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Thread: Making sense of the nonsense

  1. #1
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    Making sense of the nonsense

    Hello all. I'm starting to think that dating is like the stock market. Do everything opposite of common sense and you'll be fine. Because 1+1 is just not adding up to 2 anymore.
    For background, I'm a 38 year old man and never been married, but have dated on and on, and besides spending tens of thousands of dollars on this activity, I have nothing to show for it.
    Sure, there are a lot of generalizations here, but this is from my personal experience, so all I know is what I personally experienced.

    1) Apparently, being divorced is a very big achievement, and having never been married means that I'm an outcast. How is failing in a relationship a big achievement? It shows you can handle commitment? Really? If you can handle commitment so well, then why did you get divorced? Being at 0 is better than being at a loss, and that's as clear as daylight; but yet, my logic is useless here. Where am I wrong?

    2) I've been told countless times that I'm too serious and intense. I'm very sorry, but I don't want to drop hundreds of dollars on dates and spend hours driving back and forth only to find out by date 6 that she was never looking for marriage or kids in the first place. But when I ask these questions up front on date 1, I'm done for, I'm too intense. Are we little kids who have to play mind games and drag on and on with senseless text messages and waiting and more waiting only to get the final ultimatum 2 months later when we could have cleared all this up on date 1? Where am I wrong?

    3) All I want is a woman who will respect me as much as I will respect her, someone to marry, someone to have kids with. But yet, all I get are tire-kickers who give me false positives for weeks and then finally tell me that I'm too intense for them because I gave them too many gifts, and spent too much time and money on them. Is it really that abnormal to be nice anymore? Why is that needy? Why is that desperate? Why are we dating in the first place? Is it all about playing mind games, being passive aggressive, and seeing how much we can irritate the other person? Show too much interest and you're desperate. Show too little interest and you're a flake. Where is the middle ground, and why even have a middle ground, it's a binary operation, a 1 or a 0.

    4) Why does it take at least 5 years to decide to marry someone? I've shown more love to someone in 3 months than some husbands shown their wives in 5 years, but yet, that was useless. Does time prove anything, of course not, what's better, 5 years of dragging into oblivion or 3 months of decisive action? Again, more nonsense which I don't understand.

    I'm worn out here, why can't 2 adults just show genuine interest in each other without reverting to kindergarten mentality? Please tell me where I'm wrong, and if the answer is to play the games I described, so be it, I can play mind games like the best of them, I just never thought I'd have to stoop to this level. Thanks for reading.

  2. #2
    Platinum Member DancingFool's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by asalways

    1) Apparently, being divorced is a very big achievement, and having never been married means that I'm an outcast. How is failing in a relationship a big achievement? It shows you can handle commitment? Really? If you can handle commitment so well, then why did you get divorced? Being at 0 is better than being at a loss, and that's as clear as daylight; but yet, my logic is useless here. Where am I wrong?

    Huh? According to who? Look, you are going to run into all kinds of people with all kinds of wacky attitudes and prejudices. The idea in dating is to weed out those who don't match you. People who think you are damaged because you aren't divorced obviously are not your match. As such, they aren't worth thinking about you. Thanks for the date and next!

    2) I've been told countless times that I'm too serious and intense. I'm very sorry, but I don't want to drop hundreds of dollars on dates and spend hours driving back and forth only to find out by date 6 that she was never looking for marriage or kids in the first place. But when I ask these questions up front on date 1, I'm done for, I'm too intense. Are we little kids who have to play mind games and drag on and on with senseless text messages and waiting and more waiting only to get the final ultimatum 2 months later when we could have cleared all this up on date 1? Where am I wrong?

    First is wth are you doing spending that kind of money on dates????? What are you doing wrong? That. First dates, initial dates think more casual and cheap. Meet over a drink for happy hour after work. Coffee and chat in a nice area where maybe if things go well, you can extend things and walk around and chat. The idea of those early dates is to get to know the person a bit, have some fun and most importantly start figuring out if they are a match or worth seeing again or not. It is not about spending hundreds of dollars seeking to impress and hoping for an ROI.

    Second is not what you are asking but how. Sure, I've had plenty of first dates where we talked about our dating goals, what we are looking for. Nothing wrong with that. Quite typical really. So, if women keep telling you that you are too intense - pay attention. How you are asking, bringing up these topics needs serious work.

    3) All I want is a woman who will respect me as much as I will respect her, someone to marry, someone to have kids with. But yet, all I get are tire-kickers who give me false positives for weeks and then finally tell me that I'm too intense for them because I gave them too many gifts, and spent too much time and money on them. Is it really that abnormal to be nice anymore? Why is that needy? Why is that desperate? Why are we dating in the first place? Is it all about playing mind games, being passive aggressive, and seeing how much we can irritate the other person? Show too much interest and you're desperate. Show too little interest and you're a flake. Where is the middle ground, and why even have a middle ground, it's a binary operation, a 1 or a 0.

    So how many women have to tell you this before you are willing to take a look at yourself, at what you are doing, at your actions and make some adjustments and changes? If what you are doing isn't working for you and you have people telling straight up what you are doing wrong, why do you insist on doing it? It's not working, change it. When it comes to relationships, people aren't looking to be bought, they want to feel a real emotional connection, they want to get to know you and they want YOU to get to know them. Nobody wants to get overwhelmed with whatever fantasy you have going on in your head about how things should go. Live in the here and now.

    4) Why does it take at least 5 years to decide to marry someone? I've shown more love to someone in 3 months than some husbands shown their wives in 5 years, but yet, that was useless. Does time prove anything, of course not, what's better, 5 years of dragging into oblivion or 3 months of decisive action? Again, more nonsense which I don't understand.

    What???!!!! You think you can know a person enough to get married in 3 months? Am I understanding this correctly? I don't know where you get this idea about 5 years, however most sane people will take 1-2 to get to know someone, to bond, connect, learn who this person before they consider marriage. That's normal. Your ideas are not. In fact, right here you are showing the needy, desperate intensity that your dates are pointing out to you over and over.

    When you find yourself at 38 and pointing fingers at everyone else in the world as the problem....it's not the world that is wrong, it's you. Time for some serious rethinking of how you operate.
    See my answers above. If you really want what you say you want, you have your work cut out for you in terms of adjusting your attitude, your beliefs, and your behavior.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    Welcome to ENA.

    I'll try, best I can, to address your four points.

    1. No one thinks divorce is an achievement, and odds are that women do not have an issue with the fact that you've never been divorced, so probably best to try to temper the bitterness-induced sarcasm, since that is, generally, something of a turn off. That said, a 38-year-old man who has never been in a serious thing? Well, that might raise eyebrows in some women, might be a dealbreaker to some, and that's okay. I'm a 39-year-old man—never married, never divorced. While I've never experienced those nevers as a knock against me, I'm aware that when women learn I've never lived with a partner that a little alarm bell sometimes goes off. Makes sense to me. If they're interested in something longterm, partnership-oriented, that builds to cohabitation—well, they may wonder if I'm built for that, interested in that, which I respect. Hopefully they don't write me off—but if they do? All good. Means we're not a match, since I personally prefer to be and feel seen than to go to battle with another's assumptions.

    2. You do sound a bit serious, a bit intense, to be frank. The impression I'm getting is that you see dating on very transactional terms: that if you profess you want marriage and kids, spend X amount of dollars, Y amount of time, and give Z amount of gifts then it is the woman's duty to respond by marrying you, being inseminated by you, and holding your hand forever until the sun sets. In, ideally, 90 days or less. But dating is not a binary operation. Neither are relationships. Connection is not binary or transactional, but fluid, the building of a fantastical reality with someone, not using someone to realize a preexisting fantasy in your head and heart.

    3. You may find yourself hard pressed to find a woman who respects you, and feels respected by you, when you refer to women as "tire-kickers" and women whose feelings don't align with yours as "false positives." It sounds like, should a woman have feelings that don't match yours, or changes her mind as she assesses you and the potential for compatibility, you get irked at the audacity of that, feeling that you are being "gamed." Another way to put that is: you do not respect the uniqueness and reality of their humanity, which they may be sensing quick, despite all the money you're spending.

    4. It does not take "at least 5 years" to decide to marry someone. For some it takes an hour, for others a decade. The amount of time, generally speaking, that it takes to decide is the amount of time two people take to make that decision together. I emphasize "two people" for a reason, because you sound very focused on you rather than on embracing the mystery of another person, and seeing what kind of mystery you can make together, and alongside one another. Spending lots of money, giving lots of gifts—this is not "showing love." That is indulging in capitalism. Showing love is generally done by listening—with our eyes, our ears, our bodies—and it's a slow, subtle process that cannot be expedited.

    You probably won't like this, but the "kindergarten mentality" that you are bemoaning is kind of the mentality that you just showcased in your 4-point referendum on romance. You come across as having an attitude that is disparaging toward women, angry at women, with most of that anger connected to the fact that women you are into have not been as into you. Take some steps toward humility, to remembering that women are just people, not pawns placed on the planet's chess board for your entertainment and needs, and you may find yourself connecting at a frequency that has proven elusive.

    Were you posting this on a website for an automobile manufacturer, I would understand your frustration. You spend 50K on the BMW, the salesman said this, the warranty said that, but here you are: dead engine on the windy road, two months after buying the thing, and they're refusing to fix it for free or give you a new model. But alas: people are not cars, dating is not business, and relationships are not contractual. And thank God for that, because what they really are is so, so much better than all that. Loosen your grip on the wheel a few degrees and the ride is much more enjoyable.
    Last edited by bluecastle; 07-31-2019 at 11:32 AM.

  4. #4
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    Originally Posted by DancingFool
    See my answers above. If you really want what you say you want, you have your work cut out for you in terms of adjusting your attitude, your beliefs, and your behavior.
    Thanks for the honest and detailed analysis.

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  6. #5
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    As a single woman around your age....I can tell you that we are not all like that.

    But...Divorce is not an achievement. I don't know anyone who thinks it is. I think The fact that we have been single so long might send a message that we are a little aloof or want to be single. Not the case for me, but I can understand why people would think that.

    Maybe instead of going straight to the marriage talk, you could feel it out a little more? I completely understand not wanting to waste time--I'm in the same boat! But, perhaps let your gut lead you on this instead of your timeline.

    It doesn't take five years. If the right man bumped into me at lunch today, I would marry him tomorrow! Again...I think it is a gut instinct. (and now I am planning my lunch-bump-in-to-men strategy...)

    Any way you look at it, I think it is best to just let things happen.

  7. #6
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    As someone who is too intense by nature, I've found that the key is to be on "chill" mode all the time. I found that my chill mode is the "normal" mode for most people.

    Also women need time to process all the things/emotions(?) when dating. Honestly, I don't know what they are thinking (one of the unsolved mysteries) but I've learned not to rush.

    Learn to enjoy the game I guess?

  8. #7
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    Originally Posted by bluecastle
    Welcome to ENA.

    I'll try, best I can, to address your four points.

    1. No one thinks divorce is an achievement, and odds are that women do not have an issue with the fact that you've never been divorced, so probably best to try to temper the bitterness-induced sarcasm, since that is, generally, something of a turn off. That said, a 38-year-old man who has never been in a serious thing? Well, that might raise eyebrows in some women, might be a dealbreaker to some, and that's okay. I'm a 39-year-old man—never married, never divorced. While I've never experienced those nevers as a knock against me, I'm aware that when women learn I've never lived with a partner that a little alarm bell sometimes goes off. Makes sense to me. If they're interested in something longterm, partnership-oriented, that builds to cohabitation—well, they may wonder if I'm built for that, interested in that, which I respect. Hopefully they don't write me off—but if they do? All good. Means we're not a match, since I personally prefer to be and feel seen than to go to battle with another's assumptions.

    2. You do sound a bit serious, a bit intense, to be frank. The impression I'm getting is that you see dating on very transactional terms: that if you profess you want marriage and kids, spend X amount of dollars, Y amount of time, and give Z amount of gifts then it is the woman's duty to respond by marrying you, being inseminated by you, and holding your hand forever until the sun sets. In, ideally, 90 days or less. But dating is not a binary operation. Neither are relationships. Connection is not binary or transactional, but fluid, the building of a fantastical reality with someone, not using someone to realize a preexisting fantasy in your head and heart.

    3. You may find yourself hard pressed to find a woman who respects you, and feels respected by you, when you refer to women as "tire-kickers" and women whose feelings don't align with yours as "false positives." It sounds like, should a woman have feelings that don't match yours, or changes her mind as she assesses you and the potential for compatibility, you get irked at the audacity of that, feeling that you are being "gamed." Another way to put that is: you do not respect the uniqueness and reality of their humanity, which they may be sensing quick, despite all the money you're spending.

    4. It does not take "at least 5 years" to decide to marry someone. For some it takes an hour, for others a decade. The amount of time, generally speaking, that it takes to decide is the amount of time two people take to make that decision together. I emphasize "two people" for a reason, because you sound very focused on you rather than on embracing the mystery of another person, and seeing what kind of mystery you can make together, and alongside one another. Spending lots of money, giving lots of gifts—this is not "showing love." That is indulging in capitalism. Showing love is generally done by listening—with our eyes, our ears, our bodies—and it's a slow, subtle process that cannot be expedited.

    You probably won't like this, but the "kindergarten mentality" that you are bemoaning is kind of the mentality that you just showcased in your 4-point referendum on romance. You come across as having an attitude that is disparaging toward women, angry at women, with most of that anger connected to the fact that women you are into have not been as into you. Take some steps toward humility, to remembering that women are just people, not pawns placed on the planet's chess board for your entertainment and needs, and you may find yourself connecting at a frequency that has proven elusive.

    Were you posting this on a website for an automobile manufacturer, I would understand your frustration. You spend 50K on the BMW, the salesman said this, the warranty said that, but here you are: dead engine on the windy road, two months after buying the thing, and they're refusing to fix it for free or give you a new model. But alas: people are not cars, dating is not business, and relationships are not contractual. And thank God for that, because what they really are is so, so much better than all that. Loosen your grip on the wheel a few degrees and the ride is much more enjoyable.
    Thanks, very thorough response. And I appreciate your honesty.

  9. #8
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    Originally Posted by loyal
    As a single woman around your age....I can tell you that we are not all like that.

    But...Divorce is not an achievement. I don't know anyone who thinks it is. I think The fact that we have been single so long might send a message that we are a little aloof or want to be single. Not the case for me, but I can understand why people would think that.

    Maybe instead of going straight to the marriage talk, you could feel it out a little more? I completely understand not wanting to waste time--I'm in the same boat! But, perhaps let your gut lead you on this instead of your timeline.

    It doesn't take five years. If the right man bumped into me at lunch today, I would marry him tomorrow! Again...I think it is a gut instinct. (and now I am planning my lunch-bump-in-to-men strategy...)

    Any way you look at it, I think it is best to just let things happen.
    Agreed, being a businessman by nature with regard to passing time, I'm not used to that kind of thinking. But that can be fixed.

  10. #9
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    Originally Posted by dias
    As someone who is too intense by nature, I've found that the key is to be on "chill" mode all the time. I found that my chill mode is the "normal" mode for most people.

    Also women need time to process all the things/emotions(?) when dating. Honestly, I don't know what they are thinking (one of the unsolved mysteries) but I've learned not to rush.

    Learn to enjoy the game I guess?
    Agreed, "chill" mode as you call it, is the way to go, as you can tell from my experience. I am indeed a quick learner though, this is just another thing to pick up.

  11. #10
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    Originally Posted by asalways
    Agreed, being a businessman by nature with regard to passing time, I'm not used to that kind of thinking. But that can be fixed.
    The important thing is not to compromise who you are for someone else. Be the person you are and enjoy yourself!

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