Re: Wanting to Want (was: Uploads and betrayal)

Robin Hanson (
Fri, 03 Dec 1999 11:46:34 -0500

I wrote:
>... In many ways we fool ourselves into thinking that that our
>values are the ones others would approve of, and are not very aware of the
>degree to which our values are otherwise, and of how functional those other
>values are.
>For example, consider "limerence", or the feeling of being in love. In this
>state, people think their current love is by far the most important thing in
>life, and are confident this feeling will last for a long time. But in fact
>they don't actually change that much in their life for their love, and the
>feeling passes much more quickly than they expect.

Glen Finney responded:
>I may be wrong, but to me this sounds like the Western ideal of "romantic
>love". Romance is important to me, I enjoy it and want to keep it for a long
>time. Also my wife is important to me, and I want to keep her for a long
>time. While the love I have for my wife comes in many different layers, and
>is one of the most important things in my life, it is not all consuming, nor
>would I wish it to be. As in all aspects of my life, I seek a healthy
>balance that will be of benefit to me and my family. You are right in that
>romance can quickly fade; that is why it must be constantly renewed and
>reinvented. Mostly, it is a matter of being thoughtful and creative, both of
>which I consider traits I already possess, and both of which I use for more
>than just wooing my wife.

It seems to me that you are denying that the phenomena of limerence is associated with any degree of fooling oneself about anything. More generally, you seem to deny my suggestion that people fool themselves into thinking they are more thoughtful, creative, etc. than they are.

I'm not sure I can do much here to change your mind, other than to point you to the vast literatures on the topic. You might start wit the word "limerence".

Robin Hanson Asst. Prof. Economics, George Mason University MSN 1D3, Carow Hall, Fairfax VA 22030
703-993-2326 FAX: 703-993-2323