"If I can't have you no one can!":

Total posts: [19]
1 SandJosieph21st Feb 2011 12:00:08 PM from Grand Galloping Galaday , Relationship Status: Brony
Bigonkers! is Magic
This is a phrase that always puzzled me: Why would you want to restrict other people from "having" a certain person when no one "owns" them in the first place?
2 Cojuanco21st Feb 2011 12:02:18 PM from Irvine, CA, US
It's shorthand for "your company and friendship". And the reasoning behind it is, even if you do lose what you want, at least the other side can't enjoy what you want to enjoy. It's the same reasoning behind scorched-earth tactics.
[up] Not really. Scorched-Earth tactics can actually be used for pragmatic purposes. "If I can't have you know one will" is just about emotional attachment and envy.
4 RalphCrown21st Feb 2011 12:12:25 PM from Next Door to Nowhere
Short Hair
Why would you want to restrict other people from "having" a certain person when no one "owns" them in the first place?
That's the point. The speaker believes he does own the person in question. If she dumps him for someone else, she is either denying his claim or transferring it to the new guy, either of which he can't allow.

Yes, it's barbaric, but some people think that way.
Under World. It rocks!
5 FurikoMaru21st Feb 2011 12:26:51 PM from The Arrogant Wasteland , Relationship Status: He makes me feel like I have a heart
Reverse the Curse
^ Weird. Whenever I hear this phrase I always picture a woman saying it, possibly holding a butcher knife. Guys of this nature I tend to expect to lead with their fists rather than words.
[up] Which is funny, because all of my ex-boyfriends have expressed that sentiment in various ways. Which is also, incidentally, the reason why I don't talk to any of them any more.
"I don't know how I do it. I'm like the Mr. Bean of sex." -Drunkscriblerian
@OP: out of spite.

In my experience, the variant "If I can't have her, no one can" generally occurs in fiction when there's a Love Triangle between The Hero, the Tragic Villain, and the Distressed Damsel. The villain knows he's lost, knows the hero has not only won the day, but won the heart of their common love interest. As the hero closes in to finish off the villain, the villain plays the only card he has left, taking the damsel as a hostage.

"If I can't have you, no one can" is a statement of ownership, it's saying, I'm the only one you have a right to a relationship with. Yeah, barbaric is a pretty decent word for it. In this variant, the Distressed Damsel and The Hero are one and the same. The villain wants to have a relationship with the hero, and the hero wants to escape. The villain can't stand the thought of living alone, being miserable, etc., while their love interest goes on to live Happily Ever After with someone else. They take out their rage on the love interest.

edited 21st Feb '11 12:49:31 PM by FrodoGoofballCoTV

It's a stupid and selfish phrase. And that's about the gist of it.
One of my few regrets about being born female is the inability to grow a handlebar mustache. -Landstander
9 drunkscriblerian21st Feb 2011 10:23:43 PM from Castle Geekhaven , Relationship Status: In season
Street Writing Man
[up]This. To which I will add the fact that not being that guy is a good way to impress a girl...[lol]
If I were to write some of the strange things that come under my eyes they would not be believed.

~Cora M. Strayer~
10 MarkVonLewis21st Feb 2011 10:26:20 PM from Somewhere in Time , Relationship Status: Too sexy for my shirt
Hah, never thought of the phrase being under the same mentality as scorched earth tactics.

Medusa strippers, where the phrase "my eyes are up here" is a dangerous phrase.
I came thisclose to saying this recently, and it prompted a Heel Realization.
That is indeed stupid and selfish, and makes this one doubt that whoever said it had any love to begin with. If there was any love, they would want their loved one to be happy. Or at least not act as if the other person is their possession.
If we disagree, that much, at least, we have in common
13 NickTheSwing21st Feb 2011 11:44:39 PM from Ya really wanna know? , Relationship Status: Dating Catwoman
Swing, not Slide
I had a similar experience, in that I and this other guy were competing for a girl. I came close to saying it, and had planned to either punch him or make public his stoner tendencies.

I had too had a Heel Realization.
The phrase is versatile-it might be mumbled by a imminently ex-dictator to the map of his country as he leans towards the big red button. Replace 'you' with 'it' and it could be what the villain says as he holds the bitterly fought-for Maguffin over his head. It may be a final ploy to keep control of the thing, or because the holder can't bear to be without it, or because the bearer loathes those who will come to posess it (I agree with it being related to scorched earth tactics).
because life is a competition, and if you can't win the race, you could still stop people from beating you.

on that note, I recall a study where people would willingly turn down the offer of a pay increase if all their neighbours would be given a greater raise as part of the deal. it's not how much you make objectively, it's where you are in relation to your peers that brings the feeling of success.
Although, tbh the reason that I almost said this wasn't because I didn't want the girl dating anyone else, but because it just so happened that the guy she was dating was the guy I've had an unrelated rivalry with for two years.
"That is indeed stupid and selfish, and makes this one doubt that whoever said it had any love to begin with. If there was any love, they would want their loved one to be happy." - Beholderess

That strikes me as a bit oversimplifying. I guess it depends on in what sense you're referring to "love" since it's a very vague word used to refer to a lot of things. They SHOULD want their beloved to be happy, but that doesn't mean not wanting it implies a lack of love.
Moar and Moar and Moar
Actually, it should be more seen that "If I can't have X then nobody can", with X being a wide variety of things.
Democracy is the process in which we determine the government that we deserve
19 Shrimpus22nd Feb 2011 05:48:52 PM from Brooklyn, NY, US
Hate and Love are twisted siblings. It doesn't take a lot of spin to warp one into the other. Plus, leave/cheat on me and I kill you has been a viable breeding strategy for millenia.
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Total posts: 19