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Thread: I love you but I don't like ya

  1. #1 I love you but I don't like ya 
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    I didn't really know where to put this topic - to biology, chemistry or right here. So I decided to put it here.

    So my question is:
    How can it be that we love people we don't necessarily like - or maybe like/love people we can't even stand at all?
    I mean when you think the person is arrogant or ignorant or maybe unfriendly...and maybe exactly this is what you like in this person - even if you cannot stand people who are arrogant or conceited.

    This is weird...
    Is it maybe that we can be ourselves when we are with this certain person?
    Doesn't this show us that all constructs we have of society sometimes break down completely, for example that we stop suggesting (is it suggesting that you can call it?) that we may not like arrogant people or that we really have to care about everyone?

    I mean, if we had thought before that this kind of person is the one you despise or do not like to deal with, and then it changes at once.
    Doesn't this show us that the concepts of what we like and what we don't like are actually labels given by society?


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  3. #2  
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    I think it may just be because of the attachments we create with people. I mean we can very much dislike people like our parents sometimes but we still hold an attachment to them. Maybe because we feel their pain from time to time and empathise with them, so we in effect hurt when they hurt so we do our best to keep them happy even if we don't like or love them. Still I've just added another 'wierd' to this discussion haven't I?


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  4. #3  
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    we form emotional attachments to people for various reasons, which may or may not be related to their personality qualities. your family, for instance, you are intended to love, because they share your genes, and by caring for them and desiring to help them, you increase their (reproductive) fitness, and thereby indirectly increase your own fitness. you may form bonds of friendship with people because they serve a supportive purpose in your life, and that purpose may not be impeded by their otherwise unsavory characteristics.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
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    Is it like you've got the most effective or healthy combination with the people you love to produce offspring?
    Hm so you say this bond is not impeded by these characteristics?

    I got something else in my mind: Is it maybe that we hope the person we love will change if having a relationship with us?
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  6. #5  
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    well, it sounds like you're talking about romantic relationships, which are usually of a different nature than more purely social relationships.

    When choosing a mate, there are two things to consider. 1: do they have genes that will contribute to healthy, successful offspring? 2: do they have the characteristics that will make them a good lifelong partner? These two categories do not always match up. So it's possible to be attracted to a person because they are smart, successful, healthy, good looking, and everything you'd want your children to have - and for that person to be an asshole. This isn't always the case, but it can be.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
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    I don't understand that.
    I mean, to guarantee the best development for the offspring is to stay together for a life. Or is it not so? How was it earlier...the best defense against enemies was to stay together as a family.

    So, you're saying that it could be that the best possible offspring might be produced despite having a partner who does not live with us forever?
    I mean, you discriminate the actual emotional relation we have to our sexual partner from the function of producing offspring (your points 1. and 2.).
    But to me, however, it seems there is not really a difference: To be emotionally well-bonded without conflict or tensions effects a wholesome personality of the offspring, being able to give the children the affection they need, no negative emotions or frustration. The better you get along with your partner, the better you can spend your energy on your children, not wasting it in arguments. Let alone a divorce or a break of the relationship.
    In earlier days that would have meant the tribe is weakened by interior discord and thus easier of being attacked.

    But if I love a person, I want to build up a bond with this person, even though this person may have unpleasant personality traits.
    You're saying now that it's not the actual matter if we like or dislike this trait, but the whole person who is successful in life. This makes sense because if the person is successful, it shows that this person probably has "strong" genes. That's why people who succeed in sports are particularly attractive due to their fitness (which is the consequence of human evolutionary history). Also, people who exercise sports are usually more equanimous and therefore better able to provide emotionally for their partner and for the offspring.

    Nowadays this purpose has switched to mental faculties rather than keeping physical vigor or fitness. Smart people may be more attractive, depending on culture, provision of necessities, belief...etc. Brain structures have changed accordingly.

    Ok, now the main content summed up:
    -success/fitness vs. character traits
    -importance of fitness and composure --> healthy offspring
    -emotional bonds important for healthy offspring

    My question was why we love people even though they have traits we actually don't like. And why exactly these traits don't bother us in this particular person.

    Now I don't exactly understand what you write about offspring. Do you mean that I love a person when I want to produce offspring with this person (1.) or if I want to have a lifelong relationship (2.) or both?

    I mean one could fall in love with a person who he/she actually doesn't like at all. It always comes out of the blue.
    I sacrifice things for this person, and sometimes it's a mutual thing.
    I prepare myself for the future when I love a person. I assume responsibility. My instincts/intuition tell me that it's right.
    If it was really so that the best genes go together, then why is there unilateral love?
    Is it maybe the very word, the concept, that sets a problem here?
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  8. #7  
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    Well you know what young women are like about what they want and everything else. Ahhhh Bless them.
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  9. #8  
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    Yes, there might be some concept issues here that are giving you some trouble. Let me first establish, as I probably should have earlier, that when speaking about the biological/evolutionary origins of human behavior, I am always speaking in terms of generalities and averages. How any given individual behaves is a complex combination of their genes and their upbringing, and of course varies from person to person, especially in humans. Any behavioral "rules" I might describe are not strict ones written in stone, but are significant trends within the population.

    Now, what I am trying to describe, in effort to answer your original question, is one possible case where you would be romantically attracted to a person with some "bad" personality characteristics.

    When it comes to mating strategies, many species have several established ones, and the same goes for humans. Which strategy is used depends on the quality of the environment and the characteristics of the individual. Let's take, for example, the "love 'em and leave 'em" strategy for males. In other animals, this strategy is ideal for males of high quality, and who live in a resource rich area. They are very attractive to females, so they can mate with many of them, but not form a special bond with any of them. In this way, they can maximize their reproductive success by just having plenty of babies, and since the area is rich in resources, the mother should be able to raise the offspring successfully on her own. And females will preferentially mate with these kinds of males, ensuring that their own offspring will be just as attractive and successful.

    However, if the area is not resource rich, and the offspring need a lot of parental care in order to survive healthily, then females need to pair bond with males, so they can cooperate in raising the offspring. But, those very attractive "love 'em and leave 'em" males are probably still around. The trouble is, they are limited within the population, and not every female will be able to pair bond with one. What often happens in species like this is that the female will pair bond with a lower quality male, genetically speaking, to raise her offspring with - but will sneak out and mate with the high quality male. So she has her offspring with the genes she wants, and she raises her offspring with a male who forms a strong pair bond with her.

    This is one example where you can be attracted to one individual for their potential genetic contribution to your offspring, yet desire different qualities for the individual you want to form a life-long pair bond with. The situation can of course be flipped for males as well; in non-human species, that situation is less common, but can still occur.

    Keep in mind that all those "decisions" that I described above are not conscious, not in animals, and not in most humans. What the individual feels are emotions and urges and attraction, based on their genes and shaped by their upbringing. And this is but one possible scenario in the mating game.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
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  10. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    Yes, there might be some concept issues here that are giving you some trouble. Let me first establish, as I probably should have earlier, that when speaking about the biological/evolutionary origins of human behavior, I am always speaking in terms of generalities and averages. How any given individual behaves is a complex combination of their genes and their upbringing, and of course varies from person to person, especially in humans. Any behavioral "rules" I might describe are not strict ones written in stone, but are significant trends within the population.

    Now, what I am trying to describe, in effort to answer your original question, is one possible case where you would be romantically attracted to a person with some "bad" personality characteristics.

    When it comes to mating strategies, many species have several established ones, and the same goes for humans. Which strategy is used depends on the quality of the environment and the characteristics of the individual. Let's take, for example, the "love 'em and leave 'em" strategy for males. In other animals, this strategy is ideal for males of high quality, and who live in a resource rich area. They are very attractive to females, so they can mate with many of them, but not form a special bond with any of them. In this way, they can maximize their reproductive success by just having plenty of babies, and since the area is rich in resources, the mother should be able to raise the offspring successfully on her own. And females will preferentially mate with these kinds of males, ensuring that their own offspring will be just as attractive and successful.

    However, if the area is not resource rich, and the offspring need a lot of parental care in order to survive healthily, then females need to pair bond with males, so they can cooperate in raising the offspring. But, those very attractive "love 'em and leave 'em" males are probably still around. The trouble is, they are limited within the population, and not every female will be able to pair bond with one. What often happens in species like this is that the female will pair bond with a lower quality male, genetically speaking, to raise her offspring with - but will sneak out and mate with the high quality male. So she has her offspring with the genes she wants, and she raises her offspring with a male who forms a strong pair bond with her.

    This is one example where you can be attracted to one individual for their potential genetic contribution to your offspring, yet desire different qualities for the individual you want to form a life-long pair bond with. The situation can of course be flipped for males as well; in non-human species, that situation is less common, but can still occur.

    Keep in mind that all those "decisions" that I described above are not conscious, not in animals, and not in most humans. What the individual feels are emotions and urges and attraction, based on their genes and shaped by their upbringing. And this is but one possible scenario in the mating game.
    It just goes to show that in the end, we don't make any choices where selection is made. I'll give an example. There is this really attractive female very much alike to me, she likes me a lot (the obvious signs) and is very much into me-she seems 6 years older than I (she's about 26 I reckon), yet I do not seem 'drawn' to her. Sure she looks pretty, sexy and I can be with her when I want to be. This is actually the first case I've had to be with someone emotionally, yet I don't find myself compelled to be with her. Is this what you mean? I'd really like to settle down for once, but I am VERY picky in the girl I look for. Attractiveness is the first thing I look for (being naturally attractive myself I'm guessing thats a gene thing), after that, personality, then intelligence. It goes on from there. Is this all subconscious?
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  11. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by svwillmer
    It just goes to show that in the end, we don't make any choices where selection is made. I'll give an example. There is this really attractive female very much alike to me, she likes me a lot (the obvious signs) and is very much into me-she seems 6 years older than I (she's about 26 I reckon), yet I do not seem 'drawn' to her. Sure she looks pretty, sexy and I can be with her when I want to be. This is actually the first case I've had to be with someone emotionally, yet I don't find myself compelled to be with her. Is this what you mean? I'd really like to settle down for once, but I am VERY picky in the girl I look for. Attractiveness is the first thing I look for (being naturally attractive myself I'm guessing thats a gene thing), after that, personality, then intelligence. It goes on from there. Is this all subconscious?
    The line between what's conscious and subconscious in humans isn't always as clear. Things that seem tied to emotions and urges are more subconscious, but then again, if we become aware of our emotions and think about what they're trying to "tell" us, is it still subconscious? *shrugs*
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
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    @paralith:
    Thank you for this explanation. This is more what I expected to be answered.

    So there are 1.)individuals who go for lifelong pair-bonding and 2.)individuals who prefer short-term relationships.

    And some long-term individuals make children with short-term individuals, but raise them with their long-term partner, right?
    And this is because not every long-term individual may find a high-quality long-term partner, but only short-term partners of high quality.

    My questions here are,
    -Does the long-term partner who raises the child agree with this (since they are actually not his children, but from another man/woman)? Did feelings like jealousy already exist then?

    -Ok it might be that I want a different sexual partner than the partner to live my whole life with. (This also depends whether I am a short-term individual or a long-term inidividual. I think all of us are kind of both.)

    ...so when I fall in love with somebody, then I want a long-term relationship. And there will be the subject "sex" coming up.
    That is, I love the person, want a bond. Ah I think I got it!!!!!!!

    If there is a person I love but I don't actually really like, then it might be because I actually want only a short-term relationship, where the repelling character traits are unimportant, right?

    But there is a second thing I wanted to bring up:
    Two persons may be very different on a superficial level, but may be much closer together on a deeper level. You know what I mean?
    It's like one person likes math and may be reticent, the other one is into sports and a little conceited, maybe they are in different social worlds and have different interests, maybe different world views.
    But they can still be able to fall in love with each other.
    This is an extreme example, but to demonstrate what I mean.
    Or two persons who "hate" each other, then maybe become friends or partners.
    What I want to say is, does this not show us on how a superficial level we find the structures of society?
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  13. #12  
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    Quote Originally Posted by mastermind
    @paralith:
    Thank you for this explanation. This is more what I expected to be answered.

    So there are 1.)individuals who go for lifelong pair-bonding and 2.)individuals who prefer short-term relationships.
    Yes and no. First of all, I'm assuming that you're talking about humans. Secondly, what mating strategy a person chooses to follow can change throughout their lifetime; when you're young and handsome and healthy with a long future ahead of you, many short term relationships might be the best way to go. But when you're older, and getting all those short-term mates is not as easy, it may be best to settle down with a single partner and take good care of the few offspring you will have before your reproductive life is over. But like I said, it varies a great deal from person to person, so yes, there are some individuals who simply prefer one strategy or another for various reasons. Remember that the situation I described in my earlier post is but one out of several possible situations. Remember also that this "decision" is not always a conscious one.

    And some long-term individuals make children with short-term individuals, but raise them with their long-term partner, right?
    And this is because not every long-term individual may find a high-quality long-term partner, but only short-term partners of high quality.

    My questions here are,
    -Does the long-term partner who raises the child agree with this (since they are actually not his children, but from another man/woman)? Did feelings like jealousy already exist then?
    Haha. In evolutionary terms, no, this is NEVER a good situation to be in. To waste all your investment on a competitor's offspring, freeing her/him up to go on and have even more offspring, while you have none of your own? That's not how you pass on your genes. That is never acceptable. So when it happens in nature, deception is involved. In fact, this is probably why so many traditional human cultures have strict rules for the behavior of women. Human societies are largely patriarchal, so the men are in charge. And the men do NOT want their mates sneaking off and mating with someone else, and tricking them into raising a child that isn't theirs - which is called cuckoldry. So they impose strict control on women to control their reproduction and ensure that it doesn't happen. Yes, jealousy did exist then, and like all other emotions, it serves a purpose - to motivate you to keep your mate faithful and prevent cuckoldry.

    In modern human culture, things are of course different. What is socially acceptable is not the same as what evolution would dictate. However, we're still more likely to feel jealousy in that kind of situation than not, since millions of years of evolution have made us feel generally unhappy when cuckoldry happens.

    -Ok it might be that I want a different sexual partner than the partner to live my whole life with. (This also depends whether I am a short-term individual or a long-term inidividual. I think all of us are kind of both.)

    ...so when I fall in love with somebody, then I want a long-term relationship. And there will be the subject "sex" coming up.
    That is, I love the person, want a bond. Ah I think I got it!!!!!!!

    If there is a person I love but I don't actually really like, then it might be because I actually want only a short-term relationship, where the repelling character traits are unimportant, right?

    But there is a second thing I wanted to bring up:
    Two persons may be very different on a superficial level, but may be much closer together on a deeper level. You know what I mean?
    It's like one person likes math and may be reticent, the other one is into sports and a little conceited, maybe they are in different social worlds and have different interests, maybe different world views.
    But they can still be able to fall in love with each other.
    This is an extreme example, but to demonstrate what I mean.
    Or two persons who "hate" each other, then maybe become friends or partners.
    What I want to say is, does this not show us on how a superficial level we find the structures of society?
    I'm not sure what point you're trying to make. As we've been discussing, people can feel attraction to each other for various reasons. When you say two people are "superficially" different but have a "deep" connection, that sounds to me like just another way of saying you can like some qualities about a person, yet dislike other qualities about that person. For a long term mate, personality qualities are extremely important if you're going to have a harmonious, life long relationship.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
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    Well, the last paragraph I wrote doesn't go with the others.
    Think it as being separate.
    I got a thought but I didn't yet know what exactly I wanted to say.
    But this leads to nothing I am noticing now. So just abandon it.
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  15. #14  
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    If I remember correctly, we naturally learn and remember by association. So I am wondering if you might be identifying the bad traits of your partner with someone else in your life that you might have equated to a good example for a desirable mate? I'm not sure, but I have heard that people sometimes look for traits in possible mates that are similar to a parent's. Could that be the case? Also, while it is possible to evaluate your emotions in retrospect, the moment you feel the emotion, it is usually seperated from reason. So the unattractive traits: you notice using reason, while the affection is emotional/instinct.

    I might be talking nonsense
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    If I remember correctly, we naturally learn and remember by association. So I am wondering if you might be identifying the bad traits of your partner with someone else in your life that you might have equated to a good example for a desirable mate? I'm not sure, but I have heard that people sometimes look for traits in possible mates that are similar to a parent's. Could that be the case? Also, while it is possible to evaluate your emotions in retrospect, the moment you feel the emotion, it is usually seperated from reason. So the unattractive traits: you notice using reason, while the affection is emotional/instinct.

    I might be talking nonsense
    Well what you said makes sense to me. Apparently women go after men that look and are alike to their fathers. But thats what I hear anyway.
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    @KALSTER:

    So you mean it's the common love-makes-blind thing?
    Yeah actually a good way to phrase it!
    'Cause I don't know why I love a certain person.
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