Forum Replies Created
September 11, 2014 at 11:47 am #64777
Oh, Penguin!! Big hugs to you. You remind me so much of myself, down to the self-involved mother and needy brother. Matt & Inky already gave you great advice so I don’t have much to add except to say you might benefit from reading up on codependence. “Codependent No More” is an excellent book on the topic.
You may want to consider the expectations you have for your romantic relationship. Your boyfriend’s negativity and poor conversational skills may turn out to be deal-breakers for you. And that’s ok. If you’re not compatible, it doesn’t mean he’s a bad person. And you’re certainly not responsible for his feelings. I can tell by your words that if it came down to moving on from him, you would do so in a loving and kind manner. That said, be careful about wanting things “exciting and interesting” again. While the initial buzz of a new love is beyond compare, at some point relationships tend to mature into a comfortable, stable arrangement (lower on the “excitement scale”). That’s not to say you won’t experience warm and fuzzy, exciting feelings with a long-term partner, just be careful you’re not “chasing the dragon” to try to recreate that high of a new love.August 29, 2014 at 2:34 pm #64107
Neelo, and any others who may benefit, I recommend the following two books:
Obsessive Love: When It Hurts Too Much to Let Go by Susan Forward
How to Break Your Addiction to a Person by Howard Halpern
They helped me immensely.August 28, 2014 at 10:04 am #64056
Something to consider, from A Course in Miracles:
“Nobody can treat you unkindly. They can treat themselves unkindly by choosing the unkind ego as their teacher. But they can’t treat you unkindly. Whatever they do has nothing to do with you. They treat themselves unkindly. And if you’re also coming from an unkind thought, you will perceive them as treating you unkindly.” You do not know that he is happy. If he has behaved in the manner you described, I suspect he is not truly happy. But that’s none of your concern.
Focus on you. What do you want for your life? What are your goals? If attending college out of state is something that appeals to you, what can you do to work toward that and make it happen in your life?August 21, 2014 at 9:26 am #63758
To echo Will, I am comfortable financially and have high standards in terms of whom I would consider to be “marriage material” from a financial point of view. It’s not that he would need to be wealthy, but I would not be comfortable tying myself to someone with unreasonable amounts of debt, low/non-existent retirement savings, or otherwise financially irresponsible. I’ve seen my dad divorce three times and take a major financial hit each time (hey, half of half of half is still something, lol). I have not decided I never want to get married, but I am comfortable with the idea that I may never find someone who “fits” and that’s ok.
I also do not want kids, so that motivator is not present for me.
I love the romance and commitment aspects of marriage, having a life-long partner to share in everything together, but it is not a requirement for my happiness.
Apothic, to be frank, based on your other posts it does seem like you’re trying to make yourself feel “ok” with the idea of not being married, despite your underlying desires. It really doesn’t matter what Anyone, Will, I, or any others in the TB community feel about marriage. What do YOU want? Sure, it’s nice to hear different perspectives, but don’t settle for a dating relationship if what you want is to be married.August 20, 2014 at 7:34 am #63701
wilson, I feel for you and can relate. My mother is abusive as well. I read this article the other day that you may find meaningful. There is an exercise within to write a letter of forgiveness. This doesn’t make the things your mother does and says “ok”, but it may help you to find some peace.
My best to you.August 18, 2014 at 1:34 pm #63596
With respect to Pooch and Whit, I’d suggest you consider an alternative – take some time for yourself to mourn the relationship properly. You say you “recently” ended the relationship and that you’re dating again but that those dates feel flat. Perhaps it was too soon to start dating. Breakups take time to recover from, particularly ones with such strong feelings. It’s in our nature to look back fondly on the person and the relationship, and to place more emphasis on the happy times when we’re feeling the loss. Of course you had great times together, but you also had painful ones. It’s wonderful she’s seeking therapy. If it’s truly meant to be for the two of you, you will be together at some point. I’d just advise you not to rush back into anything without taking enough time for yourself to reevaluate what you want and need in a relationship. There’s nothing wrong with being single for awhile as you figure it all out.August 18, 2014 at 8:04 am #63574
To piggyback off Inky’s question, I’m curious why you proposed friends with benefits versus a romantic relationship? I personally would be confused if someone I was interested in suggested that – it seems to put restrictions on the relationship, a way of saying “I am attracted to you and I like you, but it’s just going to be sex among friends”. Given that he was in a (presumably) monogamous relationship for 10 years, I would suspect it’s not his “style” to have sex outside of a relationship. Is that what you want?August 15, 2014 at 9:34 am #63451
Hi again, Apothic. I considered while posting that 20 miles in your neck of the woods might be quite different from 20 miles for me where it’s a quick jump onto the interstate and I’m there within a half hour. In any case, I understand how it is when friends’ lives move in different directions. It’s hard to keep up the social connections when there are other areas of focus. As much as my friends make an effort to keep our friendships nurtured, I know that often the place they want to be is at home with their partner. Which is understandable, but makes it tough for me as one of the only single people in my social circle. So, I completely relate, and I think it’s great you’re putting yourself out there trying out the Craigslist thing. You never know what kind of friend(s) you will make if you don’t try, and you’re surely trying.
I can definitely see why you’re struggling with the question of engagement. I’m sure he has his reasons, but it seems pretty unfair for the two of you to have made an agreement to get engaged upon your moving in, and then to have him delay it indefinitely without a reasonable explanation. Perhaps someone here can advise on how to handle this. I understand your reluctance to issue an ultimatum, but he’s clearly backed out on something you had agreed upon and it seems only fair for you to have some answers so you can decide if you want to stay in this holding pattern and for how long.
This article came in my rss feed. I think it’s very good and may give you food for thought:
http://jennifertwardowski.com/2014/07/28/10-characteristics-vibrantly-healthy-relationship/August 15, 2014 at 7:52 am #63437
Hi apothic. I’m curious if something has happened with your friendships in the last few months. One of the things you loved about your townhouse was “running out with friends for happy hour”. I don’t know where you live, but I wouldn’t think 20 miles is too far to drive to meet up with those same friends for happy hour in that “hopping town”, especially if that’s in the same town you work. Maybe that is unrealistic for your situation, but it was just a thought.
This type of thinking: “Everything I’ve read says that pulling away and being independent actually brings the guy closer” borders on manipulation/games, imo. I’m leery of any such tactics to try to make someone feel a certain way. I know you’ve dismissed the idea as quickly as you brought it up, which I think is wise.
I’ve only gotten a small glimpse into your life/relationship based on your post here, but quite honestly it sounds like you preferred your more independent life. It could be that this guy just doesn’t do it for you. Dating is a process to find out if you are compatible and want to spend your life with this other person (by my definition, anyway). There’s nothing wrong with discovering this man might not be it. Just be careful not to “settle” due to your age (I am 35 and single myself – my mother did not marry my stepdad until she was 40 and one of my good friends got married for the first time at 42. Age is just a number!). I think one thing you may want to consider is if you’re perhaps falling into a bit of a funk that has nothing to do with your boyfriend or your new living situation. You are not a “pathetic woman”. Being shy is not a character flaw. Perhaps some self esteem work is in order. From my experience, when either I or my former partner was depressed, there was naturally a distance between us. Once my ex came out of his “dark place”, things got back on track with us. It would have been a shame to throw away the relationship while he worked through some emotional challenges.
Just a stranger’s two cents 🙂August 14, 2014 at 8:24 am #63364
Mermaid, call me cynical, but I think people get into trouble when they are expecting that “IN LOVE” (infatuation) feeling to last. Feelings ebb and flow in a relationship and it’s been my experience that you’re not going to see fireworks every time you kiss your partner until the end of time. That initial honeymoon phase is wonderful to experience, but once it passes your relationship can deepen into something really special, meaningful and lasting.
I read your other post and I agree with the responses there – you’ve experienced so much change recently that I think anyone would feel unsettled in your position. Allow time for the dust to settle. I think it’s easy when we are feeling down or not “serene within” to look outside ourselves for fixes. If I don’t feel right, maybe it’s because of my relationship, or my job, or my house, etc. But finding peace is an inside job. You haven’t shared any specifics about what gives you doubt in your relationship, so aside from recommending you keep open communication with your beau, my only thought is to focus on what makes YOU happy. Enjoy your hobbies, spend time with friends, find your place in your new world.August 14, 2014 at 8:09 am #63360
Thanks, The Ruminant. I’ve added the two books to my reading list 🙂August 13, 2014 at 11:19 am #63293
Surely you recognize that people’s lives are busy. I think the lady giving you the heads up that she’ll be off to the lake for a week (to me, the implication is that she’s letting you know she may be a bit unresponsive, which is very considerate of her) along with the fact that she sent the notification that she wants to meet you are all positive, good signs. You might wonder why she’s still logging onto the site if she’s not responding to you. One thing to consider is that the level of effort required to log in and take a look around is a lot lower than the effort required to respond to messages. I have my email up all day at my desk, and I respond to emails as I feel the desire to write back. I would hate for any of my friends to think that the timeliness of my response has any correlation to my affection for them as people. “But she has her email up all day, why isn’t she writing back?” If there were something that demanded an expedited response (“Do you want to go to the ball game tonight?”) I would respond immediately. However, a general “here’s a download of stuff going on in my life, how are you doing?” shouldn’t make a person feel pressured to respond, despite whatever else they have going on. In your case, you telling the gal to have a fun time likely put a smile on her face. She wants to meet you. She knows she won’t be able to meet you until she returns from the lake. Don’t invest so much into hearing back a “thank you, talk to you soon!”
I would avoid asking her if she’s still interested, and rather just throw an invitation out there. “Would you like to meet for coffee next Thursday?” or whatever. Let her response to an invitation be your guide to if she is interested. For what it’s worth, one of the reasons I do not participate in online dating is because of the pressure I feel from guys who are very eager and get worked up over not getting immediate responses, or who make assumptions about my level of interest based on relatively benign indicators (logging in but not responding, for example). Understand from a woman’s point of view, we get TONS of messages to respond to and frankly, it’s a lot of work. Good things come to those who wait. In the meantime, ask out the other lady and see how things go.August 13, 2014 at 9:36 am #63285
LOL you make me smile, The Ruminant. I always appreciate your thoughts on topics on these boards so don’t feel like you should hold back based on a “track record”. I wouldn’t be on this board myself if I had it all figured out 😉
To answer your question, I’m not sure I think of any given social situation as serious, per se, it’s just not my personality to walk up to a stranger and say hi or make small talk. I enjoy chatting with people when they approach me, but I don’t feel comfortable (or the desire) to walk up to a stranger and introduce myself and chit chat. I’m more likely to walk up to strangers and say hi in a “controlled” environment (for lack of a better word) – for instance at a party or a wedding where there seems to be an easy intro “How do you know so-and-so?” versus a simple “Hey, how are you doing?” at a bar full of strangers, for example. “Networking” events or anything where there is “mingling” beforehand makes me itch. Now I sound like I’m overanalyzing this stuff. Point being, I’m generally leery of men who approach me out of nowhere as they seem kind of smarmy, or lothario types, but then I’m too inhibited to reach out to meet the shy “nice guys” who keep to themselves. That’s not to say I won’t consider dating a man who approaches me out of nowhere (hence my last 3.5 year relationship), but I’m typically on-guard unless our meeting is a little bit more organic.
I dunno, I’ll just keep on keepin on and wait for Prince Charming to fall out of the sky until I come up with a better plan 😉August 13, 2014 at 8:49 am #63281
Ha, “Mind the gap” 🙂
“Hit on” was probably putting it too strong. He basically approached me (he is an employee of the liquor department) and asked if he could help me find anything. I thanked him but said I was all set and then he proceeded to tell me how much he loves my earrings and how they “compliment my color”, etc. We discussed the earrings for a bit (they were new, haha) and then he asked again if he could help me with anything (“more flattery?” he asked). I just laughed and said thanks and finished the rest of my shopping. He had a bit of “hungry eyes” but did not manipulate in any way.
In my chaste and solitary world, this was noteworthy, lol.
I’m with you, though, about being hit on. I find it to be a dating conundrum: any man who is bold enough to approach a total stranger with flattery immediately puts me on guard (he likely makes a habit of this), but I would never approach a man myself, so then I never meet the guys I would potentially hit it off with because they’re not the types to approach a woman they don’t know. So how do you meet quality people if not through friends (that well is dry) or work (not something I want to do)? I’m not too concerned about it, but it’s something I’ve given a lot of thought.August 13, 2014 at 7:14 am #63275
Last night I was approached and hit on by a man in the grocery store. My best guess is he had 20 years on me, his head full of completely white hair. I couldn’t help but think of this thread and how I was excited to report this to the group. LOL