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Thread: What is a bond?

  1. #11
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    [Cross-post from an old thread; also, long post]

    [...] Bonds are psychological connections of recognition or identity. The following are bonds:

    - Identity with a tribe, nationality, or country: "America, right or wrong," "We Baptists are saved and all the rest of you are hell-bound," "Liberals are cool, and all Republicans suck."
    - Identity with a concept, idea, or occupation: "The INFP mentality describes me perfectly," "They'll take my gun from me when they remove it from my cold, dead fingers," "I'm an intellectual / athlete / scientist / joker / plumber / philosopher / Crazy Eddy, the used car king of Macon County--c'mon down and I'll make you a deal."
    - Identity with an iconic person or group of people: Adulation for Paris Hilton, the Beatles, Karl Marx, Che Guevara, Ayn Rand, favorite actors or singers, etc.
    - Bond with cherished objects: Family heirlooms, personal keepsakes, favorite collectibles, personal taste in furnishings and room decor, etc.
    - Bond with a favorite place: whatever one considers "home," a favorite vacation spot, identification with a certain environment ("I'm a country boy at heart")
    - Bond with a pet
    - Friendship
    - Passion
    - And so on.

    Each of us is like a plant shooting out tendrils toward objects around us. If the tendrils find a comfortable place to attach on another person, object, or idea, then the tendril can wrap around the other object firmly. If the attachment/tendril/bond is nourished and supported by other bonds, then it can grow strong. If time and events work against it, it can atrophy and wither away. If the bond is strong and something breaks it suddenly (sudden disillusionment with a favorite idea, being suddenly uprooted from a favorite environment, betrayal by a friend, death of a lover), then a psychological injury occurs at the point of the broken bond and some form of melancholy or mourning is experienced to varying degree.

    Some bonds are actually composites of many bonds. For example:

    A bond with a cherished heirloom may consist of all of the following simultaneously: a bond with the object itself; a bond with an idea--that the object somehow encapsulates a part of the family history; a bond of identity--that I'm a caretaker of family history by preserving the heirloom; and so on. Accidentally breaking that heirloom may bring on a feeling of grief much deeper than expected, because of the multitude of bonds suddenly broken all at once.

    Similarly, a friendship may start with a single bond: a shared appreciation for a single activity or idea or event. If the friendship never develops beyond that single bond or attachment (the friends never try to establish more bonds or they are unable to find other things in common), then the friendship will remain shallow and tentative. Strong friendships are built from the attachment of multiple bonds: Finding multiple similarities, sharing multiple experiences together, etc. Thus, even very dissimilar people can become friends after enough time together, simply by virtue of sharing experiences together. They say that the best friends aren't necessarily the people you like the most; they are often simply the people you spend your time with.

    Same with family, in reverse. Adulthood and moving away from home may separate family members physically; differences in personality, politics, livelihood, etc. may cause arguments and a loss of respect. With time, two adult brothers or two adult sisters may come to hate each other. But at the same time, the still-existing bonds of a shared childhood, shared memories, and shared family identity may make it difficult to ever reject each other entirely.

    Love-with-a-capital-L (the kind of Love that underpins long-term relationships [LTRs]) is a similar composite of lesser bonds. It may start with passion (a quick strong attraction based on physical attraction) or even just a shared enthusiasm or experience. If the Love never develops beyond that single bond or attachment (the Lovers never try to establish more bonds or they are unable to find other things in common), then the Love won't survive the waning of the passion or the shocks and irritations of dissimilarity in other areas of life.

    But if Love manages to establish multiple bonds (lust, shared experiences, similarities of identity, etc.), then the relationship can last forever. Passion establishes a favorable environment, and over time a forest of attaching tendrils grows between the two people. A number of things can happen at this point:

    - Passion may wane and disappear, but the other bond/tendrils/attachments will connect the two people and keep them from drifting apart.
    - As time passes and the two partners turn into an old married couple, the passion between them may fade, disappear, and even be replaced with a degree of contempt; and the passions and fancies of the two individual partners may float free and attach to other people (coworkers, acquaintances, etc.). But there remains a forest of other bonds/tendrils still attaching the old married couple at the hip, and it would seem too painful to cut those other bonds/tendrils via divorce or threaten them with adultery; so the other passions and fancies are never indulged and thus the marriage stays together and those bonds of fancy remain weak and passing in nature.
    - Should an old married couple come to actively despise each other, they may decide to separate and divorce. But they may be surprised at all the bonds/tendrils still attaching them, still healthy, and able to cause pain when they are abruptly broken. For example, they may have made plans for future vacations, children, retirement; they may have bonded strongly to those plans and it may hurt to suddenly find their future empty and planless again. Or they have friends, a home, a neighborhood, and a town in common, and it may hurt to have to relinquish parts or all of those things to the other. Or they may have bonded to the concept of simply defining themselves as "a husband" or "a wife"; and it may be a shock to have to redefine themselves as "a middle-aged single man (woman)".

    Anyway, that's the nature of Love-with-a-capital-L, as I see it:

    1) Have two people built up a forest of attachments/tendrils/bonds between them? It doesn't really matter if any one given bond is absent or missing. For example, it doesn't matter whether or not the relationship started from a burning, white-hot passion at the outset. Or that they share the same religion or politics. The main thing is that a good, working LTR needs a certain quantity, quality, and variety of bonds, enough that the positive bonds of recognition and identity substantially outweigh the shocks and irritations of non-recognition and dissimilarity.

    2) Do the two people have a habit of generating new bonds to replace old ones that atrophy or are broken by external shocks? As they say, "Familiarity breeds contempt." There will be an accumulation of contempt in a LTR as the novelty wears off and the two people get a little tired of each other's company. Also, there will be external stresses, for example when the main breadwinner is laid off from a job. And old bonds will wither or be broken. So are the two people doing things to create new bonds? For example: having new experiences together, developing new interests, weathering the loss of passion by trying some new things in the bedroom, etc.

    3) The strength of existing bonds sometimes works against the creation of new bonds. For example, a strong sense of self-identity is healthy, but it may lead to rigidity in relationships: "Sorry, babe, but I can't do that for you. I'm a man, and men don't do that." Self-definition as a bachelor may make it difficult for guys to commit and make the transition to self-definition as a husband; self-definition as an INFP may make it difficult for some INFPs to put up with a lifetime of work in a corporate environment; self-definition as a healer or mentor for one's partner may make it difficult for that person to accept a partner who becomes increasingly independent across the years (or conversely, it may make it difficult to accept a partner who never seemingly heals and always remains dependent and in crisis).

    Similarly, a shared vision of how a LTR is supposed to work ("The husband is the breadwinner and the wife waits on him hand and foot when he comes home from work") may result in a break-down of the relationship when the roles can't be played out due to external circumstances.

    It's tough to look into the future and judge whether a relationship has the makings of a good LTR, or whether a working LTR will also work as a marriage. I've found that awareness of items 1 and 2 are helpful for inventorying a relationship and gauging its success over the near- and medium-term. Item 3 is a little tougher because it sets ostensibly healthy features at odds with each other. That is, a strong sense of self-identity or a strongly shared compatibility and vision of how a relationship is supposed to work may ultimately work against needed flexibility and adaptability later on. [...]

  2. #12
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    There's love.. what we call a bond can simply be love radiating from within, and one's expression of empathy towards another human being that creates that connection and maintains the bond of harmony.

    There's also a type of bond for me that's special that's irreplaceable and cannot be destroyed or forced or created. That kind of bond is chemistry, an instant connection. Sorta like a friendship where two people meet, and you 'get' one another. A strong bond is really a sense of validation for each other, a feeling of acceptance and mutual understanding.

    Hard to always find someone who really understands us and meets us eye-to-eye, but those are the types of bonds that make people wonder what life and passion are all about because the shared experiences really make life worth living. Kinda like when someone looses a best friend or even a pet, dog, animal.. you can't recreate that bond and once they are gone in death you still feel that bond because the connection will always be there in your heart and in your memory.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by FineLine View Post
    Bonds are psychological connections of recognition or identity.
    Let's bring it down to Earth. Bonds can be measured and have been measured. They were first measured at the Walter and Eliza Institute of Medical Reseach in Melbourne, the oldest medical research institute in Australia.

    But these findings are a threat to the patriarchy and so have been suppressed. And this is why you know nothing about them. And dare I say, this is why you don't want to know anything about them, because it would upset the power balance between men and women at the intimate level. And we can't have that, can we?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    Let's bring it down to Earth. Bonds can be measured and have been measured. They were first measured at the Walter and Eliza Institute of Medical Reseach in Melbourne, the oldest medical research institute in Australia.

    But these findings are a threat to the patriarchy and so have been suppressed. And this is why you know nothing about them. And dare I say, this is why you don't want to know anything about them, because it would upset the power balance between men and women at the intimate level. And we can't have that, can we?
    You and I have a bond of sorts, Victor. It’s a casual bond, very limited in extent. It’s mainly composed of shared experience of TypoC and some occasional snarky sniping between us. It’s probably mostly negative, for example, disdain for each other’s posting style; but there may be some grudging admiration for each other’s intellectual capabilities somewhere in there.

    So tell me, Victor, can our bond be measured in Melbourne?

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    The Olfactory Sense and Print

    Quote Originally Posted by FineLine View Post
    So tell me, Victor, can our bond be measured in Melbourne?
    No, electronic acquaintance can't be measured because we are not in olfactory contact.

    If we were in olfactory contact eight hours a day, we would start to cycle together until our menstrual cycles were synchronised and we would have formed a menstrual bond.

    This has very large implications, for not so long ago a family would all sleep in the same room and be in olfactory contact eight hours a day and so the whole family would be in synch in a menstrual bond.

    But menstrual bonding has been interrupted by the privacy of sleeping in separate rooms, by the pill and by air conditioning.

    They say that propinquity is all that is necessary to fall in love, and propinquity means intimate olfactory contact.

    Who would have guessed it was the olfactory sense? It is invisible in the world of print.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    No, electronic acquaintance can't be measured because we are not in olfactory contact.

    If we were in olfactory contact eight hours a day, we would start to cycle together until our menstrual cycles were synchronised and we would have formed a menstrual bond.

    This has very large implications, for not so long ago a family would all sleep in the same room and be in olfactory contact eight hours a day and so the whole family would be in synch in a menstrual bond.

    But menstrual bonding has been interrupted by the privacy of sleeping in separate rooms, by the pill and by air conditioning.

    They say that propinquity is all that is necessary to fall in love, and propinquity means intimate olfactory contact.

    Who would have guessed it was the olfactory sense? It is invisible in the world of print.
    I think you're talking about "pair bonding" or some other fairly narrow definition of bonding. For my own longer post, I started from a much broader definition of bonding and worked my way toward narrower forms of human bonding at the end.

    But even in pair bonding, there's much more to bonding than just exposure to each other's hormones.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by FineLine View Post
    I think you're talking about "pair bonding" or some other fairly narrow definition of bonding. For my own longer post, I started from a much broader definition of bonding and worked my way toward narrower forms of human bonding at the end.

    But even in pair bonding, there's much more to bonding than just exposure to each other's hormones.
    It is not hormones. We have narrowed it down to the olfactory sense.

    And it is not pair bonding. It is any group of people in olfactory contact eight hours a day, women, children and men.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    It is not hormones. We have narrowed it down to the olfactory sense.

    And it is not pair bonding. It is any group of people in olfactory contact eight hours a day, women, children and men.
    Alright, whatever. Seems like a pretty narrow definition of bonding. But I don't want to be one of those patriarchal types keeping people from their menstrual bonding. So I won't fight it.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by FineLine View Post
    Alright, whatever. Seems like a pretty narrow definition of bonding. But I don't want to be one of those patriarchal types keeping people from their menstrual bonding. So I won't fight it.
    It's not a question of fighting it or not. It is a question of whether it is medically true or not.

    It is odd that people want to fight medical facts as though they were religious beliefs.

    But medical facts challenge taken for granted religious beliefs.

    And in a perverse response, they treat medical facts as though they were religious beliefs.

    It is deeply perverse.

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    Shaken. Not stirred.
    "..And the eight and final rule: If this is your first time at Fight Club, you have to fight."
    'Men are meant to be with women. The rest is perversion and mental illness.'

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