Dating Advice: Loneliness Is Better Than Abuse

We all know what positive reinforcement is: Something you give to someone to increase behavior you want. You give it following the behavior and, if done with skill and intelligence, it will lead to more of the same. For example, you tell the woman you’re out with, “You’re so pretty,” just after she accepted another date with you and you can be fairly certain that, barring anything stupid you do, you’ll get still another date out of the deal in the future. That’s positive reinforcement.   Punishment you know only too well. It’s something that follows an undesired behavior and serves to decrease the probability of that behavior happening again. When your date got up and walked out following your picking your teeth at the table, that was punishment (unless of course you wanted her to walk out).   Watch Out For Negative Reinforcement In Your Dating Relationships   It’s negative reinforcement that confuses people, and that’s bad because it’s dangerous. It’s the decreasing of pain following some behavior of yours. So, for example, on April 15 you file your yuchy taxes and on April 16, you breathe a deep sigh and feel like the world is no longer resting on your shoulders (unless, of course, you had to send a very large check with the return, in which case this example doesn’t apply). That’s negative reinforcement: the relief and joy you feel when you are no longer suffering.   Another example: You broke your back, your shoulders, your rear end, your brain and whatever else studying for some awful exam. It’s over–yaaaay! Whew. Negative reinforcement.   So here’s...
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