Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Pavlov's Daughter

This article is about a girl I know whom I will call Pavlov's Daughter. Her dad's name wasn't Pavlov...just to make things clear. Pavlov was the name of a psychologist who carried out researches in conditioning. In case you do not understand what the meaning of the term 'conditioning' implied in this context, I'll explain with an illustration. If every time a guy visited his girlfriend he pressed the car horn twice before calling her phone to announce his presence, It would get to a 'condition' where anytime she heard a car horn pressed twice she would jump to the conclusion it was her boyfriend even without a phone call. The sound of the car horn had been conditioned with the phone call that usually came next to signall his arrival. Conclusion, It was no longer necessary for her to receive the call to know he was around.

Now, you should have an idea why I called this girl Pavlov's Daughter. She told me about her relationship and the problems they faced. My opinion of their relationship was they weren't meant to be a couple but that wasn't what interested me though. It was how she had involved various levels of conditioning to sustain it. The most interesting part was she had no idea of what she was doing... unconsciously applying the levels of conditioning.

She told me about the boyfriend. She really liked him and won't mind being his Mrs. but Pavlov's Daughter had a clause in their relationship contract, there would be no pre-marital sex. She wasn't a virgin though. She believed men were motivated by sex and didn't want it to determine her relationship. So Pavlov's Daughter's boyfriend was going to have dry balls.
Anyway, after more than a year of dating they had sex.

"Finally!" the guy must have thought, "I have endured to the point where we can now have sex on a regular". But he was so wrong. Pavlov's Daughter made him realise it was a one time thing and it won't happen anytime soon OR ever again. In about six months time it happened again and he must have known her decisions were reversible but the next time was totally unpredictable.
When she told me that part of the relationship, I was confident the boyfriend was cheating. She felt otherwise, she knew her man. I had a couple of reasons...

First reason was the obvious fact; love cannot prevent a guy deprived of sex from cheating. Sex was a biological need. Especially a guy who had been sexually and active closing in on his 30s. Sex isn't a big deal to him and it shouldn't be to her. She wasn't a virgin, he didn't disvirgin her, yet she was playing the card of no sex in the relationship but would allow if she felt like it. It was an insult to any man...playing with his manhood.

Second, you do not apply a varied reinforcement schedule on basic human needs, I'll explain.

Reinforcement is a term associated with [operant] conditioning, but I won't bore you with that. In simple terms, it means anything that would affect the likelihood of something happening again. For example, if a girl is given money for helping any old lady cross the road. That money was the reinforcement that would make her want to do it again. If the girl was given money every [specific] time she helped an old lady cross the road, that was known as fixed reinforcement schedule. If the girl had no idea how many times she had to help an old lady cross the road before she got paid, that was a varied reinforcement schedule.
I argue you don't apply a varied reinforcement schedule on basic human requirement like food, using the bathroom, sleep...and sex. Take using the bathroom for instance. Imagine a guy had to press a bottom attached to the bathroom door five times before it opened [fixed]. He would walk to the door everytime because he knew what to do to have access. Now imagine he had no idea the number of times he had to press the button before the door opened [varied]. Everytime he urgently needed to use the bathroom, he would most likely avoid that one. He would likely give himself a target which would depend on his level of patience/urgency. He could press it every five times and if failed to open move on to another one.

Now, apply that to Pavlov's Daughter sex life. The boyfriend had no idea of what/when/how to make the girlfriend want to have sex with him. It would have been better if he wasn't getting any or he had an idea of what to do to earn some. He could only try and get himself turned on while at it. He would have to keep himself satisfied elsewhere pending she opens up.

After an unexpected round of sex, she was surprised his eye wasn't on her body as she stood naked. She mentioned there was a time he couldn't take his eyes off her body underneath her clothes but he had lost interest. I explained such is life, no boy is equally excited unwrapping the same present twice. We weren't on the same page, she expressed her fear that they weren't even married and his eyes were bored of her naked body. Truth was she had better find something else that doesn't age/sag that would glue his eyes. Until couples find that something else in their relationship they are not permitted to use the word 'love'. His action, however, was a prelude to a fight... that led to the next situation.

Pavlov's Daughter said they had been fighting a lot and over 'little things' they previously overlooked. Such fights would lead to a silent treatment with him making efforts to get on her good side and their relationship back on track. He would remind her of the reason she dated him in the first place; all those attention, pampering, that made "I love you" more than words. His effort was short-lived after being forgiven as he returned to his 'normal' self. Days later he would end up doing something stupid and the cycle begins all over. She never understood why it happened.

I explained to Pavlov's Daughter the reason they fought was that she [unconsciously] wanted it. There is a saying "the best thing about breakups is the makeup sex". What if a girl loved makeup sex, which could only be achieved by breaking up. She would find herself breaking up over trivial issues because of what came next.
Naturally, Pavlov's Daughter was a hopeless romantic and her demand from a boyfriend was more of his time than money. After their first fight and he went all romantic on her, she figured out that was one way she would see that romantic side of him. Whenever she craved for that attention, she gives him a wakeup call by encouraging a fight because of what came next which she loved. She fought/threaten to end the relationship while anticipating his apology and pampering. Any fight they had had been conditioned with pampering. That led to two issues that would break the relationship in the long run.

The first issue was they end up fighting a lot and it would only get bigger.

Another was the boyfriend [unconsciously] knew what to do to get her back and that was the most important secret best not to reveal in a relationship. Once your partner was aware of that, they could treat you anyway they liked because they knew how to make up. The worst part was they would never be tormented by the fear of losing you and could treat you however they liked.

What the boyfriend had in mind was totally different from hers. Anytime they fought, either he messed up or her, he had it at the back of his mind what he had to do to make her smiling again. His pampering that followed a fight had been conditioned with making up and proven on a fixed reinforcement schedule.

My opinion/advice was to have a fixed reinforcement schedule for sex but vary what he had to do to get on your good side after a fight. Probably have sex with him every week he treats you well and if he likes you he would make a habit of it. Always surprise him with what gets your attention after a fight, if he likes you he would avoid it in order not to lose you and never have you back.

No comments:

Post a Comment