of WW2). Never before has the west had such a huge influence in Japan, much has been changed and indeed lost during this process of westernization, but not all has been changed. Japan still seems to retain and hang on too much of the unnecessary dogma of the Japan of years gone by, while losing much of the valuable insights and practices of that time. Yet at the same time its also inherited what seems to be the worst of the west, so an increase in materially driven behavior. It's almost like Japan unluckily ended up with the worst of both worlds, which has driven many to confusion. And while I know such a statement is an over simplification to say the least, and there are many positive angles I'm not mentioning, I do think it is a significant factor in explaining topic of this thread.
 

alexrose1uk

Straw Hat Pirate
ayase said:
Imagine you meet someone and spend some time getting to know them well. You find that you like their personality, you share interests, you find them physically attractive. They're everything you ever wanted, right? Well tough, because they don't like you. So not only have you wasted a massive amount of time and potentially destroyed a friendship (though it might well be worse staying friends with your ideal partner than never seeing them again) but from that moment on you go through life with them as a yardstick to measure everyone else by.

Yech, don't bring that subject up, I ran into a pretty similar situation in sixth form. I still mentally kick myself now and then for screwing up; in my case I made a move very slightly too early when I should have waited before making a move.
Most of the people around us thought we already WERE dating at one point.
Attractive, compatible interests, decent personality... *sigh*

Rui said:
The world needs more blunt people

Yes, yes it does. For those of us, like me, who aren't particularly skilled with body language etc, this would be extremely helpful. The best intentions in the world can't help if you say thinngs at the wrong time haha
 
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