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    1. What have you learned from losing someone?

      “Losing” can mean a death, or falling out of touch, or damaging a relationship past a point of repair, or anything else you feel fits. What have you learned? How did it change you? Previous...

      “Losing” can mean a death, or falling out of touch, or damaging a relationship past a point of repair, or anything else you feel fits.

      What have you learned?
      How did it change you?


      Previous questions in series:

      What have you learned from...
      ...being a parent?
      ...going through a breakup?
      ...moving to a new place?
      ...working in tech?
      ...going through a pandemic?
      …being LGBT?

      These threads remain open, so feel free to comment on old ones if you have something to add!

      9 votes
    2. Sex, longing, ambivalence, purpose

      I'm 22 years old and have recently graduated from college. I'm a little disoriented right now. I'd appreciate some help. I'm having trouble explaining my issue precisely, but it relates to these...

      I'm 22 years old and have recently graduated from college. I'm a little disoriented right now. I'd appreciate some help. I'm having trouble explaining my issue precisely, but it relates to these themes: SEX, LONGING, AMBIVALENCE, PURPOSE. I feel I must provide some anecdotes for my question(s) to make sense.


      In the wintertime, I made a new friend. She had pitch-black hair. We had exchanged any number of glances from across the room. She caught me one morning as I left the hall and asked if I liked [REDACTED_MEDIA]. I humored her: "Sure, as much as anyone. … No, I've not seen it. … Yes, I'll check it out." The following week I reported back with my opinions, and we spoke a great deal, warming to one another as the days remained icy.

      One day I offered to take her to [REDACTED_EVENT]. She didn't come, but regretted it, and gave me a phone number as reparation. She was a little embarrassed, but I found it endearing; I was quite happy to see more of her. From here the courtship was a breeze. On a Saturday we took a drive into the country and strolled along a quiet, wooded trail, a respite from our world of books and burdens. As we rested by a stream, talking about trivialities, she laid out a moment of trauma before me. She was not looking for answers to an unanswerable tragedy so much as a good listener. I obliged, and held her closely as we walked home. She appreciated the comfort.

      From here the romance was a breeze. One invitation to study at hers and we were having unbelievable sex. She was very beautiful. We would spend an entire day together, ignoring our responsibilities and enjoying each other's bodies. Never in my life had I indulged in such things as she asked for. I think it actually changed some of my brain chemistry. It was exciting, it was fun, and it was very satisfying—for both of us. I also thought our conversation was authentic and emotionally fulfilling. Apparently she did not share that feeling, because she broke up with me (suddenly) a couple weeks in. Her exact reasons were a little strange, but I was not going to push it. We said our goodbyes, and I walked home in the bitter cold, alone.

      I hadn't known her long enough to be debilitatingly heartbroken, but it did hurt. And maybe I'm just being naïve, but I question whether it's possible for a future relationship to beat that sex. This prompts a greater existential question: "So why bother?"


      Some time ago, a dear friend invited me to her home in a city I no longer called mine. We dined and spoke of our passing lives: exciting and intimidating in their opportunity; tiring and burdensome in their demands. There were so many choices ahead; work gave enough but took too much. It was a relief to be free from the school; it was lonely. But it warmed my heart to be in her company again.

      She drew me to her bed and closed the door. I sat, and we chatted. Her expectation was obvious and the reason for my passivity was not—the dance of intimacy was familiar to both of us. After a pause, she faced me and said, "We can sleep together, but I don't want you to stay the night."

      Her request was reasonable, but I found it deeply jarring. Sex had not really motivated my visit, though I had entertained the possibility, and it had certainly not motivated my behavior at dinner. (I had planned already where I would be sleeping that night, and it was far away.) I had missed her a lot. More than anything I had missed her presence. Her statement revealed a terrible disparity in how we viewed our relationship. It was my fault for not stepping out after dinner, and it was particularly my fault across many months prior for setting a series of expectations that effectively downplayed my emotional feelings.

      I acknowledged her and quickly changed the top of conversation, and for a moment it was as though nothing had been said. Then, with another pause, she leaned over for a kiss. My heart was not in it. All I could hear was "I don't want you..." Still, I could not refuse. I had been sliced open, but she was very pretty, and more importantly I was reluctant to disappoint the people I cared for. The sex that followed felt passionless and transactional—different from before. She seemed impatient. I was distressed. It was consensual, but it was really weird and I did not enjoy it.

      I walked out of that house wishing I could cry. It was not the time. I could betray no weakness here or the city would devour me. I did cry, later. And maybe I'm just being naïve, but this incident made me question whether it's possible for a future relationship to beat the sentimental connection we had at the peak of our fling… including another go at it (that time has evidently passed). We were emotional matches/peers/equals in a way I don't know if I will ever find again. This prompts a greater existential question: "So why bother?"

      We're meant to see each other again quite soon, but this time the bed will be my own, and this time she'll stay the night. I couldn't say no when she asked. It's going to be awkward. I'm unsure what I wish to do.


      Not long ago, a friend asked near midnight if there was something happening between us. I froze up and sputtered something out about not expecting that question. I was genuinely unable to say anything for a few minutes. The answer that came to mind was kind of "Yes," but it was also, "I'm confused at this time and I don't know," and also, "This is going to hurt the group dynamic." I said yes but mumbled something about not getting her hopes up because I was pretty weird and also pretty uncertain about how I wanted to shape my life in the near and far future. I did not talk about the group dynamic.

      I'm proud of myself for making it clear that my wants are currently shifting and that my boundaries are unclear. I would've liked to be more specific. However, I'm not proud of saying yes before I had resolved all my emotional problems, nor about glossing over all my reservations. I feel it is irresponsible; I'm setting myself (and her) up to fail. I'm uncertain how to feel about the group dynamic. In the past year I've been the recipient of a lot of romantic attention with them and I've consistently said no. It is fine right now but it might not be fine if I change course like this.

      Last year I made a post on this website about three experiences I'd had and received a few comments. One of them in particular stuck with me:

      I will give you one piece of advice. There's absolutely nothing wrong with anything that you told us, but since you are young and reminds a bit of myself when I was your age, I'll say this: be careful not to inadvertently hurt anyone. Be explicit instead of implicit. People often have all kinds of expectations that differ from our own, so it's a good idea to let them know where they stand.

      I really did take that to heart. I don't want to hurt anyone. I am trying so hard not to ruin everything. I broke this advice soon after it was given to me and it severely damaged a friendship. It was not on purpose, but it was incredibly foolish. Since then, I've been extra careful not to lead people on and to be really clear about my needs (or at least I hope I have). But this is hard because I live a very social lifestyle and people seem to misinterpret friendliness as flirting. Or they just have opinions. I can't say this without sounding arrogant, so please forgive me, but people often comment admiringly on my appearance. It is obvious that they treat me differently because of it. It's not that weird (or that bad honestly) for an acquaintance my age to be a little bashful in front of me—but it feels different when it becomes an increasingly significant part of my reputation. I try not to touch people or to otherwise give them the wrong idea, but it seems like I am breeding longing/jealousy just by existing.

      Anyway, I feel I am struggling to move this relationship forward in part because I wasn't explicitly looking for one, and have been hit hard lately by general listlessness and uncertainty, so I wasn't prepared for it. And I'm also struggling to reconcile the physical needs of a new romance with my current incredible level of apathy toward sex. "Why bother?" I've never been this indifferent toward it before, it has always been important to me. The more I think about previous relationships, the less it seems like it's worth it to pursue anything at all. I would call it freeing to not care, except that it's fundamentally concerning. It stems from bad memories and also I think some trauma I haven't really resolved, which is not the same as "letting loose and living my life." It's been physically difficult for me to even think about sex and to be honest the thought is occasionally a little revolting to me, which I have never felt before, at least not for an extended period. And I feel like I'm too irrevocably closed-off to ever sufficiently open up emotionally in a relationship to make it last long-term. But… I also know what it feels like to fall into despair, not knowing what great things lie around the corner. This makes me reluctant to cut it off or make an ultimatum or actually do anything decisive at all.

      It's all just so much.


      None of that is really in question form, but it sort of explains my headspace. I'm sorry that I can't explain it better, but it's very late and I have work tomorrow. I would really appreciate some insight. Thanks.

      12 votes
    3. What have you learned from going through a breakup?

      Question is for anyone who's ever gone through a breakup -- no matter how big or small. Also it goes for whether it was mutual, you were the one broken up with, or you had to be the one to break...

      Question is for anyone who's ever gone through a breakup -- no matter how big or small. Also it goes for whether it was mutual, you were the one broken up with, or you had to be the one to break the news.

      What did you learn from your breakup?
      How did it change you?

      Meta Note

      I have plans to do a series of these "what have you learned from ____" topics (see previous thread: "What have you learned from being a parent?"), where the blank is filled with specific roles/identities/experiences. I'll probably post one every couple of days, but I encourage anyone here to add their own to the series. If you've got one you want to post -- go for it!

      17 votes
    4. no subject

      2020. That's when I met her. To some of my close friends it sounds silly to them when I tell them we loved each other. It's hard for some people to grasp the intensity that a long distance...

      2020. That's when I met her.

      To some of my close friends it sounds silly to them when I tell them we loved each other. It's hard for some people to grasp the intensity that a long distance relationship can have. But I don't have anything to prove to anyone - I truly did love her.

      Being with an ace, I thought, would make things more complicated as I am not asexual myself. But if anything it made things simpler. It made the long distance easier to deal with. It made it easier to be patient. Easier to deal with her not being in my life all the time, because when push came to shove, she was in my life when I needed her to be. In fact, she was the main reason I labeled myself as polyamorous this year. I realised that I didn't want to pretend we were just friends anymore. I cared for her too much for that.

      In so little time, she changed me into a better person. She taught me subtleties about love, sex, relationships but also about life in general. She helped me through mental struggles. She was my first call when we got my SO’s sister out of Kyiv this year. In fact, the day of the war, we talked for over six hours in a row.

      She was always, always positive no matter the challenge. A true constant. Saw the flip side nobody else could see. No matter how ill she would get, she'd always brush it off and get back on her feet. In the two years I knew her, she had never made me cry, and her messages would always put a smile on my face.
      Difficulty tends to make people stronger. She's had an incredibly difficult life, and was the toughest person I knew.

      None of those challenges defined her. She was not defined by her gender, illness, sexuality. She was defined by her constant, absolute positivity. And her unending love for Korea.

      She believed, as I do, that we're all one entity - the universe experiencing itself. That her role here had been to spread love and positivity. I hope everyone here will be lucky enough to meet someone like her, at some point in their life.

      She was 30. The world is worse without her in it.

      33 votes
    5. I bought an engagement ring today

      I bought an engagement ring for my girlfriend as I plan on proposing to her later this year. I haven't told too many people yet outside of my family, so I wanted to just post this somewhere...

      I bought an engagement ring for my girlfriend as I plan on proposing to her later this year. I haven't told too many people yet outside of my family, so I wanted to just post this somewhere because I'm super excited but have no where else to post. It was a good chunk of money but I had budgeted for it and it felt good to finally pull the trigger!

      33 votes
    6. Three experiences

      I'm 21 years old. I'm studying for a bachelor's degree at a very selective institution. I have a high-paying job lined up after I graduate in the spring. I'm physically active and in good health....

      I'm 21 years old. I'm studying for a bachelor's degree at a very selective institution. I have a high-paying job lined up after I graduate in the spring. I'm physically active and in good health. I see my friends and family regularly. I'm able to do most of my hobbies often, and I enjoy them. I've been in therapy for a long time for no specific reason and making little specific progress.

      I apologize if this is in the wrong section. I've been unable to stop writing for the past several hours and I must stop. This is where I feel it belongs the most.


      When I was 18, I noticed that I was going out of my way to make female friends, but not male friends. It may have been because I thought women were more attractive or likable, but my college dorm was mostly full of women, so maybe it was just statistics. In either case, my best friends were all men. We liked to do manly things, like drinking hard liquor, lifting heavy weights, and beating each other in wrestling matches. Over the next few years, I developed a very masculine, muscular body, which I took pride in both aesthetically and sexually. Women validated my physicality and spirit in speech and action. Acquaintances referred to me as a paragon of non-toxic masculinity.

      But I felt increasingly uncomfortable in male-dominated spaces, and I remember wishing that I could introduce myself as (she/her) rather than (he/him), even though that didn't really match who I was or how I felt. I enjoyed participating in activities that were full of women. I read Judith Butler and attended feminist lectures. I even took some classes at a women's college by way of a consortium. I did not cross-dress. I did not take hormones. I did not reject my identity as a man. I couldn't; I was and am decidedly male. I was reluctant to associate with men not because I felt disparate from the male psyche, but because I did not like men.

      The incongruity of my supposedly virtuous masculinity and my disdain for men is striking.


      When I was 19, I fell hopelessly in love with a girl at school. We discovered by chance that we very much enjoyed each other's company. We spent a great deal of time together. One evening she invited me to her bedroom to study. I had a lot of work. I painstakingly notated Hume for three hours. At midnight, as I stood in the doorway to leave, she asked me if I wanted to stay for the evening. Par for the course. I did, but I couldn't say it. I became extremely conscious of the over-neutrality of my facial expression. It turned into something approaching a pained grimace. My core contracted intensely and I spoke slowly: "I'd really like to, but I can't." I left.

      We saw each other the next day. I stayed over this time. We did not have sex, but I did kiss her.

      Another day passed. I invited her over this time. We tried to have sex. It didn't work.

      Some number of weeks passed. We saw each other occasionally. She'd lost interest in me. I was absolutely head over heels.

      Some number of months passed as we went home for the winter. I thought about her every single day. I struggled to sleep. I was listless and anxious.

      We reunited in February. She was taken with me. I'd stopped thinking about her constantly, just often. We spent more time together. She would brush up against me as we walked. She would speak to me with interest and excitement. We would dance at parties. We would look into each other's eyes and smile. My affection toward her grew beyond the realm of friendship again. Then a virus struck the Eastern Seaboard with a ferocity I'd never have expected within my lifetime. Our school announced its closure. We met the night before departing to say goodbye. I wanted desperately for her to stay with me forever. As she stood up to leave, I pulled her into an embrace and, my eyes tearing up and my voice nearly breaking, whispered, "I don't want you to go." She left.

      We texted over the next few months. We grew very close; closer than we'd been in person. My life was comprised of misery, separation, and apathy. I couldn't stand to be in my home any longer. I couldn't stand to be in my city any longer; I found it endlessly oppressive. I did not like being observed. I was always, always being observed. I wanted to be alone. I was never truly alone. I wanted to be with one person. I was never with her. I could not work. I could not sleep. I could not socialize. I could not breathe.

      The virus found its way to her. I was very concerned. She was fine. She could not smell. She was in good spirits. I escaped. I traveled to her. We met in a hotel. We spent several days together. I returned to my prison. I stepped foot inside and fell back into the crater I'd carved for myself.

      Some number of months passed. I had to see her again. I scrambled out of my crater and broke free of the cell. We met in another hotel. We spent several days together. We went on an adventure. I became lost within myself. I needed to be near her. I could barely speak to her. She wanted me to leave. She would not say it. I could see it. I could read it. I did read it. In the middle of the night, I felt an overpowering, overwhelming, push to GET OUT GET OUT GET OUT GET OUT GET OUT. It put the fear of God into my soul. I could not disobey, or I would die. I tried not to wake her. She heard me putting on my boots. She asked where I was going. I said that I needed to take a walk. I left as fast as my body allowed. I went out and forward. I had no destination; I just needed to depart immediately. I found a lake. It had a path nearby. The path continued into the woods, away from the water, windy and very dark. I walked along it for hours, hours, hours, hours, hours. The air was freezing. I was walking so vigorously that I had to take off my jacket. I could see the outlines of houses at some places along the path. The windows were dark. There were cars in the driveways. I intended to walk until I reached a town. I would look for a church, or a bar. Anywhere that would take me. It was cold again. I continued walking. There was no town. I continued walking. There was still no town. I continued walking. I saw lights in the distance. I continued walking. There was a lake. I approached. It was the lake I had found before. I halted and stood in place for ten minutes. I did not understand how this had happened or could happen. I sat down on a bench. I looked at the water. Across the lake, I saw a man walking alone. He took that path I had taken and disappeared into the darkness. I sat still for a very long time. Thoughts raced through my mind. I decided what I had to say to her. I went inside. A woman or man stood in the lobby. They took the elevator upstairs with me. I asked what floor. They gave some sort of answer. I pressed the button. We reached the floor I'd selected. They did not get out. I asked if this was their floor. They said no. I waited for the doors to close. We stood there in silence. The elevator brought us to our floor. I walked out. They followed me. They asked for a cigarette. I did not have any. I explained that I had to go to sleep. I walked quickly to my room. I entered. I closed the door behind me. I walked past the bed. She was awake. She asked how my walk was. I did not say anything. I could not look at her. I undressed and got into the bed. She made further conversation. I did not know what to say. She asked if I was feeling alright. I said that I was not. She asked why. My face tightened. My core tightened. I could not speak. I said, "My mind often takes me places." I paused for a long moment. "It gets anxious about people. Because I've been with you all this time, it's getting anxious about you." She said that that sounded like "normal social anxiety." I said, "No, it's..." I did not finish. I did not know how.

      We have not spoken in months. I think about her every day. At many moments I feel as though I have never wanted to see someone again more. At other moments I forget her completely, if only briefly. Then the loneliness comes back.

      Some weeks ago, I found myself in a distant place full of strangers. I made the acquaintance of a woman there. I liked her. She was older than me. She was very beautiful. She looked much younger than she really was. We drank wine and danced romantically at a party. Tango, waltz; whatever we could manage. She was the most attractive person there, and everyone knew it. She moved with a special mastery of her own body that I rarely saw in anyone. She was funny, and she could make really good drinks. Her friends commented on her beauty with pangs of jealousy. My heart fluttered when she entered the room, and I was drawn toward her. We spent more time together. People observed, but did not pry. She was confused or insecure about why I liked her. I offered kisses and flattery. The feeling was genuine; she had beauty beyond measure, and I felt remarkably comfortable in her presence. We had sex five times. We parted ways with a very heartfelt kiss. My mind returns now, uncontrollably, to two women.

      The incongruity of the deep affection I feel and my inability to express it is striking.


      TW. When I was 20, I lived far away from my friends. I spoke to my acquaintances cordially. Many of them looked up to me. I drank far too much alcohol. I saw a counselor. She spoke to me very candidly. I felt less alone.

      A girl down the hall, fresh out of high school, begged me to take her virginity. She was very intoxicated. I refused. She sat on my lap and kissed me. I froze. I thought of my woman from before. She put her hand on my crotch. I gently moved her off. She asked me again. I said no. I couldn't bear to have anyone witness this. I took her outside. We walked along the road, into the darkness. She asked if we could do it tomorrow instead, and I said no again. I explained that I could not sleep with her. She did not understand. We sat down on a bench. I was exasperated. She sat on my lap and kissed me again. She asked me to squeeze her ass. I resisted. She begged. I gave up for a moment and complied, and she tried to pull me in closer. I moved her off me and stood up. We walked back home. I made sure she went to her room. I turned to go to bed. I could hear her crying through her door.

      I felt that I had to leave that space. I could not. I lived there for six more months. I told no one. I avoided the girl down the hall. She and her friends always ate in the room near mine. It was hard for me to leave without being seen. I could say nothing. I pretended as though all was well with my other acquaintances. When I saw my friends, I did not tell them either. I distracted myself and moved on.

      The incongruity of my unbelievable narcissism and my pitifully diffident response to unconsensual sexual acts is striking.


      I'm 21 years old. Good or bad, all of that is behind me now. But it really isn't. I'm left with impressions in my mind that cannot be removed. I will never, ever forget these people; not by choice, but by imposition. I must accept this reality. In doing so I will allow myself to forget the worst parts, and so diminish the accursed reminders I presently face.

      If you read all of this, thank you.

      18 votes
    7. Our dead bedroom, and our journey to fix it. Any interest in the journey?

      I've been married for about 20 years. Our bedroom has been mostly dead for half of that. When I left to go take care of my mother, I didn't know if I would come back home. My husband and I like...

      I've been married for about 20 years. Our bedroom has been mostly dead for half of that. When I left to go take care of my mother, I didn't know if I would come back home. My husband and I like each other well enough, but we have each been in our own personally narrated relationship hell for too long. While I was away, we started writing each other letters, the distance seemed to let us "get it all out." We both seem committed to making the next 20 years better than the first. If there is any interest, I'm willing to chronicle our journey back from the brink of divorce, as well as answer any questions anyone might have. I'm the one with the lower sex drive, and with sex more tied to emotional intimacy than my partner. I like Tildes as my personal space and don't really want my husband to have an account, but I would let him use mine to speak his own words if that is something someone would want to hear. If there is no interest, I'll delete this topic in about a week, as I would find it a bit embarrassing in my history.

      Edit: I would also be interested in hearing how other people worked through this if anyone would like to talk about it.

      46 votes
    8. What's your proposing/marriage story?

      I'm interested in knowing how fellow Tilders became engaged and subsequently married. Let's just say I was given some personal reasons to think about the subject lately... I'm interested in...

      I'm interested in knowing how fellow Tilders became engaged and subsequently married. Let's just say I was given some personal reasons to think about the subject lately...

      I'm interested in knowing what steps led you and your significant other to consider the possibility, how you became engaged, how long did you know each other beforehand, etc...

      You know, the kind of thing someone that never considered marriage as an option is utterly ignorant about :P

      Any advice?

      13 votes
    9. How do I talk to my girlfriend about her past sexual assault?

      I've been in a relationship with my current girlfriend for almost a year now, and things seem rough right now because of an issue we're having. My girlfriend is upset with me because she thinks I...

      I've been in a relationship with my current girlfriend for almost a year now, and things seem rough right now because of an issue we're having.

      My girlfriend is upset with me because she thinks I don't care about her past trauma. She's told me, very roughly, what she's gone through, and I told her that whenever she's ready to talk about it, I absolutely will. But according to her, the last time she tried to initiate talking about it, I told her that I had no idea what to say. And this upset her and stonewalled the discussion.

      I don't doubt that happened. My problem is, is that if she were to try again, I might just very well do the same thing. I have zero idea on how to handle something of this severity. How do I ask her to talk about it? Is that something I should be asking? What does someone even say when given this information? I am not equipped whatsoever to deal with information of this magnitude and I'm at a loss. How do I let her know that I really do care about her, and am 100% willing to listen to what she has to say? I worry I'm too far in the doghouse to even make use of any of this advice, but any help is immensely appreciated

      Edit in case anyone was interested: We talked and we're okay :). She told me what she went through and I didn't handle it nearly as bad as I worried I was going to. Thanks everyone for your kind words and helpful advice.

      17 votes
    10. What was your "oh, they wanted more than coffee!" moment?

      In an episode of the TV show Seinfeld, a woman invites George Costanza for a cup of coffee in her apartment after a date. George rejects the offer, saying if he drank coffee that late he would...

      In an episode of the TV show Seinfeld, a woman invites George Costanza for a cup of coffee in her apartment after a date. George rejects the offer, saying if he drank coffee that late he would stay up all night. The woman leaves the car visibly underwhelmed. After a second, George realizes "coffee" meant "sex" and he just lost a great opportunity.

      Have you ever had a moment like that (not necessarily about romance), in which a silly misunderstanding led to the loss of an opportunity?

      22 votes
    11. Love in the time of coronavirus?

      Following an off-topic conversation starting here: https://tildes.net/~health.coronavirus/mq7/advice_from_a_doctor_who_studied_coronaviruses_for_50_years#comment-4qi7 I thought it would be handy...

      Following an off-topic conversation starting here:

      https://tildes.net/~health.coronavirus/mq7/advice_from_a_doctor_who_studied_coronaviruses_for_50_years#comment-4qi7

      I thought it would be handy to establish that life still continues even in pandemic lockdown. One participant mentions a successful video date, and another wishes for sex.

      The questions below may be personal and sensitive - please use your best judgement in answering or refraining to do so. Usual Tildes rules of courtesy apply.

      1. If you're in a relationship, what are you doing to keep it alive and healthy?

      2. If you're not partnered, what are you doing, if anything, to date or otherwise meet your needs while everything is closed down (if this is the case where you are)?

      3. Does your idea of love or sex require physical contact?

      4. If physical contact is required, what, if anything, are you doing to stay safe right now?

      21 votes
    12. How did you meet your significant other?

      Howdily-doodly Tilderinos. I want to say "See Title." But I feel like that kinda defeats the purpose of this site, so I'll expound a bit. Looking around me now, I see couples walking around. I see...

      Howdily-doodly Tilderinos.

      I want to say "See Title." But I feel like that kinda defeats the purpose of this site, so I'll expound a bit.

      Looking around me now, I see couples walking around. I see young men strutting down the street; rushing to and fro; or making their trek somewhere on a bike. I see young women on these rent-a-scooter things that Bird and other companies offer; walking beside their friends; or sitting with their books.

      And I can't help but reflect on how much our adult lives are built around doing romantically isolating things. We sleep 8-hours a day; social progress here is only made in dreams that we occasionally wish to remain in. We work 8-hours a day; and as far as I understand it, relationships with colleagues are wholly discouraged. That leaves us 8 hours to cook, eat, maintain a home, relax, participate in hobbies, enjoy friends, and enjoy family.

      Our society feels, to me, very live-to-work; not that I have an alternative to the status quo to offer.

      That being said – Tilda Swintons, how did you meet your significant others?

      edit: "howdilly" => "howdily"

      16 votes
    13. Does anyone on Tildes not speak—intentionally or not—to one or both of your parents? If so, why?

      As per title. Furthermore: how do you feel about that? I just realised I haven't told my father I've moved to another city 500 miles away, and in fact, haven't spoken with him for a few months...

      As per title. Furthermore: how do you feel about that?

      I just realised I haven't told my father I've moved to another city 500 miles away, and in fact, haven't spoken with him for a few months now. This is the case for me because I never really respected him for various life choices he made, as well as being a Jehovah's Witness (he isn't an exclusionary man however, and sometimes I feel like he uses religion as a way to escape how miserable his life otherwise is). My mother, who I love very much, thankfully divorced him 15 years ago.

      On the whole, I know my father loves me, but yet I don't feel the reverse. This at times, like now, fills me with guilt because—despite having perfectly valid reasons to not be close to him—fundamentally he is my biological parent and there is always going to be that connection. I don't know how to handle that, even though I'm now nearly 24.

      Often at times, like now, it makes me feel kind of sad. And it's often compounded by other various bits of life that make me feel down too.

      Does anyone else have similar experiences? How do you deal/have you dealt with this?

      16 votes
    14. What is your first-hand experience with the "Dunning–Kruger effect"?

      In the field of psychology, the Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which people of low ability have illusory superiority and mistakenly assess their cognitive ability as greater than it...

      In the field of psychology, the Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which people of low ability have illusory superiority and mistakenly assess their cognitive ability as greater than it is. The cognitive bias of illusory superiority comes from the inability of low-ability people to recognize their lack of ability. Without the self-awareness of metacognition, low-ability people cannot objectively evaluate their competence or incompetence. (Wikipedia)

      Some of my fellow programmers seem to think the world turns around their knowledge as if there was no valid reasoning whatsoever beyond math and computer science. They seem to think logic (a tool with multiple uses which exists since at least 380 BC) is merely an attribute of computer science. It's not uncommon for them to think they can understand the intricacies of every phenomenon under the sun.

      I have to control myself to avoid countering each of their flawed arguments. To my own detriment, I'm not always able to do so. I feel surrounded by arrogance and cognitive bias, and have to silence my better judgment in order to avoid constant conflict.

      To be clear, I'm not looking for advice, as I already know the "solution", which is no solution. You can't use reason to fight something that is not motivated by reason. I'm posting to know your stories and maybe find some solace in the knowledge that I'm not alone.

      Have you ever had to deal directly with people who grossly inflate their own competence, possibly stretching it to an unrelated field? if so, what's your story?

      20 votes
    15. Had to say goodbye to a friend today and it stings so bad :(

      So I'm doing my GED at the moment and I'm in the same couple of classes this gal. It's only 3 months into the semester and we won't be in the same classes next semester anyway. Nevertheless,...

      So I'm doing my GED at the moment and I'm in the same couple of classes this gal. It's only 3 months into the semester and we won't be in the same classes next semester anyway. Nevertheless, despite it only being 3 months we quickly became acquainted and within the last month or so we've become friends. Last week however, her boyfriend broke up with her and today he kicked her out of his apartment - so she's homeless. And in order to not live on the damn street she's going back to Norway (she's only been here in Denmark for a bit over a year) to live with her family until she can find somewhere to live here - she still has another semester to go until she's done with school here, so it need only be temporary.

      She's leaving tonight and so I asked if she wanted to meet after school today. We did and talked for a couple of hours at a cafe - and it was pretty nice despite her situation being total shit. I'm a really empathetic person in general and I feel all sorts of compassion for her. Simultaneously, despite barely even knowing her (today was the first time we actually hung out, come to think of it), I am gonna miss her like crazy... This is mostly about her because of how much it sucks for her and how bad I feel for her, but I can't help but feel like shit too even though I barely even know her! I can't tell if I have a crush on her or if I just like her as a friend, but who cares anyways - she's gone now and I might not see her again...

      Just had to get this off my chest I guess. I just wish so bad that she didn't have to leave - that I could've gotten to know her more and spent more time with her.

      I'm also trying to follow some advice from a psychologist, because I have borderline personality disorder and basically it means I feel feelings a lot more intensely than the average person. I also haven't been a very social person historically speaking so I find it difficult to navigate relationships and situations like this. So the advice I'm trying to follow is particularly this bit: Instead of ‘I love you with the passion of a thousand fiery suns’ it might be nice to do a small gesture. But it's difficult to not write her on messenger and just say something like "I'm gonna miss you :(" - I know it's stupid to do that and she doesn't feel the same way I do because it's only been like 1 month of actual friendship, but it's genuinely how I feel.

      Wasn't sure if this belongs in ~life or here, so I figured I'd just go with this one. Just had to get this off my chest so that maybe I'll not be dumb and write her something that the overly attached girlfriend meme could have written. I used to be super clingy and it's driven people away in the past so yeah. Anyway, thanks for caring if you read this whole post :)

      22 votes
    16. What's the worst person you've ever had to deal with for an extended period of time?

      Mine would definitely have to be my sister in law, who I live with. I daily wake up to headaches from her yelling, once a week she threatens to leave with my brothers children for irrational...

      Mine would definitely have to be my sister in law, who I live with. I daily wake up to headaches from her yelling, once a week she threatens to leave with my brothers children for irrational reasons, and she claims to be a "prisoner in the house" when she can literally leave at any time and nobody will care.

      Example: Today I asked my brothers if they wanted me to fire up my hookah. She came out yelling about smoking weed around her kids and then left out front to vent to someone loudly on the phone for half an hour. There was no weed, the hookah was in a different room, and they smoke cigarettes around their kid all the time.

      12 votes
    17. What are the good ways to deal with situations when a generally good person believes in things like astrology and conspiracy theories?

      Probably I'm not alone in such situation when a good person you know believes in something really harmless but still ridiculous in the depth of your mind. For example, that astrological sign...

      Probably I'm not alone in such situation when a good person you know believes in something really harmless but still ridiculous in the depth of your mind.

      For example, that astrological sign seriously defines compatibility of people, or WTC was demolished intentionally in the US, or GMO is bad because in some experiment rats reportedly stopped reproducing and therefore someone wants to shrink certain human populations by popularizing GMO.

      None of such beliefs actually do something directly harmful but sometimes just the fact people you know believe that is almost disgusting. Any proof would be discarded as an "official", biased one, profitable for those who have money and power.

      What should be done in such a situation? What would you do if your otherwise perfect friend seriously considered Earth flat?

      27 votes
    18. Thoughts on male relationships

      Right now, the number one post on my personal Reddit feed is this: https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/9bryj8/straight_guys_of_reddit_whats_the_most_intimate/ Reading through this made me...

      Right now, the number one post on my personal Reddit feed is this: https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/9bryj8/straight_guys_of_reddit_whats_the_most_intimate/

      Reading through this made me feel quite a few different emotions, but I would say that my biggest takeaway is disappointment.

      I'm pretty young, being in my late twenties, but I know that the largest Reddit demographic is younger than me. And it terrifies me to see that people who are probably less than 15 years younger than me appear to be far more stricken by toxic masculinity than I was when I was their age. Right now the top response is a story about someone scratching his friend's back during a military deployment. He later mentions that his comrades gave him a hard time for it. Is the idea of machismo so fragile that we cannot take simple actions - even to provide relief to a friend?

      I'll be the first to admit that a single AskReddit thread is not going to be an accurate representation of the levels of intimacy men actually give each other. But the simple fact that it's full of jokes, to me, makes it appear that they are using humor as a defense mechanism.

      The fact that young men have so many barriers preventing them from building bonds with other men in a society often partitioned by gender deeply concerns me. I worry that this is the beginning of a societal issue in the same vein as racism was for our parents and grandparents and will only cause more problems as we age and gain political sway.

      I'm bringing this up here because I would like some perspective on this. I've always been very sympathetic to other people, and my views as a gay man are obviously going to be different from straight men. Where is this toxicity coming from? Is there a way we can stop it, or is it already ingrained in the collective psyche?

      29 votes