anonymous has some serious relationship problems October 13, 2004 10:25 AM   Subscribe

Once I ran to you, I ranNow I'll run from youThis tainted love you've given
75% of this "anonymous" guy's output is love-related. I keep reading that we suck at politics, we suck at religion, we suck at (insert your favorite pet peeve here). I dare to suggest that, no disrespect intended, we suck at giving love advice (assuming that giving useful love advice is actually possible, which I doubt). Is this just a coincidence, or we'll use the anonymous feature mainly to turn AskMeFi into Mr/Mrs LonelyheartsFilter/BrokenheartsFilter?
posted by matteo to Etiquette/Policy at 10:25 AM (30 comments total)

There have only been 4 official AskMe Anon questions, so it might be a bit early to nail it a trend. What kinds of questions did you think were going to be asked? I foresee mostly love/sex/crime/drugs/peepee questions, myself.
posted by iconomy at 10:41 AM on October 13, 2004


...and how is this a bad thing? I find love/relationship advice from strangers much more honest, unprejudiced, and earnest than the theories pulled from my family/friends who all have different agendas for my well-being.
posted by naxosaxur at 11:12 AM on October 13, 2004


I foresee mostly love/sex/crime/drugs/peepee questions, myself.

Don't forget embarrassing rashes. And the occasional "I got this thing in here, um, accidentally ... now how do I get it out?" And "I just looked away for a second and my _____ [kitten/puppy/2-year-old baby] got its head stuck in a _____ [dryer vent/oversized coffee mug/wine rack] -- do I need a doctor or just vaseline?"

And Keyser Soze will pop up occasionally, now anonymous and no longer needing to tell us about his "friend" who _____ [lost his driver's license/got arrested in a strip club on his 21st Bday/etc etc.]
We kid 'cuz we love, Keyser.
posted by Shane at 11:12 AM on October 13, 2004


We're Matthew Haughey's Lonely Hearts Club Band....
posted by jonmc at 11:13 AM on October 13, 2004


I thought the advice so far has been pretty good. On the "I really dig my friend but she doesn't dig me" question, I recalled being in the same position several times in my life, and I thought the answers were exactly right, spot on, and even mentioned one or two things I never thought of before.

Maybe it's the wisdom of my advanced age talking, but I think the love advice so far is pretty high quality.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:28 AM on October 13, 2004


we suck at giving love advice

What makes you say that? Most of what I've seen so far has been good, thoughtful advice, with none of the fractiousness that characterizes politicsFilter or religionFilter (or overweightFilter or any of the other topics that we really do suck at.)
posted by ook at 11:30 AM on October 13, 2004


80%

anyway:

What makes you say that?

the fact that rational arguments from other people are useless in that most irrational of fields, ie love.
giving love advice is like to trying to herd cats. my own 0.02 cents, of course
posted by matteo at 11:36 AM on October 13, 2004


The problem will be solved when Matt implements categories. You'll be able to just filter out the love!
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 11:42 AM on October 13, 2004


Or filter in just the love. It's a lot more interesting than the my-computer-won't-start questions anyway.

An interesting cosmetic bug: When previewing a comment to a thread by an anonymous user, the "posted by" says Anonymous Ask MetaFilter, whereas on viewing the thread without having a comment in preview it just says anonymous.
posted by fvw at 11:47 AM on October 13, 2004


rational arguments from other people are useless in that most irrational of fields, ie love.

Uh. Wow. I suppose that's why there are no newspaper columns, call-in radio shows, television programs, books, or websites dedicated to the subject.

If people ask for advice about their love lives, that probably means they want some advice about their love lives. I think you need to re-invest those pennies.
posted by ook at 11:55 AM on October 13, 2004


IF YOU DON'T LIKE IT, JUST SCROLL PAST YOUR COMPUTER AND GO OUTSIDE.
posted by Krrrlson at 12:18 PM on October 13, 2004


I feel like the latest one - "what's a normal number of sexual partners to have had" - is a troll. I'm guessing whoever posted it is looking for some kind of titillation (read: wacking off) in the replies.
posted by ikkyu2 at 12:26 PM on October 13, 2004


It's a lot more interesting than the my-computer-won't-start questions anyway

yeah, but I managed to make my subtitles work with VLC. most people who submit tech-related problems manage to get their computers to work, too.
broken hearts, on the other hand, seem to be more complicated to fix.

anonymous will still feel like crap when the "let's be friends" girl who doesn't like him will hook up with somebody she is attracted to.
inexperienced "anonymous" will still feel inadequate/worried/jealous because of his/her lover's experience
open-relationship "anonymous" will still feel bad about an open relationship, ie at the thought of the person he loves fucking somebody else

and so forth

in MeFi there are smart people who daily leave me pretty awed. but no matter how smart you are, you can't fix irrational environments, like the minds of people-in-love-trouble. AskLoveFilter is an interesting read alright. is it helpful, though?


If people ask for advice about their love lives, that probably means they want some advice about their love lives. I think you need to re-invest those pennies

people read astrology-related stuff, too. I'll pick up my 0.02 cents, but I think you must re-evaluate that "what's your sign" thingie. it doesn't help, either

_____________

Krrrlsson, Muslim terrahists must have hijacked your "caps" key
posted by matteo at 12:26 PM on October 13, 2004


I have non love related embarassing questions to ask but they're the kind that need anonymous replies, so I'm waiting.
posted by CunningLinguist at 12:30 PM on October 13, 2004


matteo, maybe "solving" the relationship problems of these anonymous people isn't entirely the point. Sometimes it's just good to find out that other people have been in your situation and understand.
posted by jonmc at 12:36 PM on October 13, 2004


On the "I really dig my friend but she doesn't dig me" question, I recalled being in the same position several times in my life, and I thought the answers were exactly right, spot on, and even mentioned one or two things I never thought of before.

I'm actually in a situation like that right now, and I found the question quite insiteful.

Oh yeah, also - Metafilter: IF YOU DON'T LIKE IT, JUST SCROLL PAST YOUR COMPUTER AND GO OUTSIDE
posted by bob sarabia at 12:44 PM on October 13, 2004


I agree, the lets be friends question produced very good answers. Just like AskMe itself, I think the anonymous login will stabilize and work well as we get used to it. Just give it time.
posted by Happydaz at 12:52 PM on October 13, 2004


Krrrlsson, Muslim terrahists must have hijacked your "caps" key

Everything's okay now, it was a misunderstanding, they turned out to be musicians.
posted by Krrrlson at 12:54 PM on October 13, 2004


I'm counting the hours until the first "I'm in love with quonsar, how do I express my love?" thread, followed by several comments on preferred brands of whipped cream and squeegies.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 1:44 PM on October 13, 2004


How could we live, as a community, without seasoned romantic advice such as this?
posted by adampsyche at 1:46 PM on October 13, 2004


What? What'd I say?
posted by jonmc at 1:53 PM on October 13, 2004


XQUZYPHYR, why would Matt approve a thread like that?
posted by kenko at 2:08 PM on October 13, 2004


I think with the love-related questions you aren't likely to get some sort of definitive answer, but you will get thought-provoking ones that might help you see things in a different light and give you a better basis from which to decide what to do. Relationship questions aren't the 1 + 1 = 2 open-and-shut type, but that doesn't mean the answers aren't worth hearing.
posted by orange swan at 2:08 PM on October 13, 2004


CunningLinguist, I will say anything on the intarweb, so feel free to post your questions about illegal drugs, kinky sex, etc. and expect a candid, pseudonymous exploration of ideas from me.

Matteo, thanks for the rush to judgment! Four is definitely a statistically significant sample, after all.
posted by Sidhedevil at 2:09 PM on October 13, 2004


Sometimes relationship questions are open and shut, though, orange swan.

"My partner is hitting me in anger and constantly saying cruel and hurtful things. What should I do?"

Mmmm...there really isn't any other answer except "Leave him or her and find help; if there are specific reasons you can't leave right away, start making plans to leave him or her as soon as possible."
posted by Sidhedevil at 2:12 PM on October 13, 2004


Playing Dr Abbey or Ann Landers is half the fun. Best advice - falling down and learning from it is the better - better them than your though.
posted by thomcatspike at 2:32 PM on October 13, 2004


yours though
posted by thomcatspike at 2:33 PM on October 13, 2004


Mmmm...there really isn't any other answer except "Leave him or her and find help; if there are specific reasons you can't leave right away, start making plans to leave him or her as soon as possible."

I agree, there isn't much other good advice that can be given.

Ever had a friend in just such a relationship respond to that exact advice from you with a "You don't understand, you don't know what love is, it's not that simple," etc.?

It might do a person like that good to hear it the same thing phrased 30 different ways from 30 different people, although it's just as likely to make no discernible difference at all.

Fortunately, however, you cite an exception, and most relationship problems aren't that cut and dried.
posted by orange swan at 3:12 PM on October 13, 2004


Matt is approving the anon questions, so all of the facetious answers aren't really helping anything.
posted by iconomy at 3:35 PM on October 13, 2004


Matt deleted the aforementioned facetious comments, so disregard what I said up there ^
posted by iconomy at 4:15 PM on October 13, 2004


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