I regret whatever confusion is happening here and will take extra care to not assume anything. The last part of the post wasn't available when I responded, but it clarifies some of it. I admittedly chose the wrong term, "falling in love" vs. "choosing a partner" and have attempted to correct it. I hope people feel free to edit their responses.
Edit: I think the definition of that phrase has changed from my generation. It might have been influenced by Francesco Alberoni who was influential from the 1970s through the 1990s and used the term "falling in love" to describe a state in which the individual was receptive to profound life change and joining to a partner in a bond of love. I hadn't actually heard his name before, but I'm thinking that my use of the term would have been consistent with its assumed definitions twenty years ago. Relationship terminology changes faster than anything, I think. I'm not 100% sure of this, but am leaning in that direction.
I think you're right. That explanation makes a lot of sense. I'm sorry about the negative assumption, that was probably uncalled for. I think I just had a reaction to "age and experience shifting perspective." That's become kind of a hot-button term for me, because it's been used to dismiss valid issues I've had with people before, or for them to ignore their own motives. Probably to the point that I become suspicious of people who use that expression rather than justifying their position by discussing their emotions or expressing factual information in support of their position. Now that you've done that, I feel silly for being suspicious.
Choosing a career - Well, I haven't actually chosen a career yet, but I've been taking the "do what you enjoy" approach.
Falling in love with someone - When it happens, it's always entirely irrational in that it doesn't even necessitate that I know the person well. As far as entering relationships goes, I don't have any experience in that area.
Choosing a pet - I haven't actually chosen a pet before, but I plan to someday. Specifically, I plan on getting a dog. The most important factor will be temperament/personality, followed by (in order) attractiveness, size, and maintenance needs.
Buying a car - I choose based on fuel efficiency, price, appearance (it has to be modest), and history.
Grocery shopping - I consider (in no particular order) nutrition, taste, value (e.g. $ per ounce), price (e.g. just $), and degree of necessity. I usually spend way too much time comparing all of my options.
Buying a pair of shoes - I choose based on price, quality, appearance (again, it has to be modest), and location of origin.
As you can see, I'm pretty mixed bag when it comes to T/F.
Last edited by laughingebony; 06-08-2009 at 07:26 AM.
Reason: I forgot to remove the quote tags.
Will I be challenged and stimulated enough? Will I have enough autonomy? Will it allow me free time so I can pursue my hobbies, which are kind of like a second job anyway? Does it pay enough to be worth my time? Can I work with the people?
Falling in love with someone
Hang around person, notice person's qualities, lifestyle, ability to have fun and still be an adult. Most importantly, notice chemistry or lack thereof. I don't know how much of a conscious decision this is.
Choosing a pet
Think about what kind of dog I'd like, do some research on breeds and temperaments. I like small dogs best. I would definitely go to a shelter or rescue for my next pet, and I would hold and pet and try to get a feel for a dog's personality for a while. I couldn't get another pet now, b/c my dog is pretty territorial.
Buying a car
Go to Honda place. Pick one out.
Eh, not much process here. I buy a lot of semi-healthy frozen foods, b/c I'm lazy.
Buying a pair of shoes
Shoes must be both comfortable and cute. I won't buy uncomfortable shoes. They must also usually be on sale. I'm really good at sale shopping, though, so the above requirements aren't difficult. I can sometimes stop myself from buying a pair of shoes if I have a similar pair already. Having said that, I have a trillion pair of black shoes and boots at home.
The truth is, I do whatever really grabs me. Because I'm fairly bright, I can always back-engineer the rationale. However, there really isn't one. I do what feels right at the time and if I pay for it later, I'm willing to pay and mostly I don't regret. I trust my instinct such that if there is a negative consequence, I think it was also meant to happen, therefore it is good.
This works out so that I'm right even when I'm wrong.
All of my decisions are ultimately based on what "feels right." I'll gather as much information as I can and if it makes sense, I'll go with it. I have always landed on my feet and been very happy in the end, even if the choice initially brought on disaster. I've learned to always trust my feelings and I've lived a very interesting life so far.
The only time I've ever gotten myself into trouble going on feeling is with relationships, but that remains up in the air. I don't think that falling in love is so much a choice of to do or not to do. It's something that you allow to happen over time and need to be open to experiencing. The only choice is whether to stick around long enough for it to happen.
I really struggle with the "feels right" approach because when I encounter a decision that involves layers of feelings and multiple people and complexities, I end up viewing the scenario from so many vantage points simultaneously that many different conclusions "feel right". I could compare it to a highly personal approach that mind-melds multiple people. My mind ends up in a horrible traffic jam and all the perspectives begin to equalize. This just happened to me about a decision involving traveling and family illness, etc. I was conflicted to the point of tears because of seeing so many multiple scenarios. I finally I stepped back and imagined I was an external person asking more detached questions about the situation. I tried to add up the information in my mind and determine what sort of role I would actually be playing and measure it's potential usefulness. When the decisions are personal by nature, I have to take a detached analytical approach or I am flooded with data that is uncertain and unmeasurable by nature and for some reason begins to equalize. It is almost like feeling everyone's gut feelings at the same time, and it becomes incoherent. Incoherency is a source of distress to my mind and can get me hooked obsessively until I make some sort of sense, or find some sort of pattern or system underlying it.
I muse over this a bit because it is so clear to me that decision making is analytical, detached, logical for me, but the most natural content and first flood of information is of a more subjective, empathetic nature. I guess I find it aligns strangely with the MBTI system. I notice this generally with a few axis - that the nature of the information: subjective, objective, concrete, abstract, etc. doesn't determine how that information is processed. Factual data can be processed in a personalized way, emotions in a detached analytical way, concrete data understood as an intuitive system, and abstract data as detailed, linear, and non-systematic. I'm a bit off topic in my own thread, but it doesn't come out binary in application for any of the poles. Even socialization is more layered than E and I.
The first man to raise a fist is the man who's run out of ideas. H.G. WELLS
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. FEYNMAN If this is monkey pee, you're on your own.SCULLY
Well, I am in the process of career change. I chose my first career (journalism) because I thought that it would be exciting and adventurous, that I would meet interesting people and never have to do the same thing over and over again. Unfortunately, the newspaper business is slowing passing away. I am contemplating a new career. It's got to be something that doesn't require me to sit in an office all day or to be excessively supervised. I need to feel creative and happy while doing the work. Lots of money is not necessary but getting paid is.
Falling in love with someone (edited by request after post 23: Choosing to be in a relationship with someone)
I'm still waiting. Sigh. I was engaged twice but broke off the engagements because the guys were not especially honest.
Choosing a pet
I've never actually chosen a pet. The pet seems to choose me!
Buying a car
I have never bought a car. I don't even have a driver's license.
I bring a list and buy what's on it. Then I pay and leave. I don't really like grocery shopping anyway. I do, however, love outdoor farmers markets. That's where I'm likely to make impulse purchases, based on wonderful smells or beautiful colors!
Buying a pair of shoes
They have to be comfortable and sturdy enough so that my feet aren't in excruciating pain after walking up to twenty miles in a day!!!
I'm a little teapot, short and stout. Here is my handle and here is my spout. Every time I steam up, I give a shout. Just tip me over and pour me out.
It is nice to ask myself "what do I feel like doing this afternoon?" and then just do it, like going kayaking or to the beach or something. Usually I can get somebody to go with me.
Choosing a career - Think of things like "what do I like to do?" "can I make a living off of this?" etc. A compromise between enjoyment and income, I suppose.
Falling in love with someone/Choosing to be in a relationship with someone - Well in the past I would have said do I like this person? Am I sexually attracted to this person? But now I probably would consider things like "does this person's strengths complement my own?" "Does this person enhance my life?" I guess I've gotten more pragmatic, almost cost-benefit analysis. I just am a little scared of relationships screwing me over I guess and don't want to make mistakes I've made in the past.
Choosing a pet - I have a fish. I went to the pet store and asked which was the most resilient fish under $10 and they told me to get a paradise fish or a beta fish. I chose the paradise fish because I thought it was prettier.
Buying a car - Do not have a car.
Grocery shopping - I have 3 modes of grocery shopping: wandering around and buying what looks good, purchasing specific ingredients for a particular dish/recipe, and making a list based upon what I plan on eating in the future. I'd say I do the second most of all, with some of the first thrown in. Rarely do I do the third, though I'd like to.
Buying a pair of shoes - Ugh I hate buying shoes actually. Usually I wait until they are falling apart practically or I feel disgusted by them, then I go and try to find something that is as close to what I want as possible. For clothes in general, I will often buy something on "trial mode" (if I'm feeling iffy about the decision) and bring it home. If I decide I don't like it, I return it to the store.
I used to agonize more over decisions, but I don't do that so much anymore, because in most situations you're choosing between several good choices, so you can't really go wrong, plus life is what you make of it so you almost MAKE the decision the 'right' decision by embracing it fully. Most decisions aren't super permanent, so just go with it and if you need to change or reevaluate at a later point, then that's fine too. I guess I try to balance preferences/pleasure with pragmatics.
(my current decision-making philosophy, at least)
Your kisses, sweeter than honey. But guess what, so is my money.