the law of "fuck yes or no"
November 9, 2014 11:00 AM   Subscribe

"Fuck Yes!" or No - "Think about this for a moment: Why would you ever choose to be with someone who is not excited to be with you?"
(Fuck Yes, No Less - "How many of us have been taught to let persuasion and doubt override our instincts? How many of us have been taught to live in the grey?") posted by flex (58 comments total) 58 users marked this as a favorite


 
MeFi used to be Mallory Ortberg country. Now a Mark Manson faction is staking out a piece? This bears closer inspection.

I'm definitely interested in what people think about MM. On one hand, the former PUA has apparently rejected PUA, while writing dating/self-improvement advice that uses some of the style of PUA to deliver his counter-PUA wisdom. On the other, he certainly still holds on to certain models of masculinity that many here would find problematic.
posted by Apocryphon at 11:18 AM on November 9, 2014 [5 favorites]


The unbelievable narcissism and self-regard of this article just makes me want to say Fuck No to these people and their entire smug and self-satisfied way of being in the world.
posted by Rumple at 11:20 AM on November 9, 2014 [24 favorites]


This is how 17-year olds think about relationships. In my experience people who wait for Mr/Ms Perfect to come along (and who then expect Mr/Ms Perfect to think they are also Ms/Mr Perfect) stay single and are very bitter people. Success in any relationship is about compromise and not having fantasy expectations.
posted by epo at 11:29 AM on November 9, 2014 [32 favorites]


Really just so tired of the f word.
posted by IndigoJones at 11:29 AM on November 9, 2014 [19 favorites]


The line from PUA to smarmy self-help guru is indeed a thin one, since after all they use so many of the same techniques to manipulate people. I think this makes a nice companion piece to the Maymay "remodeling consent" post, since they both involve sleazeballs with palpable hidden agendas giving their superficially progressive but on closer examination actually fairly crackpot nostrums about consent.
posted by strangely stunted trees at 11:31 AM on November 9, 2014 [5 favorites]


I would say that the basic idea of "fail fast and fail often" is a good guideline while dating. There really is no point in pursuing someone who isn't into you or stringing along someone who you don't really dig. The whole qualification of the "attractive, non-needy, high-self-worth" demographic, on the other hand, was cringe-inducing.
posted by grumpybear69 at 11:34 AM on November 9, 2014 [8 favorites]


Success in any relationship is about compromise and not having fantasy expectations.

He writes against them elsewhere, though: "We all have our own imperfections. Everyone we date also has their own imperfections. Intimacy and romance is determined by people who have comparable and complementary imperfections to one another."

Maybe self-help authors are just all over the place?
posted by Apocryphon at 11:40 AM on November 9, 2014


n my experience people who wait for Mr/Ms Perfect to come along (and who then expect Mr/Ms Perfect to think they are also Ms/Mr Perfect) stay single and are very bitter people.

There's a different between Mr./Ms. Perfect and Mr./Ms. Perfect-For-You, though. I'm not familiar with his other work, but it seems to me that what he's saying is "Being nice and cute and easy to talk to isn't enough. Just not wanting to get away isn't enough. Hold out for the person you feel a strong attraction to, the person you go to sleep thinking about, the person who wakes up thinking of you. Hold out for the person you don't need to persuade or manipulate, because they are right next to you raring to go."

That is good advice.
posted by KathrynT at 11:48 AM on November 9, 2014 [43 favorites]


Smarmy or not, if we ignore the form and focus on the content of the message, it's excellent advice. Why would you want to be with someone who doesn't make you go "Fuck Yes"? Why be with someone who doesn't feel that way about you?

On preview, what KathrynT said, as usual.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:49 AM on November 9, 2014 [6 favorites]


Fuck Yes! or No fails to account for the human habit of conflating love and sex. A 'Fuck Yes' to sex, for many people, will equate to a 'Fuck Yes' for relationship, even when it's a 'No' for the other party.

Then comes all the drama and heartbreak.
posted by quin at 11:50 AM on November 9, 2014 [5 favorites]


Which isn't to say that there isn't more than a kernel of good advice here, it's just not a cure-all for relationship problems.
posted by quin at 11:52 AM on November 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


fails to account for the human habit of conflating love and sex.

But isn't love an angel disguised as lust?
posted by shivohum at 11:52 AM on November 9, 2014 [7 favorites]


I feel the same way about pop dating/life coaching advice as I do about herbal supplements-- they're not medicine's crowning achievement, but so long as nobody's being openly deceptive I don't feel compelled to raise my own hackles. Sure the tone's smarmy and self-congratulatory, but I feel the same way about reading Dawkins and I've got better things to be angry about than that. The advice itself is simplistic and doesn't perform the heavy lifting necessary to really explore why people chase desperately after folks who couldn't care less, but if the public truly wanted to engage in honest self-examination we wouldn't outsource it to a life coach.
posted by The White Hat at 11:55 AM on November 9, 2014 [5 favorites]


"Being nice and cute and easy to talk to isn't enough. Just not wanting to get away isn't enough. Hold out for the person you feel a strong attraction to, the person you go to sleep thinking about, the person who wakes up thinking of you. Hold out for the person you don't need to persuade or manipulate, because they are right next to you raring to go."

That is good advice.


Who said anything about persuading or manipulating? Those words don't even appear in the article. This article is fantasy thinking. The perfect partner for you is certainly out there, the chances of them thinking you are their perfect partner combined with the chances of you actually meeting them have a probability of zero. In the real world there are always compromises. It isn't good advice, it is asinine.
posted by epo at 12:03 PM on November 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


The article isn't talking about finding Perfect, the article is suggesting that waiting for someone who makes you excited to be around them is the happiest way to go. Rather than someone who makes you go "Eh, ok."
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:06 PM on November 9, 2014 [11 favorites]




I feel like when I read this guy's real life examples inserted into his columns, my engagement with what he's writing grinds to a halt. I suspect we are starting from very different places.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 12:11 PM on November 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


Sure, in other cultures, there’s some embarrassment and discomfort around some of these things, but their societies don’t actively shame people the way we do. Ask an Italian guy the last time he felt ashamed of telling a woman she was beautiful. Chances are he’ll look at you like you just crapped on his lawn.

Based on female friends' experiences with catcalling in Italy, I'm not entirely sure that's a good thing.
posted by jpe at 12:15 PM on November 9, 2014 [21 favorites]


Who said anything about persuading or manipulating? [. . .] It isn't good advice, it is asinine.

It's asinine to think you should be excited rather than lukewarm about your partner, and that they should similarly be excited about you? The persuasion and manipulation comes into play with phrases like "As a man, a huge question is often whether to be persistent and continue pursuing a woman even when she seems lukewarm or hot/cold on your advances" and "Making out with a girl at your house and every time you go to take her shirt off she swats your hands away? That is not a “Fuck Yes,” my friend, therefore, it’s a no and you shouldn't pressure her."
posted by KathrynT at 12:23 PM on November 9, 2014 [7 favorites]


The perfect partner for you is certainly out there, the chances of them thinking you are their perfect partner combined with the chances of you actually meeting them have a probability of zero. In the real world there are always compromises. It isn't good advice, it is asinine.

It's not about perfect, it's about setting a baseline of people I want to connect with should want to return the favor. It is incredibly draining to be the person who has to maintain lines of communication in any relationship. And trying to work in the gray is where miscommunication happens.

Yes, compromise happens in a relationship, but compromising on interest is a bad place to start.
posted by NoxAeternum at 12:25 PM on November 9, 2014 [7 favorites]


This fails to account for the fact that you may not be initially "that into" someone, but if you give them a chance, you can fall in love. In most marriages or long term relationships, there is a pursuer and a pursued (this is *not* gendered: it really does vary)— but that doesn't mean that the initially unsure one can't discover that he or she actually is sure. If there were black and white relationship advice that worked all the time, no one would need it.
posted by Maias at 1:00 PM on November 9, 2014 [9 favorites]


Or using your excitement for a new person as distraction from a source of distress in your life.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 1:23 PM on November 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


Why would you want to be with someone who doesn't make you go "Fuck Yes"? Why be with someone who doesn't feel that way about you?
because I am flawed*.

*human
posted by fullerine at 1:29 PM on November 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


As someone who's currently swimming along in the dating pool, articles like this terrify me. Do people need to be told they should only date people they actually like? This isn't already obvious?
posted by elwoodwiles at 1:30 PM on November 9, 2014 [4 favorites]


Good advice.
posted by turbid dahlia at 1:36 PM on November 9, 2014


As someone who's currently swimming along in the dating pool, articles like this terrify me. Do people need to be told they should only date people they actually like? This isn't already obvious?

Speaking from personal experience, you would be surprised how willing we are to convince ourselves to try to make a clearly bad fit work, for many reasons. So no, it's not nearly as obvious as you think.
posted by NoxAeternum at 1:45 PM on November 9, 2014 [16 favorites]


I thought this was going to be another thing about how to standardize consent : /
posted by batfish at 2:06 PM on November 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


I don't know anything about the author, which seems to be clouding how some people are reading this piece. Taking everything he writes at face value, I think it is excellent advice. Certainly when I look back at my own romantic history, I can't point to any relationships where I was clearly trying to will a relationship to happen despite the other person's obvious reluctance or, alternatively, where I was the "Eh, I guess it's better than being alone" person in a relationship where the other person was obviously much more invested than I was, that ever turned into a great romance.

All successful relationships I've had ("successful" defined here as anything that lasted at least a year or longer) started from a place where the attraction was mutual and both parties were equally enthusiastic about being in the partnership.
posted by The Gooch at 2:20 PM on November 9, 2014 [4 favorites]


the article is suggesting that waiting for someone who makes you excited to be around them is the happiest way to go. Rather than someone who makes you go "Eh, ok."

As a women who never felt the pull to procreate or marry for the sake of being married, it's easy for me to say, Why would you stay with someone who is a bad fit, or worse? But for many women having a child is an important priority, and many of those women feel strongly about doing it with a partner. Also, familial and societal pressure to get married is so much stronger if you are a woman, and it's not always easy to resist to that.

If a woman hits a certain age and feels her reproductive clock ticking it must be a lot easier to convince herself someone is more than "Eh, ok", and that includes both single women and women who might be better served leaving existing leaving long-term relationships or marriages.
posted by Room 641-A at 2:42 PM on November 9, 2014 [5 favorites]


There's a woman who is somehow all over my facebook feed (I do not quite understand how I supposedly "know" her) who has spent the last year in gung-ho high-gear self-promotion mode to brand herself as an important relationship psychologist blogger. Except that all of her columbs are things like "men, understand that women just don't like sex," and other stuff where she's clearly desperately justifying her own issues by demanding that they be normal.

MM reminds me of that, a bit, but in both cases there's probably some good to take away as well, so grains of salt and all that.
posted by Navelgazer at 2:43 PM on November 9, 2014


I can't really ignore the smugness, though. I've gotten advice just as good here at Metafilter without having to provide clicks for a lifestyle guru. But hey, maybe he's just not my thing. Maybe working in the book biz and seeing a lot of self-help types come and go has something to do with it. They always say at least a few good things, or old things repackaged in modern language. But usually people seek out the writer who says what they already think, so I don't know that anyone's life is ever changed by much.
posted by emjaybee at 2:59 PM on November 9, 2014


As someone who's currently swimming along in the dating pool, articles like this terrify me. Do people need to be told they should only date people they actually like? This isn't already obvious?

You should read Ask.Metafilter sometime. This kind of question is a staple: "S/he's so great in so many ways that I feel like I would be stupid to break up with him/her, but I just don't have feelings."
posted by the jam at 3:01 PM on November 9, 2014 [4 favorites]


From justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow's link:

It seems crazy to go, “CANNED DEAD TURTLE, FREE TO GOOD HOME.” But it’s big fucking world, man. Have you looked at what sells on Craigslist? If you’re honest about your deceased reptile status, it may take longer to sell than a nice refreshing Coke, but by God when you find someone who opens your can they will want the dead turtle that is you.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 3:02 PM on November 9, 2014 [6 favorites]


It's good advice. I met my wife by switching to approximately this attitude, after reading Be Your Own Dating Service . We're happy together.

One of the most useful pieces of advice in the book is to keep first dates short so you can move on quickly if it doesn't seem like a good fit. Internet dating is great in this respect too. You can scan through a lot of dating profiles very quickly.
posted by fivebells at 3:24 PM on November 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


Or as I often like to say in regards to dating, “If you have to ask, then that’s your answer.”

I get what he is saying, but I disagree. A lot of the best things come from asking, whether sexual or otherwise.

The underlying point that you should be with someone who rocks your world (and whose world is rocked by you) is a great point, but all through the piece it's trivially easy to find fault with the specifics. And I can't be the only person who has had wonderful relationships that began with a lot of ambiguity and uncertainty. Maybe some of us just need more negotiation and time to grow into a relationship, but the criteria that there needs to be unanimous and uncomplicated enthusiasm at every second doesn't resonate with me at all.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:01 PM on November 9, 2014 [4 favorites]


Hold out for the person you don't need to persuade or manipulate, because they are right next to you raring to go.

This is the exact thinking I feel so often holds people back from pursuing a flawed, but REAL relationship. What if that mythical perfect fit really isn't "right next to you raring to go"?
posted by Clustercuss at 5:10 PM on November 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


I say, just read the title of the article and throw the rest of this piece back. As a phrase, all it's saying is "don't settle." I think that's good advice. Don't marry someone you don't feel passionately about just because they're good in bed, or they have a lot of money, or no one else in your neighborhood pays any attention to you. Especially not that last one -- you can be moderately happy with a person who doesn't do much for you as a person if they're an awesome lover or they can buy you lots of nice shit, but just plain old Because They're There will never be anything like enough. So anyway: The title is good clickbait, and sound wisdom. The article itself may lead you to question that wisdom, because the article is problematic. If you know not to settle, you don't need an article anyway. Just don't settle. It's better to be alone than it is to settle. The end.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 5:36 PM on November 9, 2014


It feels weirdly neoliberal, for lack of a better term. It's self focused to such a degree that I find myself wondering "where is communication with the other person?"

I like columns like ask Polly and captain awkward because they seem to operate from the idea that human interactions are inherently a little messy.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 5:38 PM on November 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


>I thought this was going to be another thing about how to standardize consent

Same here. Still, with respect to dating, what I did like about the "Fuck Yes or No" article is the underlying anti-PUA sentiment, taking someone at their word, rather than festering in rudely entitled noble perseverance (devolving into angry entitled frustration?). It's no fun being dragged into someone's personal bildungsroman.

A lot of popular media romanticizes unhealthy relationships. Which can be a fun escape, but when someone doesn't have good role models in their lives as a counterpoint... (Obviously Twilight etc, but even something like 500 Days of Summer gets misconstrued).
posted by ana scoot at 6:04 PM on November 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


You should read Ask.Metafilter sometime. This kind of question is a staple: "S/he's so great in so many ways that I feel like I would be stupid to break up with him/her, but I just don't have feelings."

The thing that always depresses me is the questions describing how badly someone is being treated by their partner and how they insist that they love the person and DTMFA is not an option. Or the person who has been cheating and considering leaving their spouse who has no clue the other person feels this way. I mean, jeez....
posted by discopolo at 6:36 PM on November 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


"Do people need to be told they should only date people they actually like? This isn't already obvious?"

"This fails to account for the fact that you may not be initially "that into" someone, but if you give them a chance, you can fall in love."


I think that some folks "know" relatively quickly and some apparently take weeks/months/years to slowly fall for someone. As someone from Category A, I sure as fuck don't get the "growers" and how they do it worth a damn, but "growers" always advocate to me that I should give anyone a chance, no matter how much my inner "no" is going off. "After all, that's how I met your father." I don't quite think that worked out for the best in retrospect because I just don't think it was that much of a love match for her, though. Those are the folks who have zero idea if they are interested or not for god knows how long, so "fuck yes" doesn't apparently work for them. But if I am not "fuck yes" (and for that matter, if they aren't too), then it doesn't work for me. I can count on one hand the number of times I've been on a date that I WANTED to be on, because "growers" always told me to "give him a chaaaance." All I ended up doing was leading guys on. I didn't get any more interested and they did and ...lord, it wasn't good.
elwoodwiles, I got told constantly to ignore what I was interested in, I was told to ignore every instinct. I was told to date whoever asked me. I was told I couldn't afford to be picky and had to take who I could get. There is a lot of social pressure on you to not be a picky bitch and not say no.

But that said, I am his example of someone who is lukewarm on everyone I meet. Not everyone is lukewarm on me, but the few that aren't tend to actively make my skin crawl. I concur that it is a problem and yes, I'm "too picky," but that mutual fuck yes hasn't gone off for a looooong time anyway. The few "hey, he's cutes" I've seen are incredibly lukewarm on me, so...eh, God wants me to be single and that's all there is to it.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:03 PM on November 9, 2014 [4 favorites]


>I thought this was going to be another thing about how to standardize consent

From the article: Consent issues are instantly resolved. If someone is playing games with you, playing hard to get, or pressuring you into doing something you’re unsure about, your answer is now easy.

I don't think this guy really understands the issues surrounding consent if he thinks they're instantly resolved because the other person really digs you.

Or as I often like to say in regards to dating, “If you have to ask, then that’s your answer.”

More like: "If you have a problem with asking, then there's your answer."
posted by xigxag at 7:29 PM on November 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


He comes right out and says that this is an article for "attractive, high self-worth people". He clearly doesn't intend for it to apply to everyone (or even the majority of people). He's writing for top 10 percent-ers.
posted by cleroy at 7:58 PM on November 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


Ask an Italian guy the last time he felt ashamed of telling a woman she was beautiful.

Why would I talk to an Italian
posted by Greg Nog at 8:17 PM on November 9, 2014 [4 favorites]


There is no easy solution to relationships. You certainly aren't going to find one in this article.

The rise of cohabitation and divorce (rather than honored contracts) are good indicators of reality. People choose (or are chosen by) the wrong people, people choose (or are chosen by) right people who become wrong people over time, etc. The only sensible solution (but for the complication of children) is to always maintain some independence and be ready to quit and start again. Mating for life might have made sense when people died young, but it doesn't make a lot of sense for people who live long changing lives with changing partners.
posted by pracowity at 11:00 PM on November 9, 2014 [8 favorites]


Huh, so this is the kind of thing that Mark Manson usually writes? I first heard about him from this post last week, which was his (relatively facile, I thought) article about "The Rise of Fundamentalism." Somehow, after that, it isn't really surprising to find out he's an ex-PUA relationship self-help guy.

My problems with his approach here have mostly been covered, I think.

kittens for breakfast: “I say, just read the title of the article and throw the rest of this piece back. As a phrase, all it's saying is ‘don't settle.’ I think that's good advice. Don't marry someone you don't feel passionately about just because they're good in bed, or they have a lot of money, or no one else in your neighborhood pays any attention to you. Especially not that last one -- you can be moderately happy with a person who doesn't do much for you as a person if they're an awesome lover or they can buy you lots of nice shit, but just plain old Because They're There will never be anything like enough. So anyway: The title is good clickbait, and sound wisdom. The article itself may lead you to question that wisdom, because the article is problematic. If you know not to settle, you don't need an article anyway. Just don't settle. It's better to be alone than it is to settle. The end.”

The problem with this formulation, kfb, is that it's still kind of mired in the self-help language the article adduces to make its points. Most of all: "feeling passionately" is absolutely not a viable relationship standard. Why? Because emotions are ridiculous, uncontrollable, often unpredictable things. The self-help gurus tend to reify "passion" largely because emotional impulses are part of their formula for separating people from their money, but "passion" is clearly not a quantifiable or rational gauge that anybody can rely on.

You can have an awesome relationship and not "feel passionately" about the person you're with. In fact, it's kind of completely inevitable that you end up not feeling passionately – feeling passion is not something anybody can or should sustain for years of their lives. I would even say that the best relationships I've seen are between people with the ability to view each other dispassionately, with clear eyes and a keen grasp of their interests.

"Passion" appeals to us as a relationship standard because it'd be awesome to have this one underlying standard that we could just look at to have certainty in relationships. But certainty in relationships is not so easy, unfortunately. There is no direct underlying standard; there are only a bunch of competing standards that we have to sort out for ourselves.

As such, "don't settle" is probably good advice, but much more complicated advice than it seems. It doesn't mean "find someone you are passionate about." It means "sort out what things are best and most necessary for your personal happiness, and attempt to find the right balance of those things." You have to keep looking to that balance. Are they good in bed? Well, that might be a big part of what makes you happy. Who the hell knows? You, and nobody else. Are they smart about money? Do they keep a clean house? Maybe you don't care about those things as long as they have compassion and a willingness to listen. Maybe you don't actually care about compassion and a willingness to listen, and prefer a tidy person with a sense of responsibility.

Really, it would be awesome if there were a path to finding the right partner that didn't have "ATTAIN SELF-KNOWLEDGE" as a necessary primary step, but unfortunately it's a combination of that step and relying on luck.
posted by koeselitz at 12:32 AM on November 10, 2014 [7 favorites]


... and now that I've finished reading the first article, I have to say: it really is a terrible approach to these problems.

from article: “Think about this for a moment: Why would you ever choose to be with someone who is not excited to be with you?”

Because they are a better person than you are, and because excitement is a fickle and changeable thing that means very little.

“Why do you make an effort to convince someone to date you when they make no effort to convince you?”

Because succeeding in convincing them to be with you would bring you great rewards.

Has this person actually been in love before? I would think actually being in love would sort of necessitate knowing immediately the answers to these questions.
posted by koeselitz at 12:40 AM on November 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


As a guy who just got out of a wonderful-in-some-ways-problematic-in-others relationship a week ago to the day, this article resonated with me, particularly the part where it made the point that there're multiple kinds of Fuck Yes which don't have an impact on all the ways in which a person might not be very compatible with you. I bet that had I read this at a younger age, it would have helped me prevent the emotionally abusive relationship that somewhat screwed up my college years.

Can I say that I'm particularly irked by the assumption being made here, by a number of differnt commenters, that this is "immature" advice for focusing on one particular facet of being in a relationship? This isn't "seventeen-year-old stuff", because seventeen-year-olds are fucking complex and going through a wide variety of unique, albeit immature almost across the board, circumstances and understandings of what it means to connect to another person. The things I went through at 17 are not the things my friends did, and I suspect that there are many ways to mature all the way to adulthood and still not be such a love guru that you're completely above advice like what's contained within this article. In fact, I'm certain of it.

I "lucked out" in dating in that, from the start of my romantic life, I've been pretty emphatic about finding certain things in a relationship that I now understand are seen to be "deeper" aspects to a relationship. Emotional companionship, intellectual compatibility, general capacity to be comfortable around another person and to accept them for who they are... I had enough neuroses about myself that the odds of entering into a relationship which didn't have these qualities seemed relatively non-probable. I have found, with certain of my lovelorn peers, that reminding them of the importance of one of (or all of) these attributes has been enough to help them figure out exactly what they're looking for in a relationship; often it never occurs to them that they ought to be valuing those things as highly as, I dunno, wit, or physical attractiveness, or common interests.

At the same time, though, I did a fairly good job of convincing myself that compromise along any of the other possible lines of a relationship was totally fine. Parts of myself which are very integral to who I am and how I operate were being totally shut out of the process by which I figured out relationships, because I'd never been told to let those things matter; as a result, I'd feel guilty just letting those ideas surface and feeling dissatisfied along those lines whatsoever.

This ultimately led to one lovely long-term relationship going on at least half a year past the point that fairly obvious warning signs had started to show, and if I'd been more perceptive might've even ended a considerable period of time before that. Had I known to respect those parts of me, or to see them as integral to the health of a relationship, I think I'd have handled things far better than I did.

I'm not saying that suddenly I'm ultrawise or learned beyond my years; I'm just saying that now I know something about myself and about relationships that could've been really useful to learn a couple years earlier. As it is, knowing these things now made last week's break a lot easier — ending things with awesome people is probably always going to suck, but at least there's no anxiety that I did the wrong thing or made the wrong decision, because I understand exactly why things needed to end, and I can be glad (to some extent) that they finally did.
posted by rorgy at 3:56 AM on November 10, 2014 [6 favorites]


Has this person actually been in love before? I would think actually being in love would sort of necessitate knowing immediately the answers to these questions.

I am very outspoken about the importance of love and the joys of being in love, and even I know that you can be deeply in love with somebody and still have to face the fact that something about them is fundamentally incompatible with you, in a way that no amount of altruistic selflessness can ever overcome.

Not all relationships end because there was no love to them. But wanting to offer yourself and your life to somebody else can sometimes lead to your spiraling down towards a sinkhole, with little to no hope that you'll ever stop being drained away. Anthony de Mello writes that this is true of all relationships, which is why it's self-defeating to think about love strictly as a matter of being happy, but there are some kinds of love that'll destroy your sense of self if you let yourself get too deep into them, but which are loving nonetheless.
posted by rorgy at 4:05 AM on November 10, 2014 [6 favorites]


It's not always easy to tell the difference between someone who's crazy about you, and someone who's just plain crazy.
posted by drlith at 4:26 AM on November 10, 2014 [6 favorites]


This article really reasonated with me and I am not sure why there is so much blowback here. First of all I don't think he is saying you need not to compromise at all. He clearly states there are various levels of "fuck yes". Somehow many people are reading this article from the "I dont like this other person standpoint, I don't feel butterflies, it is ok to compromise for me". I took the article along the lines of "I am not sure this other person feels a certain way about me".

This allows me the room to compromise as needed but when other people do not respond to me the way I would want (i.e they blow me off, act nonchalant, etc), then I know that the odds of making them feel different are quite low.

I do tend to compromise and give people a chance but I have always been more succesful when I interact with those who have expressed an attraction to me in the first place. Doesn't mean that a relationship will be more succesful but it does help save time, aggravation and hurt feelings that come with ambiguity.

Is it advice that works for everyone? Probably no. Many of us will have to be more patient. But it is advice that works for those of us who have issues setting boundaries around how we expect to be treated.
posted by The1andonly at 5:56 AM on November 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


"Blaming our partners for our emotions is a subtle form of selfishness, and a classic example of the poor maintenance of personal boundaries. When you set a precedent that your partner is responsible for how you feel at all times (and vice-versa), you will develop codependent tendencies. Suddenly, they’re not allowed to plan activities without checking with you first. All activities at home — even the mundane ones like reading books or watching TV — must be negotiated and compromised. When someone begins to get upset, all personal desires go out the window because it is now your responsibility to make one another feel better" (6 Toxic Relationship Habits Most People Think Are Normal).

This extends beyond the romantic kind of relationship, too. I think a lot of these signs do, but this is one that especially sticks out. I've been in innumerable "friendships" where I've felt more like a hostage/property than a friend.
posted by ourt at 7:06 AM on November 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


You can have an awesome relationship and not "feel passionately" about the person you're with. In fact, it's kind of completely inevitable that you end up not feeling passionately – feeling passion is not something anybody can or should sustain for years of their lives. I would even say that the best relationships I've seen are between people with the ability to view each other dispassionately, with clear eyes and a keen grasp of their interests.

In fairness, this article seems pretty clearly focused on the start of new relationships, not on how people should behave in long-formed ones. Sure, the same passion one feels during the first couple months of a new relationship is unlikely to hold over the course of 5, 10, 15, 20+ years, but that is not what this article is focused on. What the article is arguing is that that if you are feeling the sort of ambivalent dispassion at the very beginning of a relationship that many couples don't start to experience until several years in, or pursuing someone who feels that way about you, it is a huge red flag.

How many AskMe questions are there every week that are some variant on, "I am super excited about this new person I'm dating but he/she doesn't appear to be nearly as invested as I am" or "I just started dating a new person, he/she seems nice enough but I'm just not that attracted to him/her and don't think I ever will be"? Inevitably, such a person will, correctly in my view, receive a deluge of advice that says, essentially, "The first couple months of a relationships should be easy, if things are this difficult a month or two in, it is unlikely to get better". That is what this article is arguing for to my reading.
posted by The Gooch at 7:18 AM on November 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


I think this is a very good approach to the question of sex and consent.
I might date someone I felt lukewarm about (or who didn't seem to like me all that much), but I wouldn't have sex with them. I think an enthusiastic, passionate feeling should be a bare minimum in a new sexual encounter.
This hurdle also closes the relationship loop as I don't think most new relationships will get very far without a sexual component.
posted by domo at 8:43 AM on November 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


Because succeeding in convincing them to be with you would bring you great rewards.

Well, the usual demographic for people in need of dating advice aren't those who would seek to convince other people through normal courtship, but people who fundamentally misunderstand situations enough to persist in ill-fated attempts to win over someone who just aren't interested.
posted by Apocryphon at 10:25 AM on November 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


I do think he is reinventing the wheel here, as much of his advice has been said elsewhere, like baggage reclaim, "He's Just Not That Into You" etc. I understand the impulse to have "seen the light" and now want to tell others about it. But there is something that feels superficial here, not appreciating the nuance that can come from getting to know another human being. Like others have said, this is for early dating, not established relationships.

He comes right out and says that this is an article for "attractive, high self-worth people".


Protesting too much.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 11:08 AM on November 10, 2014


The proper title for this article is indeed "Fuck Yes! or No." not "Fuck yes or no".
Other interesting articles I would like to read:

"Fuck, Yes or No!"
"Fuck, yes or no-no"
"Fuck no=yes"
"Fuck yes and/or no"
"Fuck "Yes" or "No""
posted by storybored at 1:10 PM on November 10, 2014


You're 13 week early for Valentine's Day. Or is this the early jump to dump your partner before the Rubicon of the holiday season?
posted by xtian at 2:23 PM on November 11, 2014


« Older The Islamic State Versus Lebanon   |   "Pinpoint the flaws in biology, children, and... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments