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Natkat

Relationship anarchy and aromanticism

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So I am currently looking into RA (short for relationship anarchy) for along time now I have identified as a non-monogamyous person, but I still did not feel like calling myself Poly cause it didn't quit fit how I felt.

 

Reading up on RA I feel I defiantly have alot of things in common here to identify as RA. I also feel RA in general have alot in common with aromanticism and QPR ex by refusing the amatonormative idea that romantic relationships have to be superior to platonic ones.

-

anyway for people who identify as RA I wonder if you feel different being Aro and RA compared to alloromantic who identify as RA.

when I first looked into poly I felt happy I didnt have to be monogamyous, but I also remember feeling alone because most of all the focus was made from alloromantic people and put on romantic relationships and it made me feel like I didnt belong. I am pretty new to RA so I cant say I have gained much experience yet and I dont know that many people either identifying as RA but yeah.. I want to hear your experience good or bad. Do you think its easy being Aro and RA or do you think there are still amatonormative issues even within RA or from some alloromantic RA's?

 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Natkat said:

So I am currently looking into RA (short for relationship anarchy) for along time now I have identified as a non-monogamyous person, but I still did not feel like calling myself Poly cause it didn't quit fit how I felt.

 

Reading up on RA I feel I defiantly have alot of things in common here to identify as RA. I also feel RA in general have alot in common with aromanticism and QPR ex by refusing the amatonormative idea that romantic relationships have to be superior to platonic ones.

Concepts such as "solo poly" and "egalitarian poly" tend to be quite contrary to amantonormativity. Though there can still be issues of giving priority to romantic relationships.

 

2 hours ago, Natkat said:

when I first looked into poly I felt happy I didnt have to be monogamyous, but I also remember feeling alone because most of all the focus was made from alloromantic people and put on romantic relationships and it made me feel like I didnt belong.

When I first came across "poly" it sounded interesting. But the common theme was of opening up what had been (sucessful) monogamous relationships. Leading to what is now known as "polynormativity". Since I'd never wanted monogamy in my life I felt rather out of place. As well as finding things alloromantic polys tend to struggle with to be "obvious". Even now most poly literature can be highly couple centric.

 

3 hours ago, Natkat said:

I am pretty new to RA so I cant say I have gained much experience yet and I dont know that many people either identifying as RA but yeah.. I want to hear your experience good or bad. Do you think its easy being Aro and RA or do you think there are still amatonormative issues even within RA or from some alloromantic RA's?

I don't think being aro is "easy" under any circumstances.
IME alloromantic RA's tend to be accepting and non judgemental. By contrast I've encountered no shortage of (mainstream) polys who dismiss FWBs/QPRs/sexual friendships/etc as "not a relationship". Some who insist that "amor" must "romantic love". (The concept of romantic love postdating Latin being a "dead language".)

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I had no idea what RA was until a couple of days ago, when I noticed a lot of people talking about it on here. The more research I do the more I like the concept. Just now I was reading a piece from the thinking asexual and I really liked this quote

 

"Relationship anarchists recognize that no behavior is inherently romantic, and the only behavior that is inherently sexual is actual genital sex. What determines the nature of a given act is the individual’s feelings behind it."

 

I can really relate to this whole concept of RA since the concept of romance is so irrelevant to my life.

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9 hours ago, aussiekirkland said:

I had no idea what RA was until a couple of days ago, when I noticed a lot of people talking about it on here. The more research I do the more I like the concept. Just now I was reading a piece from the thinking asexual and I really liked this quote

Pity they don't give an example of an allorsexual aro.

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I'm definitely on board with RA, but I didn't know about it until very recently as well. 

 

Just letting relationships be what they are, what a concept. And I agree that most polyamorous literature tends to be super amanormative, where RA doesn't have that yen to try and be "healthy and normal." xP 

 

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On 6 September 2016 at 9:18 AM, aussiekirkland said:

I had no idea what RA was until a couple of days ago, when I noticed a lot of people talking about it on here. The more research I do the more I like the concept. Just now I was reading a piece from the thinking asexual and I really liked this quote

 

"Relationship anarchists recognize that no behavior is inherently romantic, and the only behavior that is inherently sexual is actual genital sex. What determines the nature of a given act is the individual’s feelings behind it."

 

I can really relate to this whole concept of RA since the concept of romance is so irrelevant to my life.

I actually got so excited about it that I volunteered to host a carnival of aces on RA in November. It might help spread more awareness for this awesome concept :)

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I'd promote awareness if I could. RA is an interesting concept and I really want it to be recognised more over the "ideal" of monogamous relationships.

 

Even if RA couldn't become anything that's taken seriously, I would like polyamory to be taken seriously. I had a conversation with mum a few weeks ago about polyamory, and she maintains that polyamory, even if it is completely consensual, is wrong and "cheating" because it isn't monogamous. 

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On 07/09/2016 at 0:12 AM, LunarSeas said:

Just letting relationships be what they are, what a concept. And I agree that most polyamorous literature tends to be super amanormative, where RA doesn't have that yen to try and be "healthy and normal." xP 

IME a lot of it's more about polynormativity. My initial reaction to the whole idea of opening up a monogamous relationship is that I couldn't possibly do the monogamy bit (especially climbing of the relationship escalator). I suspect that alloromantic polys can struggle with things which can be "obvious" to aromantic polys. Like "love" not being exclusive.

 

7 hours ago, aussiekirkland said:

I actually got so excited about it that I volunteered to host a carnival of aces on RA in November. It might help spread more awareness for this awesome concept :)

Sounds good to have something in the "real world", rather than just online.

 

1 hour ago, Pufflehugs04 said:

Even if RA couldn't become anything that's taken seriously, I would like polyamory to be taken seriously. I had a conversation with mum a few weeks ago about polyamory, and she maintains that polyamory, even if it is completely consensual, is wrong and "cheating" because it isn't monogamous. 

My advice would be that, if possible, aros should approach an RA community in preference to a general poly community.

Because of polynormativity, which I suspect few aros can relate to. Along with possible arophobic attitudes like "amory" equals "romantic love".

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yeah I have also came across the aro hate in poly spaces which is why I found it so hard to feel wellcomed when I first started identifying as non-monogamyous. 

On 6/9/2016 at 0:36 PM, Mark said:

Pity they don't give an example of an allorsexual aro.

but the do aknowlegde them and that they also can have qpp and be in RA and so on.. I feel that is pretty great. 

then there are other parts I disagree on like they dont acknowlegde the gray-aros but thats another debate.

--

11 hours ago, Pufflehugs04 said:

I'd promote awareness if I could. RA is an interesting concept and I really want it to be recognised more over the "ideal" of monogamous relationships.

 

Even if RA couldn't become anything that's taken seriously, I would like polyamory to be taken seriously. I had a conversation with mum a few weeks ago about polyamory, and she maintains that polyamory, even if it is completely consensual, is wrong and "cheating" because it isn't monogamous. 

yeah.. I think my parrents are pretty simular.. in some way I cant really blame them.. all they have of reference is shitty TV shows on CNN and so on, =/ 

once I also thought poly where like something that was imposible to do in a western sociaty unless you where in a religious cult or something. today I know better and know different poly people but I still get annoyed in the poly debate because its so normative and well.. pretty romantic focused as well..

 

 

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I read the article @aussiekirkland posted further up this thread and the two quotations below (taken from that article) have got me thinking...

 

Quote

Relationship anarchy should be important to aromantics because it is the only philosophy of love that strips romance of its supremacy and power, that creates the freedom for nonromantic companions to experience a a deeper emotional intimacy and physical intimacy than what mere common friendship allows.

 

Quote

You may have already rejected the Romantic Sex-Based Relationship Hierarchy, [and with RA] you’re already in a position that questions the validity of monogamy (whether sexual or “romantic”), you’re already in a position to blur or erase boundaries between “friendship” and “romantic (couple) relationships,” etc. just because of who you are. You’re already in a position to challenge the romantic-sexual majority’s ideas of what makes a “romantic” relationship, a life partnership, a family, etc.

 

I find it particularly interesting that "romantic" is put in inverted commas/quotation marks on multiple occasions throughout the article. The thought occurs to me (and perhaps it's what the author was implying with all those inverted commas) : if you've successfully established a relationship characterized by "a deeper emotional intimacy and physical intimacy than what mere common friendship allows" (and one possibly involving sex as well. or not!) - what then stops this relationship from being characterized (by yourselves and/or others) as "romantic"? What is the missing ingredient?! Does it differ in some essential way from the most fulfilling possible expression of a friendship? Or, when we say we aren't "romantic", are we just saying that we don't desire the types of interpersonal dynamics typically implied by that word? Or, perhaps we just do not like the word "romantic" very much?! For our own perverse reasons, no doubt ;) Really, getting down to it: what does "romantic" actually, concretely, mean? (a lot of definitions I've read of "romantic relationships" strike me as going around in circles - a romantic relationship is a relationship characterized by romantic feelings towards another person, yada yada yada, tautology).

 

Maybe this is why RA practitioners will tend to reject common relationship labels like 'boyfriend', 'girlfriend', etc.? (and the 'romantic' label too?). After all, if your goal is to clear all the 'ideological rubble' away from the site and build the thing up from scratch, do these terms like 'romantic' (with all the attendant cultural baggage) still serve any useful purpose? Or does their continued usage just serve to keep us bound to the pre-existing social standards around relationships that we're trying to escape from?

 

EDIT: after writing the above, I found my way here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limerence Would that be the 'missing ingredient' that makes a relationship 'romantic'?

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5 hours ago, NullVector said:

I read the article @aussiekirkland posted further up this thread and the two quotations below (taken from that article) have got me thinking...

 

 

 

I find it particularly interesting that "romantic" is put in inverted commas/quotation marks on multiple occasions throughout the article. The thought occurs to me (and perhaps it's what the author was implying with all those inverted commas) : if you've successfully established a relationship characterized by "a deeper emotional intimacy and physical intimacy than what mere common friendship allows" (and one possibly involving sex as well. or not!) - what then stops this relationship from being characterized (by yourselves and/or others) as "romantic"? What is the missing ingredient?! Does it differ in some essential way from the most fulfilling possible expression of a friendship? Or, when we say we aren't "romantic", are we just saying that we don't desire the types of interpersonal dynamics typically implied by that word? Or, perhaps we just do not like the word "romantic" very much?! For our own perverse reasons, no doubt ;) Really, getting down to it: what does "romantic" actually, concretely, mean? (a lot of definitions I've read of "romantic relationships" strike me as going around in circles - a romantic relationship is a relationship characterized by romantic feelings towards another person, yada yada yada, tautology).

 

Maybe this is why RA practitioners will tend to reject common relationship labels like 'boyfriend', 'girlfriend', etc.? (and the 'romantic' label too?). After all, if your goal is to clear all the 'ideological rubble' away from the site and build the thing up from scratch, do these terms like 'romantic' (with all the attendant cultural baggage) still serve any useful purpose? Or does their continued usage just serve to keep us bound to the pre-existing social standards around relationships that we're trying to escape from?

 

EDIT: after writing the above, I found my way here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limerence Would that be the 'missing ingredient' that makes a relationship 'romantic'?

 

I agree that putting "romance" in quotations is an effective way of questioning the validity of this social construct.

 

The way I see it is that romance in and of itself is a social construct which is based on romantic attraction, which is very real and not a social construct. While most people are unanimous on what romantic attraction (or limerence) is, the definition of romance itself is questionable at best. I personally think romance is whatever the individual perceives as romantic, which becomes interesting in aromantic discussions where we all have very differing ideas of what romance is.

 

I feel like that's also why discussions between aromantics and alloromantics are somewhat difficult because the reason they might not understand our perspective is because of a fundamental misunderstanding of our personal definition of romance.

 

So yeah, I'm a fan of putting "romance" in quotation marks because that's exactly what it is: a convoluted self defined social construct :P.

 

Which isn't to say it doesn't exist. Much how gender is a social construct, it still very much exists.

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7 hours ago, aussiekirkland said:

The way I see it is that romance in and of itself is a social construct which is based on romantic attraction, which is very real and not a social construct. While most people are unanimous on what romantic attraction (or limerence) is, the definition of romance itself is questionable at best. I personally think romance is whatever the individual perceives as romantic, which becomes interesting in aromantic discussions where we all have very differing ideas of what romance is.

It can often be difficult to clearly define "romance". Especially given that many activities and behaviours typically seen as "romantic" would better be described as "romantic coded". Including that the same action can be seen differently depending on motive.

 

7 hours ago, aussiekirkland said:

I feel like that's also why discussions between aromantics and alloromantics are somewhat difficult because the reason they might not understand our perspective is because of a fundamental misunderstanding of our personal definition of romance.

Especially where there is the possibility of differing worldviews.

 

 

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hm that is interesting. For me what I count as romantic is - well, I know that I am aromantic because when interacting with someone attracted to me they have some kind of extra-interest in me that I do not reciprocate. I'm interested in people fundamentally from a social standpoint, and some people I trust or admire more so than others because of their persona. but some people behave towards me in a way that requires some kind of interest beyond that, and I noticed the patterns. I guess that, I would say, somehow I can sense that they act with that romantic-coding @Mark mentioned. The behavior or expression itself might not be romantic, but there are different ways in which a romantic person says it that is different. like, a certain turn of the head, or a look in the eyes, or that the words they say mean everything to them, where to me it is something sweet sure, but not a world-changing thing. A romantic person seems to need me, where I just prefer to be near them over others. I am just throwing out words here tho, to try to capture my thoughts... idk really... how to say it... 

 

When it comes to calling a partnership I have with someone as romantic or any other label, however, matters not to me; if I trust my companion to the extent that I know they understand I am Aro and my being aro does not disappoint them, and also that if they are Rom that their romantic attention does not overwhelm me, then I am comfortable with our interactions and closeness however that is named. 

 

I like the discussion of relationship anarchy from a thought-provoking standpoint, but personally do not feel a need to think of myself as an anarchist, heh! I do what matters for me as an individual, and expect others do the same for themselves. Right now instead of the label "anarchist" I make use of the word "companionate" but IDK there might be a better word for me to use. I like "companionate" really. 

 

 

PS. oh, I saw then your question about limerance, and a missing ingrediant. To be honest, I don't think it's fair to expect that there is one thing that sets these two experiences apart for all people (close friendship from romance). In many ways, they do overlap, and might compete with each other. But for aromantic people, what makes something "too romantic" or what make one aro feel very validated in their aromantic nature, will differ between individuals.

 

 Limerance is one thing that is often talked about in romance, but the concept of feeling infatuated towards others does come up in platonic feelings as well. It's the question of a crush verses a squish. in the end they are kind of the same thing - they are an infatuation towards a person - but, well, one is romantic and the other is platonic.

 

(sorry, this post got kinda long, heh...) 

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@cute kitty Meow! Mewo! What you said about someone having extra feelings that you don't reciprocate is so relatable. That's also how I realised I'm aromantic, because you can actually sense someone's romantic attraction though it's difficult to describe. It's just there.

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19 hours ago, cute kitty Meow! Mewo! said:

I like the discussion of relationship anarchy from a thought-provoking standpoint, but personally do not feel a need to think of myself as an anarchist, heh! I do what matters for me as an individual, and expect others do the same for themselves. Right now instead of the label "anarchist" I make use of the word "companionate" but IDK there might be a better word for me to use. I like "companionate" really.

The literal meaning of "anarchy" is "without ruler". IIRC the original description of the idea was written in Swedish, thus might not carry the baggage of the English term "anarchy".
I'm somewhat reminded of issues with "queer platonic". Including confusion with the sexual orientation term "queer". Also that because "platonic" implies non-sexual QP relationships can't include sex.

 

19 hours ago, cute kitty Meow! Mewo! said:

Limerance is one thing that is often talked about in romance, but the concept of feeling infatuated towards others does come up in platonic feelings as well. It's the question of a crush verses a squish. in the end they are kind of the same thing - they are an infatuation towards a person - but, well, one is romantic and the other is platonic.

I suspect it's fairly common to consider any strong attraction to be a "crush". Even where terms like "squish", "lush", etc. might be more accurate.

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Thanks for the thoughtful replies everyone :) 

 

@aussiekirkland

On 11/7/2016 at 4:09 AM, aussiekirkland said:

So yeah, I'm a fan of putting "romance" in quotation marks because that's exactly what it is: a convoluted self defined social construct :P.

 

Which isn't to say it doesn't exist. Much how gender is a social construct, it still very much exists.

 

Would you mind explaining a bit more about what you mean by "gender is a social construct"? Or pointing me in the direction of something that would explain it. I'm embarrassingly unfamiliar with feminist literature! :P.

 

@Mark

On 11/7/2016 at 0:08 PM, Mark said:

It can often be difficult to clearly define "romance". Especially given that many activities and behaviours typically seen as "romantic" would better be described as "romantic coded". Including that the same action can be seen differently depending on motive.

 

So, by "romantic coded" are you referring to things like candlelit dinners, flowers on Valentine's day, wedding rings, etc.? And by "romantic" more to the internal feelings that the external behaviors and activities are assumed (by cultural consensus) to be an expression of? Seems like a very helpful distinction to make!

 

I think a couple of things that make me uncomfortable about typical "romantic coded" behaviors, in the above sense, is:

  1. I don't want my internal intention/feeling to be just assumed from an external behaviour - it might lead to a lot of miscommunications or misunderstandings between us.
  2. It feels somehow impersonal (in a 'one-size-fits-all' sense) and inauthentic to me to be always following an external, pre-defined "script" for the expression of an internal feeling; rather than feeling free to express that feeling in whatever external way feels natural and authentic to me at the time. Like a kind of violation of personal integrity and autonomy, almost.

 

@cute kitty Meow! Mewo!

On 11/7/2016 at 2:33 PM, cute kitty Meow! Mewo! said:

A romantic person seems to need me, where I just prefer to be near them over others.

 

That makes a lot of sense as a way of describing the difference. It reminded me of this passage from Ursula Le Guin's novel Planet Of Exile (background: the characters can speak to one another telepathically and their 'leader' has just fallen in love)

Quote

She said to him, with the mindspeech, unbelieving, How could you do this? You were always a proud man, Jacob

He replied the same way, wordlessly. Put into words what he told her was: I can't get on without her.

The old woman flinched physically away from the sense of his passion, and as if in self-defense spoke aloud: "But what a time to pick for a love affair, for a romance! When everyone depended on you-"

He repeated what he had told her, for it was the truth and all he could tell her. She bespoke him with harshness: But you're not going to marry her, so you'd better learn to get on without her.

He replied only, No.

From all the cultural messages we receive, I kept expecting some day I would find that person I "can't get on without" and feel similarly - in spite of myself - but it just never happened.

 

On 11/7/2016 at 2:33 PM, cute kitty Meow! Mewo! said:

I like the discussion of relationship anarchy from a thought-provoking standpoint, but personally do not feel a need to think of myself as an anarchist, heh!

 

Fair enough. I identify as a political "anarchist", to some extent, but appreciate that there is sooooooo much baggage that comes along with a term like "anarchy"! I could see that using a term like "Relationship Anarchy" could limit the acceptance of the ideas to your more left-libertarian leaning circles or subcultures, which would be a shame, as perhaps the ideas could be rather helpful to a lot of people outside of those circles?

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I don't really like the term polyamory either. The 'amor' part feels like a lie, and as far as I know the 'poly' is kind of disrespectful to polynesian people. Just nah.

 

On 08/11/2016 at 9:59 AM, Mark said:

The literal meaning of "anarchy" is "without ruler". IIRC the original description of the idea was written in Swedish, thus might not carry the baggage of the English term "anarchy".
I'm somewhat reminded of issues with "queer platonic". Including confusion with the sexual orientation term "queer". Also that because "platonic" implies non-sexual QP relationships can't include sex.

 

I think its weird to apply political concepts to relationships. And by weird I mean disturbing and creepy. Ok, there are people who are in some messsed up relationship feudalism with taxes, obligations and all, but lets not pretend its normal to think of relationships like that. An actual 'direct/pure democracy' is the bare minimum to have in a consensual, non-abusive relationship. Lets not put the bar that low, shall we?

 

I'm definetely one of the people who dislike the relationship escalator, the one-size-fits-all and prefers the mix and match type of approach. Its not just the power balance and prioritesed relationships within the groups, but the whole structure that bothers me.

 

I'd try to explain this with pizza. Lets say the two of you or more are going to get pizza together, and the pizza is symbolises the relationship. So you go to a pizza place and try to choose something you both/all like, and everyone's opinion and preferences, needs are taken seriously. Some may be vegetarian, some are lactose intolerant, others keep kosher or halal and this guy over there just simply hates fish. Most groups go for the standard margarita pizza, perhaps a pepperoni or a hawaii. Others may feel adventurous, they do calzone or frutti di mare. But that's not it-what I would truly like isn't a different dish on the same menu. What I would like is choice. None pizza with left beef anyone?

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On 11/9/2016 at 11:11 AM, Cassiopeia said:

None pizza with left beef anyone?

 

What's this left beef thingy? Sounds like it could be delicious.

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5 hours ago, Blue Phoenix Ace said:

 

What's this left beef thingy? Sounds like it could be delicious.

 

It's an old internet meme. Someone decided to test this custom pizza delivery place, and their tick box based online ordering system.

 

Spoiler

e39.png

 

Free choice leads to people being weird.

And it does sound riddiculous, but imagine how much easier would it be for someone who is lactose intolerant and allergic to tomatoes in a world where the left beef pizza is not seen as an attempt to mess with people.

 

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On 09/11/2016 at 2:03 PM, NullVector said:

So, by "romantic coded" are you referring to things like candlelit dinners, flowers on Valentine's day, wedding rings, etc.? And by "romantic" more to the internal feelings that the external behaviors and activities are assumed (by cultural consensus) to be an expression of? Seems like a very helpful distinction to make!

 

Yes. Though the examples I would tend to use would be things like sex, kissing, hand holding, physical affection. Candlelit dinners do feature on lists of aromantic myths, however.
The thing is that it's possible to desire these things for reasons other than romance or wanting to be in a romantic relationship. (I suspect that non romantic motivations for romantic coded activities are not exclusive to aromantic people.)
 

On 09/11/2016 at 4:11 PM, Cassiopeia said:

I'm definetely one of the people who dislike the relationship escalator, the one-size-fits-all and prefers the mix and match type of approach. Its not just the power balance and prioritesed relationships within the groups, but the whole structure that bothers me.

I've always found that this one size fits all concept feels very "fake" and "artificial". Especially living in an ostensibly "free society" where "diversity" is (apparently) a big thing.

 

2 hours ago, Cassiopeia said:

It's an old internet meme. Someone decided to test this custom pizza delivery place, and their tick box based online ordering system.

Kudos to the pizza company they delivered what was requested.

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15 hours ago, Mark said:
18 hours ago, Cassiopeia said:

It's an old internet meme. Someone decided to test this custom pizza delivery place, and their tick box based online ordering system.

Kudos to the pizza company they delivered what was requested.

 

Actually, the little icons showed four cuts into eighth size slices. Epic fail!

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5 hours ago, Blue Phoenix Ace said:

 

Actually, the little icons showed four cuts into eighth size slices. Epic fail!

Spoiler

fcb.jpg

(from the same meme)

Well, chefs irl just love people with custom orders and really enjoy following their super complicated and vague instructions, especially when its busy.

There goes my pizza metaphor.

 (/off topic)

 

@Mark

One size fits all/most makes sense if you think about factory production, it makes things cheaper and to take less effort, even though they lose some of the clients. It is an artifical thing, motivated by profit.

 

But a relationship should not be a product. you can't just follow steps, or use templates. 

You can't recreate the same inside jokes, shared memories, common interests with two different people, in two different friendships. Even if the three of you are part of the same friends group at the same time, your relationship with the other two and the dynamics will be very different.

You can't raise two kids the same way, even if they are siblings, growing up in the same family.

 

Doesn't matter what human connection, you can't cut back on effort and use pre-made templates without becoming distant. Fake is actually a good word, but in case of human connections, its also a form of objectification. To think of people in your life as someone who fills a pre made role, and having expectations without even talking to them is kind of similar to playing house with some dolls. One can objectifiy their kids, their friend, their sibling too...

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20 hours ago, Cassiopeia said:

 

@Mark

One size fits all/most makes sense if you think about factory production, it makes things cheaper and to take less effort, even though they lose some of the clients. It is an artifical thing, motivated by profit.

 

But a relationship should not be a product. you can't just follow steps, or use templates. 

You can't recreate the same inside jokes, shared memories, common interests with two different people, in two different friendships. Even if the three of you are part of the same friends group at the same time, your relationship with the other two and the dynamics will be very different.

You can't raise two kids the same way, even if they are siblings, growing up in the same family.

 

Doesn't matter what human connection, you can't cut back on effort and use pre-made templates without becoming distant. Fake is actually a good word, but in case of human connections, its also a form of objectification. To think of people in your life as someone who fills a pre made role, and having expectations without even talking to them is kind of similar to playing house with some dolls. One can objectifiy their kids, their friend, their sibling too...

I've definitely seen people do this with their kids. There's so many parents who put their kids in the "kids" box and don't treat them like individuals with individual needs and preferences. Those are the sorts of parents I dislike the most.

 

My mum was the complete opposite and a lot of people unfairly criticised her for it.

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So in the readings for my Gender and Sexuality in World Civilizations class, I recently found a passage from John Boswell's book Same-Sex Unions in Pre-Modern Europe that I found so relevant to this sort of thing that I...erm...actually copied and pasted it and sent it to my QPP. :$ Anyway, here it is: 

 

Quote

Often friends lived in each other's houses--sometimes permanently. This is not to suggest that all (or even most) ancient friendships between men were in fact erotic, but rather that the distinction between a "friendship" and a "love relationship", so obvious, intuitive, and important to modern readers, would have seemed odd and unproductive to most ancient writers. It would certainly have marred a friendship involving ancient pagans if one party had taken some sexual advantage of the other (even subtly, by exploiting inexperience or youth, for example), but a consensual physical aspect would have been utterly irrelevant to placing the relationship in a meaningful taxonomy. Moreover, most pagan Europeans would have been utterly mystified by the concept "just friends", which presupposes that friendships are less powerful and intense than erotic relationships. "Just friends" would have been a paradox to Aristotle or Cicero: no relationship was more emotional, more intimate, more intense than friendship. Friendship was, moreover, in the view of ancient writers on the subject, primarily a two-person relationship, as opposed to the modern idea that it is desirable to have as many friends as possible. (Ancient writers would consider most such "friends" acquaintances and deny that real friendship was possible with them.) Friendship was also passionate and indissoluble, and much ancient literature idealizes intense, lifelong friendships involving great sacrifice on the part of one or both friends--motifs the modern world tends to associate almost exclusively with romantic love. (Boswell, 76-77)

 

In the book, it's specifically in reference to the kinds of relationships between men that were very common in ancient Greece, but it's still quite relevant on a broader scale to the aro and RA communities, I think--I used this passage as an opportunity to introduce my class to the concept of QPRs during that day's discussion. Thoughts?

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7 hours ago, Dodecahedron314 said:

So in the readings for my Gender and Sexuality in World Civilizations class, I recently found a passage from John Boswell's book Same-Sex Unions in Pre-Modern Europe that I found so relevant to this sort of thing that I...erm...actually copied and pasted it and sent it to my QPP

To historians "modern" means from around the end of the 15th century. A rather longer period of time than most people would consider.
 

7 hours ago, Dodecahedron314 said:

In the book, it's specifically in reference to the kinds of relationships between men that were very common in ancient Greece, but it's still quite relevant on a broader scale to the aro and RA communities, I think--I used this passage as an opportunity to introduce my class to the concept of QPRs during that day's discussion. Thoughts?

The idea that "platonic" implies without sex appears to be of modern origin. Certainly romantic relationships would be the exception prior to the modern era. It's also not easy to apply current sexual orientations to classical societies.

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