Can I tell my girlfriend that I'm too lazy to meet up?

This question was just closed for being "primarily opinion based."

Admittedly it could use some fleshing out, some details would have been nice, but is it really any more opinion based than any other question on the site?

Looking at the comments I get the feeling that this was another case of "I don't like the perspective of the the OP, this needs to go away, I'll vote to close..." Close votes are not super-down-votes, that point has been discussed to death on other meta sites, but it looks like we may need to have that discussion here.

Not liking a question is not a reason to close. It may be a repugnant perspective and you may have loads of good reasons to object, but that's not yet an established close reason. If you think It should be, open a meta question about it. Please don't shoehorn.

If the close reason doesn't fit, you must acquit.

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    So, you've talked with the close-voters and know that people just "didn't like the perspective"? Your post would be more constructive if you dropped the baseless accusations and just asked what was wrong with the question if you don't understand a closure. – Monica Cellio Oct 4 '17 at 3:55
  • I consider it important to use the appropriate close-reason and to use close-reasons accurately @apaul34208 but many Stack Exchange users including many users here on IPS have tended to see the close-reason as rather less important than the need to close a question. When I raised the problem of inaccurate close reasons months ago on English.SE somebody commented: "who cares if the close-reason was misapplied, it's more important to close the question; and now it is closed, unless it's a great question, we won't bother to vote to reopen." (paraphrase; the user later deleted his comment.) – English Student Oct 4 '17 at 13:51
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    I don't dislike the perspective of the OP. I suspect "too lazy" wasn't the best phrasing, but still, I can understand where they're coming from. However, I would also have voted to close. I would have chosen "Unclear what you're asking", over "primarily opinion based", but I think both are valid close reasons. "Unclear" seems better to me, but "do you think my girlfriend's response was weird?" is very much "opinion based". Also, don't forget that not everyone who voted to close necessarily picked the same close reason. If multiple reasons are picked, only one is displayed. – Beofett Oct 4 '17 at 14:00
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    I would also have VTC as Unclear what you're asking over Too broad / Opinion-based. But still... Although the (roughly) spirit of the question (relationship / truth / expectations...) can give good material for a nice Q, this isn't a nice Q as the convoyed ideas are... imprecise? +1 for @Beofett comment – OldPadawan Oct 4 '17 at 14:20

I hadn't set eyes on the question until I saw this meta post, so this is a new perspective. I see several issues with it.

It's not clear.

Perhaps it's just me, but I don't understand the question itself.

Two sentences in that post have question marks. One is the title:

Can I tell my girlfriend that I'm too lazy to meet up?

What does "Can I" mean? Does it mean "Is it physically possible to"? Does it mean "Would it be culturally acceptable to"? Does it mean "Should I"?

The other question is in the body:

Is it really that strange?

That's not about interpersonal skills. Asking whether another person's behavior is weird is probably off-topic for IPS.

I've read the question three times, and I don't really get what it's asking. That's a problem. Verdict? Possible closure as Unclear What You're Asking.

It doesn't specify enough.

There are many details we don't know enough about:

  • Cultural background.
  • Prior dates and meetups.
  • The ages of the parties, as well as any other relevant details about them.

These are all indicators that an IPS question is too vague. Verdict? Possible closure as Too Broad.

Vylix brought up something that I'd like everyone to keep in mind:

As the question phrased right now, I think the closure is right. Remember that we should close questions as soon as we see problem to prevent people answering. If you see editing can bring out the answerable question, go ahead. Don't mind the closure, it's temporary.

If a question still needs fixing, we shouldn't answer it. If it needs more details or clarifications or narrowing-down, we should work to do that before we start answering. That's the whole point of putting something on-hold - to give everyone time to fix the problem so the question can get better answers.

That's also why it's called "On hold" - the label "Closed" isn't applied for several days. It's meant to remind everyone that the point isn't to permanently stop answers, but to give a chance to improve the question,

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    Exactly. Hence why "primarily opinion based" would be inappropriate. I'm certainly not saying it was an ideal question, but not shoehorning is important. If the close reason doesn't fit, you must acquit. – apaul Oct 4 '17 at 3:51
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    This answer is spot-on. If there are problems with the question, put it on hold and get them fixed before people go off making guesses and answering based on assumptions. That just leaves us with a question that can't be fixed without invalidating answers, and now lots of people have wasted time writing answers that can't fit. – Monica Cellio Oct 4 '17 at 3:53
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    @apaul34208 I'm not sure what your point is. The question was closed. Arguing about the correct reason is less productive than fixing the root problem. – HDE 226868 Oct 4 '17 at 3:53
  • Arguing about the reason is absolutely important. We're setting precedent here... Unclear or Too Broad gives a user some direction at least... Are we saying that these sorts of questions are inherently opinion based or are we saying they need more details to be good questions? – apaul Oct 4 '17 at 4:02
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    @apaul34208 We're what, 3 months and almost 700 questions into the site? Not everything has to set a precedent at this point. We're not at an early stage; we're a normal site (for some definition of "normal"). Plus, the OP had multiple users tell them how they could make their question better, through asking for clarifications. That's quite a lot of direction already. – HDE 226868 Oct 4 '17 at 4:04
  • @HDE226868 That's a poor argument... – apaul Oct 4 '17 at 4:05
  • @HDE226868 Like it or not, what we do now sets a tone for what comes to follow. – apaul Oct 4 '17 at 4:08
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    @apaul34208 . . . But you're not even arguing about the reason. You came in and made an assumption about what five other people were thinking and proceeded to criticize those supposed thoughts. So . . . you're not doing a good job of setting a tone either. If you disagree with a closure, make a substantial argument in favor of leaving the question open. But don't write a rant-y meta question that doesn't actually help anything. – HDE 226868 Oct 4 '17 at 4:10
  • Fair enough.. I thought I was helping. It's not like people read these things anyway, right? Primarily Opinion Based, was a bad reason in this case., I think most of the answers address that. – apaul Oct 4 '17 at 4:15

Ex Software Recommendations pro-tem mod here - with experience on a site with an odd scope, I don't think these actions are wrong, especially as it was the community, rather than an individual.

And... from an outsider's perspective, there's a fundamental issue with questions like that. There's good subjective, bad subjective, and using the internet as your magic 8 ball for every situation (and being bad subjective).

Practically speaking every single question here would be subjective in some manner - much like SR having every question being a purchase recommendation. We got yelled at for too many questions that were too vague. This question is vague, and not really that useful outside OP's very specific situation.

As a beta site, one of the goals is to work out what the scope of the site is, especially when dealing with subject material like this. Its tough to change the culture of the site after the early days, and getting it right to start with helps a lot.

A good subjective question shouldn't be "Oh darn, I messed up, WHAT DO I DO AGONY INTERNET".

A good question is deep, and has a general sense of usefulness. It is generally useful - and here a certain degree of broadness is useful.

Reading through that - its not really a question, its a attempt to get affirmation for his choices. Its definately subjective (we don't know his girlfriend, or how often this happens) as all things are, but the question isn't really answerable outside "yes, you did right" or "you dun goofed son. You'd be best buyin flowers for the lady"

In addition, is disingenious to attack closevoters - its about the post and issue, not the voters.

Admittedly it could use some fleshing out, some details would have been nice, but is it really any more opinion based than any other question on the site?

Agreed. And if you do, perhaps rather than attacking the closure, working towards improvement and reopening would be a start.

  • I tried to ask a clarifying question, as did a lot of people. My point here was more of a "don't close vote because you feel like it' lets agree on some concrete reasons. – apaul Oct 4 '17 at 3:58

There is no answer to that question. Depending on the person, the answer will be different.

The OP has already said that his girlfriend was mad at him. So, the answer is, for that woman, it is not acceptable.

But if you ask ten different women you are as likely to get ten different answers. And each answer will be wrong if it isn't what the OP's girlfriend thinks because it is her choice to be mad at him, regardless of whether this community tells him he did something that was acceptable or not.

This is the definition of "primarily opinion based". The closure is correct.

  • Wouldn't all questions about romantic relations suffer the same fate? – apaul Oct 4 '17 at 3:13
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    So, the answers were helping OP understand the reason for her being upset. How can there be different answers here? I don't think there are. – NVZ Oct 4 '17 at 3:14
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    No. If the OP instead asked what to do about it the next time, knowing that his girlfriend was not OK with it, that would be fine... "My girlfriend got mad at me when I cancelled a meet up with her because I was tired, how should I frame this the next time I am too tired to meet with her to prevent her from getting mad again?" – Catija ModStaff Oct 4 '17 at 3:16
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    If it were instead, asking us to guess how she would react, then that's asking for a multitude of answers. – NVZ Oct 4 '17 at 3:17
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    No. There literally is no question in this question... this is the definition of the "This is what I think, am I right?" question. Our opinions on this will not make the OP's girlfriend OK with this excuse. The OP could also ask why was it not OK... that might be OK... but asking whether it's OK or not when the answer for his girlfriend is clearly "No" is not a question. – Catija ModStaff Oct 4 '17 at 3:19
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    It seems like an issue of semantics... Did I do this right? vs How can I do this next time? They're effectively the same question, in the the long run. – apaul Oct 4 '17 at 3:22
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    No. Not really. One is admitting that they know they did something wrong and asking how to fix it. The other is giving people the chance to say "you did it correctly and your girlfriend is nuts, DTMFA". – Catija ModStaff Oct 4 '17 at 3:23
  • Both answers are, more or less, "No" or "don't" I guess they don't seem all that different. – apaul Oct 4 '17 at 3:23
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    I was recently in my recent meta answered by Robert Cartaino that it's not necessary to be pedantic about how a question is phrased, but it's necessary to understand OP's point. Or, am I interpreting it wrong? – NVZ Oct 4 '17 at 3:23
  • @NVZ I was thinking of the exact post. – apaul Oct 4 '17 at 3:24
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    How about rather than arguing that the question is perfect, you fix it? That's the entire point of putting something on hold. The OP isn't the only one who can edit things. – Catija ModStaff Oct 4 '17 at 3:26
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    Educating the OP about a misconception is often a big part of answering on this site. – apaul Oct 4 '17 at 3:27
  • Closing for an accurate/appropriate reason is also important. – apaul Oct 4 '17 at 3:28
  • In this case we could edit for grammar, and so on, but that has nothing to do with why the question was closed. – apaul Oct 4 '17 at 3:30

I feel like I should throw in my $0.02 since I answered the question.. After the post and initial comments, I interpreted the question as:

Why would my girlfriend get upset after I told her I was too lazy to meet up?

Yes, the sentence ending with a question mark was "Is it really that strange?", which is opinion-based. So I asked OP in comments what the goal was, with reply:

for me lazyness and telling her this as the reason not to come over is just fine. For her not, she would have expected a little lie (like not feeling well) in order not to come over. question is who is right

With that context, it seemed to me that the real issue was "I don't understand why this would bother her. Was it rude of me to say/do that?". We've had plenty of other questions like that on this site before which were not closed, for example

All of those questions follow the formula of "Here's an incident that happened, is what I said/did appropriate?"

At the time I felt like there was enough information to post a good answer so I did. After reading further comments on the question and this meta, I do agree there are more details which could affect the situation somewhat (although I'm fairly confident it wouldn't completely invalidate my answer) - however, that should be a "too broad" or "unclear" closure, not "opinion-based".


Not liking a question is not a reason to close. It may be a repugnant perspective and you may have loads of good reasons to object, but that's not yet an established close reason. If you think It should be, open a meta question about it. Please don't shoehorn.

When I don't like a question, do you know what I do?
You seem to think so.
I ignore it and move on.

If a question is "repugnant"?
I flag that question for deletion and downvote it.

If I personally disagree with the OP's point of view but find their post is meritorious I might upvote or post an answer disagreeing with the OP and explaining (brusquely) why. Which is the case here.

If the question is merely asking for users' opinions and not how to improve, mend, resolve or respond to a determinate situation?

The OP concluded his post with this basic request:

Is it really that strange?

That is a question asking for "yes" or "no" answers. The question is off-topic, as I understand it, and the most suitable reason for closure was POB.

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    Behind that "is it really that strange" is an implicit "why she get that angry?", just saying. – Vylix Oct 4 '17 at 7:59

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