It's funny, I read the quoted bit from Scott about "Is it possible to like someone so much that the positive emotion builds on itself" opposite from you--I thought he was terrified about marriage because it was so rare, not because it might happen.

As in, I read it and thought, of course you would want that to happen. That's what affection is. And ideally, it encourages you to act in such a way as to engender it in your spouse as well.

On the subject of the opposite, I always recall a Ray Bradbury story called "A touch of petulance" about a self-fulfilling prophecy. A man went back in time to warn himself not to kill his wife. "Why would I do that?" he responds, and is told that he began to see everything she did in a bad light until he came to hate her--see in everything the "touch of petulance." In the end, of course, he starts to see it because he was so primed. It shows the importance of attitude and interpretation and grace in building the virtuous cycle rather than the vicious.

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Jan 17, 2022·edited Jan 17, 2022

One of the things that has struck me about marriage (8+ years now) is how much more fantastic it is than I was led to believe, even by people who advocated for getting married.

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Did I miss the party where you explained what the sweet, sweet reward is?

Having been in several long term relationships that were, while evidently not quite measuring up to the hopes and dreams of both parties, certainly more functional than many marriages, it's not clear to me what the great reward I am missing out on might be by having so far not made a more formalised, legal commitment.

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"Having watched that, how much caution did any of those people approach their jumps with? The correct answer is “none”; every part of every motion is 100% optimized for jumping as far as they possibly can; there’s zero other considerations in play. The athletes consider jumping a long way worthwhile, so they do all the things that make them jump as far as possible and nothing else."

This paragraph is completely wrong, I think. Those people approach their jumps with years and years of caution - not just their own, but with the accumulated years of caution gifted to them by their coaches as well. Precisely because of all the caution, precisely because they only move in intensively pre-calculated ways, precisely because they have perfect trust in the organizers to have provided soft sand for them, and precisely because they have trained and learned to leap in a way that avoids injury, they are free at the moment of competition to focus all of their energy on jumping as far as possible.

I don't know if this applies to marriage as well. I guess it does: good marriage laws, supportive families, and shared visions of what marriage mean make for the right kind of environment where you can commit whole-heartedly to the leap.

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Feb 6, 2022·edited Feb 6, 2022

I been pondering question of close relationships a while now. And I start leaning more heavily into blissfully relationship is a dangerous drug now

Man needs to be a bit hungry, a bit angry and amped up to go and accomplish things in the world.

In a good close relationship he mellows out.

It's not a coincidence imho that men of real accomplishment are almost never permanently in blissfull relationship. At best they have it as something in the background. While their worldly work is a real focus

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