I think this was one of the best things I've read in MONTHS - thank you <3
I loved this and especially the 3 ideals around communication: 20k hours, comfort in talking through hard and painful decisions, and conversation that is "wildly generative."
Thank you Henrik. this was wonderful to read. Favorite lines:
"the someone else was kind and deep and worth a lifetime"
"show the inside of your head in public, so people can see if they would like to live in there."
OK wow this is a super essay. Thanks for getting your thoughts down on paper. I very much agree that if you can expose your innermost thoughts to someone and have them accept them without judgement then they're a keeper. This works for friends as well as lovers. In fact with friends you benefit from the fact that you don't have to provide unconditional love which can muddy the waters when you're looking for raw honesty.
Conversation that are wildly generative is something I never knew I benefited from. But looking back through my relationships over the years, all the ones that have stuck, have been with people like this, people who's conversation I adore, and learn from. So true. Dang. Your a genius.
> But I do think it is a good idea, generally, and one that I have used—to speedrun relationships by jumping directly to the strange parts. There is really no point in going to a café to talk safely (if you can avoid it). You want to rapidly extract as much information as possible, so you can figure out what you like and so that you can pattern match, and you want to communicate as much as possible, too, so you can filter people who wouldn’t fit you anyway (which is why keeping a blog is good).
I think about this as being similar to how with a startup, you want to fail fast.
> I remember with a cold sweat that I almost turned Johanna down because I felt confused by my inability to explain what our relationship was and why I liked it
This reminds me of something. Growing up, I didn't "believe in intuition". Well, I guess what I mean is that I didn't believe it was sufficient evidence. Like if I had an instinct that X would happen but wasn't able to logically describe why I think X would happen, I'd say "Forget it, I can't justify this belief, I don't think X will happen."
But then I discovered neuroscience. I read this book and it talked about how there _is_ logic behind the intuition. Your brain does a whole bunch of information processing before it spits out an intuition as an output. It isn't "just a feeling". It's just that the logic isn't legible to you; it happens subconsciously.
And then later on I discovered Bayes and realized that it doesn't even matter whether there is logic behind the intuition. If X is true, how likely would I have this intuition? If X is not true, how often would I have it? As long as the answer to the first is greater than the answer to the second, it counts as evidence. Period. As Scott Alexander says: "P(A|B) = [P(A)*P(B|A)]/P(B), all the rest is commentary."
This was wise and thoughtful - thank you for writing it.
this was such a great essay!
This completely shook the words in my head into a scramble and for the first time, I liked how that felt
This was AMAZING! What an engaging read <3
This was just ... beautiful! Thank you!
Thank you! I feel like something we need to also talk about is the timing and luck of this mutual desire to explore the fusion beyond the excitement it first creates. I have felt this way about a few people and often they were not available to genuinely commit - there's an elusive mutuality and magic of timing to 'finding Alice' that one cannot control... What are the chances that one will find a way after 18 months of pining? Happy this worked out for you, and thank you for sharing.
This is wonderful.
1) I loved this essay
2) I let my Alice get away.
3) Major spoiler for War and Peace. :(
This needs to go viral so the world is a more interesting place.