9 Hardcore Truths About Starting A Long Distance Relationship
9 months into the relationship I found out he had a court date. He told me it was for assaulting a bouncer. Very soon after his mother admitted. They ended up breaking up for a time and getting back together both and gave the relationship a better try from both sides, they are now. Each stage transition reorganizes the self/other relationship. WTF? I don't know how to cure all cancers. That doesn't mean that cancer.
Romantic relationships tend toward fusion, eliminating any emotional separation or difference in values. The communal mode generally rejects asymmetrical relationships other than those of biological necessity. If one person wants you to do something, and another person wants you to do something different, there is no good basis for decision, because relationships have no internal structure; they consist simply of sharing experience. Here is the experience of stage 3 failing to cope with irreconcilable expectations: That impossible feeling of having to be in several places all at the same time, that feeling of being ripped apart, or being pulled in several directions, the feeling of wanting everyone you love to be happy, or even feeling you could make them all happy—if only they would cooperate.
This is often whoever happens to be there at the time, or whoever is best at displaying intense feelings. Social groups based in the communal mode tend to be dominated by people with personality disorders, who get their way by emoting histrionically.
People in stage 3 seem irresponsible and unreliable to people in stage 4. Stage 3 cannot hear that there can be structural reasons, not just feelings, for prioritizing one responsibility over another. In effect, you try to be responsible for everything. However, if you are responsible for everything, you cannot actually be responsible for anything. You cannot be held accountable to any specific responsibility. If individuals frequently fail to do their specific, agreed tasks, nothing can get done.
Modern societies are based on the systematic mode stage 4. In modern societies, stage 3 is developmentally appropriate for adolescents. It is not adequate to fully cope with what modern societies demand of adults.
Stage 3 adults in the West are developmentally traditional people 6 living in a modern world 7 —and that causes friction. Because Western adults do all have to deal with stage 4 systems especially in employmenteveryone develops coping strategies, and everyone has some intellectual understanding of how they operate.
However, in the communal mode, systemic logic seems alien and emotionally unacceptable. This can be ideologized. Anti-capitalism, for instance, is often motivated by a stage 3 rejection of the asymmetrical, structured relationship of employment. For stage 3, you show up to work on time because your coworkers would be upset with you if you were late; or because your spouse would be upset with you if you got fired; or because you might miss a pay raise that would mean a better quality of life for your children.
The systematic mode stage 4 Here relationships are relativized. They move from subject to object, and are subordinated to, and organized by, a system. You no longer are in relationships that define you; you have relationships. You no longer are a stream of transient emotional experiences; you have experiences. You are a system that defines you.
Understanding Fear of Intimacy
Here the self is a structure of enduring principles, projects, and commitments. Others are understood as having chosen their own principles, projects, and commitments. They have experiences, so those are not your experiences. It means that you are not flooded by them, and can evaluate whether or not to respond to them, and how best to do so.
To stage 3, that sounds cold and distant, but for stage 4, it means seeing the other person for who they really are. Emotions are just something people have, from time to time.
Those need to be dealt with, but should not be taken too seriously.
Developing ethical, social, and cognitive competence
A romantic relationship between systematic people not only tolerates, but respects, and actively supports, their differing values and projects. That is what it means for stage 4 to be actually in a relationship with another person, rather than losing both your selves in a warm bath of shared feelings. Whereas stage 3 advances over stage 2 by being able to take the perspective of one other person, or of a homogeneous group of others, stage 4 has the capacity to take the perspective of an entire system of differentiated, interlocking roles that have asymmetrical, structured relationships with each other.
This is a new epistemic capacity, which requires some competence at abstract reasoning. A stage 4 social system is rational in at least the sense that there is a reason for the nature of each role and relationship; and the reasons together provide an interlocking structure of justification. Communal epistemology is typically associational, with unordered lists of items forming a loose category, or sets of symmetric correspondences.
Because there are reasons for relationships, because they are based on specific commitments to particular roles, because they give you specific responsibilities in specific situations, you can usually resolve conflicts between them in a principled way. Kegan gives an example. You visit your parents alone for dinner, and they express their disappointment that they see so much less of you since your children were born.
Your spouse might be a little disappointed, but you know that he or she also loves your parents, and enjoys spending time with them. For the systematic mode, this is definitely the wrong answer. You are responsible to your parents and to your spouse in different ways that compel prioritizing one relationship or the other in different situations, on the basis of specific reasons, not just who has stronger feelings.
Here the specific situation is the renewal of the couple relationship, which has different needs from other relationships. A visit with your parents can include your spouse and children; sometimes a vacation with your spouse cannot include anyone else, due to the specific nature of romantic pair bonds. As an additional structural reason, you have made a prior earlier commitment to your spouse, which should typically take priority over anything new that comes up. At minimum, this gives you a structural responsibility to discuss with your spouse the possibility of inviting your parents before doing so.
Stage 4 has the capacity to take the perspective of a social system as a whole, and to support its smooth functioning. In this case, it is a multigenerational family system, with distinctive subsystems—such as the couple—that have distinctive needs, independent of any individual. It can also be a workplace, a religious organization, or a whole country.
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For stage 3, complex social systems impose what seem arbitrary external demands presumably devised by the powerful for their selfish benefit. Lacking a systemic view, communal people take for granted, as externally supplied, all the goods of modern life. Only at stage 4 can you understand how any life beyond subsistence farming depends on intricate social systems with complex roles and responsibilities. At stage 3, you are in roles, but at stage 4 you have roles, which you can relate to each other.
Not only can you prioritize them, you recognize that your responsibility for a particular role has particular limits; and you can enter and exit roles by choice. Systems honor boundaries and distinctions. Stage 4 includes meeting formal responsibilities—that is, ones that are invented in order to make the system work, not ones that are biologically inherent.
Equality, in the systematic mode, means procedural justice, based on respect for individual dignity. This leads to a fear of intimacy. Falling in love not only brings excitement and fulfillment; it also creates anxiety and fears of rejection and potential loss. For this reason many people shy away from loving relationships. Fear of intimacy begins to develop early in life. We learn not to rely on others as a coping mechanism. After being hurt in our earliest relationships, we fear being hurt again.
We are reluctant to take another chance on being loved. Therefore, when someone is loving and reacts positively toward us, we experience a conflict within ourselves. Our capacity to accept love and enjoy loving relationships can also be negatively affected by existential issues. This can lead us to feel more pain about the thought of death. When we push our partner away emotionally or retreat from their affection, we are acting on this fear of intimacy. While this is not the first example of trolling in IAmA and certainly will not be the lastit sticks out as a particularly ripe example to unpack the conflicting expectations of authenticity within the Reddit community.
Grandpa Wiggly first appeared on IAmA with his story about being a failed mayonnaise entrepreneur [ 1 ]. In this post he describes his invention of his own mayonnaise recipe and his attempts to sell it years ago at his local Piggly Wiggly locations a grocery chain in the southern U.
His chances for condiment glory were ruined by the major food conglomerates and due to sub—prime shelving space his mayonnaise business quickly failed. Since then he has retired from the condiment—making business, claiming to only make mayonnaise for personal use and the occasional gift.
However, his popularity only began to truly explode when he opened up about his home life. As of August 10,the post had nearly comments on it, 2, up votes down votes verses only comments, up votes and down votes on his mayonnaise IAmA.
Looking at the comment history for both users and seeing that the interaction between the two prior to this had been minimal, it was really as if it was a grandson had discovered his elderly grandfather was a social media guru and was he was reeling from this discovery.
The Grandpa Wiggly saga continued: And still, some people insisted that Grandpa Wiggly was a troll. The story of Grandpa Wiggly quickly unraveled, and while at first the person behind the Wiggly family characters tried to cover their tracks by deleting photos and some posts, they barely touched the surface of removing everything he had posted online both on Reddit and other media sharing sites.
Allegations of fraud were made; those who had once fawned over Grandpa Wiggly were now sure that he had been gearing up to asking for money from the Reddit community. Some Redditors were on a witch hunt: The person behind Grandpa Wiggly then made an interesting choice: That was my mistake. It seems to be spilt down the middle.
It was interactive fiction, plain and simple, kind of like a choose—your—own—adventure. There was no sinister motive behind all of this. I had no end game. The puppetmaster has remained active on Reddit. Of particular interest here is the visceral reaction exhibited by some members of the Reddit. However, most Redditors seemed to agree that Grandpa Wiggly was a troll.
But what does it really mean to call someone a troll? Warning that a troll can have a negative impact on an online community, Donath explains: A troll can disrupt the discussion on a newsgroup, disseminate bad advice, and damage the feeling of trust in the newsgroup community. But does this fit the description of the behaviour exhibited by Grandpa Wiggly and his interactions with the Reddit.
It is clear that this is a complicated situation and further investigation is required. Looking through his posts, it is difficult to find examples of Grandpa Wiggly disrupting discussions within the various sub—Reddits he participated in.
While participation on Reddit. He posted in such a way that was internally consistent with this story, perhaps adding to the sense of betrayal expressed by some Redditors. While the person behind Grandpa Wiggly did not feel that he was playing a game, those who had believed his stories felt that Grandpa Wiggly was toying with them.
Identity games aside, Grandpa Wiggly did participate in many discussions throughout Reddit not just within the IAmA sub—Redditchiming in with his thoughts, opinions, and often an amusing anecdote. Rather than disrupting discussion, I argue that Grandpa Wiggly fostered it. At the height of his popularity he had many Redditors who would reply to his comments, adding to the overall discussion. He was known as the quirky old man who loved mayonnaise, so much that it resulted in the creation of a sub—Reddit specifically for the discussion of the condiment.
Also, his second IAmA post about his wife and their cats came directly out of repeatedly being asked questions by fellow Redditors in other non—related discussion threads. Rather than covertly sneaking into a community and disrupting the conversation, he was encouraged by other community members to jump in and take a leading role.
Make Your Long Distance Relationship Easy & Fun | Modern Love Long Distance
In terms of disseminating bad advice, it is difficult to determine if the advice given by Grandpa Wiggly was better or worse than the advice usually distributed within this online community and the Internet in general. When reading through the posts made under the Grandpa Wiggly name I did not see any suggestions of illegal behaviour. The same cannot be said elsewhere on Reddit — bad advice runs rampant.
The young man ended up acting on some of the more vindictive suggestions and while it made for an entertaining story and lots of karma when posting updates about the situation [ 6 ] his actions likely caused more drama and heartbreak than needed in this situation.
While some may find the veil of anonymity in an online forum liberating, others as shown in the example above may be inclined towards mischief — or worse. If Grandpa Wiggly was a character created for financial gain or the dissemination for overtly bad advice, the case would be open and shut. While I am still unsure that Grandpa Wiggly can truly be called a troll, these events certainly took on a life of their own and their aftermath has left more questions than answers. Stepping back from the specific subject matter of this paper for a moment, I feel it is important to pause and outline the theoretical framework that I feel may shed at least a dim light on the Grandpa Wiggly debate.
While the events explained above seem specific to Reddit. All posters in the IAmA forum are undertaking some sort of performance — the very act of offering themselves up as an object of scrutiny is a performative act. Goffman explained about how each day we negotiate and re—negotiate our off—line selves depending on what situation we find ourselves in.
Perhaps in a job interview we perform being a hard working, reliable, and knowledgeable employee, but at the pub meeting potential romantic interests we perform fun—loving and spontaneous and perhaps even slightly flakey. Within the Reddit community, there is nothing in particular that compels a user to be truthful and open about their off—line identity, yet many users seem willing disclose details about their lives away from the Internet.
But has this expectation of truthfulness always been so prevalent in the online world? While role—play is something that is expected and often encouraged in a game setting, it may not be so welcomed elsewhere on the Internet.
Not all role—playing is positive, just as not all role—playing is escapist. While in some cases role—playing can be a means of working through issues and insecurities experienced off—line, sometimes role—play can merely be acting out the same problems in an endless feedback loop Turkle, If we look at the bigger picture and the motivations for such behaviour, it can provide the much—needed context for explaining the reasons why this identity play is taking place.
He was fully committed to playing this character and despite his unmasking, wishes to continue this character beyond Reddit. I suspect that the act of becoming Grandpa Wiggly held something beyond the identity game and deception of this particular online community.
It is entirely possible that his reactions are merely damage control and he is saying what he thinks the rest of the community wants to hear.