Nice Guys, Conjoined Twins, and Starving for Love

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I want to return to one specific point made in the Ben Conroy piece on Nice Guys's frustration that I linked to yesterday. Many of the things that can be appreciated in a romantic partner can also be appreciated in a friend. In fact, I submit that if you truly love someone, the idea of being their friend should be, in itself, pretty appealing. I completely understand the complicating factors! (Believe me, I do). I understand the sadness, the frustration, the hurt. I understand if it’s too p … [Read more...]

More Reasons to Encourage Casual Dating

This happens in geek circles every so often. The "Hey, this is just a system I can figure out easily!" is also a problem among engineers first diving into the stock market.

Ben Conroy (who recently joined the Patheos Catholic channel at Shadows on the Road) has another critique to throw at Nice Guy Syndrome.  In "'Nice Guys' -- How Deep is Your Love?" Conroy writes: I sometimes wonder if these Nice Guys are actually in love at all. What about the specific woman actually stole their heart? And why would whatever that is vanish because she’s not romantically interested in them?[...][W]hen we’re dealing with an “ineffable spark” but you don’t really appreciate … [Read more...]

Nice Guys and Failed Tries

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ETA: Given the topic of the post and the tenor of some of the comments so far, just want to remind all y'all that the best use of your commenting time/energy tends to be responding to people when you have a unique insight to offer/question to ask, rather than letting the most inflammatory posts jump to the front of your attentional queue. SlateStarCodex's recent post ("Radicalizing the Romanceless") touches on a lot of issues surrounding the "Nice Guy" syndrome (which usually … [Read more...]

Why is it easier to ask out strangers than friends?

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In the midst of delivering a well-deserved rebuttal to extreme courtship culture, Thomas Umstattd mentions a model of dating/courting that I'd like to be able to try out.  He asked his grandmother to describe her dating experience, and she explained that her parents had only set one major restriction on her interactions with suitors: The One Dating Rule: Don’t go out with the same guy twice in a row.So if she went out for soda with Bob on Tuesday, she had to go to a movie with Bill on Thu … [Read more...]

A Poisonous Portrait of Partnership

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In a coda to my series on Lewis, Sondheim, and friendship, I'm back at The American Conservative today to respond to a feature from The Atlantic on polyamory.  Here's a teaser, and you can read the full post at AmCon.  Marital Completionism: A Bad Model for Thruples and Couples Alike Why assume you need to make compromises to achieve connubial bliss?In an article for The Atlantic, Olga Khazan profiles several polyamorous couplesand wonders whether more families should consider open … [Read more...]

Missing Facets of a Friendship

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This post is one in a series on friendship, explored through the lenses of Stephen Sondheim’s Merrily We Roll Along and C.S. Lewis’s The Four Loves.In Merrily We Roll Along, composer Frank loses his friendship with his writing partner, Charlie, but their mutual friend, Mary, manages to stay close to both of them for a while afterwards, before she and Frank have their final fight.  But, as Lewis would argue, Mary is impoverished by her friends' falling out, even though she continues to see bot … [Read more...]

Christ’s Loyal Widows [Pope Francis Bookclub]

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In 2014, I’m reading and blogging through Pope Francis/Cardinal Bergoglio’s Open Mind, Faithful Heart: Reflections on Following Jesus.  Every Monday, I’ll be writing about the next meditation in the book, so you’re welcome to peruse them all and/or read along.In this week's chapter of Open Mind, Faithful Heart, Pope Francis braids together three moments in Christ's ministry: his discoverty by the Magi, his baptism, and the wedding at Cana.  As Francis tells it, these stories are all about Chr … [Read more...]


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