Relationships and Romance

IncendiaryLemon

Captain Karen
AUKN Staff
Personally, I'm over the moon to have gotten to where I am now while still in my thirties. (@~AyaMachi~: Thirties, I said! 😆)

@IncendiaryLemon and @HWR are still in their twenties, so plenty of road ahead.

That's my logic, anyway.
Whilst I do appreciate the sentiments you and Aya both express, I can also very much understand what Ayase is saying too. I think I spent a lot of my mid to late teens thinking that romance would just drop into my lap at some point, but as time went on and on, and I'm now knocking at 22 without so much as holding a girls hand, I quickly realised that maybe life isn't that convenient, and I could very well go my whole life on the same trajectory. People do die alone. It's just a statistical fact. I'd like to hope I'm not amongst those people, but it has to be someone right? It's a depressing thought, yet still one that remains on my mind on a frequent basis. It's sad to reflect on yourself when compared to your peers and what they're doing with their lives and how far behind you are. I'd like to remain optimistic, but it can be hard, especially with self esteem issues.
 
Whilst I do appreciate the sentiments you and Aya both express, I can also very much understand what Ayase is saying too. I think I spent a lot of my mid to late teens thinking that romance would just drop into my lap at some point, but as time went on and on, and I'm now knocking at 22 without so much as holding a girls hand, I quickly realised that maybe life isn't that convenient, and I could very well go my whole life on the same trajectory. People do die alone. It's just a statistical fact. I'd like to hope I'm not amongst those people, but it has to be someone right? It's a depressing thought, yet still one that remains on my mind on a frequent basis. It's sad to reflect on yourself when compared to your peers and what they're doing with their lives and how far behind you are. I'd like to remain optimistic, but it can be hard, especially with self esteem issues.
No worries, Lemon :) I do realise that it can be hard to pull yourself out of what you consider to be a deep hole regarding self-esteem and other such issues - I've been there myself, so far from trying to impose anything I say or say that "this is definitely going to work", I simply offer accounts based on my own life experiences (I'm old so I've enough of it to share!). I'm not one to force anything onto anybody, and as I said, I don't waste time on people who are not willing to work for themselves as well - again, I've been there, and it's just a drain on energy (and time). I just go through life hoping that by virtue of trying to be positive even in the face of adversity, I can be of some influence to people if they so choose to take anything from the way I choose to live my life. I'm just going about being "me", but if anyone thinks "do you know what? I think I might try some of that!", then go for it - if not, equally cool!

Neil is an awfully kind and sweet soul, and he really does have the best intentions at heart. Maybe the way in which he puts himself across might seem a bit "full-on" to some people, but he's just so passionate about what he believes in. We both are, to be honest. I'm certainly not one to make false promises to anyone, but I like to think that even the smallest steps in self-improvement are attainable to most people, if they so chose to make that move. We don't personally know you, Lemon, so we're just going by how you come across on here :)
 

IncendiaryLemon

Captain Karen
AUKN Staff
No worries, Lemon :) I do realise that it can be hard to pull yourself out of what you consider to be a deep hole regarding self-esteem and other such issues - I've been there myself, so far from trying to impose anything I say or say that "this is definitely going to work", I simply offer accounts based on my own life experiences (I'm old so I've enough of it to share!). I'm not one to force anything onto anybody, and as I said, I don't waste time on people who are not willing to work for themselves as well - again, I've been there, and it's just a drain on energy (and time). I just go through life hoping that by virtue of trying to be positive even in the face of adversity, I can be of some influence to people if they so choose to take anything from the way I choose to live my life. I'm just going about being "me", but if anyone thinks "do you know what? I think I might try some of that!", then go for it - if not, equally cool!

Neil is an awfully kind and sweet soul, and he really does have the best intentions at heart. Maybe the way in which he puts himself across might seem a bit "full-on" to some people, but he's just so passionate about what he believes in. We both are, to be honest. I'm certainly not one to make false promises to anyone, but I like to think that even the smallest steps in self-improvement are attainable to most people, if they so chose to make that move. We don't personally know you, Lemon, so we're just going by how you come across on here :)
As I say, I do appreciate all the stuff you say and you contributing your own experiences, honestly! It can just be very hard to come out of that mental state once you've been stuck there for a while. I'm trying to remain optimistic, but I think it's best I don't get my expectations too high, or I'm just going to end up heartbroken.
 
As I say, I do appreciate all the stuff you say and you contributing your own experiences, honestly! It can just be very hard to come out of that mental state once you've been stuck there for a while. I'm trying to remain optimistic, but I think it's best I don't get my expectations too high, or I'm just going to end up heartbroken.
Of course, and thank you very much :) This is the beauty of having these kinds of discussions, I guess; you get to view different perspectives. Personally, while I do respect his views, I find it hard to get on board with Ayase's more cynical perepectives and ways of thinking, because it's just not me. I long pulled myself out of that hole and even on the bad days (I do have those), I try to be as positive as I can.
 
I can't make someone see something a certain way, but people can choose to see things positively and want to proactively make changes or see things differently, as opposed to just wallowing in negitivity and cynicism.
...
far from wanting to fill anyone with a sense of false hope (I don't do that), I like to think that my positive nature can at least bring some hope and cheer to people.
Personally I find "hope" as a general concept unhelpful, but I agree that it's actually about action to change your situation - Any situation. I guess I found myself at the point a while ago where I realised that any action I could take to change my circumstances with regards to relationships would involve either pretending to be someone I'm not so that people will be more attracted to me (and thereby basing any subsequent relationship on a lie, not a good start - I am cynical, that's part of my personality and I'm not likely to get any less cynical) or attending something like a kick-boxing championship for hard-nosed professional women attracted to men with significantly less wealth and social capital. Which I'm pretty sure doesn't exist. I'll just stay in my hole, I guess. ¬_¬
 
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Personally I find "hope" as a general concept unhelpful, but I agree that it's actually about action to change your situation - Any situation. I guess I found myself at the point a while ago where I realised that any action I could take to change my circumstances with regards to relationships would involve either pretending to be someone I'm not so that people will be more attracted to me (and thereby basing any subsequent relationship on a lie, not a good start - I am cynical, I'm not going to get any less cynical or pretend not to be) or attending something like a kick-boxing championship for hard-nosed professional women attracted to men with significantly less wealth and social capital. Which I'm pretty sure doesn't exist. I'll just stay in my hole, I guess. ¬_¬
I've long considered myself to be a victim of circumstance. I loathe to use that term; to me it implies some sort of negative fatalism that I'm just bound to for the rest of my days. Over the years things just continually weren't going my way, be it trying to hold down jobs, trying to better my future prospects etc - I felt that I was constantly having to make sacrifices because of the way things have been regarding my family situation. I thought, "people in my situation just aren't meant to make it in life. People like me aren't meant for good things". I put it down in part to having come from a poor background, but not only that, having bloomed so late on in life and realising just how much of a mistake my whole life had been up until that point, I resented the fact that I'd not been able to see those mistakes sooner. Looking back, I simply didn't have the confidence to do anything about it, anyway, but I just really lost all hope that I could remotely achieve anything positive.

Unfortunately, this way of thinking wasn't getting me anywhere. Only as recently as 2017, I was at my lowest point. Things just couldn't get any worse, and yet somehow, towards the end of the year, I had to make a choice - carry on in neutral, feeling pretty numb to what's going on around me and not really giving a f**k, or, try at least to see the silver lining in the clouds. Even if nothing comes of it, just try to be positive. I chose the latter, simply because I'd invested way too much time in trying to get to this point. I'd been able to turn my own attitudes and beliefs around for the better, and instilled some much needed confidence and self respect; that alone was worth being proud of. I simply owed it to myself to be proactive and positive in my outlook, because, to be any other way would have meant that I'd failed myself.
 
I get that Aya, and it's totally admirable to change your life for the better. It's also completely right to take responsibility for yourself and your situation. As someone who suffered basically a complete mental breakdown several years ago and worked hard to recover from that, I like to think I have as well. But relationships in particular necessitate more than one person's action, so no matter what you do as an individual, you can't by yourself make anybody else want a relationship with you, romantic or otherwise (at least not without some level of deception). So it isn't a situation over which someone can take complete control like they can other areas of their life.

In the case of relationships, I feel I can (and do) take responsibility for being the person I am, in the situation I am in, but can still see no action that I can take to improve or change it, if that makes sense.
 
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I get that Aya, and it's totally admirable to change your life for the better. It's also completely right to take responsibility for yourself and your situation. As someone who suffered basically a complete mental breakdown several years ago and worked hard to recover from that, I like to think I have as well. But relationships in particular necessitate more than one person's action, so no matter what you do as an individual, you can't by yourself make anybody else want a relationship with you, romantic or otherwise (at least not without some level of deception). So it isn't a situation over which someone can take complete control like they can other areas of their life.

In the case of relationships, I feel I can (and do) take responsibility for being the person I am, in the situation I am in, but can still see no action that I can take to improve or change it, if that makes sense.
Indeed so! My example was actually just pertaining to life in general, not specifically relationships (I perhaps should have been clearer?). But I do get what you say - it's true that you can't make someone else like you, or fall in love with you - that's just not how life works unfortunately. This was something very much something I made clear to Neil quite early on - I wanted to make sure there were no expectations or undue pressure, because at the end of the day, you can't predict how you will feel at any given point in the future. You might end up liking the person and eventually fall in love with them, but then again, you might not. I didn't want him getting his hopes up for something that may not turn out how he wanted it. I guess the way I go about life is: don't expect, don't assume, and always ask the question. That way, you're not disappointed. I'm hopeful and positive, yes, because that's just part of my character. But I'm also a realist and a pragmatist, so I do resist the urge to see things through rose-tinted specs, as it were.

All you (royal) can do is be the best person that you can be, because that's at least something that is within your own control. The rest is out of our hands!
 
Maybe the way in which he puts himself across might seem a bit "full-on" to some people, but he's just so passionate about what he believes in. We both are, to be honest.
@IncendiaryLemon: Aya's right: it absolutely is out of passion that I say these things to you — and also out of a bit of defiance too.

I mean, I went from being basically nowhere in this area of life to where I am now seemingly just like that. There were things that @Rui tried to reassure me of in the convo thread a couple of years ago that I'll confess that I really didn't actually believe, but they were bloody true!

Just from knowing now how things can turn around so unexpectedly, I just want to put a bit of that across here. As I put it to Aya a couple of days ago: these things really do happen in real life! :)
 
Sorry, I was trying to stay out of this but I do feel the need to just weigh in a bit here. In my opinion, the default should be to just assume that any kind of physical contact is unsolicited. Heck, even unsolicited advice gets on my nerves!

One could argue that the context and the environment could possibly dictate people's actions and how they think they can conduct themselves (i.e, if it's a club, assume that because of the environment of booze and hedony that people don't particularly mind being groped, or even approached - it's a social environment and people are presumably there to meet people, have a good time and possibly even something more). Even so, in my mind, someone could be stark naked and screaming for someone to initiate some sort of contact, be it sexual or no, and that (to me) still doesn't then give someone the right to invade that person's space - I even become wary when people just stand too close to me fully clothed! It's just down to awareness, respect and common decency, and doing the right thing.

I don't think it's right or fair to put people into compromising situations. I agree (and have been there myself), that some people are unable to speak up for fear of rocking the boat; that still doesn't make it acceptable to invade space or initiate some sort of physical contact. It's not consent. Even someone watching from a distance can report being affected by sexual contact/harassment, even if the person directly affected by it doesn't see it that way.

This won't be a popular view amongst some of you here (and it's off topic, I know), but even as someone who considers herself modern in terms of attitudes and values, I do feel that in this day and age, as a society, we're becoming more and more afraid to even scratch our backsides without someone reporting it or upsetting the PC brigade. Whatever happened to people actually taking responsibility for their own actions instead of continually pointing the proverbial finger at someone else (or the Government)? Warnings for this, labels for that! Good old fashioned communication has gone out of the window, and vague implications leave too much to chance, but in the case of asking for consent regarding physical contact, as @Rui said - how hard is it to just directly ask someone if they're okay with it instead of just assuming that they'll be cool about it? In the experiences I've had I wish I could go back and just outright say "no" instead of just trying to awkwardly wangle my way out of those situations for fear of causing offence.
I've been to quite a few (though I don't mosh or stand up front as the crowds do get too much, so I've only been right at the front for concerts with seating assigned)! Never had anyone at a gig try to go near me in that way even when I've been to see 'rougher' acts, which is lovely; they were always too excited about the bands and music. In a gig situation it's clear that everyone is going to be packed together so everyone going knows what they're letting themselves in for, just like getting on a crowded train voluntarily and having to tough out the unpleasantness because you want to get home sooner. Whereas at clubs (in my very limited experience) the experience is more about the people themselves and the social interaction is one of the main draws; I guess some people might go due to the dance scene for its own sake? But I could definitely see a club having an explicitly-labelled 'touchy-feely night' for those who are into that, whereas it's hard to imagine that being the default setting for any of my favourite musicians' shows.

I would be quite impressed if I saw someone voluntarily wearing a badge to indicate their preference for unsolicited chit-chat/physical contact even if I would not be able to fulfil their hopes myself. It would show a lot of initiative and respect for others, and probably make the world a better place for those who do yearn for more social contact without knowing how to break the ice. I'm just very much on the side of believing that being left alone should be a fundamental right first and foremost. Too many people have stories of their boundaries being trampled over when showing respect is neither costly nor time-consuming.

R
I'll just add this to bring it (more or less) back to topic.

Personally, I think it's dangerous to just go on environment and social context alone: people can go out clubbing, well aware that they will likely be on the receiving end of unwanted behaviour due to the nature of the environment, but that doesn't mean they have to be okay with it. They may not be "asking for it", or inviting it. They may not be going out on the pull; they're simply going out to enjoy themselves, but they'll get unwanted attention anyway. By nature of it being a club and that's "just how it is", people might feel thay have to put up with it and shut up about it - actually approaching people and telling them not to stare will hardly yield any result in those particular scenarios, but it doesn't mean that on a personal level that they have to be comfortable with it. People shouldn't have to avoid something they would otherwise enjoy just because of unwanted behaviour that makes them feel violated. However, I'm also aware it's not always practical to be so accomodating either (another bug bear of mine in today's society - we are becoming too accomodating, imo). You could argue, "well, just go somewhere else where you won't be oggled at or groped!" But, to give another example, why should I have to feel the need to take the long route home, simply because there are catcalling scaffold workers along the shortcut? We shouldn't allow our personal choices to be dictated by the behaviour of others.
Taking a leaf out of Aya's book and copying this here because it isn't specific to any situations involving anime conventions or personalities, but I've been considering all of this and feel there's maybe a better way of explaining my views. Rambling follows.

If there's any kind of nastiness, coercion or entitlement to it, I don't think anyone has a right to invade anyone's personal space and wouldn't shrug that off as "boys being boys" (or girls being girls, for that matter, who I don't feel it's widely acknowledged can just as easily get grabby especially when they've had a few drinks, but inhibitions and what I think they say about the somewhat repressed nature of our society are a subject for another time) but it does perhaps make me a bit sad when it seems like the assumption is that certain cultural values are the correct or default ones, and that people might be wrong for behaving differently even if they're not hurting anyone. I don't presume anyone would ever do so (again, because of society's assumptions - this time about gender) but as per your example Aya, I'd be appalled if someone else raised an issue about the way someone was behaving towards me when it didn't actually bother me. I don't think anybody should be making judgements about what other people do or don't want based on their own morally relative beliefs.

There are many cultures and sub-cultures in the world, as there are many views about sex, relationships, personal space and boundaries. And it does seem like there is a bias, probably largely subconscious, against people who deviate from these norms even if they aren't actually hurting anybody. You could find examples of living differently all over the world, but a good example of one that's existed alongside traditional western values would be the free love youth culture of the 1960s - Those people definitely had very different views on these subjects from what was considered the social norm at the time in their society. But today the communes are dead and gone (though so is marriage for life and the nuclear family, so I don't think anyone can really claim a moral victory there) and we live in a much more individualistic society where people of all kinds of different beliefs and attitudes live among each other. So how do people ascertain whether or not those around them share their beliefs, or even find out without risking upsetting or offending them? With great difficulty, I think, which is a large part of the problem.

Suggesting that everywhere should be suitable for people with a certain set of beliefs and values, which might be the norm but is in no way the only way of thinking, strikes me as rather unfair. As Rui has alluded to, I think there should be spaces for everyone to be who they want to be, but this actually does mean excluding people from those spaces who wouldn't feel comfortable there (in the same way I, as a vegetarian wouldn't go into a butcher's shop and complain it isn't tailored to my needs). When that space is ostensibly or explicitly public however, the conflicts begin, as again Rui outlined quite well.

How you solve that problem though, I'm not sure. Unless at some point we do all decide to go back to physically living in communities with other people who share our values, it's difficult to see how such conflicts can ever be resolved without one side triumphing as the "right and correct" way to live and behave that excludes some people and prevents them from living the way they'd like. And as a very socially libertarian person that just makes me sad, I guess, because even if it's well meaning, it still seems to me like another form of patronising judgement of society intent on hammering down all the nails that stand out. Where does one person's freedom end and another's freedom begin? If it's whether they're causing harm to another, how do we define "harm" when certain people consider the actions of others harmful to them, but others don't? Maybe this partially straddles the politics thread as well...
 
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