Applying the concept of "outcome independence" to relationships

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Post by Ron Ritzman on Tue Oct 14, 2014 6:56 pm

reboundstudent wrote:

Essentially, I was doing the lifting of a girlfriend, despite him saying he didn't want one. In my earlier years, it made me believe he did want one but just wouldn't/hadn't yet admitted it. In my later years, I cynically decided it meant he wanted all the benefits of a girlfriend with none of the work on his side or commitment.

Similar to what Harris describes as the "platonic substitute boyfriend" in his articles on the friendzone but with "sex" thrown into the mix.
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Post by reboundstudent on Tue Oct 14, 2014 7:13 pm

Ron Ritzman wrote:
reboundstudent wrote:

Essentially, I was doing the lifting of a girlfriend, despite him saying he didn't want one. In my earlier years, it made me believe he did want one but just wouldn't/hadn't yet admitted it. In my later years, I cynically decided it meant he wanted all the benefits of a girlfriend with none of the work on his side or commitment.

Similar to what Harris describes as the "platonic substitute boyfriend" in his articles on the friendzone but with "sex" thrown into the mix.

Um.... no. No, this is why the whole "women be using you for friendship!" thing is just patently ridiculous. One, throwing sex into the mix makes a HUGE difference. Hand-waving that away as "nope not a big deal" ignores a lot of biological/social programming that says, for the majority of people, sex is very much a big deal, that sex is very much the thing that makes or breaks a relationship, or drives a connection over the line from "platonic" to "romantic." If you take sex OUT of the mix, yes, it looks like a normal friendship if you squint, but taking sex out of the mix is like taking flour of a recipe and still claiming it's a cake.

Two, I continue to believe that guys who insist their lady friends are using them for friendship just have really no concept of what an actual, close friendship is like (or have a very strange view of how NON-intimate romantic relationships are.) Having been in close friendships with both men and women, and been in relationships, there are similarities, but intimate romantic relationships are far more intense. Things like "listen to her when she has a bad day" do NOT automatically make it her "using" you as a substitute boyfriend. A lot of the things I hear described as "substitute platonic boyfriend" just sounds like a fairly normal friendship.

Whereas the expectations these Not-Boyfriends had for me went far beyond what normal friends required of me. I have yet to remember the last time I held a friend while they cried about not getting the right Lego set for Christmas and how that meant their father didn't love them.
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Post by reboot on Tue Oct 14, 2014 7:20 pm

Gotta cosign with RBS on this. What men call the "platonic substitute boyfriend" is generally what women call a close friend regardless of gender. What RBS is talking about is a level beyond that with all the physical and emotional intimacy of a relationship but without the commitment with the added joys of having to pick up some of the duties of a relationship. I highly doubt the "platonic substitute boyfriend" ever catches flack for not reminding someone to get a mother's day card.

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Post by Ron Ritzman on Tue Oct 14, 2014 8:20 pm

reboundstudent wrote:
Whereas the expectations these Not-Boyfriends had for me went far beyond what normal friends required of me. I have yet to remember the last time I held a friend while they cried about not getting the right Lego set for Christmas and how that meant their father didn't love them.

So a better description would be "he wanted you to be his girlfriend but he didn't want to be your boyfriend".  A very one sided dynamic. I myself have mixed feelings about the "platonic substitute boyfriend" thing even though I heard about it first in a Dr. Nerdlove podcast (with Cat) on the friendzone as it does suggest some manipulation on the part of the woman. It's just as possible that she does view him as a very close friend.

On the old board you often mentioned the consequences of women chasing men. Might this be one of them? There seems to be an unstated belief that the one who first approaches has to do the "heavy lifting" in a relationship.
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Post by kleenestar on Tue Oct 14, 2014 8:21 pm

It's fascinating, because I read "outcome independence" as kind of opposite from how it's being talked about here - that you are okay if this particular relationship doesn't serve your long-term goals, because you're willing to go find one that does. I actually think it's very smart to be strategic about what you want, and to find people who share your values and priorities. But to get there, you have to be willing to say no to people who don't. Believing Mr. Cuddles will become Mr. Relationship is the opposite of outcome independence to me. Outcome independence means "Hey, nice cuddles! But I want something that you're not offering. Bye!"

Related: being a woman who is clear about her wants and preferences is an excellent way to filter out entitled jerks. Will you take flak for it? Sure - but that's called "being female in our society." Sometimes you just have to decide which end of the shit sandwich you want to take a bite of. Speaking personally, I'd rather be called demanding than spend my life catering to someone who only wants me if I'm "cool."
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Post by eselle28 on Tue Oct 14, 2014 9:17 pm

kleenestar wrote:It's fascinating, because I read "outcome independence" as kind of opposite from how it's being talked about here - that you are okay if this particular relationship doesn't serve your long-term goals, because you're willing to go find one that does. I actually think it's very smart to be strategic about what you want, and to find people who share your values and priorities. But to get there, you have to be willing to say no to people who don't. Believing Mr. Cuddles will become Mr. Relationship is the opposite of outcome independence to me. Outcome independence means "Hey, nice cuddles! But I want something that you're not offering. Bye!"

Yes, that's how I tend to interpret it as well. To me, outcome independence when seeking a serious relationship means that when you go out on a nice date with a cool guy and then find out that he isn't looking for a relationship or doesn't have compatible views about monogamy or children or religion, you say "nice meeting you" and delete his number and move on to looking for someone who can meet your needs. Outcome dependence would be reacting to that date by being devastated for a month or continuing to date that man anyway in hopes that he'll change his mind.
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Post by reboundstudent on Tue Oct 14, 2014 10:06 pm

eselle28 wrote:
kleenestar wrote:It's fascinating, because I read "outcome independence" as kind of opposite from how it's being talked about here - that you are okay if this particular relationship doesn't serve your long-term goals, because you're willing to go find one that does. I actually think it's very smart to be strategic about what you want, and to find people who share your values and priorities. But to get there, you have to be willing to say no to people who don't. Believing Mr. Cuddles will become Mr. Relationship is the opposite of outcome independence to me. Outcome independence means "Hey, nice cuddles! But I want something that you're not offering. Bye!"

Yes, that's how I tend to interpret it as well. To me, outcome independence when seeking a serious relationship means that when you go out on a nice date with a cool guy and then find out that he isn't looking for a relationship or doesn't have compatible views about monogamy or children or religion, you say "nice meeting you" and delete his number and move on to looking for someone who can meet your needs. Outcome dependence would be reacting to that date by being devastated for a month or continuing to date that man anyway in hopes that he'll change his mind.

Hmm that is a very good insight, and in the spirit of that definition, I am all for being outcome independent. :-)
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Post by reboot on Tue Oct 14, 2014 10:13 pm

reboundstudent wrote:
eselle28 wrote:
kleenestar wrote:It's fascinating, because I read "outcome independence" as kind of opposite from how it's being talked about here - that you are okay if this particular relationship doesn't serve your long-term goals, because you're willing to go find one that does. I actually think it's very smart to be strategic about what you want, and to find people who share your values and priorities. But to get there, you have to be willing to say no to people who don't. Believing Mr. Cuddles will become Mr. Relationship is the opposite of outcome independence to me. Outcome independence means "Hey, nice cuddles! But I want something that you're not offering. Bye!"

Yes, that's how I tend to interpret it as well. To me, outcome independence when seeking a serious relationship means that when you go out on a nice date with a cool guy and then find out that he isn't looking for a relationship or doesn't have compatible views about monogamy or children or religion, you say "nice meeting you" and delete his number and move on to looking for someone who can meet your needs. Outcome dependence would be reacting to that date by being devastated for a month or continuing to date that man anyway in hopes that he'll change his mind.

Hmm that is a very good insight, and in the spirit of that definition, I am all for being outcome independent. :-)

Yeah, this works for me in this situation
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Post by Ron Ritzman on Tue Oct 14, 2014 10:21 pm

Well, it seems that once again the responses have given me something to think about. It's quite possible that the woman who wrote the original blog post may have stayed in "non-escalator" relationships longer then she normally would have because she misinterpreted the "cuddles and spoons" as signs that the guy really didn't mean it when he said he wasn't looking for anything long term serious. She also views such things as "manipulation tactics". (men know what they're doing when they do such things) Since I'm basically a "live for the moment, it goes where it goes" type of guy" who loves to show affection, maybe I took it a little too personally ie if you are not going to offer her the "Disney package" then getting touchy feeley is lying to her.

However, I have heard plenty of people say, both in real life and on the net, words to the effect of "if you're an ex, fuck you" without giving any other reason for their animosity aside for not being with them anymore. There are plenty of reasons why relationships don't last and not all of them are the fault of your ex.
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Post by The Wisp on Tue Oct 14, 2014 10:26 pm

She also views such things as "manipulation tactics".

It's falling into the same trap that was talked about in the Sex Nerd Sandra podcast about hookup culture, except in the other direction. She thinks caring about your partner and being affectionate must come with commitment (compared to the hook-up culture where a casual relationship is seen as being devoid of caring about your partner and affection).
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Post by Lemminkainen on Tue Oct 14, 2014 11:24 pm

kleenestar wrote:It's fascinating, because I read "outcome independence" as kind of opposite from how it's being talked about here - that you are okay if this particular relationship doesn't serve your long-term goals, because you're willing to go find one that does. I actually think it's very smart to be strategic about what you want, and to find people who share your values and priorities. But to get there, you have to be willing to say no to people who don't. Believing Mr. Cuddles will become Mr. Relationship is the opposite of outcome independence to me. Outcome independence means "Hey, nice cuddles! But I want something that you're not offering. Bye!"

Related: being a woman who is clear about her wants and preferences is an excellent way to filter out entitled jerks. Will you take flak for it? Sure - but that's called "being female in our society." Sometimes you just have to decide which end of the shit sandwich you want to take a bite of. Speaking personally, I'd rather be called demanding than spend my life catering to someone who only wants me if I'm "cool."

I love this! And exercising that kind of agency feels great! I remember when I got out of Desperate Mode and started ending relationships with people who were jerks to me and refusing second dates to people I didn't click with-- it felt amazing.

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