Love and Romance

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					Love and Romance

I took a great class which touches upon lots of wonderful things that affect my life. I
came up with a few thoughts along the course of the class. Writing a journal was
required, and here are some concepts I came up with.

10/8/1 to 11/29/1

                Pretend It’s a Game. Hey Buddy! What’s the Score?

       I was reading through the “Relationship Cure” and right from the beginning the

book begins describing the process of bidding for emotional connection. The book

describes that in social exchanges, that focus is not about searching for information,

rather it is for the purposes of gaining favor with another, and adding up positive

exchanges, building friendships. Interestingly enough, this concept isn‟t new to me. It is

clearly outlined in the widely popular video game, “The Sims” for personal computers,

basing friendships directly to the theories on bidding. In this game, interacting with

others results in either a positive or a negative score, and once enough positive points

have been achieved, that person becomes your friend.

       Is that what friendship and love is about? Does building a positive surplus of

positive exchanges result in friendship? Can it really be that simple? In the game of life,

it sure seems that way. The only wildcard interfering with this perfect system is again,

the love factor. The book describes how to effectively give positive bids, how to

interpret bids, and how to effectively respond to bids. While reading it occurred to me

how hazardous this information could be if applied with cruel intentions. Understanding

the emotional bidding process could be used to manipulate others, promote the use of
fake expressions, and promote the continuation of unloving marriages. What‟s so good

about “successful” marriages if there is no love?

                “Oh Director!... Wha, Wha… What’s my motivation?”

        Intrinsic motivation is far superior to extrinsic motivation because intrinsic

motivation fosters happiness whereas extrinsic motivation serves to undermine intrinsic

motivation, reducing happiness. The implications of promoting intrinsic motivation in

others, is that happiness in performing a task results in better quality of that task.

       Although the lecture highlights the positive aspects of understanding intrinsic

motivation, I can‟t help but conclude some rather dangerous consequences. Someone

who can instill intrinsic motivation upon another has the ability to control their actions,

without their knowledge. For example, if it were possible for me to instill intrinsic

motivation for my neighbor to wash my car, clean my room, pay the bills, and cook my

dinner every day, and he‟s intrinsically motivated to do all those things, then an observer

could argue that I‟m taking advantage of that individual. Interestingly enough, if that was

my wife in that same situation, I‟d be thought of as a successful husband.

 Make Sure You Know What You’re Getting Yourself Into For Crying Out Loud!

       While reading “Reconcilable Differences,” I‟ve come to a few conclusions. This

book deals with solving incompatibility problems. It is an in depth analysis of what goes
wrong in relationships due to differences between couples, and by understanding

different communication styles and needs of your partner, the couple can continue to

have a happy relationship. That‟s all well and good, but isn‟t preventative medicine a

better idea? Why get involved with someone who is incompatible? Instead of jumping

into a relationship with someone who conflicts with your personality, hold on and find

someone who is compatible, thereby rendering “Reconcilable Differences” useless. Of

course, however, this isn‟t a perfect world, and people often get involved without

knowing what they‟re getting themselves into. The same is true in relation to marriage.

Taking a slow process in selecting a mate should result in a very good screening process

of incompatible mates. It may be that incompatibility is the underlying cause for

marriage. Therefore, extrinsically motivated marriages are more likely to fail because

those motives are independent of finding a compatible match.

                                 Scientific Dating Haiku

                                   Pretend it‟s a game;

                                The best liars get the girl,

                                  Good guys finish last?

                           Trickery: The Relationship Game

       As exemplified by the previous journal entry, I had concluded that people should

not get into an incompatible relationship in the first place, and spare themselves a whole

bunch of trouble. People unwittingly get conned into a serious relationship based on

lies. I had originally thought that it was simply a matter of looking around and choosing
a compatible mate, without even considering the possibility for undetectable

misrepresentation of a potential mate. Just about everyone inherently “fakes good,”

making sure to be on one‟s best behavior early in a relationship, especially on the first

date, in order to leave a good impression and win subsequent dates. 90% of people are

willing to lie in order to get that first date, and once the date is in progress, people are

prone to opinion conformity.

        In order to make that person of interest more likely to like you back, it‟s a good

strategy to represent yourself as being more similar to your date then you actually are. Of

course, if both people in the pair are both “faking good” and conforming their opinion to

the other person‟s interests, then it stands to reason that both individuals may state an

interest for a particular subject when neither person actually has any interest in the

subject at all. The consequence is that in the beginning of romantic relationships, neither

person is actually getting to know the other at all, and once these two people become a

couple, they‟d have to either prolong their deceptions, or a paradigm shift would have to

occur by revealing the truth and admitting to the falsehoods, creating the need for

reassessment of the relationship. Conflict would inherently ensue do to this deception,

giving rise for the necessity for books such as “Reconcilable Differences” in order to

repair the damage created at the very beginning of the relationship. Isn‟t it interesting

that the foundation of the relationship must be built on lies in order to establish that

relationship in the first place?

                         The Mind Sure Can Play Tricks on You
       After watching the video, I don‟t think I ever want to be examined by a

psychologist. My friends outside my Psychology and Social Behavior major sometimes

tease me a bit, saying that they should be careful because I‟m probably psychoanalyzing

them and can mess with their minds if their not careful. I didn‟t realize just how valid my

friend‟s joking was until I got to see the video in class about psychologist‟s abilities to

implant false memories through hypnosis. I believe it‟s the responsibility of the

Psychologist not to abuse their power of suggestibility. I‟ve learned before how

interviewer bias in asking questions can affect the interviewee‟s responses, but I had no

idea of the magnitude to which psychologists can influence others.

       Reflecting on my childhood, there are events and details that I recall as memory,

although after speaking with my parents about these minor things, my recollection is

completely wrong. For example, the picture in my head of what my old house in San

Francisco looked like turned out to be completely false, I remember my mother driving a

shiny green car, although the vehicle was actually brown, and there are events that I had

no memory of until after I had watched our home movies a few times. It‟s difficult to

determine whether my memories are imaginings or whether they are true. Based on my

own memory experiences, it‟s unbelievable that the psychologist encourage their clients

to manifest and elaborate on outrageous, impossible memories. Clearly, false memories

can be easily created and implanted. It‟s a great injustice for the psychologist to help

destroy the sanity of their patients, and the relationships with their families. What help

are these psychologists, if they promote distress within these individuals?
              If They’d Only Use Their Powers for Good Instead of Evil

       There‟s always two sides to every coin. Thinking about the implantation of false

memories while reading though the course packet, it occurred to me that impressionable

young minds of children are probably more prone to suggestibility than older people. In

addition, since my memories of the past seem to fade exponentially before my time in

junior high, can‟t help but wonder if I had acquired any false memories over the years.

How could I know? How would my future children know? Instead of spending lots of

money to take my future preschool children to the zoo, circus, Disneyland, or any of

those places, I have concluded that it‟s more economically feasible to simply implant

memories of a happy, active childhood experience. I could simply remark, “Remember

when we went to the circus last year, and we saw the acrobats, clowns, and elephants?”

According to the memory studies, through repetition this fictitious event can become real

and factual within the child‟s mind.

       Furthermore, if my child lacks self-confidence, it may be beneficial to implant

false memories of great achievement. For example, I could say, “be confident in yourself

kid. Remember when you stood up to that bully who was going around stealing other

kid‟s milk money? That showed a real strength of character, and you should be proud of

yourself, and I‟m certain you‟ll do great things in the future as well.” Making up false

events which become real in the child‟s mind doesn‟t have to be about a negative

experience as exemplified in the McMartin studies. How can this relate to relationships?

It doesn‟t directly, but I‟ve thought of a way to indirectly apply it. Thirty or forty years

into marriage, you may as well make things up when reminiscing over your marriage.
Why not? I can barely remember what happened last month, let alone five or thirty years

ago. I suggest implanting memories of happy events, and allow your spouse to add detail

as well, and just go with it. “Remember our trip to Europe (assuming it never actually

happened)? Those cab drivers over there sure were rude weren‟t they, honey?”

Applying the techniques of the interviewer from the McMartin case in a positive way

may be applied to strengthening the bonds of marriage. After I‟m married for thirty

years, I just might try this and write a research paper.

                                   False Memory Haiku

                                      Beware Hypnosis

                                False memories can be made

                                    Truth doesn‟t matter?

                                    Flavor of the Month

       Best exemplified the line, “It‟s like, when you give a guy what he wants, then he

doesn‟t want it anymore” from the movie She-devil. Novelty in a relationship is a very

scarce resource. You can only ask, “What‟s your name? Where are you from? What‟s

your major” only so many times before the other person begins to think you‟re crazy.

Withholding sex may be argued to prolong novelty. Now that premarital sex is becoming

more and more socially acceptable, it seems reasonable that relationships involving
premarital sex may have a higher tendency to die out quicker than marriages that do not

involve premarital sex.

       Consequently, two options are available to strategic relations. Either novelty

should be prolonged, spread across a very long period of time, resulting in a single

committed relationship, or there should be frequent casual relationships where you learn

and do everything there is to do in a relationship as quickly as possible, letting the flame

of passion die out, and then moving on to another partner to repeat the process. In

relation to westernization and the movement from conservation to hedonism, there is a

movement in America towards social acceptability for premarital sex. Now that sex

without marriage is has become sexually acceptable, it‟s more reasonable that spouses are

more likely to cheat on their spouse, resulting in a society with fewer committed

relationships and an increased divorce rate.

       Once there is nothing else new to discover, the flame in the relationship has gone

out, the passion and excitement is over, and the relationship becomes boring. Novelty is

definitely a scarce resource, and when things are no longer new and exciting, attraction

begins to dwindle. However, there are ways to artificially prolong novelty though doing

adventurous activities together. If there is nothing left new about each other, it is

possible to compensate the lack of newness with new shared experiences. But how

healthy compensate for the lack of novelty by doing external activities together, rather

than by providing novelty and spontaneity from within? My parents tried ballroom dance

as their external source for novelty in the relationship, which did seem to help. However,
I‟m afraid that once the internal novelty is used up completely, external novelty activities

are only temporary solutions to much bigger problems.

                                     Stray Thoughts

       Conflicts in communication between men and women arise because the

communication styles between genders differ greatly. Successful communication

between men and women would improve greatly if both genders were made aware that

differences exist, how to interpret them, and how to respond in a way that diminishes

instances for miscommunication. When a women asks her partner, “Do I look fat in this

dress?” the man must be able to quickly reinterpret her concerns, acting against his

instincts to relay the truth, and respond with, “I don‟t understand what you mean. Is there

something bothering you? Is there anything you need to tell me?” In this way, bids for

affection can be correctly interpreted and the best course of action can be derived.

       Less than fifty years ago it was socially unacceptable to have sex before marriage

in America. Now that sex is no longer restricted socially to the bonds of marriage, more

sex can be had in a relationship without marriage because marriage is an extrinsic factor

undermining the intrinsic motivation for sex. If the quantity and quality of sex is the

main goal of a relationship, it stands to reason that marriage should be avoided.

     If Marriage is Winning the Game of Life, There Sure Are a Lot of Losers.

Based on Reconcilable Differences and Divorce lecture.
       The statistical evidence exemplifying low percentages of successful marriages,

and the “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” types of conflict which occur

between men and women in relationships, has caused me to conclude that getting

involved in a serious relationship is more trouble then it‟s worth. What are the true

benefits of a relationship if more often than not the relationship ends sourly with both

man and women hating each other at that relationships‟ conclusion. The “bad news”

presented in class has drawn me deduce that only a fool would take that gamble on

marriage. Sixty-seven percent of marriages end in divorce, and many more marriages

continue unhappily or in separation. With so many relationships turning sour, why is it

so important to fight for the continuation of that relationship?

       Why marry at all? Isn‟t marriage based upon religion beliefs? I used to be a

biology major, and learning a lot about genetics, and evolution seems to disprove the

existence of God. With religion dismissed as a factor for me, and the low success rate of

marriage, attempting such a gamble defies all logic. However, love is the defining factor

in marriage, and love is not logical. I‟ve never been in love and have given much thought

on this subject in my spare time and have concluded that I am incapable of love.

       I‟ve been raised in a phase 4 environment, and have no social, family, or religious

pressure to get married. My education or personal temperament leaves me without any

concept of love, leaving me to conclude that my personal relationships shall only exist in

order to satisfy biological urges, and marriage is a very poor and unnecessary

requirement for happiness. My personal situation seems awfully grim, doesn‟t it? What

am I left with now? This makes me a “typical guy.” Females that I‟ve spoken with about
the subject of love and relationships, and many of my male friends draw towards a

spiritual connection, and are driven mainly on emotions to fuel their relationships.

Hopefully I‟ll be able to more fully understand this concept by the end of the course.

                                     Marriage Haiku

                                 Make your marriage vow,

                             But things become old and stale;

                                 So where‟s the love now?

                              What’s Marriage Good For?

       Back in “them good „ole days” people married due to arranged marriages, where

the parents choose their child‟s mate. In this phase, love and motivations for happiness

are extrinsic and it doesn‟t matter if the couple is happy. Since I was raised in a family at

the far extreme of autonomy, as far from ideals of conservation, tradition and conformity,

I‟m now left with the question, “What is marriage good for?” For me, there is no

pressure of religion, there is no pressure from the community, there‟s no pressure to get

married, so why even do this? For love?

                         What’s Love got to do with anything?

       I need to take a love class, because I still don‟t understand this concept. Although

I was raised in a family that fostered my independence from anyone, I haven‟t learned to
love. In the traditional Chinese family, children are to be seen and not heard, and love

isn‟t expressed as openly as in Americanized families.

          Growing up in a traditional family, I don‟t believe my parents learned to love, and

therefore could not pass on expressions of love onto their children either, resulting in

their children being stunted in the ability to love. What does this mean for me? Am I to

live a life void of love? How would my children develop with an unloving father? Of

course, a loveless marriage isn‟t anything new. That‟s been going on for centuries.

However, living in a very westernized culture, in the very westernized state of California,

I‟d prefer very much to raise my children in a loving home, as described at the end of a

fairytale. What is the end result? The search for the meaning of love shall have to begin

if there is to be love in my future family, and that search had better start today.

          The journal has been edited to exclude references to specific people. …and don’t worry…

thoughts change often. My seemingly pessimistic view on love and marriage has lightened up in recent

time. (1-18-2)

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