Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Blink, Speed Dating, and Delusional Marriages

The other day, I saw a video by a VLOGger I was unfamiliar with, and it was a sweet VLOG. It was a VLOG about looking for someone. My initial reaction was to post his video on my site and say, "check out Omar." But then I thought, "Most of my readers are either (1) guys or (2) lesbians. Er, not quite the pool of potential mates for a heterosexual male.

So, instead, I wrote the following response:

Crap, I wrote a great response to you, that was clever, intellectually stimulating, and well-written. Thus, YouTube ate my response.

I wanted to tell you about Blink, a book by Glaswell (I can't remember his first name, but he also wrote "The Tipping Point." It's a book about rapid cognition. When you meet someone for the first time, your mind takes about two seconds to jump to a series of conclusions. And these initial impressions are normally spot on.

Well, add in some clever things, and that is about what I said. Oh, and I did not write you to get you to read my blog.

They did not have speed dating when I was dating. I had to endure dates that you know are going badly, but you have to continue on the date. You can't just "go to the ladies room" and call a cab to get the hell out of here. Oooops. I did not mean to say that.

Well, good luck with your search. You seem sweet.

I wish I could have listed my initial response, but, you know, I was just typing in YouTube. Did I mention I hate YouTube's email interface?

Then, I pop onto ~deb's site, and she was writing about relationships as well. In it, she lets us know about a site concerning the Law of Attraction. A really interesting movie.

And it sort of reminds me of what I wanted to write about today. Well, I was going to write about it some time. Today seemed like a good enough day as any.

I read something on marriage the other day, and it resonated with me. In any field, we make assumptions which may or may not be true. For instance, in the area of relationships, sometimes we spend a lot of energy looking at failed marriages (labeling them as bad marriages) in order to see what the components of a good marriage are. If a bad marriage has two people with little in common, we reason, things in common may be essential for a good marriage. But we really can't make that jump. Thinking of this another way, let's say you have a meal that you don't like, and it has MSG in it. One could think, "MSG is bad in meals. Eliminating MSG will make for a good meal" Two fallacies: (1) perhaps MSG is important in a different meal, and without it, the meal would be less special, and (2) simply eliminating MSG does not make a meal good.

Well, part of this research was fascinating, because they found that realistic views of a marriage (something most of us would want) actually decrease the chances of having a successful marriage. The study did this by surveying couples – in good and in bad marriages (they defined good verses bad, but for sake of discussion, let's assume they got it right). In bad marriages (or divorced couples), both the man and women answered consistently about the traits of each other. That is, they both had consistent viewpoints of their spouse. But in good marriages, the man, for instance, thought better of the woman than the woman thought of herself, and visa versa. That is, they were a bit delusional.

I was a bit disturbed by these findings, at first. But it makes sense.

Think of it this way: Lets say that your spouse is bull-headed; very opinionated. Well, you can label that as bull-headed, or you can say that your spouse is "focused." One word has negative connotations, one positive. And if you feel more positive about your spouse, well, you probably treat him better, say more complimentary things, and the like.

Now some might say that you are tricking yourself into a better marriage if you do this, but you know, our thoughts and feelings are only chemical reactions in the brain anyway. And I would not mind tricking myself to a better marriage? Wouldn't you do it as well?


Anonymous Boxer said...

Often, my husband and I say to each other; "Let's pretend we're in love today"... and it kinda works.

We're delusional in a different way.

Prata said...

What you've observed is something I have mentioned before many times. Living life is subjective. You're not tricking yourself so much as you are being human. It is human nature to be subjective about living life. Any one thing is what you make of it. I don't consider bull headed to be negative..because that's just not a bad thing to me. Bull headed and stubborn and focused are all the same thing to me. That's my subjectivity coming into play. I've always thought better of the female than she has thought of herself though...it just seemed natural to me.

The Lebanese said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
~Deb said...

Well, you definitely can’t lie to yourself and make an “abuser” seem like a person that has a lot of “discipline”. It really depends on the situation that you’re trying to perceive differently, in my opinion. I do agree that if someone is bullheaded, or aggressive in their way of thinking, then yes, maybe they’re focused. But they also have to realize that there are other ways of thinking about it, or handling it… Their way is not the only way…regardless of how they feel.

But, if the two can manage to focus on the positives, rather than pinpoint the negatives, I think that may work better for them. It’s a tricky thing, but worthwhile when and if it does work out!

kathi said...

Hmmmm, let me give it a try. My husband is not a coward and did not abandon his kids... Nope, he's still a coward. :)

Seriously, if it works for some, all the more power (and happiness) to them.

Leesa said...

boxer: I am all for delusions. Really, I am.

prata: I guess what I was trying to say is that we should look at our loved ones strenghts, not as annoyances. And, yes, I do like the phrase "life is subjective."

lebanese: I think when people expect to stay together, they do so.

~deb: I was not talking about an abusive relationship.

kathi: but the question is "did he think you were better than you were?" If so, I don't think he would have left you and your children. I still can't believe someone would abandon their children.

~Deb said...

I'm sorry, I didn't mean to say that you were referring to an "abuser", I was just giving an extreme example. I can see how you took that as such. In any type of unhealthy relationship, I think it's wise not to lie to ourselves, yet we should always keep a positive outlook---if we can...

mal said...

I am not sure "delusional" is appropriate. It is certainly possible that neither spouse is accurate in how they assess themselves or their partners. From what you described it is only important that the partners opinion of their spouse remain more positive than the partners self image.

It explains why Donald Trump has gone through so many wives *L*

Video X said...

well i am neither a guy nor am i a lesbian. then again, i really haven't been much of a blog participant. maybe i will again...this year has been absolutely insane....like hey maybe even blogworthy insane! but then again...the logical side comes out...and well never mind.

as far as meeting someone goes or dating or relationships or sportfucking whatever it's called anymore...i believe in what my grandmother sais...she said it's luck. moreover, she added RESPECT is important. another old guy told me...you have to "fall in love" over and over again. but that's a bigger conversation. most importantly...i belive..IT'S LUCK!

again...love prata's comments too.

Leesa said...

~deb: no harm, no foul. I guess I should have specified some ground rules. Abusers are always excluded in my mind - but I was never abused.

mal: yeah, I guess it is semantics, and delusional is a bit harsh. Point well taken.

vx: yeah, perhaps you and prata should get a room. Prata is always the voice of unpassionate reason (impassionate reason?). Yeah, I love his comments. And, okay, you Mal, Kathi, yeah, you aren't lesbians or guys. But you know, I don't peg any of you to look up some video blogger and consider him dating material. Not sure this blog entry was very clear outside of my head.