Author Topic: thank you, Dear Abby!  (Read 19382 times)

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TurtleDove

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Re: thank you, Dear Abby!
« Reply #135 on: October 23, 2012, 12:42:57 PM »
Our "best selves" can be in disfiguring accidents, or be stricken with cancer, or any other number of things. I firmly believe my relationship with my SO would continue to be strong despite it.

I absolutely agree with this and nothing I have said counters this.  When I say "best self" I mean doing the best we can with what we have been given.  It is more about attitude than physical appearance.  I would not likely be attracted to someone who "let himself go" but it would be more about the reasons for letting himself go than it would be about physical appearance.  I have never experienced an SO with some sort of disfigurement, but no, that is not the same thing as losing interest in being one's best self.

TurtleDove

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Re: thank you, Dear Abby!
« Reply #136 on: October 23, 2012, 12:43:32 PM »
And one's best self is not just their body, either. I value a person who is curious, keeps their mind active and open, and strives to keep making the relationship better.

100% agreed.

TurtleDove

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Re: thank you, Dear Abby!
« Reply #137 on: October 23, 2012, 12:45:11 PM »
It would be really arrogant of me to think that my definition of "best (in all senses of the word)" is objective or universal.

Agreed. By definition "best self" is subjective and personal.

TurtleDove

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Re: thank you, Dear Abby!
« Reply #138 on: October 23, 2012, 12:46:33 PM »
(ETA: and for the record, I don't think the topic of "complaining about an aspect of oneself" even came up in the thread. The guy isn't complaining that women complain to him about their looks!)

I mentioned it because you referenced when I have used the term in other threads over the years.  :)

Two Ravens

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Re: thank you, Dear Abby!
« Reply #139 on: October 23, 2012, 12:48:12 PM »
Our "best selves" can be in disfiguring accidents, or be stricken with cancer, or any other number of things. I firmly believe my relationship with my SO would continue to be strong despite it.

I absolutely agree with this and nothing I have said counters this.  When I say "best self" I mean doing the best we can with what we have been given.  It is more about attitude than physical appearance.  I would not likely be attracted to someone who "let himself go" but it would be more about the reasons for letting himself go than it would be about physical appearance.  I have never experienced an SO with some sort of disfigurement, but no, that is not the same thing as losing interest in being one's best self.

But this whole thing was brought up in terms of attraction. You have stated that you could not be in a relationship with someone you are not attracted to. Someone can be their "best self" and still not be attractive to you, correct?

Yvaine

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Re: thank you, Dear Abby!
« Reply #140 on: October 23, 2012, 12:50:42 PM »
Our "best selves" can be in disfiguring accidents, or be stricken with cancer, or any other number of things. I firmly believe my relationship with my SO would continue to be strong despite it.

I absolutely agree with this and nothing I have said counters this.  When I say "best self" I mean doing the best we can with what we have been given.  It is more about attitude than physical appearance.  I would not likely be attracted to someone who "let himself go" but it would be more about the reasons for letting himself go than it would be about physical appearance.  I have never experienced an SO with some sort of disfigurement, but no, that is not the same thing as losing interest in being one's best self.

But this whole thing was brought up in terms of attraction. You have stated that you could not be in a relationship with someone you are not attracted to. Someone can be their "best self" and still not be attractive to you, correct?

I think the point is probably that he has to see his "best self" in the same way that TD would see his "best self" for them to be compatible. Which is perfectly OK, of course.

TurtleDove

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Re: thank you, Dear Abby!
« Reply #141 on: October 23, 2012, 12:55:41 PM »
But this whole thing was brought up in terms of attraction. You have stated that you could not be in a relationship with someone you are not attracted to. Someone can be their "best self" and still not be attractive to you, correct?

Millions of people worldwide are their best selves and I am not attracted to them.

What I said was that I would not be in, as in enter into a relationship with someone I am not attracted to.  Attraction is a threshold issue.  There would never be a relationship with me if there were no attraction.

Over time, people change. Absolutely.  As I said, I have never lost attraction for anyone I have dated.  Never.  I don't know whether that is because I am attracted to people for whom being attractive (not just physically) is very important. I would venture a guess that if my SO lost his arm or scarred his face in a fire I would not lose attraction for him.  If he suddenly stopped his regular active routine and became a couch potato and gained 80 pounds I likely would, but I would have addressed this with him LONG before it took that much of a physical toll - I would address the reasons why he became someone who is not his best self and I would try to help him get back to being a person he liked again.

Twik

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Re: thank you, Dear Abby!
« Reply #142 on: October 23, 2012, 01:00:28 PM »
Could you please stop using the term "best self"? As others have said, that's a very subjective call, and you are (unintentionally, I'm sure), insulting a lot of people who may not fit your criteria and still believe they are their "best selves".
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Two Ravens

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Re: thank you, Dear Abby!
« Reply #143 on: October 23, 2012, 01:02:42 PM »
Could you please stop using the term "best self"? As others have said, that's a very subjective call, and you are (unintentionally, I'm sure), insulting a lot of people who may not fit your criteria and still believe they are their "best selves".

Right. I am sure there are couch potatos who feel they are their "best selves" out there (and like themselves plenty).

Bexx27

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Re: thank you, Dear Abby!
« Reply #144 on: October 23, 2012, 01:08:08 PM »
Yes, you keep saying "best self" is subjective, but then why automatically assume that if your hypothetical SO became a fat couch potato he would no longer be his "best self" or even someone he liked? You would likely not be compatible anymore, and that's fine, but that's different from saying he'd be "worse."
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TurtleDove

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Re: thank you, Dear Abby!
« Reply #145 on: October 23, 2012, 01:27:08 PM »
Could you please stop using the term "best self"? As others have said, that's a very subjective call, and you are (unintentionally, I'm sure), insulting a lot of people who may not fit your criteria and still believe they are their "best selves".

Well, I apologize if this is the case.  I thought I was pretty clear that this is subjective and of course no one but me would fit my criteria for me, or my SO for his.

TurtleDove

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Re: thank you, Dear Abby!
« Reply #146 on: October 23, 2012, 01:29:51 PM »
Yes, you keep saying "best self" is subjective, but then why automatically assume that if your hypothetical SO became a fat couch potato he would no longer be his "best self" or even someone he liked? You would likely not be compatible anymore, and that's fine, but that's different from saying he'd be "worse."

Yeah, I think we are talking past each other.  I would not be attracted romantically to someone whose best self is a couch potato.  That would be a 180 degree change from the start of the relationship.  No judgment on couch potatoes - they probably would not be attracted to me either.   

Fleur

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Re: thank you, Dear Abby!
« Reply #147 on: October 23, 2012, 01:30:41 PM »

I have to defend TD a bit here. I found this man obnoxious for sure, but I think that the term 'best self' is fair enough. And as  someone who is progressing with weight loss, if I'm honest, I don't feel at my most attractive or healthy. Am I ugly or unworthy? No, not a bit and I would laugh at anyone who told me I was. But could I do better, feel better and look better? Yes, I could, and I'm working at it. Nobody is perfect, and most people are works in progress. But there is nothing wrong with finding an upbeat, 'can do' attitude attractive. And I would also not be impressed by someone who spent too much time slumped over the television, whatever their size (I know plenty of skinny unfit couch potatoes.)

C0mputerGeek

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Re: thank you, Dear Abby!
« Reply #148 on: October 23, 2012, 01:50:30 PM »
I'll agree with you. My aunt is fifty and quite fit. She works out with a personal trainer and has quite the physique. One of the qualities she looks for is someone who is in as good a shape as she is. Honestly, if she can require it of the men she dates, then the letter writer get to as well. What's sauce for the gander is sauce for the goose.

As long as she doesn't chastise other people for not being what she wants.
She does not, but I don't have any proof that the letter writer does as well. Writing a letter to Dear Abby asking for advice is not the same as criticizing people to their face.

I'll agree with you. My aunt is fifty and quite fit. She works out with a personal trainer and has quite the physique. One of the qualities she looks for is someone who is in as good a shape as she is. Honestly, if she can require it of the men she dates, then the letter writer get to as well. What's sauce for the gander is sauce for the goose.

I also don't find the letter to Dear Abby all that objectionable, but that's because I am used to my aunt. Everyone has standards of what they're attracted to. For some people it's more mental (e.g. personality traits) than physical.

But your aunt isn't making seeping generalizations about all men her age, their level of fitness, attractiveness and what they do or don't understand.
Actually, she does make generalizations about the fitness levels of men her age. She says it's very hard to find men in their fifties who are as fit as her. She just does not writer letters to Dear Abby.

ScubaGirl

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Re: thank you, Dear Abby!
« Reply #149 on: October 23, 2012, 02:12:05 PM »
The letter reminded me of the recent incident of the man who sent an email to a woman news person to say because she was obese she wasn't a fit role model, especially to young girls.  He had no idea of who she was, what she has over come, what she has accomplished, etc.  She was an unfit role model because he thought she was obese.

As someone said upstream, no, we women do understand.  However, if men like that are the prize, the effort really isn't worth it.

But, with that said, in my small experience of the world the LW's feelings are in the minority - at least in my circle of friends/coworkers/acquaintances well into their 40s.