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meeting someone new - my confusion/dilemma


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#1
Farandolae

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What sort of places do you go (other than lesbotronic :) ) to meet lesbian /gay/bi/queer/insert-preferred-label-here women, how do you pick a "target," what do you do?

I am right in the midst of my own specific confusion on this question.

For me the problem is not that I am a lesbian looking for another woman, generically speaking. I live in Tucson, AZ and from afar, it seems like there are various things going on here -- political or social -- that I could show up to and get to know women and over time to see if any friendships develop, then see if anything else develops.

Nope, for me the problem comes from another side of me. I'm looking for women who, like me, feel any sort of deception (even subtle stuff, like subtle disconnect between words and actions, use of words for anything other than stark accuracy of description, etc) as wrongness/pain. Viscerally. I'm at the point in my life where I don't want to have close personal connections without sharing this attribute.

But. It's an attribute that is often not on display in everyday life, because it upsets the normal flow of how things work -- deception is a core part of how this society functions, and it is *everywhere.* So it's always a sort of navigation about how much to show this and how much to not show it. It's a matter of survival in some ways, to be careful about this.

It's also an attribute that has no category in this society. I can say "I'm a lesbian" and be understood. But with this, it ~doesn't exist~ in the cultural system. I have my own words and understanding of this attribute (I don't see it as an individual quirk, but as part of a functioning sane collective, which this society is not). But there is no shortcut way to say "I'm looking for another X" or "Are you an X?" or whatever.

I'm drawn to the online stuff because at least I can try with the words. But at the same time, I'm not sure it's the best way to go, and in any case, I wish it weren't the only way I can see.

I know I could go and do generically lesbian-themed stuff in town with the hope that somehow in the process I would run into someone like me. But the downside of that is kind of huge for me, since it would mean interacting with a lot of people who aren't this.

In these contexts, I would have two options: the first option would be displaying enough of what I am to be visible to another one like me if that person is there. This practice would lead to some amount of what I call "backlash" from others who are not this -- backlash is when people get upset if their own cherished deceptions (whatever they are) seem to be coming under threat. Backlash hurts like H, and drains my energy to the point of exhaustion.

Or I could stay more or less closeted and just watch the people around me, hoping that somehow I would recognize another like me. The problem with this is that I would have to be in group situations where all sorts of wrongness/deception was happening and stay silent/closeted. This hurts, also, and dealing with that also takes up all sorts of energy.

So I just keep going around and around with this. Confused and frustrated. Seems kind of impossible to me.

I'd welcome any responses that speak to this dilemma. If anyone read this whole long thing!

I would ask a favor of anyone who responds, though: if you are not like this yourself, please don't tell me that I should make this attribute less central. That would be like a straight person telling a lesbian that she should make her lesbian-ness less central.

#2
Ramona

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This is an interesting post, and I'm trying to understand it better. When you said:

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I'm looking for women who, like me, feel any sort of deception (even subtle stuff, like subtle disconnect between words and actions, use of words for anything other than stark accuracy of description, etc) as wrongness/pain.

Are you talking about not-so-meaningful "small talk?" Superficially polite but otherwise meaningless discourse?

Or did you mean . . . something else?

I'm also not clear on what you mean by "backlash," in terms of their "cherished deceptions." Again, I wonder if this is the smalltalk thing, or some other deception. I think it might be more clear what you meant by this if you could share an example of someone's deception that you challenged then got flak for doing so. At least I'd know what sort of deception you were talking about here??

#3
Farandolae

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Hi Ramona,

Re: your questions. Hmmm.

Okay. One of the things I wrote about what I mean by deception was "subtle disconnect between words and actions."

In your reply, you wrote:

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This is an interesting post, and I'm trying to understand it better.

With this statement, you are using words to "describe" your actions. You say in words that your response is the action of you trying to understand better what I wrote. You define the action with the words.

But. Action speaks its own self. And what you are doing might not be the action you describe. You might be doing something else, but masking it under this word-description.

My experience is that often, people use friendly/benign words like "interesting" and claims of trying to "understand it better" as cover for some less friendly reaction to the existence or naming of perception like mine.

Further, my gut tells me that there is something to your reply that is not how you describe it as quoted above. I don't know what it is in words, and I don't know if it is central or at the periphery of what you're doing. But something feels not entirely right.

So. Say that you're actually doing something other than "trying to understand it better." For example, say the action is to re-center the perception and concerns of people who don't feel things this way. Or that the action is to work out your own perhaps not entirely conscious discomfort at the existence of someone who might viscerally perceive as deception the everyday subtle deceptions you wonder if you practice. Or ... there are lots of possibilities for something like this.

If there were a subtle word-action disconnect there, it would move from my gut-level sense to my ability to pinpoint it in words in the course of an interaction with you. How quickly would depend partly on how open I choose to be about what I sense going on, and also would depend on how skilled you were at subtle deception.

Then. To the extent that I became able to put my feeling of dissonance into words, what I was doing would feel like a threat to you (or whoever was doing it). You/that person would respond with backlash, which comes in various forms. For example, you might say I was oversensitive/reading in things that don't exist, implicitly pointing to how culturally reasonable your words were. Or you might ask me what right I have to judge you. Or point to how benign your real intention is (intention is not verifiable externally in action). Or appear to have a logical debate that is not that at all. There are many specific little tactics to what I call backlash. All of it is more deception.

I do actually have a recent and I would say relatively crude example of a deception and backlash dynamic from an online interaction I had. I'd prefer not to just describe it -- that's second-hand information. But I think I would be ok with removing the identifying info and sending the written exchange to you via email or some other way that would not clutter this board with the example and any discussion that comes from looking at it. Let me know if that would be useful for you and if so how would be best to send the information.

Also, just a note. I am talking here about interpersonal interactions because that's my focus in my post. I'd like to keep the focus there because that is what I am dealing with in looking for a woman who perceives like I do -- it's the interpersonal layer.

But just to acknowledge it, I have also experienced institutional backlash. One of the most overt and dramatic forms of that was getting fired from a job I was doing well some years ago, because I let a corrupt boss know that I was not okay with his practice of putting words on paper that were not backed up by real grounded action (and in doing that, I also became a potentially visible threat to the institution's turning a blind eye to his practices). I have also had other less dramatic experiences of larger-level backlash.

But although deception permeates pretty much all layers of this society and my experience in it, I am deliberately focusing on the interpersonal level here.

#4
Ramona

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Here's a bunch of synonyms and one antonym for the word "interesting" from my Apple system dictionary:

interesting: adjective
absorbing, engrossing, fascinating, riveting, gripping, compelling, compulsive, captivating, engaging, enthralling; appealing, attractive; amusing, entertaining, stimulating, thought-provoking, diverting, intriguing. antonym boring

My use of the word was entirely consistent with the above.

Furthermore, I do almost always mean what I say. Like most humans I don't ALWAYS vocalize absolutely everything that crosses my mind, but much more often than not that's less about some sort of sinister lie of omission than just that it would be unnecessarily insulting or rude, uselessly distracting, or totally extraneous. If I vocalized absolutely everything that crossed my mind, no matter how trivial or off topic, many days I'd just be babbling constantly. No need for that.

But you seem to believe I was trying to deceive you somehow? No, I'm really not wondering if I was after all in some secret unacknowledged place in my mind. I wasn't.

And while I don't doubt that you've experienced various deceptions in your life, I am going to say I think it is possible you are "oversensitive/reading in things that don't exist," at least with your response here. I don't think that's backlash coming from my direction. Rather, I wonder if you have a sensitivity to this issue that's now leading you to perceive double entendres or hidden meanings that only exist for you, not the other person.

I can't really tell how disturbing these deceptions that you experienced were for you. But if they were really upsetting, I could imagine you might even have a "deception PTSD," where you're fully expecting many more to jump out at you, constantly. This could probably impair your interactions with those other women you may be meeting. Sort of a negative expectation that could be a self-fulfilling prophecy. No, I'm not trying to say you should make this concern "less central" for you, but perhaps you could try giving some of those women you meet a little more of an opportunity to impress you with some sincerity on their part or just a wee smidge more benefit of the doubt before you quickly rule them out as being completely otherwise?

Maybe a few more of those other women than you may have originally imagined are more like you than you think but . . . they're just trying to get along conversationally in the world too, introducing themselves in the ways that seem accepted or normal, with the hope of a good response. But perhaps at their core some of them aren't as different from you or deceptive toward you as you may imagine after an extremely brief interaction?

Maybe?

#5
Rural Technophile

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Hello Farandolae,

From your posts, I gather that you are deeply concerned with finding someone fundamentally honest with which to share a relationship. This is not an uncommon desire, nor is it in any way insurmountable. My best advice would be to study up on cold reading. It is a skill, and while some people seem to be "talented" at it, that just comes from upbringing - anyone can master this skill.

People are not magical, they are a combination of meat and thought. We all show things with our body that we cannot hide no matter what. Even a well trained actor or poker player will have these "tells" as they do not come from the conscious mind, but instead straight from the backbrain in *response* to the conscious mind.

Some of the things you can tell about someone if you are well versed in cold reading include: if they are angry, ashamed, attracted, engaged, offended, and most importantly to you: whether or not they are lying.

Cold reading is not magic, it's simply educated observation, so while you may be afraid to go meet people in person, that's really the best way to get to know whether or not someone is *honest*. Some of the things that cold reading will teach you to look for are eye movement, twitches around the eyes, eye narrowing, the tautness with which someone is holding their jaw or lips, hand gestures, and other things that may seem minor but actually speak volumes.

The better you get at cold reading, the more it will seem like you can read minds, and the more you can "read minds" the less you have to be afraid of being lied to - because you'll know when it's happening. I think this would be very empowering for you.

Here's an example of a simple cold reading technique: if someone is "trying to remember something" and they look to the right, then they are lying - reaching into their *creative* mind for the information they're about to give; if they look to the left, then they are about to be honest - reaching into their logical mind to retrieve and deliver the memory. If they look both directions then they are mixing the two.

It really is that simple. A bit of study and practice and you should have all the confidence you need to find a person with a relationship with honesty you can feel comfortable with!

Hope that helps!

#6
Farandolae

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Hi Rural Technophile,

Thank you thank you thank you for your response! Amazing. Did I say thank you?

Your comments suggest an... arena of attention and focus, for lack of better words ... that I think is going to be really really valuable to me.

You are absolutely pushing toward the right questions and focus here.

I appreciate this all the more because you're actually not accurate in your description of who/what I'm looking for. I'm not looking for "someone fundamentally honest" but rather someone who has a visceral sense-perception of any sort of deception (I also call it dissonance) as painful wrongness. This is a huge important difference, but not something I would expect many others to get. It's hard because there are neither words nor concepts in this cultural system for what I'm talking about.

But anyway, despite the inaccuracy of your description, you still went beautifully directly to a focus on something that is really valuable.The focus area you suggest is really really great. Not just cold reading or tells as "normal" people display them, but the physical and related signs of having a sense-perception like this. Since this sense-perception doesn't exist for most people, even masking in order to pass would not really mask these things.

For example -- I'm thinking out loud here -- for example, in a group setting where there is deception/dissonance in the group-level dynamic, someone like me would go unnaturally still at specific levels and/or certain points in time if she was deliberately masking a response to pain from dissonance. It would be hard to catch unless I was deliberately looking for it.

In such a situation, as someone who has this sense-perception who is looking for another who does, I would normally be able to feel for myself the deception/dissonance in the context. Feeling that, and paying attention to the layers your reply suggests, I would probably be able to tell the difference between someone who just didn't perceive the dissonance as pain, and someone who did and was not responding to it.

There are lots of other things I could probably pinpoint for various situations. This is not something I have been doing but it is something I could do. I'll have to think a lot more about it from this perspective. This is so valuable to me. Did I say thank you? Thank you.

I was beginning to feel like I shouldn't have bothered making the post and asking these questions, but your response and the doors it opens makes me very glad I did post it here.

With tremendous gratitude to you ...

-The poster with the screen name of Farandolae.

#7
Rural Technophile

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I'm happy that you found my response useful! And yes, I did misunderstand the specific nature of your desire, but cold reading should still help! For instance, you can tell from cold reading when someone experiences pain or disgust, and if you have detected that the trigger for said pain or disgust is a lie, then you have documented one instance of the emotional reaction you're looking for to be native in your mate.

On another note, being too specifically picky about a potential mate might leave you unnecessarily lonely. You might want to consider whether or not pain in response to dishonesty is really a necessity for you. What if you found someone dedicated to honesty - or simply naturally honest - who was not pained by dishonesty, but merely found it sad, distasteful, unattractive, or simply an incorrect way to communicate?

If such a person were sympathetic to your own reactions, couldn't they be an excellent potential partner?

#8
Farandolae

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Oh, Ramona.

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perhaps you could try giving some of those women you meet a little more of an opportunity to impress you with some sincerity on their part or just a wee smidge more benefit of the doubt before you quickly rule them out as being completely otherwise?


I am not looking to be impressed with sincerity. As I wrote in the initial post here:

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I'm looking for women who, like me, feel any sort of deception (even subtle stuff, like subtle disconnect between words and actions, use of words for anything other than stark accuracy of description, etc) as wrongness/pain. Viscerally.


Ramona, you are applying your own landscape, experiences, and positioning to something that is outside all of these things. You don't understand. You are speaking from the landscape of someone like you who doesn't have this sense-perception. It doesn't fit what I am saying.

Of course, you initially wrote you were trying to understand my post better. Presumably, though you didn't say it out loud, so you could actually address what I was asking for help with (the purpose of my post).

Well, I questioned your word-description of what you were doing. I did this both as a way to answer your questions through firsthand interaction and experience, and also because something felt sort of off to me about your word-description, as I mentioned. It's getting clearer to me what was/is wrong.

In the first part of your reply to my questioning, you chose to defend yourself in ways that re-frame what I was saying in terms that are familiar and understandable to you. This is not the action of seeking better understanding. It is the action of placing an unknown and alien thing into familiar terms. The energy of this was there in your first reply, but not so so clearly as it is in the second one.

Your landscape has no categories for what I am talking about and you don't understand what I'm talking about. This is true. But you actions in response reveal your boundaries opposed to understanding this thing that different enough from your landscape that it would require you require you to stretch your own perception to include something that doesn't fit. You act to re-center your own understanding rather than to understand something outside of it.

Your description of your action as "trying to understand [my initial post] better" was not what the action was. This was not as clear before you were pushed by my response. But the problem I have with something like this is that the backlash is ugly and painful.

Speaking of backlash, I think your own response has done a far better job than I ever could of showing some of what I mean by backlash. To be clear, backlash is additional and often somewhat escalated flow of deception in response.

For example:

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I wonder if you have a sensitivity to this issue that's now leading you to perceive double entendres or hidden meanings that only exist for you, not the other person.

Predictable. A sense in someone different from yourself, something that you don't have and don't understand is ... sensitivity that is other than perception of what is actually going on. And yes, I already mentioned this type of response as an example of backlash. Just predictable.

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if they were really upsetting, I could imagine you might even have a "deception PTSD," where you're fully expecting many more to jump out at you, constantly. This could probably impair your interactions with those other women you may be meeting.

In this example of backlash in action, you name my experiences from a sense-perception you don't understand as not just different but as negatively deviant-- making a psychological diagnosis to underscore the negative deviance (in your landscape) of how I experience.

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No, I'm not trying to say you should make this concern "less central" for you, but...


Sentences that say "I am not doing X, but" and go on to do exactly what the person says they are not doing? Culturally typical kind of backlash in a system permeated with deception. Something like: "Attend to what I say I am (not) doing rather than what I am doing. I can use word-claims to pre-emptively erase the doing with the claim I am not doing it."

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No, I'm not trying to say you should make this concern "less central" for you, but perhaps you could try giving some of those women you meet a little more of an opportunity to impress you with some sincerity on their part or just a wee smidge more benefit of the doubt before you quickly rule them out as being completely otherwise?

This part bears repeating IMO. This is you defining things in terms that make sense to YOU from your position outside of what I am talking about. Writing as if who I am looking for would make sense in your landscape.

To repeat from above, I am not simply seeking someone who will be sincere. As I mentioned above. And I am certainly not looking for someone seeking to "impress" me with her sincerity through me giving her "benefit of the doubt" -- yuck!

Instead, I am seeking someone who perceives what is around her similarly to me in this area that you don't understand. There is a difference.

Sentences that say "I am not doing X, but" and go on to do exactly what the person says they are not doing? Culturally typical kind of backlash in a system permeated with deception. Something like: "Attend to what I say I am (not) doing rather than what I am doing. I can erase the doing with the claim I am not doing it."

And:

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Maybe a few more of those other women than you may have originally imagined are more like you than you think but . . . they're just trying to get along conversationally in the world too, introducing themselves in the ways that seem accepted or normal, with the hope of a good response.

Here, you are falsely positioning yourself as an ally of and even, implicitly, sort of an expert on these "other women." To the point where you fele it is reasonable to give me advice about my own kind -- when you don't even understand my own kind. You faux-advocate for those you use words to name as like me. When you don't understand anything about this.

And for the record: If called out by one of her own on efforts to pass, a woman like me would not respond with backlash as you have so thoughtfully displayed in action here. We don't seek benefit of the doubt -- that's a common but alien-to-me concept used in this cultural system to mask certain kinds of deception/dissonance by diverting attention away from actions onto something else.

Instead, she would respond from a sense-perception that dissonance is pain, that naming and opening up the wrongness -- in a way that doesn't put anyone in danger, there's context to be considered -- feels so much better than hiding it. Seriously.

Yes, there is a whole mode of perception you don't understand, that you simply can't define within your own familiar landscape of perception and experience.

Yes, "understanding" was related to your actions. But your real displayed action was about the inverse of understanding. You acted to define something outside your experience in your own terms, not to understand something outside of your familiar landscape. Same arena but totally different positions. Not as someone trying to understand, but as a definer of terms and landscapes for something that is outside your experience and perception.

Your actions are opposed to how you described them. That's the wrongness I felt initially. It wasn't clear then. It's clearer now.

Dealing with deception and backlash like this takes a lot of time and energy, not only to respond to it or not, but to experience in the first place. This kind of interaction illustrates some of what I am NOT looking for in another woman (not that you were offering, Ramona, just talking about this as illustration of dynamics), and shows some of why I don't want to be with someone who doesn't have this basic sense-perception I have.

#9
Farandolae

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I'm happy that you found my response useful! And yes, I did misunderstand the specific nature of your desire, but cold reading should still help! For instance, you can tell from cold reading when someone experiences pain or disgust, and if you have detected that the trigger for said pain or disgust is a lie, then you have documented one instance of the emotional reaction you're looking for to be native in your mate.

Excellent!! Thank you. This is amazing marvelous stuff. I can't say enough thank you. I'll for sure look into this. (BTW, it's not necessarily an emotional response only, it can and often is visceral/physical, functioning something like the physical senses that are normally accepted - emotional would only mark that it is not a normal or culturally acknowledged physical sense)

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On another note, being too specifically picky about a potential mate might leave you unnecessarily lonely. You might want to consider whether or not pain in response to dishonesty is really a necessity for you. What if you found someone dedicated to honesty - or simply naturally honest - who was not pained by dishonesty, but merely found it sad, distasteful, unattractive, or simply an incorrect way to communicate?

If such a person were sympathetic to your own reactions, couldn't they be an excellent potential partner?

This is something I have reflected on and -- no, that is not what I am looking for, odd as that may be to someone who isn't "like that.".

Think of it as central like sexual orientation. Would you tell a lesbian trying to figure out how to find another lesbian to consider being with a man who was sympathetic to lesbians? Would you tell a woman who was clearly and strongly seeking another woman to consider men because she might be lonely otherwise?

Does that make sense?

#10
Rural Technophile

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Yes, it does make sense. If this reaction you feel to dishonesty is so central to your identity as to make those without it seem alien, then yeah I can see why it would be worth it to abstain from relationships until you find another person with the same identity defining characteristic.





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