The "Rational Male and Female"? - Biology and Programs in Relationships

BobDylan

The Force is Strong With This One
Does anyone have any experience of other variations on the dynamics of transference of childhood experiences of "love" to adult relationships other than the ones I gave?
I only have one which I've observed from someone within my life. The story below is based on observation and interpretation so please bear that in mind.

This person's challenges as far as relationships go are not necessarily to do with the initiating of relationships... it's more to do with maintaining stability over the long term. Being a friend, I've been privy to multiple relationships that he has had and got to witness a recurring pattern. Usually the relationship would start with the usual fireworks but then over time the girl would start to withdraw before eventually the relationship comes to an end. In discussion as to what happened, a theme becomes apparent. He has this habit of making certain demands that his partner can't deliver on either because the demand is excessive or simply because the demand is not in-keeping with who the partner is or is looking for in a relationship.

Completely divorced to his romantic relationships is the story of his relationship with his mother. It turns out his mother left his father for another man and whilst he was young he always had the impression that he had to fight for his mothers attention and affection which he never really received to the level or extent he expected.

Putting the pieces together, in my mind, he never experienced 'unconditional' love from his mother which left a 'gap' somewhere in his Being. So what he does is whenever he gets into a romantic relationship he essentially creates a situation where he makes unreasonable demands as a test of unconditional love i.e. to fill that gap he never received from his mother. The problem is these women aren't his mother, you can not demand someone simply love you unconditionally no matter what just because you are in a romantic relationship - you know, there are limits! So that's the dynamic at play. These romantic relationships, once they get going, for him they are where he sets the conditions where he symbolically replays and tries to fulfil the relationship he never had with his mother which must have left some deep rooted imprint (i.e. the striving for that kind of unconditional love that can only exist between a mother / child relationship where the child can make all sorts of crazy demands on the mother and the mother usually will be there to tend to them).

I'm not sure what the lesson is here for him but that's the dynamic I've observed and the interpretation I've given it.

The other thing I've observed is the forces at play here are quite powerful... they are almost part of who he is, entwined in his personality and character. I think the only way he gets over the hump is he eventually finds someone who will notice the pattern and won't leave him but will let him know that he is making excessive demands that she can't fulfil... not only that, she has to be willing to remain through the sheer terror of a 'symbolic' child not getting what they want and the tantrum they'll throw as a result. To her, the demands might be excessive, but to him, they are completely normal and therein lies the issue... how do you get someone to change when they think they are fine / okay and the problem lies with you (i.e. his romantic partner in this situation).
 

whitecoast

The Living Force
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This whole long thread reminds me of Gurdjieff's description of the three kinds of love: mechanical, emotional, and conscious.

Conscious love evokes the same in response.
Emotional love evokes the opposite.
Physical love depends on type and polarity.


Emotional love is by and large driven by unconscious desire to repeat the energetic dynamics of one's childhood with caregivers, which always produces suboptimal outcomes.
Physical love can be described by and large as "biological programming all the way down". So this serves sex and reproduction above everything else, when unimpeded by the other types of love.
Conscious love, I have more trouble defining. It's like you both see the world the same way in terms of knowledge and values, and have colinear aims that challenge the both of you to grow in knowledge and in the actualization of your potential. I don't think this love is necessarily "romantic", although it can be if the physical component is there.

Does anyone have any experience of other variations on the dynamics of transference of childhood experiences of "love" to adult relationships other than the ones I gave?
The earlier example you gave could be an example of someone with an Attunement survival style (from Healing Developmental Trauma).

To reiterate here, the five styles were:
Connection - children give up their sense of existence, disconnect, and attempt to become invisible. As adults they fear connection and intimacy as much as they desire it. Typically passive in sex and relationships.
Attunement - children give up their own needs in order to focus on the needs of others, particularly parents. As adults they can become martyrs or codependent.
Trust - children give up their authenticity in order to be who their parents want them to be: best friend, sport star, confidante, etc. As adults they are accustomed to dishonesty in relationships and so are typically seductive or overpowering to secure their sense of freedom from being manipulated.
Autonomy - children give up direct expressions of independence in order not to feel abandoned or crushed. As adults they are accustomed to feel under pressure to reject their own autonomy and needs, and so teeter between compliance and rebelliousness.
Love-Sexuality - children try to avoid rejection by perfecting themselves, splitting of love and sexuality. As adults they experience love and sexuality as two different things.
 

Andi

Padawan Learner
Does anyone have any experience of other variations on the dynamics of transference of childhood experiences of "love" to adult relationships other than the ones I gave?
I was thinking about the question through out the day and I was watching some more videos with Alain de Botton and in one of his videos entitled "sex" the question was - why don't we like the same woman/man. Wel, we all have different preferences based on the relationship with our mothers or fathers. So this goes back to what you Joe said. Biology is the baseline but I think it is the weaker one out of 3, let's say- the second being the childhood upbringing, issues and programs, and the strongest but most ignored, the soul pattern or subconscious self and subconscious directions - that internal compass that directs.

Our upbringing, how we were treated and how we were able to cope and adapt to life from an early age is really a strong determination to how we are going to structure our life and make relationships in the future. Biology is imo is small patatos; it counts but not as much as we are lead to believe.
 

luc

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Again, this kind of unconscious motivation can actually be a large part, or all, of the 'attraction' to her partner and it has nothing to do with biological imperatives! In this example, as long as her partner continues to show these narcissistic traits, she still 'loves' and gives to him, even if at times she is irritated with and angry at him.
Yep, these kinds of dynamics reflect exactly my own relationships in the past. What this also means is that as long as you don't have some serious self-work under your belt, you will be attracted/fall in love with the wrong person, AND dismiss the right person if she/he comes along! You simply have no clue. So it seems the traditional system of "get married to your neighbor kid with whom you grew up with, and make it work damn it!" really has something going for it. Fulfilled love and intimacy is the result of work.
 

Andi

Padawan Learner
..we can't explain that much with biology alone while ignoring the other aspects. We all sort of know that. There are at least 3 strong contributors to our decitions, namely biology, patterns and soul. All these makes every single one of us uniquely different and that is nothing new, but could easily be ignored under the strong push to define everything by simple "set in stone" biological traits.
 

Andromeda

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You know, it strikes me that a lot of the stuff Tomassi talks about is pretty much the male version of what women have been reading from women's magazines for at least the past 30 years. Some truths, some half-truths, some complete misconceptions, many oversimplifications and manipulation tactics (however well meaning). You know, "Don't wear a short skirt on the first date. If he buys the lobster, he's on the hook. Once he's hooked, keep his eye by only returning half of his calls while getting your hair done while taking a cooking class. Don't lose your man to the wandering eye syndrome that all men suffer from!" Not that it's 100% wrong per se, but, yeah.

And, personally, though it has been said a few times here that men and women find each others mating strategies distasteful, I don't think they are. From my perspective it's just that, generally, men like pretty and creative things and women like strong and durable things. How those affinities are acted on can be morally judged, but I don't think there's anything in biology that dictates EVERYONE must act on, or even understand, them in any particular way. For some it might only mean making babies with an alpha or a hottie, and for others it might mean something else entirely.

So, except for those basic affinities that can even be overruled by the programming talked about above, I don't think AWALT nor are AMLT either.
 

Adaryn

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Does anyone have any experience of other variations on the dynamics of transference of childhood experiences of "love" to adult relationships other than the ones I gave?
Another example that flies in the face of / overrides biological imperatives (I've taken the frame you used in the examples you described, and adapted it - hope you don't mind):

Another commonly known variation is where, as a girl, the woman had an absent, indifferent father who never showed any interest in her whatsoever - this lack on interaction leaves a big gap in her being in terms of experiencing fatherly love: she has no frame of reference for it (how distorted this love may have been if the father had indeed been present during her childhood). She grows up and is attracted to men who are like her father (distant, aloof, and not even "there" -> unrequited love). She might have other opportunities to form relationships with more caring men, but she chooses to focus on men that she somewhat 'knows' won't reciprocate, and possibly creates situations where she will be rejected - confirming her lack of worth in the eyes of her own father.
Again, this kind of unconscious motivation can actually be a large part, or all, of the 'attraction' to her partner/potential partner and it has nothing to do with biological imperatives! In this example, as long as the object of love continues to not reciprocate, she still 'loves' and tries to prove her worth to him so that he may, at last, see the light, even if at times she is irritated with and angry at him (for his indifference).
Bizarrely, if her partner or potential partner finally starts to show that he cares, the woman may suddenly find herself not 'loving' him so much any more, or at all. This is obviously a very strange situation where a woman will only be 'happy' with an objectively distant, indifferent or unavailable man (either physically or emotionally). If he becomes a caring and giving man, she doesn't 'want' him anymore, and might even start to despise him. Why? Because the only frame of reference she had while growing up was an indifferent father who never deemed her worthy of any kind of attention - even negative. Therefore, any man who would show care, consideration or interest would obviously be unworthy as well, and rather despicable (since even her own father couldn't be bothered with her).
I don't know if this pattern can apply to men who grew up with an absent/indifferent/uncaring mother, maybe the dynamic will be different (just read BobDylan's observations regarding his male friend). And the above is just one dynamic among others that could manifest as far as this particular pattern is concerned.
 

Mariama

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I agree that the issues that we bring to the table in relationships are sometimes much stronger than our biological machine. Thank you Joe and Alana, for pointing that out. So far I have read 70 pages of Preventive Medicine, Rollo's second book, and I was becoming slightly confused.

I think It is my childhood that led me to engage with men who had narcissistic and even psychopathic tendencies. At the same time I rejected a man who loved me (he had certain mommy issues, so I am not completely sure) but who turned out to be a family man after we split up.

Looking back I think I had children because I was ruled by my hormones, and I didn't take into account what kids need at all, thereby depriving them of a decent father and a fairly stable family life. Although I stopped being a real feminist when I give birth to sons I was still very much influenced by feminism, thinking I could be a (single) mother and a father at the same time. I was wrong. It's painful to admit it, but there you go. That said, that biological machine can also be very beneficial and powerful if we know how to deal with it. In my case these mothering hormones seemed to be very strong and they taught me about love, true intimacy and putting others first, lessons I sorely needed. They may have given me the drive and motivation to look at some dark things in myself of which I had been unaware until then and which stopped me from repeating the mistakes of my caretakers. If I am not mistaken it was the first time in my life that I could think and see clearly. So, maybe these hormones can be beneficial in relationships between men and women as long as we understand what their impact is on our lives and if we apply that knowledge?

BTW, the articles on SOTT about the importance of dads and healthy masculinity and this thread have been instrumental in triggering the process in which I find myself ATM. So, I hope I was not rambling, it is a difficult topic OSIT.
 

BobDylan

The Force is Strong With This One
The below short 4 minute video popped up on my Youtube recommendations some time ago. For those removed from the modern day relationship arena, I think it gives a nice high-level overview of the field of play. Makes you wonder if young people have been subjected to some level of macro social engineering. :-/

 

Azur

The Living Force
The below short 4 minute video popped up on my Youtube recommendations some time ago. For those removed from the modern day relationship arena, I think it gives a nice high-level overview of the field of play. Makes you wonder if young people have been subjected to some level of macro social engineering. :-/

That was quite good.

Nevermind the rap sequencing, maybe that's part of the problem: it was just brilliant for the current monkeys?
 

Odyssey

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Another commonly known variation is where, as a girl, the woman had an absent, indifferent father who never showed any interest in her whatsoever - this lack on interaction leaves a big gap in her being in terms of experiencing fatherly love: she has no frame of reference for it (how distorted this love may have been if the father had indeed been present during her childhood). She grows up and is attracted to men who are like her father (distant, aloof, and not even "there" -> unrequited love). She might have other opportunities to form relationships with more caring men, but she chooses to focus on men that she somewhat 'knows' won't reciprocate, and possibly creates situations where she will be rejected - confirming her lack of worth in the eyes of her own father.
Wow, Adaryn. You just described me and my relationship patterns to a T. My father was absent/distant when I was a child and I totally played out that dynamic in my romantic relationships. Practically all of my ex-boyfriends were emotionally distant. One was even physically distant as an added bonus. I was slightly aware of this dynamic playing out but it really hit home with one particular ex-boyfriend and as it happened a lot of people thought that he even looked like my father! So, we were on the verge of breaking up and I was so distraught I just sat down alone and sobbed and wailed like the little girl I was when my father said he'd come and see me and didn't show up. During this cry-fest a voice in my head as clear as day actually said as much and I definitely sat up and took notice. Suffice it to say, in my relationship history I was operating on the premise that if my own father found me unloveable then certainly no other man would love me.

Bizarrely, if her partner or potential partner finally starts to show that he cares, the woman may suddenly find herself not 'loving' him so much any more, or at all. This is obviously a very strange situation where a woman will only be 'happy' with an objectively distant, indifferent or unavailable man (either physically or emotionally). If he becomes a caring and giving man, she doesn't 'want' him anymore, and might even start to despise him. Why? Because the only frame of reference she had while growing up was an indifferent father who never deemed her worthy of any kind of attention - even negative. Therefore, any man who would show care, consideration or interest would obviously be unworthy as well, and rather despicable (since even her own father couldn't be bothered with her).
Yep. Another example: I had a relationship with an emotionally distant man who was actually involved with someone else at the time. At one point he said he was broken up with her and wanted to get closer to me. When he said that I literally felt myself recoil in disgust and starting thinking of all the ways in which we weren't compatible. I had another boyfriend who seemed to really love me (though my childhood feelings of rejection were so strong I frequently doubted it) and what did I do? I dumped him.

So, yes. There is waaaaaay more to the story than just biological drives. Biological drives coupled with the need to recreate childhood suffering makes for an interesting mix, huh?
 

mkrnhr

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In a longer presentation on youtube, Alain de Botton explains that psychologically (that is, in addition to physical attraction), we are attracted to familiarity. We are attracted to potential parteners who provide the same kind of dynamics we've internalized during the formative years. He also expands upon the damages of the expectations related to romantism that prevent growth and intermarital feedback for growth.
Notice also the advice he gives in the Q/A part relating to the rationality of hypergamy.
_
 
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