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Ethics 101

  1. Jun 9, 2003 #1
    I don't know if any of you remember this, but a few weeks ago I posted a thread in the General Discussion concerning my summer girlfriend situation.

    Okay, so I think I have a bit of an ethical dilemma now....

    I met a very nice, very pretty, Finnish girl in a bar last night. Honestly, I haven't told her that I'm already in a serious relationship. I feel like she might be thinking that I want something serious with her. I would like to get to know her better, but I don't want anything long-term.

    I just don't want to hurt her. If I didn't care about her feelings, this would be easy. I guess I never realized how difficult such a situtation could become.

  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 9, 2003 #2


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    Uhm, don't get me wrong, I understand your question, but how does your personal problems have anything to do with religion?

    Are you looking for a religous response to this situation?

    Bottom line, if your serious about someone, and plan on making it into something more, then you should not be meeting others.

    If you are meeting others, and getting involved with them as well, then are you really that serious about your summer love? I'd say not at all.
  4. Jun 9, 2003 #3


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    Id have to concur
  5. Jun 9, 2003 #4


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    it appears that your finnish love sickness has affected your intellectual judgement of posting this topic in religion forum instead of Dear Abby...

    in any event, honesty will always lead you to where you need to be...
  6. Jun 9, 2003 #5
    yeah, but sometimes it really hurts! :frown:
  7. Jun 10, 2003 #6
    There are other qualities other than honesty which are required to 'get where you need to be'. Such as determination hard work etc.

    However, I know not what you meant by 'where you need to be'. What is this determined by. How do you know that lying does not get you where you need to be?
  8. Jun 10, 2003 #7
    You dudes aren't even considering game theory. Let's say I get one point of happiness for having sex -- two points for having sex for an extended period. I get negative one point for hurting her feelings sooner and negative two points for hurting her feelings later. At the same time, she gets negative one point for having her feelings hurt sooner and negative two points for having her feelings hurt later.

    So unfortunately, the Nash equilibrium occurs sooner rather than later.

  9. Jun 10, 2003 #8
    One partial solution would be to make effort to reduce sensitivity to guilt. Therefore you would only get -1/2 and -1 point respectively.
  10. Jun 10, 2003 #9


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    Points for having sex?

    Would you like a sex trophy?

    Keep playing your game with peoples emotions, and you will probably end up with a few sex trophys (children)

    And I may be mistaken, but are you not religous entropy? I can't think of a single religion in the world that gives and takes happy points for sex.

    Again, bottom line, if you care about someone, you would not be playing games behind there backs.

    Since you are, you obviously do not care about this person. Since you think it is a game, it seems you don't respect her either.

    And your the kinda ppl that give a bad name to ppl like me.

    Maybe I should start playing games, not getting attached.

    Regardless of when you tell her, how or why, its gonna hurt her feelings.

    Perhaps you should inform your flings of your committed relationship and that you will not be with them forever/2weeks which ever comes first.
  11. Jun 11, 2003 #10
    Somebody should give you a job as a Six-Sigma Black-Belt Quality Engineer at the General Electric Company.

  12. Jun 11, 2003 #11
    First of all, I am only using the point system as a way to quantify the damage of my situation. Secondly, there's always a game... trust me on this one. Finally, I don't give a bad name to ppl like you because you and I are in two completely different categories.


    P.S. If you would have read the post I alluded to in the beginning of this thread, you'd know that the person I share a committed relationship with (the person whom I will most likely spend the rest of my life with) has no problem with my flings.
  13. Jun 11, 2003 #12
    Dear BoulderHead....

    Ok, first tip is that you have only known the girl for what, one day??
    Are you supposed to announce to everyone you meet that you have a serious relationship?
    Additionally, just how serious is a relationship when the man is a philanderer?

    If it were me, I'd simply explain to her that I do not have her long term best interests at heart. I would further explain that despite my being basically no damn good that I really think she is swell and wouldn't want to hurt her feelings. With all that explained I would add that she should take a couple of days to think about what I've said, then call me at the hotel if she desides she would like to 'get jiggy with it' (whatever that means, I don't even know myself).
    Nooooooo you don't.
    Yeahhhhh it would.
    Nooooooo you didn't,
    but what is really so difficult here? If you explain what you want and that you have no intention to commit, then the burden is off your shoulders. If you mislead her in order to have a sexual relation then what does that say about YOU? In any event it is wrong to fool around if you have a commitment to someone.
    The trouble will likely be that even if she understands that you don't intend to commit to her she might still fool herself into thinking you will change your mind later*. This is when things can get ugly despite your best efforts. The old 'love triange'.

    Men: marry women hoping they will never change.
    Women: marry men hoping to change them.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 11, 2003
  14. Jun 11, 2003 #13
    Re: Dear BoulderHead....

    Good point. I forgot about that.

  15. Jun 11, 2003 #14
    I would expect that if the relationship continues with both women that sooner or later they will find out about the other, you will be forced to choose (or dumped) and they whole darn thing turns into an ordeal...

    But then the BoulderHead definition of life is;

    a series of ordeals, punctuated by tragedy.
  16. Jun 11, 2003 #15
    No dude, the first girl likes it when I score with other girls. Perhaps it's because she also likes girls. She just doesn't like to feel like I'm having another relationship.

    Seriously, I learned a long time ago that there is only one type of girl I could ever commit to... a bisexual one.

  17. Jun 11, 2003 #16
    entropy darling,

    you should tell her.


    she should be well informed about any decisions she makes.

    i am not the finnish chick, but personally, my response would be: "oh. ok. thats interesting. i can understand how that can be tricky to mention at first. ummm... thanks for telling me now rather than later."

    but... if i did not find out about this until much later, i would be rather furious for being decieved, and goddness knows what else i would do to the next poor bastard that decides to pull a stunt like that.

    boulderhead's comment: "In any event it is wrong to fool around if you have a commitment to someone."

    i dont think its wrong if all parties involved KNOW what is going on, and nobody is being decieved.
  18. Jun 11, 2003 #17

    You have convinced me that I should tell her... and I will. However, this may not be an issue. I'm sitting here posting on the Physics Forums, waiting for her to call me back (so I know if anything's on for tonight), and feeling very much like a big dork.

  19. Jun 11, 2003 #18
    Hmmm, then it appears we have a different take on what it means to commit yourself to another, is all. Most of the people I've known do not like it when their mate sleeps around with another. Now, each might like to sneak it on the side anyway rather than abide by some sense of fair play (golden rule), true enough, but I have always looked at a commitment in a relationship as having as much to do with bedroom antics as anything else (raising the kids, etc.). But, I'm a relic I suppose
    For me personally, what you would call a commitment is more along the lines of what I'd reduce to more of an 'agreement'. That's just my take on it, but I think we are both like-minded in that nobody ought to be deceived.
    But, whatever floats the ol boat is ok with me as long as all parties know and consent.
  20. Jun 12, 2003 #19
    This is a bit tangential but anyway..

    I agree with everyone that you should tell her what's going on.

    Regarding open relationships:

    I've known of people who have loving, truly open relationships. Yours doesn't strike me as one of them.

    It appears as though your girlfriend is cool with you treating other women as sex objects (which I find odd, personally.) Have you ever wondered why? Do you ever think that perhaps she is insecure in the relationship and this is why she doesn't want you to form other relationships? In which case, if she is insecure in that respect, maybe it actually *isn't* ok. You said yourself she didn't mind you having a girlfriend over there as long as it was over when you left. This is not, what I would call, healthy. If the relationship were really open and she was actually cool with the whole thing, the idea of you having different lovers (whom she could possibly meet and also take as lovers) would not be a far-fetched idea. It should be something you two can discuss but I get the impression that it's more of a "see no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil" type of thing.

    I don't mean to probe too deeply into your (or her) sex life, but I'm curious; does this "courtesy" extend the other way? Is it ok for her to have boyfriends/girlfriends too?
  21. Jun 12, 2003 #20
    I think you've taken one too many psycho-analysis classes. I haven't provided you with enough information for you to jump to so many conclusions. To answer your questions, yes I accept the fact that my end being open means she gets an open end as well. Has she ever taken advantage of this situation? Not that I know of. Is she insecure? Hell no! Why is it difficult for you to understand that she places more value on love and understanding than on sex? She is willing to share me sexually with others, but she doesn't want to share me emotionally or passionately. Is that really so obsurd?

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