Red

Reconnecting with girl from the past

54 posts in this topic

I disagree with what Kevin wrote because sometimes a woman is manipulative and playing games and sometimes she has very high standards, is really hard to get, and tests men to make sure that they are worthy.

I know I gave men a really hard time when I was dating, including my late husband Stephen. Fortunately, he had what it takes to overcome my resistance. ;) Now that I am dating again, I haven't lowered my standards one bit. Another example I read about recently was in Randy Pausch's book The Last Lecture. When he was courting the woman who became his wife and the mother of his children, she resisted him so strongly he called her a "Brick Wall." Proceeding on the idea that brick walls exist to be scaled, he persisted and won her.

Or as Ayn Rand put it: "Man is the conqueror. Woman is something that needs to be conquered."

I like this. Love, especially romantic love, is not supposed to be easy. It should not be easily won or freely given away, but reserved only for the very best. That's why I think it's proper when it demands every last bit of your strength. And that victory will be ever so sweet when you win. :)

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Dude, and I mean this in the absolute politest way, I think it's pretty clear that she wanted to see if she could win your affection again. Now that she managed to do so, she no longer cares. I was really hoping that Betsy was right and that she was just testing you, but now it sounds like she's being manipulative.

I'm not sure what the fix to this situation is. The best advice is to probably to ignore her, and carry on as you were before. No matter what she in the future (ever!), I would be VERY hesitant to about getting my hopes up again.

Cheers dude. Take solace in the fact that she can't be that awesome if she doesn't realize that you're worth her time.

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I think you're right. I also know many instances in the past where she's obviously liked the attention i've given her. That's fine, but i'm not interested in playing games so she can get a little attention when it suits her. That's what dogs do.

I think I know how to fix the situation. Furnish and decorate my new aparment, plan that risk analysis for work, finish that logo for ****, date ten other women and make sure to go out and have some fun with my friends. That should be enough to keep my mind occupied with better things.

Sooner or later she will return of course. I'm fairly certain of that, but I doubt she'll meet my terms and I won't be waiting.

Indeed she should have realized I was worth a little more time. And it's no like we've never had lunch, coffee, drinkts etc. together before. I don't want to be bitter though, and it truly is her loss.

Thank you! :)

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Considering it's a subconcious reaction, i'm curious about what you think these test can reveal about a womans character.

For a feminine woman, it is usually a sign of high self-esteem. A woman who is in control of herself and her choices is very wary of giving up that control to someone else. Also, the more she thinks of herself, the more she has at stake. In a romantic relationship a woman gives her mind and body to a man, and before she can do that, she has to really admire and trust him.

What happens is that (1) she's interested, (2) she wants to know more about him so she acts to attract him and get closer, (3) getting close is scary, (4) she withdraws and tests him with controlling and distancing behaviors to see how he reacts.

What does it mean to give up her mind? It sounds like giving up all control. Is that an active choice?

A "driver's test" is not childish, rude, or nasty. A mature, rational, woman of good character is hard to get and needs to make sure a man has the strength and confidence to deal with her -- so she has to test him. Think Dominique and Roark or the Dagny-Francisco tennis match.

I believe I understand what happened between Dominique and Roark, but i'm not sure about Dagny and Francisco. Wasn't he just really good at tennis? What if he had lost, shrugged it off and they went off to have a nice picnic? It would surely have been horrible fiction, but Francisco would still have been quite the man - irregardless of how well he plays tennis. I understand there was a power struggle between them, I just don't quite get the nature of it.

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In a romantic relationship a woman gives her mind and body to a man, and before she can do that, she has to really admire and trust him.

What does it mean to give up her mind? It sounds like giving up all control. Is that an active choice?

I said "give" not "give up." A woman offers herself, mind and body, to a man. A woman "gives" herself to a man and a man "takes" her.

These were Dagny's thoughts when Rearden first took her:

Whatever I am, she thought, whatever pride of person I may hold, the pride of my courage, of my work, of my mind and my freedom—that is what I offer you for the pleasure of your body, that is what I want you to use in your service—and that you want it to serve you is the greatest reward I can have.

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I believe I understand what happened between Dominique and Roark, but i'm not sure about Dagny and Francisco. Wasn't he just really good at tennis? What if he had lost, shrugged it off and they went off to have a nice picnic? It would surely have been horrible fiction, but Francisco would still have been quite the man - irregardless of how well he plays tennis. I understand there was a power struggle between them, I just don't quite get the nature of it.

It's very subtle. My comments in brackets.

She saw Francisco's mocking glance again, across the net of a tennis court. She did not remember the beginning of that game; they had often played tennis together and he had always won. [He was always in control of the situation] She did not know at what moment she decided that she would win, this time. When she became aware of it, it was no longer a decision or a wish, but a quiet fury rising within her. She did not know why she had to win; she did not know why it seemed so crucially, urgently necessary; she knew only that she had to and that she would. [she felt she was losing control in the relationship and she could not surrender without a fight.]

It seemed easy to play; it was as if her will had vanished and someone's power were playing for her. She watched Francisco's figure—a tall, swift figure, the suntan of his arms stressed by his short white shirt sleeves. She felt an arrogant pleasure in seeing the skill of his movements, because this was the thing which she would beat, so that his every expert gesture became her victory, and the brilliant competence of his body became the triumph of hers. [she was acutely, physically aware of him and the great value he represented which she had to test.]

She felt the rising pain of exhaustion—not knowing that it was pain, feeling it only in sudden stabs that made her aware of some part of her body for an instant, to be forgotten in the next: her arm socket—her shoulder blades—her hips, with the white shorts sticking to her skin—the muscles of her legs, when she leaped to meet the ball, but did not remember whether she came down to touch the ground again—her eyelids, when the sky went dark red and the ball came at her through the darkness like a whirling white flame—the thin, hot wire that shot from her ankle, up her back, and went on shooting straight across the air, driving the ball at Francisco's figure.… She felt an exultant pleasure—because every stab of pain begun in her body had to end in his, because he was being exhausted as she was—what she did to herself, she was doing it also to him—this was what he felt—this was what she drove him to—it was not her pain that she felt or her body, but his.

[This isn't about tennis. It's symbolically about sex -- and the tension is mounting.]

In the moments when she saw his face, she saw that he was laughing. He was looking at her as if he understood. [He was aware of what she was up to and enjoyed knowing how important he was to her and in what way.] He was playing, not to win, but to make it harder for her—sending his shots wild to make her run—losing points to see her twist her body in an agonizing backhand—standing still, letting her think he would miss, only to let his arm shoot out casually at the last moment and send the ball back with such force that she knew she would miss it. [He was still in control.] She felt as if she could not move again, not ever—and it was strange to find herself landing suddenly at the other side of the court, smashing the ball in time, smashing it as if she wished it to burst to pieces, as if she wished it were Francisco's face:

Just once more, she thought, even if the next one would crack the bones of her arm… Just once more, even if the air which she forced down in gasps past her tight, swollen throat, would be stopped altogether … Then she felt nothing, no pain, no muscles, only the thought that she had to beat him, to see him exhausted, to see him collapse [she is desperately fighting for control.], and then she would be free to die in the next moment. [she really wants to surrender.]

She won. Perhaps it was his laughing that made him lose, for once. He walked to the net, while she stood still, and threw his racket across, at her feet, as if knowing that this was what she wanted. [He acknowledged her victory -- at tennis.] He walked out of the court and fell down on the grass of the lawn, collapsing, his head on his arm.

She approached him slowly. She stood over him, looking down at his body stretched at her feet, looking at his sweat-drenched shirt and the strands of his hair spilled across his arm. He raised his head. His glance moved slowly up the line of her legs, to her shorts, to her blouse, to her eyes. It was a mocking glance that seemed to see straight through her clothes and through her mind. And it seemed to say that he had won. [He knew it wasn't about tennis.]

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Since this is something I’ve had a lot of trouble with myself, I have a couple thoughts about not letting the uncertainty get to you. I don’t think it’s really important that you know what she’s thinking moment to moment, and if you start taking cues from her behavior every action will be riddled with questions about whether you’re interpreting her correctly. That’s an easy way to lose confidence. And I don’t think it helps to wonder whether you’re being tested or whether she is just mixed up. It probably isn’t possible to know until later, which means that question doesn’t give you any information to use now. The knowledge you do have access to is whether you’re observing values in her you find attractive, whether you’re enjoying your time with her, and whether you want more from the relationship. I think being self-aware is really the key to confident action.

I’ve made two kinds of errors that were based on not having that focus: either second-guessing my behavior because I was reacting rather than acting, and pursuing potential that wasn’t there because I was acting from fantasy instead of the situation in front of me. From what I’ve observed of other people, those are common problems…

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The knowledge you do have access to is whether you’re observing values in her you find attractive, whether you’re enjoying your time with her, and whether you want more from the relationship. I think being self-aware is really the key to confident action.

Yes, I have a friend who was so concerned about what she was thinking, that his focus was on himself. Since one can only focus on one thing at a time, this is a real spanner in the works when you are together. So, focus on the other party and just be yourself.

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Sorry I haven't replied earlier. I've managed to be incredibly busy lately and haven't been able to properly access The Forum either.

I believe I understand what happened between Dominique and Roark, but i'm not sure about Dagny and Francisco. Wasn't he just really good at tennis? What if he had lost, shrugged it off and they went off to have a nice picnic? It would surely have been horrible fiction, but Francisco would still have been quite the man - irregardless of how well he plays tennis. I understand there was a power struggle between them, I just don't quite get the nature of it.

It's very subtle. My comments in brackets.

Thanks Betsy! I think I get it now.

I take it that the tennis was just incidental. It could have been anything, it's just that at that particular tennis match things changed - she became aware of him in a different way, and proceeded to resist and challenge him.

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Since this is something I’ve had a lot of trouble with myself, I have a couple thoughts about not letting the uncertainty get to you. I don’t think it’s really important that you know what she’s thinking moment to moment, and if you start taking cues from her behavior every action will be riddled with questions about whether you’re interpreting her correctly. That’s an easy way to lose confidence. And I don’t think it helps to wonder whether you’re being tested or whether she is just mixed up. It probably isn’t possible to know until later, which means that question doesn’t give you any information to use now. The knowledge you do have access to is whether you’re observing values in her you find attractive, whether you’re enjoying your time with her, and whether you want more from the relationship. I think being self-aware is really the key to confident action.

I’ve made two kinds of errors that were based on not having that focus: either second-guessing my behavior because I was reacting rather than acting, and pursuing potential that wasn’t there because I was acting from fantasy instead of the situation in front of me. From what I’ve observed of other people, those are common problems…

I think that's sound advice, but it's also good to try and understand what's going on. However not in the way of constatly taking cues from her behavior. Here's the way i've tried to aproach this:

She goes out of her way to get noticed. Somewhat perplexed by her change in behavior I proceed to find out if I got the message right.

She responds positively to a casual advance. Taking some cues here is probably a good idea. If she's warm and friendly it's certainly different from being cold and courteous, and quickly walking away. However, it's also important not to read too much into things.

Now I figured it would be good time to throw a little hook out and see if she would bite. I'd say I got a very positive response, but no bite.

Getting mixed messages I pursue it further until it's clear that it's game over.

I don't think that in itself was a bad way to go about things.

Now I have certainly wrecked my brain with questions leading nowhere, and I may have been trying to take too many cues from her behavior. I'd like to add however that I haven't aproached the situations with those questions in mind. Rather I have just cleared my head, gone for it, and then afterwards scratched my head trying to make sense of things.

One reason why i've written so much about is because it bugs me to no end. There's this contradiction between what my senses are telling me and the events that have taken place, and I can't tell where i've misjudged things. That's just so incredibly annoying. It's not even about her. Imagine reading a good detective novel but the last pages are missing, and you can't figure out who the killer is. That's what it feels like.

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Getting mixed messages I pursue it further until it's clear that it's game over

I don't think that in itself was a bad way to go about things.

I think you're right. Your approach is a very reasonable process of observing, forming an hypothesis, reality-testing the hypothesis, and repeating the process until you find a satisfactory explanation.

Now I have certainly wrecked my brain with questions leading nowhere, and I may have been trying to take too many cues from her behavior. I'd like to add however that I haven't aproached the situations with those questions in mind. Rather I have just cleared my head, gone for it, and then afterwards scratched my head trying to make sense of things.

One reason why i've written so much about is because it bugs me to no end. There's this contradiction between what my senses are telling me and the events that have taken place, and I can't tell where i've misjudged things. That's just so incredibly annoying. It's not even about her. Imagine reading a good detective novel but the last pages are missing, and you can't figure out who the killer is. That's what it feels like.

All that means is that you haven't yet come up with a satisfactory explanation. Continue observing, hypothesizing, and reality-testing until you do.

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I think you're right. Your approach is a very reasonable process of observing, forming an hypothesis, reality-testing the hypothesis, and repeating the process until you find a satisfactory explanation.

I'm glad to hear that. I think it's an approach I should take with me in the future too. :)

All that means is that you haven't yet come up with a satisfactory explanation. Continue observing, hypothesizing, and reality-testing until you do.

I hope I reach that explanation. Not just to get rid of that annoying feeling, but i'm sure there are some really valuable things I could learn from it. We'll see if my predictions are right and if i'll get a chance to find out more.

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All that means is that you haven't yet come up with a satisfactory explanation. Continue observing, hypothesizing, and reality-testing until you do.

I hope I reach that explanation. Not just to get rid of that annoying feeling, but i'm sure there are some really valuable things I could learn from it. We'll see if my predictions are right and if i'll get a chance to find out more.

One of the benefits of active cause-seeking is that, even if it takes a while to find the answer or even if you never do, you can learn something of value all along the way.

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Betsy: What "cause" are you suggesting that Red seek out?

Your approach is a very reasonable process of observing, forming an hypothesis, reality-testing the hypothesis, and repeating the process until you find a satisfactory explanation.

All that means is that you haven't yet come up with a satisfactory explanation. Continue observing, hypothesizing, and reality-testing until you do.

I hope I reach that explanation.

An explanation... of what?

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Betsy: What "cause" are you suggesting that Red seek out?

I was referring to the causes of her behavior, i.e., the ideas that motivate her, and, particularly her ideas about him. He's getting mixed signals and there must be a reason. That reason could be ambivalent feelings on her part, his misreading of her intentions, or many other possible explanations.

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I was referring to the causes of her behavior, i.e., the ideas that motivate her, and, particularly her ideas about him. He's getting mixed signals and there must be a reason.

"Mixed signals"? The woman told him explicitly that she isn't interested in him, and is involved with someone else.

If that's not a clearcut indication that a man is wasting his time and needs to move on, I can't imagine what would be.

That reason could be ambivalent feelings on her part, his misreading of her intentions, or many other possible explanations.

2.5 million possible explanations… None of which are any of Red's business or concern.

Like all men, Red needs to learn the art of dropping women. He hasn't yet discovered that love is simple — that a good relationship is a straightforward & happy affair, free of ambivalence, confusion, immaturity and drama.

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"Mixed signals"? The woman told him explicitly that she isn't interested in him, and is involved with someone else.

If that's not a clearcut indication that a man is wasting his time and needs to move on, I can't imagine what would be.

Yes, I read that message loud and clear. It means I must have misjudged things. Those errors concern me. That's why i'll keep asking questions, to the extent that I can.

2.5 million possible explanations… None of which are any of Red's business or concern.

Why?

Like all men, Red needs to learn the art of dropping women. He hasn't yet discovered that love is simple — that a good relationship is a straightforward & happy affair, free of ambivalence, confusion, immaturity and drama.

I've met about a handful of women. One of them has even sparked a little interest - she seems bright, successful and has an amazing smile. That's all I can do. Keep moving forward and sooner or later i'm sure i'll meet my future wife. Meanwhile though, certain questions do still bug me and I don't like to live in conflict with myself by trying to just force them away.

Was Dominique's and Roark's relationship simple? I'm not trying to imply any similarities here, I just don't see love as being simple.

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I think it is a good thing, when I misread someone's intentions, to ask WHY that happened. Was there something I missed? What was that? Was there something I assumed was there that wasn't? Why did I make that assumption and was it reasonable to do given the evidence I had?

I've learned a lot about other people and my own values when I've asked such questions.

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That's why i'll keep asking questions, to the extent that I can.

Keep asking questions of whom?

2.5 million possible explanations… None of which are any of Red's business or concern.

Why?

Another person's internal life is never your business or concern — unless they have specifically invited you to participate in their world.

You're an egoist, not a masochist, right?

Was Dominique's and Roark's relationship simple?

To understate: No. Which is why it makes for compelling fiction.

If you'd like your romantic life to be real and not fictional, you must shun the principle of drama in all forms but literary.

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One of the benefits of active cause-seeking is that, even if it takes a while to find the answer or even if you never do, you can learn something of value all along the way.

Oh yes! I'm often amazed at how much i've learned from this so far. That knowledge and experience has made it all worth it, and I wouldn't want to be without it today. As annoying and frustrating as it may be at times, it's also exciting to know that there are more things to learn.

Here I don't understand Kevin's attitude at all. How could you NOT want to know?

When I first met this woman some hundred years ago it quickly dawned on me that I was completely clueless. If I had not been seeking answers to the questions I had I would still be there. Instead i've made sure to learn as much as I can. I've studied the subject, observed and interacted with women - this particular one and others - and i've asked questions. Thanks to that i'm clued in, most of the time. There are still things I need to learn and areas i'll have to work on, but what seemed like a huge problem at first doesn't seem all that impossible to deal with anymore. I like to keep making progress, so i'll keep searching for answers.

I think it is a good thing, when I misread someone's intentions, to ask WHY that happened. Was there something I missed? What was that? Was there something I assumed was there that wasn't? Why did I make that assumption and was it reasonable to do given the evidence I had?

I've learned a lot about other people and my own values when I've asked such questions.

This is exactly what i'm reffering to. Thanks for putting it so clearly.

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Keep asking questions of whom?

I think i'll start with the what. Then the why. Then i'll try to determine where I could find the answer, and how.

For instance: I read her body language as more than just friendly. What was it in particular that gave me that impression? Could I have misread her? Better check my premises here. Still not satisfied with the answer? Then clearly the answer lies with her. How can I get the answer? I can observe any further interactions with her and raise the issue if it happens again.

Another person's internal life is never your business or concern — unless they have specifically invited you to participate in their world.

You're an egoist, not a masochist, right?

Correct me if i'm wrong here, but I get the impression that you think i'm about to sit down and interrogate her. If so, let me assure you that is not the case.

I will proceed by first going over the facts to see if there's something i've missed. Then i'll review the facts and check my premises. After that i'll see what questions remain and if I can find an appropriate way of dealing with them.

To understate: No. Which is why it makes for compelling fiction.

If you'd like your romantic life to be real and not fictional, you must shun the principle of drama in all forms but literary.

And what's the significant difference between Ayn Rand's fiction and reality?

I'd argue that what she did was to remove non-essential things in order to illustrate reality as it could and should be. Meaning that, it is still based on reality and that there are alot of things that can be learned from it and applied in real life.

For the record, I don't go seeking drama on principle. I just try and go after what I want. I failed in this case. So what if the result was a little drama and difficulty?

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I must say that I have no patience for such mind games; that is, trying to second guess what some one MAY mean even if they seem to be clear that they are not interested. Accept she is not interested and let it go, let your persistence is taken as a nuisance.

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I think i'll start with the what. Then the why. Then i'll try to determine where I could find the answer, and how.

For instance: I read her body language as more than just friendly. What was it in particular that gave me that impression? Could I have misread her? Better check my premises here. Still not satisfied with the answer? Then clearly the answer lies with her. How can I get the answer? I can observe any further interactions with her and raise the issue if it happens again.

Naturally, there will be further interactions, dealings, etc.

It's extremely obvious that this woman is not homely.

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No, she looks glorious. With that said, we're done now Kevin. Please leave this thread.

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