September 14, 2023 at 3:00 am #422073
Hello, Luna speaking,
I hope you all are doing well,
So I will get right into it. I see myself as a practical person so if I want something, I do everything I can to get to it; however, when it comes to relationships, I realize that much of it is not always up to me. So I would appreciate you giving me some outside perspective on my situation: I’m in my early 2os, and I’ve never had a committed relationship with someone. I find that ”normal”, as it is only the beginning, but what makes me feel concerned is that I do not see that spark in my social circles and I find myself thinking a lot that a romantic companionship will be very beneficial to me in terms of my personal growth right now. Also, I do not like the sense of ‘noviceness” I get every time someone talks about relationships. It makes me feel inexperienced even a bit naive when it comes to intimacy on an emotional level. I’ve expressed this frustration to a good friend but as she could not relate to it, it was hard to get a satisfying response. My question now is how can I best make the most out of this feeling and if some of you have felt this before, I’d love to hear your story.
Thank you,September 14, 2023 at 3:43 am #422074
I think everyone is different. Some people are attracted to lots of people. Some people are attracted to very few people. Some people fall somewhere in the middle.
You mentioned not feeling a spark with anyone in your social circle. Where do you think you fall on the spectrum above?
Something to consider is what you would like in a partner?
I would agree that your situation is normal.
The feeling of noviceness that you mentioned. Do you mean that because of your inexperience with relationships you feel intimidated by it? Or just lacking understanding about it?
Personally, I think it took me a few years to get to grips with dating. For me there was that question of what is love? I went around a few different relationships going is this love? Nope. Maybe this is love? Kinda but nope. Until I found a partner that was actually ready for a healthy relationship.
It’s kind of a journey and when we’re young, we’re all just trying to find our why. I feel like a lot of people experience noviceness when they’re new to relationships but perhaps don’t worry about it and try to go with the flow. It sounds like you’re very self aware so you may just be a bit more introspective and tuned into your feelings than others. I know that I felt like a novice when I was starting out. I was also not attracted to very many people either. This may have been part of why it took years to get to grips with things. Whereas people who date more frequently may develop a perspective on these things more quickly.
Dating honestly depends on what you’re comfortable with. Some people like to use dating apps. Some people like to go to places where they meet new people. Some people like to go to parties. Some people like to join hobby groups.
Ultimately, the goal is to meet new people. Do any of these ideas resonate with you?
Wishing you all the best! Good luck in your dating journey! 🙏September 14, 2023 at 3:44 am #422075
*find our waySeptember 14, 2023 at 11:02 am #422089
Thank you so much for the detailed response and for addressing different angles of my concern. Your response has raised several points among which one has peculiarly stood out; I’ve never thought about the spectrum you mentioned and it was interesting to think of an answer to that.
When it comes to the feeling of noviceness, I think I feel intimidated by my lack of understanding of relationships on a realistic level. It is like I create ease when it comes to other life areas but not when it comes to dating.
I also agree that I’m self-aware, hence why I know that gaining some dating experience will help me become a better version of myself. Also, I appreciate you for sharing your story, and in a way, it illustrates my perspective. Hence, I would agree that I’m a little more introspective than most, and I do not like to think of that as a con when it comes to dating because it has allowed me to understand many things about my preferences in navigating society. Yet, at the same time, I’m starting to feel like the other things that I need to learn are no longer up to my self-reflection nor it is in the emotional support that friendships offer -both of which I’m grateful for- but they are in something deeper than both.
For me, dating is the door to the rest of my introspective journey, and I’m struggling to find the keys right now.
I wish you all the best in your found relationship and, as I’ve given an honorable mention to friendships, feel free to get back with more of your experience and I hope that a beautiful sense of friendship can bloom from this exchange!
With so much love,
LunaSeptember 18, 2023 at 4:25 am #422197
Thank you for your kind wishes! It’s very kind of you to offer to hear more about my relationships. As you picked up on (you’re very intuitive), I was trying to share things that might be relevant to you. There is a whole book I could write about relationships 😂 perhaps too much has happened in my life to say.
That feeling of noviceness passes with experience. I can tell that you’re a very capable person. I’m sure that as you progress on your dating journey you will feel more confident! Beginners nerves are natural.
You mentioned feeling like you’re struggling to find the keys. Do you have any specific concerns?
I would agree, that there are some things that your friends and self-reflection can immediately help with. Some things you can only learn by doing. Reflection and friendship can help you to navigate these experiences retroactively though.
Please feel free to share anything you would like to talk about! I’d be quite happy to have another friend and pen pal.
Wishing you all the best! 🙏September 19, 2023 at 1:49 pm #422274
Thank you for your response.
”Some things you can only learn by doing.”
That’s well put!! indeed, there is so much abundance in how people experience more or less the same lessons.
Haha, maybe you should write one then! Well, I don’t know how organized (or not) this response is going to be but I’ll try:
I have some concerns about dating, mainly because of the models I’ve seen throughout my life in relationships. I have actually spent a lot of time pondering on this aspect that at some point it started to feel like a rabbit hole (like the one in Alice in Wonderland if you’re familiar with the story) and I just want something more practical now. But conversations like these help in the overall sense.
Likewise! Feel free to tell me what’s on your mind and I’d be glad to check in here to read one of your experiences in the subject. All within the framework of gaining a new perspective to best navigate the complexities of relationships.
Thank you and I wish you all the best on your way too, my friend!
With so much love today too,
LunaSeptember 22, 2023 at 11:03 am #422364
In your three posts, you shared (the italicized are your words, with adjusted pronouns) that you are in your early 20s, a practical person who has never had a committed romantic relationship. You feel inexperienced, even a bit naive when it comes to intimacy on an emotional level, intimidated by your lack of understanding of relationships on a realistic level. You think that one will be very beneficial to you, in term of your current personal growth; that some dating experience will help you become a better version of yourself.
You shared that you are more introspective than most people, but you are starting to feel that what you need to learn next, is no longer up to your self-reflection- alone or in the context of friendships- but something deeper than both.
“I have some concerns about dating, mainly because of the models I’ve seen throughout my life in relationships“- I am guessing (and please do correct me if I am wrong) that what you witnessed growing up, and still (?), are romantic relationships that did not promote personal growth, maybe even stunted personal growth, and therefore, you are very hesitant about getting into one.
“My question now is how can I best make the most out of this feeling and if some of you have felt this before, I’d love to hear your story“- (by this feeling, you were referring to feeling inexperienced even a bit naive when it comes to intimacy on an emotional level).
My answer/ my story: before I ever had a beginning of a romantic relationship, I was already experienced in the context of romantic relationships: not as a participant, but as a witness. The witnessing itself equaled the experience: my earliest and only memory of the romantic relationship between my mother and father is that of the time I was about 5-years-old. It was night time, they were fighting. There was screaming, hitting perhaps… my mother said she was going to kill herself. They left the apartment into the night. I was left alone.. I left the apartment myself, looking for my mother, afraid to find her dead. When I found her in the street (there were other people there), I was so happy to see her alive! I ran to her.. ran for her to take me in her arms, exclaiming out loud: oh mother, you are alive! But seems like my exclamation embarrassed her in front of the people, as if I made a secret- public, and she retorted: why wouldn’t I be alive? Angry, she did not take me into her arms. Angry, she left me alone in my confusion and emotional devastation.
Quite a story, isn’t it? Thing is, it may be relevant to you even if your story is less extreme: when as children, we witness emotionally charged situations that feel threatening to us (a mother’s possible death is threatening to a child!), we are emotionally involved in those situations. And so, in the apartment, as a 5-year-old, peeking through the door of my small room, I personally experienced the horror a few feet away as a witness.
Next, I experienced something as a participant: running toward my mother and her rejection of me, leaving me alone in confusion and emotional devastation. This experience does not get contained in a child-parent category, leaving future romantic relationships untouched. As an adult, I had no trust that a man will be any different from my mother.
Back to your words: feeling inexperienced even a bit naive when it comes to intimacy on an emotional level– I assume that as a child, as a witness and a participant, you gained powerful experiences, some positive, other negative, when it comes to intimacy. Did you?
anitaSeptember 22, 2023 at 12:48 pm #422366
How are you doing, my friend?
It’s very wise of you to recognise that we all experience the same lessons. I think the benefit of being able to recognise that is you can learn from the problems that others have.
Thank you for your encouragement, I’ve always wanted to write a book! It would be cool to get around to it someday. I just don’t know exactly what I want to write about yet.
wanted a tattoo for ages, but I change my mind a lot and wanted to be sure I would be comfortable with my decision long term. I think this is the way I navigate the world. Whether it’s tattoos, books, jobs or relationships.
You mentioned that you had some concerns about relationships because of the models of relationships that you’ve seen. Do you want to talk about some of the concerning dynamics that you’ve seen in other relationships?
My thoughts on difficulties in relationships are that every relationship has difficulties. But overall, being in a relationship should enhance your life, not detract from it. Also, I think an excellent quality of a potential partner is listening, caring and being willing to change when something upsets you.
Having boundaries as individuals are very important for protecting ourselves in relationships. How do you think your boundaries are with others?
Overall, I think I had a mix of relationships. Some fairly healthy. Some not so healthy. I had a difficult childhood, so I was attracted to unhealthy relationships for a while. But as I healed I started to search for healthier qualities in relationships.
My first boyfriend had troubles of his own from previous trauma. We had a good time together. But it ended when he cheated on me. This seemed to be a pattern for him because he left his previous girlfriend to date me. I wasn’t aware at the time but found out pretty early on in the relationship. I wasn’t hurt by what happened, I was young and carefree.
That is the story of my first relationship.
Love and best wishes! 🙏September 24, 2023 at 4:54 am #422430
Thank you for your sincerity throughout this message, and I’m sorry for what you have experienced as a child.
I can see how you’re drawing the link between the parent-child bond and my inquiry and I expected this to be brought up given they’re the most common models in terms of a healthy (or not) couple partnership. So to get back to your question, like any other child, I have received powerful messages from my environment on how to act and be in a couple.
Following up on my second message on this matter, my question comes back to what extent can I help myself get to the point where I can have a healthy relationship if I don’t have a reference to it. I realize that is a big question given that first relationships often end up being a test before one really settles but even them, with enough work on oneself, can be constructive in terms of gaining social experience and a better understanding of people.
In other words, I’m asking about getting mentally ready for being in a relationship through self-development. For more context, I’m very passionate about self-development and I’m very future-oriented when it comes to matters of the heart.
LunaSeptember 24, 2023 at 5:26 am #422431
Good day/night, Helcat!
I’m doing alright, thank you. It’s getting colder and I cannot help but notice the change in the season.
I wish you all the best in writing this book! I hope you get to it one day.
Ah, I feel! A tattoo is a commitment in itself and I understand why you’d want to take time with it. That’s an attitude I can relate to.
Honestly, I could sum up those dynamics that I have seen as ”not so healthy” and I think this is the reason why I’m concerned with this matter today. Also, on a lowkey note, my closest friend got into a relationship around the same time we both started seeing people. I gotta say that left me feeling a bit bittersweet at first ha ha though I’m very happy for her. Generally, I’m very happy when I see a healthy couple.
Hmm, I like that you raised the point on boundaries. I guess the main challenge I’ve faced when it comes to that is dealing with mixed signals. How about you?
Thank you for sharing your story with me. I’m glad you were able to cross to the other side and keep yourself as a priority. I feel like that is a healthy starting approach to dating.
Peace and love to you,
LunaSeptember 24, 2023 at 9:30 am #422440
You are welcome and thank you for your empathy!
“I can see how you’re drawing the link between the parent-child bond and my inquiry and I expected this to be brought up given they’re the most common models in terms of a healthy (or not) couple partnership. So to get back to your question, like any other child, I have received powerful messages from my environment on how to act and be in a couple… For more context, I’m very passionate about self-development and I’m very future-oriented when it comes to matters of the heart.“-
– you are very intelligent, educated, an intellectual.. I wonder if, like I have been most of my life, you too remove yourself from a hands-on, emotional experience of life, so to speak, in the context of relationships, romantic and/ or otherwise, mostly limiting your experience to the intellect? I wonder if you are trying to intellectually understand the matters of the heart before you experience these matters hands-on?
“I’m asking about getting mentally ready for being in a relationship through self-development. For more context, I’m very passionate about self-development“-
– self development has to include social development because we are social animals, and the self is not separated from the social. You find out a whole lot more about yourself in the context of genuinely interacting with other people than you do when alone (or when you socialize with others but in a detached, removed way). In other words, there’s a lot about you that you can never get to know or understand unless you are personally and genuinely involved in a relationship.
“My question comes back to what extent can I help myself get to the point where I can have a healthy relationship if I don’t have a reference to it. I realize that is a big question given that first relationships often end up being a test before one really settles but even them, with enough work on oneself, can be constructive in terms of gaining social experience and a better understanding of people“-
– (1) I think that I understand your anxiety about having had no reference to a healthy romantic relationship, not as a witness and not as a participant. (2) When facing any big question, it is helpful to break it down to small pieces. When you get to the point of having what may be a beginning of a committed romantic relationship, at that point, take it one step at a time, one day at a time, or one hour at a time. (3) I don’t know what you mean by a first relationship being a test…?
anitaSeptember 25, 2023 at 3:31 pm #422490
Thank you for your response.
I would say I tend to have a rational take when it comes to emotions. I’ve looked so much into that too haha it is interesting that you brought it up because I feel like I wanna step away from that too; feel the emotion instead of thinking it. Overall, I think it is a good way to try to understand people on a mental level in parallel with the emotional experience.
I share the same point on the intertwined relation between social and self-development. That factors a lot in the complexity of the human life.
Basically what I meant was that just like the way to self-development, and following on the previous idea that humans evolve in society, I think of the first relationships as being a set of errors and trials typically (although there are success stories of those who settle in their first relationship!) but that’s not a rule, just an impression I get overall.
LunaSeptember 25, 2023 at 7:07 pm #422498
Dear Luna: I will read and reply in about 11 hours from now.
anitaSeptember 26, 2023 at 9:01 am #422504
(1) I am all for (in most life circumstances) thinking before acting; planning and executing a plan instead of impulsively reacting. And I am all for thinking accurately and productively. So, never will I suggest to anyone (again, in most life circumstances) to abandon thinking and let emotion take over.
(2) I know that you are educated and very intelligent, therefore I am guessing that a lot of what I may write at any time, if you agree with it, it’s something you .. already know. But there are all kinds of knowing (1+1 is not always 2.. which is something you already know.. right?)
(3) The following are my thoughts, my impressions, not written in stone, and I am fine with you disagreeing and rejecting any or all of them:
“I feel like I wanna… feel the emotion instead of thinking it“-
– Feeling (being aware of) our emotions gives us valuable information for the purpose of accurate, productive thinking and/ or action. Behind every physical sensation and emotion, or a mix of emotions, there is a message: hunger=> I need to eat, I’ll pick up an apple from this tree and eat it, cold=> I need to get warm, I’ll find a sweater in the closet and put it on, anger=> I am facing danger, I need to protect myself, maybe fight, I’ll grab the bear spray, lonely=> I need to socialize, I’ll call a friend, Frustrated (title of your thread)=> I need to find clarity, I’ll start a thread on tiny buddha.
Let’s look at a sentence from your original post: “I find myself thinking a lot that a romantic companionship will be very beneficial to me in terms of my personal growth right now“- you are thinking that you might need a romantic companionship, you are not.. feeling the need for one? It is as if you are an object to yourself, as in thinking: romantic companionship will be beneficial for that person over there (Luna).
“Overall, I think it is a good way to try to understand people on a mental level in parallel with the emotional experience“- parallel lines never meet. Thinking and feeling need to meet. (I have a thing with words, sometimes- and this might be one of these times- I take them too literally).
“First relationships… can be constructive in terms of gaining social experience and a better understanding of people“- first relationships can be constructive to people, including to Luna, the person over there. Not.. I am lonely, or I am longing for love..
“First relationships often end up being a test before one really settles… I think of the first relationships as being a set of errors and trials typically (although there are success stories of those who settle in their first relationship!)“- (1) Many who settle in their first relationship are settled in misery too much of the time, (2) all relationships (first and last) are sets of errors and trials, there’s never a happily-ever-after, trouble-free relationship. (3) learning outside and within relationships is key to thoughtfully and wisely choosing the most compatible partner for a life together. A high level of compatibility is crucial for a relationship that is as free as possible from unnecessary problems and troubles.
I have more thoughts but I’ll wait to find out, if I will, what you are thinking about what I wrote so far, and if you’re interested in more of my thoughts.
anitaSeptember 26, 2023 at 10:37 pm #422529
Sorry for the delayed reply. It’s been a bit busy for me recently. I will always write as soon as I’m able to though!
Yes, it’s getting dark really quickly here. I’m not afan of winter because of how dark it gets for most of the day. When it’s dark my body wants to shut down and rest. As opposed to summer when it’s very light for ages and I want to do things in the evening.
That’s very kind of you to say!
Yes, unfortunately unhealthy dynamics are pretty common in relationships. It’s definitely a challenge to navigate. That’s why having strong boundaries is very important. Being in touch with your emotions is important too, because they let you know when boundaries are being crossed. If the way someone treats you makes you feel badly, it’s important to think about what happened and take appropriate action. And you have to be able to speak up and say no, when something makes you uncomfortable.
I think it’s just as important to consider what you don’t want in a relationship as to consider what you do want.
Yes, I’ve also had difficulties with mixed signals. When you talk about difficulties with mixed signals, do you mean finding it difficult to tell if someone is flirting? Or difficulty gauging interest in a relationship? Or something else?
Dating can honestly be difficult these days. People are very open about wanting sex, but not a relationship. Or wanting to see multiple people at the same time. I think what I found difficult was finding someone that I was interested in, who was also interested in me and also interested in having a relationship and also practiced healthy dynamics in a relationship.
If you find my stories of relationships interesting I will share my second boyfriend with you.
It didn’t last very long. He was a little older, funny and nice, but his hygiene was not that good. I found that he was more interested in the physical side of things than I was and that made me a bit uncomfortable. He always backed off when I asked him to. We had the nicest breakup I’ve ever had. I said that I needed to talk to him about something. He said I think I know what you want to talk about. How about we just have a nice day, one last time? And I agreed. We had a lovely date and stayed friends afterwards. I think that’s the most mature and healthy break up I’ve ever had.
To be honest, I started dating because my mother pressured me to. I wasn’t really interested in dating initially.
Wishing you all the best! 🙏