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Thread: This is hurting more than I thought it would.

  1. #11
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    Sorry you're hurting.

    Anyone with a heart—which is to say anyone not on the sociopathic/psychopathic spectrum—is going to feel some version of what you're feeling right now after a breakup. So past the guilt and the specifics here, try to remember this: you have a heart, and the hurt you feel is a reflection of its power and tenderness. You're allowed to feel these things while also knowing you've made the right choice. You're allowed to question that choice, too, while trusting that those questions get answered in time, and by moving forward, not by staying still or moving backward.

    You are, as others have said, quite young. And past everything being stirred right now, I do hope you can see what you are not. That depressed, wayward guy you were in your 20s? That is not who you are today and I hope this juncture can be about seeing who you actually are. At the start of your 30s, you've shed that chapter—and, perhaps, this breakup is in ways the final shedding. That Jane sees you as "broken," that you are willing to entertain that self-conception while also seeing her as "broken"—well, all that should go a long way toward reminding you that you've made the right choice.

    You own a home in a major city. You have a job that has sent you across the world. You have dreams and ambitions that aren't pipe dreams, but things you can attain, are attaining. Those are the hard facts of your present life, along with this heartache, facts that just about anyone would consider ahead of the curve for someone your age—but made blurry to you by your journey, your past. I do hope they become clear to you. That clarity, I think, will go a long way toward leading you toward the kind of connection you need, want, and deserve. None of that is shallow. Quite the opposite, in fact.

    Yes, the fantasy many of us have is that we only have one big relationship, or perhaps that we have certain things (this much money, this many kids) by a certain age. It's a fantasy few live. The rest of us have a few relationships that teach us two things—what we want and what we don't want—while life delivers the continual lesson that it is always messier than we know, and all the more spectacular for being that way.

  2. #12
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    My best friend wanted to marry fairly young and have kids right away. I wanted to be free and single, travel, never marry and MAYBE have one kid some day. Guess which one of married and had kids fairly young?

    We both are paths we didn't plan on. We got married (her later than she had wanted, me when I HADN'T "wanted") and are mothers. She is currently starting over after a painful divorce, I divorced nearly 20 years ago and have forged my own path since. Different roads leading to similar places. Her new adventure is beginning. I like being on my own and doing my own thing, she is getting used to doing so.

    My point is (as Blue said), just because life doesn't exactly follow the script we wrote doesn't mean anything went wrong. We're just getting there a different way, or are heading to a different destination than we originally thought.

    Same with Jane. She now has the opportunity to build the life she wants. Maybe you think she can't get there without your guidance but you can't know that. She just might do just fine, you know.

    Who knows what's around the corner? Isn't it exciting??

  3. #13
    Silver Member MirrorKnight's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Andrina
    Which parts of your selection criteria do you think is unrealistic?
    It is going to come across really shallow if I spell it out... but I guess it is a bit silly to worry about the judgement of people on the internet.

    My ideal woman (in no particular order) and how Jane fared as an example: (Deal-breaker => Concerns => Acceptable => Perfect)

    1) Kind

    Somebody empathetic, compassionate, loving. Not self-centered, selfish or mean-spirited. How do they treat people they do not need to treat well vs people they need to appease? How do they treat their friends and family?

    Jane: Perfect

    2) Physically attractive.

    This seems obvious, but I think my definition is harsher than most guys. I am physically attracted to perhaps only 25% of women in the appropriate age range and I would regard only perhaps 5-10% as "beautiful". Ideally I want a partner in that top 10%, but I am not a top 10% guy, so realistically, they are out of my league.

    I'm not that shallow that I would only date top 10% though. I would be perfectly happy with any woman as long as there was a sufficient degree of attraction.

    Jane: Acceptable

    3) Tall

    I am short (172cm) for a guy, it sucks to be short. If I have children, I would like them to be taller than me (if boys). Correct a genetic weakness within myself so to speak. I also generally find tall girls more physically attractive, though ideally not taller than me. Given my shortness, that leaves me with a rather awkwardly narrow range of height for ideal partners (165cm-171cm).

    Jane: Perfect

    4) Healthy

    I am not blessed with physical fitness. It's not awful, but I have various niggling issues like short sightness, acne, poor aerobic fitness. I am super jealous of people who can run for miles with minimal effort, great skin without any special treatment... you know, those lucky people. Again, if I have children, I would ideally like to correct some of my genetic weaknesses.

    Jane: Concerns (did not know to begin with)

    5) Positive

    I struggled with serious depression in my 20s. I am scared of relapse. I can sometimes be cynical and lack energy, so I want to be around people who radiate positive energy. You know when you go somewhere new with somebody and the positive person loves every new experience, appreciate the beauty and joy in the mundane and everyday, whilst the negative person complains about the weather, food, etc...

    Jane: Perfect to begin with, dropped towards "Concerns".

    6) "True Love"

    Not sure how to define this. What I mean is that in the ideal world, I want to be "in love" with somebody for who they are and for them for love me for who I am, not what they can do for me or what I can do for them. Yes it looks like I am treating the search for love like an economics question solving for cost-benefit equations and opportunity costs... but I am actually a hopeless romantic who wants "the real deal" instead of settling for a partner or for somebody to settle for me.

    Jane: Perfect

    Those were my 6 main criteria when I met Jane. You can see why I was thrilled with her at the beginning, even knowing the potential issues with our age gap, I wanted to give the relationship a real chance to work.

    Through my experience with Jane, I guess I have to add a 7th criteria.

    7) Compatibility

    You can have "true love" and tick most of the above, but if two people have fundamentally different goals in life, the relationship is still going to be miserable.

    Jane: Deal-breaker

  4. #14
    Silver Member MirrorKnight's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by boltnrun

    Who knows what's around the corner? Isn't it exciting??
    Exciting, yes... but also absolutely terrifying.

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  6. #15
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    Originally Posted by MirrorKnight
    It is going to come across really shallow if I spell it out... but I guess it is a bit silly to worry about the judgement of people on the internet.

    My ideal woman (in no particular order) and how Jane fared as an example: (Deal-breaker => Concerns => Acceptable => Perfect)

    1) Kind

    Somebody empathetic, compassionate, loving. Not self-centered, selfish or mean-spirited. How do they treat people they do not need to treat well vs people they need to appease? How do they treat their friends and family?

    Jane: Perfect

    2) Physically attractive.

    This seems obvious, but I think my definition is harsher than most guys. I am physically attracted to perhaps only 25% of women in the appropriate age range and I would regard only perhaps 5-10% as "beautiful". Ideally I want a partner in that top 10%, but I am not a top 10% guy, so realistically, they are out of my league.

    I'm not that shallow that I would only date top 10% though. I would be perfectly happy with any woman as long as there was a sufficient degree of attraction.

    Jane: Acceptable

    3) Tall

    I am short (172cm) for a guy, it sucks to be short. If I have children, I would like them to be taller than me (if boys). Correct a genetic weakness within myself so to speak. I also generally find tall girls more physically attractive, though ideally not taller than me. Given my shortness, that leaves me with a rather awkwardly narrow range of height for ideal partners (165cm-171cm).

    Jane: Perfect

    4) Healthy

    I am not blessed with physical fitness. It's not awful, but I have various niggling issues like short sightness, acne, poor aerobic fitness. I am super jealous of people who can run for miles with minimal effort, great skin without any special treatment... you know, those lucky people. Again, if I have children, I would ideally like to correct some of my genetic weaknesses.

    Jane: Concerns (did not know to begin with)

    5) Positive

    I struggled with serious depression in my 20s. I am scared of relapse. I can sometimes be cynical and lack energy, so I want to be around people who radiate positive energy. You know when you go somewhere new with somebody and the positive person loves every new experience, appreciate the beauty and joy in the mundane and everyday, whilst the negative person complains about the weather, food, etc...

    Jane: Perfect to begin with, dropped towards "Concerns".

    6) "True Love"

    Not sure how to define this. What I mean is that in the ideal world, I want to be "in love" with somebody for who they are and for them for love me for who I am, not what they can do for me or what I can do for them. Yes it looks like I am treating the search for love like an economics question solving for cost-benefit equations and opportunity costs... but I am actually a hopeless romantic who wants "the real deal" instead of settling for a partner or for somebody to settle for me.

    Jane: Perfect

    Those were my 6 main criteria when I met Jane. You can see why I was thrilled with her at the beginning, even knowing the potential issues with our age gap, I wanted to give the relationship a real chance to work.

    Through my experience with Jane, I guess I have to add a 7th criteria.

    7) Compatibility

    You can have "true love" and tick most of the above, but if two people have fundamentally different goals in life, the relationship is still going to be miserable.

    Jane: Deal-breaker
    Well, I think these expectations are for the most part realistic and not shallow. But I would maybe advise to try to channel your expectations and criteria more so towards personality, behaviour, goals and values, rather than looks. Of course you can't force yourself to be attracted to women you're just not attracted to, but sometimes attraction is not only physical but also emotional and mental. So maybe if you give some women a chance who are not exactly your physical type and there is spark and connection there, it could still work.

    You've mentioned before that you like skinny/slim women, you want them to be tall and pretty. Well no offence but you're kind of talking about a catwalk model there. Plus on top of that you want them to possess all the other things you mentioned and for three to be spark and love. I do think you may be asking too much regarding looks in that sense.

    If you're not a model yourself, you have acne, you had depression and you want your girlfriend to accept this, you also need to accept imperfections in her too. My best friend is very slim and fit, tall and beautiful and also financially successful and nice. She gets hundreds of guys after her. If this is your standard then I just don't think you're going to win the girl. Girls you describe have many options and you'd have a lot of competition. If you want true love and a relationship of substance, it's better to be realistic.

  7. #16
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    I find it interesting that you're trying to find a woman who will "improve" your gene pool, so to speak.

    It does sound like you're looking for more of a breeding mare. I get that "kind" is your number one criteria, but the rest seems to have to do with breeding potential. Compatibility and true love are below the physical characteristics.

    I'm curious to know if you'd reveal this to potential dates or just kind of keep it on the down low.

  8. #17
    Silver Member MirrorKnight's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by boltnrun
    I find it interesting that you're trying to find a woman who will "improve" your gene pool, so to speak.

    It does sound like you're looking for more of a breeding mare. I get that "kind" is your number one criteria, but the rest seems to have to do with breeding potential. Compatibility and true love are below the physical characteristics.

    I'm curious to know if you'd reveal this to potential dates or just kind of keep it on the down low.
    I did write "in no particular order" above my list. If you pushed me for an order, it would probably be:

    1) Kindness
    2) Compatibility
    3) Attractiveness
    4) Height
    5) Healthy
    6) True Love
    7) Positive

    The top 3 probably stand out from the bottom 4, whose positions are somewhat interchangeable.

    I think it is a little harsh to say I am looking for a breeding mare... it's more that if my life works out well, I would ideally like to have children, so I do not seek relationships with women who I would not consider possibly having a family with if things worked out. For example I have met a girl (in the past) who potentially ticked all the above except height... I could have had a fun and enjoyable relationship with her, but I would not want to have children with her, so why waste her time and mine?

    Why do I care so much about "breeding potential" as you call it? I guess because I believe that I should not bring life into this world unless I can provide reasonable odds of a good quality of life. It might be a bit of a bleak world view, but if my entire life is struggle and misery, I would prefer not to have lived at all.

    If there comes a day when I decide that I cannot support a child with the life that I think I ought to provide, I will probably drop Height and Healthy from the above criteria and just choose not to have children at all.

    Oh yeah, I do not list these criteria with people I date, obviously that would not come across well in most circumstances.

  9. #18
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    So if a woman is short you won't have a child with her because he might be shorter than average? Our son is shorter than average. We're both short. Does he like that? Nope. But you know what, life is full of situations where you're going to have to face challenges because of differences -maybe you learn differently, have problem hair, a large nose (and no inclination to do plastic surgery) or ears that stick out like your dads, bad teeth, etc. Some things can be controlled others not so much. My son has great posture like me -so we both appear taller than we are. Not sure it's genetic or coincidence but it's true.
    I'm glad you're rethinking your height restriction.

  10. #19
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    Originally Posted by MirrorKnight
    I did write "in no particular order" above my list. If you pushed me for an order, it would probably be:

    1) Kindness
    2) Compatibility
    3) Attractiveness
    4) Height
    5) Healthy
    6) True Love
    7) Positive

    The top 3 probably stand out from the bottom 4, whose positions are somewhat interchangeable.

    I think it is a little harsh to say I am looking for a breeding mare... it's more that if my life works out well, I would ideally like to have children, so I do not seek relationships with women who I would not consider possibly having a family with if things worked out. For example I have met a girl (in the past) who potentially ticked all the above except height... I could have had a fun and enjoyable relationship with her, but I would not want to have children with her, so why waste her time and mine?

    Why do I care so much about "breeding potential" as you call it? I guess because I believe that I should not bring life into this world unless I can provide reasonable odds of a good quality of life. It might be a bit of a bleak world view, but if my entire life is struggle and misery, I would prefer not to have lived at all.

    If there comes a day when I decide that I cannot support a child with the life that I think I ought to provide, I will probably drop Height and Healthy from the above criteria and just choose not to have children at all.

    Oh yeah, I do not list these criteria with people I date, obviously that would not come across well in most circumstances.
    Well the problem is that you have shallow ideas. Maybe they're not deliberate and more subconscious and I can see you mean well for your future child. But your relationship ideas and ideas about children are ruled by shallow beliefs. You already don't think your child would be good enough because they're shorter and you would reject a shorter woman for that reason. You said literally only her height would be the reason to not pursue the relationship. I'm sorry, what?

    Why do you only place value on yourself, your partner, your child based on physical characteristics alone? And we are not talking about being disfigured here, we are simply talking about being shorter or having pimples. EVERYONE has flaws. Even people who are a model have them, but we don't see them because they wear certain clothes and make-up and often photos are airbrushed.

    I think you have an unhealthy way of thinking which may harm your relationships and even children. Everyone is valuable and especially more for their talents and inner qualities, rather than looks. If you do end up with a child with some flaws, I certainly hope you won't let it show because it could really diminish their self-esteem.

  11. #20
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by MirrorKnight
    6) "True Love"

    Not sure how to define this. What I mean is that in the ideal world, I want to be "in love" with somebody for who they are and for them for love me for who I am, not what they can do for me or what I can do for them. Yes it looks like I am treating the search for love like an economics question solving for cost-benefit equations and opportunity costs... but I am actually a hopeless romantic who wants "the real deal" instead of settling for a partner or for somebody to settle for me.

    Jane: Perfect
    Departing from the above for a moment—while hoping you're listening to these very wise women—I wanted to make a quick observation here. From what you've written, both you and Jane shared something in common: neither of you accepted the other for who they are. Past the height/weight stuff, along with the health/age stuff, you wanted Jane to be more self-sufficient, less dependent on you and others, and more self-possessed, among other things. She, meanwhile, wanted you to be, I don't know, happier with life "as is" rather than so focused on what it "could be."

    So maybe not the "perfect" paradigm, or texture of "true love," that you want to be placing atop the pedestal as you move forward.

    Point being, it is far from "hopelessly romantic" to want the "real deal" that you described: someone you can be yourself around, and vise versa, with love blossoming from that. I'd call that a good baseline—not a moonshot. What makes it seem "hopeless," aside from being in a vulnerable place at present, is that it is really, really hard to inhabit ourselves. It takes work. It takes time—a kind of forever journey that clicks into place for all of us at different speeds. And until we inhabit a pretty decent percentage of ourselves, we're likely to gravitate toward people who either (a) reflect back only the parts of ourselves we accept or (b) reflect back some aspirational version of ourselves we hope to inhabit.

    Which, well, kind of circles back to the discussion unfolding. You are taking something of an aspirational view here—talking about women, and even potential children with women, as variables in an experiment that elevates your own standing in your head. There are real limits to that. Hard to really accept someone, be it a partner or progeny, if you don't accept yourself first—making the baseline a moonshot, and certain depths inaccessible from the shallows.

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