RE: virus: Scientists and Philosophers

Eva-Lise Carlstrom (
Wed, 10 Feb 1999 11:38:12 -0800 (PST)

On Wed, 10 Feb 1999, Richard Brodie wrote:

> I have found it very useful not to want to look at issues such as
> --do I really want to be in this relationship?

I have found this a very useful question to ask once in a while, actually. The key, I think, is that if you decide the answer is yes, and that the relationship is in fact contributing to your happiness and general goals, then celebrate! And don't ask that question again for a while, maybe next year, maybe when you're feeling down and need a reality check. But if it really isn't, and is instead, say, increasing your stress levels, making you feel bad about yourself, and keeping you from what you want to be and do, then you should do something to either change the relationship so it's a help instead of a hindrance, or get out of it. Note both options.

> --I wonder if I could get away with shtupping the redhead who keeps smiling
> at me at the espresso stand.

I don't wonder that, because I know I could. If I told my husband about it beforehand, and followed our other agreed-on guidelines. He could too. Having rules about this sort of thing that you can both agree on is important, whether they're the traditional NO or not.

> --if I can find someone this good who loves me so much, couldn't I find
> someone better who loves me a little less?

Ick, okay. This one I agree is a bad question, because it separates the people from "the relationship" in a nasty way. I prefer to consider the quality of my relationship with someone in light of the fact that my experience of that person is unique. I can't separate "how great my partner is" completely from "how much they love me", because their love for me shapes their behaviour, and thus affects my experience of how great they are. And, of course, my love for them does too. Funny how people you fall in love with become more attractive....

married very nearly six months now