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Something that's concerned me for a while now is the idea of a relationship. I've for a long time now seen romance as nothing more than chemicals in the body influencing you to make decisions in the direction of reproduction. So I suppose my question extends to, "Do you believe this to be true?", and if so why bother with relationships? Also, to the fellow INTPs, do you ever feel over-invested in relationships? I always feel like when I enter a relationship I become overwhelmed with emotions as though I've never felt them before, and I hate it more than anything I've ever felt in my life. I absolutely despise limerence because it feels like I've completely neglected my rational side. All in all I just don't really get the point of any of it aside from reproduction. In the case of emotional support I've always considered introspection to be the best remedy, and in the case of reproduction I'm not entirely sure if that interests me. So is the practice of relationships nothing more to me than the fulfillment of my sexual desires, and in that case why bother with going through the seemingly pointless courting rituals?
 

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Emotions can be uncomfortable. They aren't always logical, and they aren't always predictable. But they are a part of what makes us human. Introverts need people too.

Now, dating and marriage isn't for everyone, and that's completely okay.

As for emotional support, don't discount the value of a couple close friends. Humans aren't meant to deal with everything on their own.
 

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nothing more than chemicals in the body influencing you to make decisions in the direction of (...)
Same could be said about anything, really, like eating or pooping... except of course that it's a lot easier to ignore romantic feelings than it is to ignore hunger or full bowels. Why we're wired in ways like that doesn't matter - you can always link an aspect of humanity with something primal, but that doesn't mean it's worthless or that you by default should avoid it.

The rational thing to do would be to think through whatever that function can give you, balance the cons vs. pros, and make a logical decision whether that's something for you as an individual should seek out or not.

Since we're already on the subject of evolutionary psychology, I might as well argue that one reason to couple up with someone is that the human by its very design is a lot more effective with another person, depending on the dynamic. Dynamic is the key word of the day. Emotional support, validation, testing your intellect or whatever it may be, another person can potentially boost any aspect of yours and be a buffer for you in everything you do, and vice versa. Doesn't need to be any "reproduction" at all for it to work, either.

I've also experienced limerence, so I know the mindset fully well. As a result, I've become a very "closed off" person and it's practically impossible for anyone to get close to me romantically right now, but in my mind, I'm open. I'm not looking for opportunities, but should one arrive in front of my nose, I will put it on trial. A very strict one, granted, but I'm still technically open for it. Because I strongly believe in good dynamics.

But yeah, like I said, it's a choice you'll have to make by weighing the ups and downs by your own subjective standards. That's all any of us can do.
 

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@Chickin_Peck:

Also, to the fellow INTPs, do you ever feel over-invested in relationships?
All the time... It's one huge problem of mine. I over-invest and never know when to leave a relationship. In fact, even if I know I'm unhappy I'll generally stay until something incredibly toxic happens and there's a real reason for me to leave.

I always feel like when I enter a relationship I become overwhelmed with emotions as though I've never felt them before, and I hate it more than anything I've ever felt in my life. I absolutely despise limerence because it feels like I've completely neglected my rational side.
I've only experienced limerence once in my life. It was at once a wonderful and beautiful, yet terrifying thing. I didn't like how my rational side had completely shut down either. It was like I was completely out of control.

All in all I just don't really get the point of any of it aside from reproduction. In the case of emotional support I've always considered introspection to be the best remedy, and in the case of reproduction I'm not entirely sure if that interests me. So is the practice of relationships nothing more to me than the fulfillment of my sexual desires, and in that case why bother with going through the seemingly pointless courting rituals?
Yes, I agree. For those that are interested in having children, it makes more sense. However, I'm personally not very interested in having children unless my partner really wants them.

Ultimately it's a great question, one I'm not sure I have an answer to. As an INTP and female, I married because of social constructs. It was expected of me. Does it make me happy? Well, that's up to debate. If I hadn't been pressured, I'd simply live together with someone until I felt more comfortable. Because ultimately dating for me is about companionship. Having someone near me whose thoughts and ideas I value and at the same time can give me that physical intimacy (not just sex) that I crave.
 

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Going by your definition of love, everything in life can be described as a chemical reaction that influences your body. So the larger question is, is life worth it?

If you can answer yes to that, then I suppose love is worth it as well.

I entered the thread ready to say no, by the way.
 

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Going by your definition of love, everything in life can be described as a chemical reaction that influences your body. So the larger question is, is life worth it?
This. There are many ways to deconstruct being alive. More scientific, more philosophical, etc. That perspective will be your lens. You can live life very clinically and see things as the processes or "take it down to the studs." Nothing is wrong with that and through that lens, marriage and relationships could be deemed unnecessary.

The thing about life is, while you may not always be in control of all circumstances, you can decide how you see things, create your own interpretation, and approach things however you see fit (within reason). Very few things are necessary. Cakes don't need frosting to be delicious and plain cheese pizza is fine. But it doesn't have to be that way.
 

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I've for a long time now seen romance as nothing more than chemicals in the body influencing you to make decisions in the direction of reproduction.So I suppose my question extends to, "Do you believe this to be true?"
Yes. I didn't figure this out until quite late in life, but yes. But so what? You can reduce all of life to just body chemicals--beautiful sunsets, music, thinking. . . .

and if so why bother with relationships?
Relationships are about the only thing I want out of life. Yes, I love nature, certain physical activities, and other things, but I really want someone to share it with. I mean, really really.

Also, to the fellow INTPs, do you ever feel over-invested in relationships? I always feel like when I enter a relationship I become overwhelmed with emotions as though I've never felt them before, and I hate it more than anything I've ever felt in my life. I absolutely despise limerence because it feels like I've completely neglected my rational side.
Yes, relationships (or wanting/obsessing over a particular person) can be crazy and terrible, and usually are. But I believe good relationships are possible and worth it.

All in all I just don't really get the point of any of it aside from reproduction. In the case of emotional support I've always considered introspection to be the best remedy, and in the case of reproduction I'm not entirely sure if that interests me. So is the practice of relationships nothing more to me than the fulfillment of my sexual desires, and in that case why bother with going through the seemingly pointless courting rituals?
The point? No point I guess. Just like anything else. If you can have a fulfilling life without a relationship, that's great. Life is like a play, and (if we're lucky) we decide what play we want to be in and what role we will take on. I like the thought and the feeling that "relationships" are important, but I respect those who don't see it that way.
 

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To ask if it's "worth it" is a problem for two reasons:

The pain of relationship and the benefits of relationship are not trading in the same currency. When you need to be out of pain, all the cozy fires and hand holding on the beach and wonderful athletic coitus you stockpiled in the past won't bail you out of that. That history may make it even make it worse. Similarly, you can start holding hands on the beach again, but you never really forget the shit you went through on behalf of relationship. But weirdly, it can make it better. It just all becomes part of the tangled blob that is your relationship. This is because the pain part of relationship and the beneficial part are not trading in the same currency at all. They are separate nations with zero commerce. So when you visit back and forth, you wind up with all this useless change on your hotel dresser. You can't determine the exchange rate, because they do not exchange. They just pile up on both sides.

Second problem in this equation: not having a relationship does not take your situation back to neutral or zero. You're not simply avoiding a thing. Avoiding a thing is a thing. So you get to spend your life watching other couples and wondering. Showing up for gala events with a hooker. Wondering what your kids would have looked like if you had them before you were too old to. Having no one at your death bed except venal nieces and nephews. So it's not like "no, thank you, I won't have cheese on that." It's, "no, thank you, I won't have cheese, and as a consequence you can poke me (gently or less so) in the eye for the rest of my life because I've decided to fight generations upon generations of both nature and culture at the same time." It makes a body want to give cheese a second look.

As for limerence, why spend so much effort avoiding something with a short natural lifespan? It's over before you know it, even in the best of worlds. Hang in there, watch, and see.

For these reasons, whatever you decide, I think it's a lot better idea to just accept uncomfortable feelings and pain. Get used to them. They're the price you pay for continuing to breathe. With this acceptance, you'll see that some of the bad feelings (that you'll experience either way) have walks on the beach and cozy fires and "whatever" attached to them sometimes. Other bad feelings won't even offer that and are even more unavoidable. So at least you walked yourself right into this one, guns blazing, instead of cowering behind a boulder.

For guidance, heed the wisdom of seventies music. They were on a lot of drugs and consequently learned many truths.

 

 

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https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=boAv-Bu4MrI

...we could plan a murder or start a radio station...
You're listening to WEMO, the roots of disillusionment, 24/7.

the 70's invented it.
the 80's tried not to care.
the 90's made it marginally cooler.
the 00's used a filter.
the 10's played Candy Crush.

Get back to your roots. WEMO All day, every day. Because there is literally enough of this stuff from the 70's to do that.


 
 

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Well there is 2 sides to why I say yes. On the spiritual side (Yes, IK. a Christian INTP is odd). There is the joining of a man and a woman's spirits as one. They able to support each other's needs, and also possibly make a child in the process. But that's as spiritual as i'll get for now. ON the logical side there's a few things. first off emotional needs. IK as INTPs we tend not to feel much at all, but as humans we do have SOME feelings... They may be annoying, tedius, and just plain getting in the way... but they are there... and well having a partner can very much so help with them. from feeding them the stimuli they need, to just having someone you trust to help you with them. Also there is the famous "stress release". Shure some might say casual sex can get rid of that, but it also causes more problems. As Thinkers we like to pretend that chemicals cause the romantic bond we have, and that in the end love is meaningless. But even if that was the case, it also has a good effect on the mind and body. For instance if you have a partner you feel like you can get your thoughts out and you don't have to stress about what you say around them. You know you'll always have them to get your needs out with and still have someone to cuddle up to at night when you're both drained of fluids and energy. And finally, and possibly in the top 5 of all reasons for marriage, a tax break.
 
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It depends on the person. It is likely not worth it for people who a) prefer to be alone the vast majority of the time b) are too restless to stay in one relationship c) are not sensible in choosing people with compatible traits and/or d) are extremely uncompromising.

I've for a long time now seen romance as nothing more than chemicals in the body influencing you to make decisions in the direction of reproduction.
Well, considering the entire purpose of life is to reproduce itself...

I agree that the emotions involved are irritating and uncomfortable, and I try to keep them reined in. However, since I have none of the traits I outlined above, finding a partner was definitely beneficial. The problems life brings are easier to tackle with a partner you can trust in my experience, though you have to be tough enough to do your part when your partner is facing difficulties. I tend to believe the reason pair-bonding is relatively common among humans is due to the length of time required to raise a human child to adulthood. It takes an enormous amount of resources compared to other species. In that respect, it should be unsurprising that most people find lengthy romantic relationships beneficial since it is likely written in our genetic code, with the exception of the usual outliers.
 

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First, even though we're both INTPs, sounds like we could be different because my Feeling function somewhat balanced with my thinking, like 60/40 if I'm remembering correctly, so I actually enjoy a lot of the stuff in relationships, and I enjoy that messed up feeling, you described. I get attached and feel a responsibility for those people. So for me it was likely unavoidable and I have to say that it's enjoyable most of the time.

That being said, it's the second marriage. The first one was when I didn't even know myself, and I know now what I do and don't need, and have the ability to see what my wife needs, and of that what my part is in providing it. Plus, I married somebody that does not have expectations of me besides what I am, and actually encourages me in those pursuits, so there is not the constant tension you see in some relationships.

As far as it just being for sexual satisfaction, well that is a need of humans, but if that is all you feel you are getting out of it, it is not much of a relationship and definitely would not be enough to build a marriage on. Perhaps you just have not come across anyone that you can build more with now and that's fine. That's the purpose of dating, to get to know the people and decide whether to move it further. In the meantime enjoy the process, it's actually one of the good parts of life.
 

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I've for a long time now seen romance as nothing more than chemicals in the body influencing you to make decisions in the direction of reproduction.
But those chemicals are you. Just because they can physiologically be understood, does not mean they are not felt or should be neglected. You are your brains, your chemicals. There really isn't much else to you. You understand those chemicals on a psychological level and have the ability to process and the courage to feel it, you then have control over yourself. That's my belief. :)

"Do you believe this to be true?", and if so why bother with relationships?
Yes. Just because it is your animal instinct, does not mean you need to neglect it--due to reasons I stated above.

I become overwhelmed with emotions as though I've never felt them before, and I hate it more than anything I've ever felt in my life. I absolutely despise limerence because it feels like I've completely neglected my rational side.
The longer you push it off, the harder the tornado will hit. When you are able to recognize those emotions, you will be able to apply them to your logic.

So is the practice of relationships nothing more to me than the fulfillment of my sexual desires, and in that case why bother with going through the seemingly pointless courting rituals?
That's quite unfortunate. Were all of your relationships a part of fulfilling your desires? Part of social rituals? It is completely fine if you choose to not be involved in a relationship if that is the case. But I want to say that those overwhelming feelings can be a sign of love, and it can be a trip that is worthwhile. Those are the memories that sticks with me, personally. And during those moments when you don't think your body is a ball of neurons, but indeed human, those memories matters the most. Breaking that down and processing it is part of the fun too, I think.

But like I said, if it feels nothing more than a chore for you to do that, there is no reason for you to stay in those relationships.
 
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