Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Reciprocity

A then-girlfriend once told me that people in relationships tended to act out the roles that their previous exes had acted out. I took this to be complete horseshit, but now I'm wondering if there might be some credence.

In her opinion, it needn't be obvious, but sometimes it was. If one had been cheated on, that person would cheat. If one had been the subordinate partner, that person would have the dominant role. If one had a stand-off-ish partner, that person would later be the stand-off-ish one. Etcetera.

Objectively unproveable, or merit-carrying? I can no longer tell.

13 Comments:

Blogger t(h)om said...

interesting idea, stanley. but i think then-girlfriend was wrong, so my answer is a) unproveable, and unlikely [with a caveat].

there is probably nothing more than anecdotal evidence to the strength of her hypothesis. a cheated-on partner certainly could transgress the bounds of monogomy in their next relationship. however, i think it's specious to claim that it is a causal result. the first thing i learned in stats 101 was that correlation is not the same as causation.

19/9/06 10:04 AM  
Blogger Stanley said...

Exactly, t(h)om. My initial reaction was, this is un-disproveable nonsense. Then, I thought I was observing the patterns for myself (for reasons personal, I'm keeping this vague).

The more I think about it, I think it's a case of weak inductive reasoning:

I observe X pattern in my relationships;
THEREFORE:
X pattern happens in all (or many) relationships.

I shouldn't blog after midnight, clearly.

19/9/06 3:03 PM  
Blogger LC said...

I think it's just that, after having spent a good amount of quality time with a person, you absorb a little bit of them. You take on some of their traits. You can't help but be changed by people...it's the same thing as, "When you have sex with someone, you are having sex with all of his or her partners." Well, when you date someone, you date their baggage.

20/9/06 6:10 PM  
Blogger Stanley said...

Interesting idea, LC. But what if you're simultaneously having sex with your partner's previous partners, too? Are you then also having sex with your partner's partners' previous partners, too? Or is does it only extend one degree?

20/9/06 7:34 PM  
Blogger Sebastian said...

the 5th century sage Vatsyayana teaches us in the Tantric Kundalini tradition that the Swadisthana, or sex chakra, mixes between partners during sexual intercourse, and traces of it are carried by the other for a period of 7 years.

so, do the math.

21/9/06 10:55 AM  
Blogger Sebastian said...

that would be 5th century BC...

21/9/06 10:56 AM  
Blogger existence beacon said...

Does this mean you've learned to speak five languages and are fashionably trimming your armpit hair?

21/9/06 12:23 PM  
Blogger Stanley said...

Sebastian: BCE, please. This blog is not the place for your fanatical Jesus-hugging.

EB: Sebastian waxes all his hair, duh.

21/9/06 2:37 PM  
Blogger Sebastian said...

EB was asking YOU if you speak 5 languages and trim your armpit hair, numbnuts.

as in, you learned those traits from "then-girlfriend" by osmosis or something...

and, yes, i'm a waxer. wanna fight about it?

22/9/06 9:48 AM  
Blogger Stanley said...

It's funnier the way I interpreted it.

22/9/06 10:07 AM  
Blogger t(h)om said...

i agree. i just wanted to call you numbnuts.

22/9/06 11:25 AM  
Blogger t(h)om said...

i don't know who i am anymore.

22/9/06 11:25 AM  
Blogger Stanley said...

[snickers]

22/9/06 11:35 AM  

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