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Thread: Dating with Codependency

  1. #11
    Silver Member Dalesboy's Avatar
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    Thank you everyone for the great feedback. I'm so glad I posted this thread.

    Originally Posted by DancingFool

    Thing is that being aware is your greatest asset because you can now work on all that. Should you be jumping into dating right now? Well....that's a very codependent thing to do isn't it? It's kind of avoiding exactly that - the hard work you need to actually do on yourself so that you can make a good partner who actually bring something of value to be table instead of just taking.
    This is a very good point, and I think you are very much right.
    I think I have had a fear of time passing by, I'm 35....dare I say still a virgin, very limited experiences with women due to a lack of confidence. This has been building and playing on mind for many years. However all of thes examples are very much NOT a reason to be dating. I think it's been all that harder due to the fact I only have one family member left which is my mother who has never been a 'mother' to me. So there's a whole 'family' aspect missing in my life. Again though, not a reason to be dating.

    3 years I've thought I was healing since my Grandad (brought up by grandparents and called him Dad) passing, but I've been stagnating and it's only in the past few weeks that I can finally see that now.

    I'm losing weight, and hopefully at the rate the weight is coming off next year I may get down to somewhere that I'd class as being relatively a healthy weight. Something I've never been in my entire life. It's all sort of exciting.

    Its sad that I have clearly been codependent since my teens when I look back on why I wanted to be in relationships. Its a horrible feeling and I certainly wouldn't wish it on anyone.

  2. #12
    Platinum Member DancingFool's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Dalesboy
    Thank you everyone for the great feedback. I'm so glad I posted this thread.



    This is a very good point, and I think you are very much right.
    I think I have had a fear of time passing by, I'm 35....dare I say still a virgin, very limited experiences with women due to a lack of confidence. This has been building and playing on mind for many years. However all of thes examples are very much NOT a reason to be dating. I think it's been all that harder due to the fact I only have one family member left which is my mother who has never been a 'mother' to me. So there's a whole 'family' aspect missing in my life. Again though, not a reason to be dating.

    3 years I've thought I was healing since my Grandad (brought up by grandparents and called him Dad) passing, but I've been stagnating and it's only in the past few weeks that I can finally see that now.

    I'm losing weight, and hopefully at the rate the weight is coming off next year I may get down to somewhere that I'd class as being relatively a healthy weight. Something I've never been in my entire life. It's all sort of exciting.

    Its sad that I have clearly been codependent since my teens when I look back on why I wanted to be in relationships. Its a horrible feeling and I certainly wouldn't wish it on anyone.
    Thing is that your life situation is where most people are at - grandparents passing away, parents aging, unbalanced or even toxic family relationships and sorting out how to deal with that, etc. We all have to deal with that, it's just part of life and yours isn't different in that respect.

    Most kids don't actually grow up with the soccer mom. When I was competing, there were maybe one or two soccer moms or really team moms - the quintessential mini van driving, giant purse and cooler lugging mom who had snacks and drinks and bandages for everyone and spare things and mending stuff on the fly kind of mom. My point though is that majority of us didn't have that super involved doting parent and we all still grew up without being codependent. I would say that my own mother is flat out cold. So what? It's who she is, you know?

    You really have to learn somehow to value the life that you have instead of looking at others and wanting forever something else because that's the definition of hell. I think you are very much waking up to that and doing things to benefit you. Losing weight is fantastic and will serve you well forever. It's quite an achievement and something you can look at and say to yourself "I did because I can." That's how learning self reliance starts and it does feel good, doesn't it? That knowing that you can deep down. Doesn't mean that it's easy, but that makes the achievement all the more sweet.

    The other factor is that as a guy, you don't have that clock ticking. You very much can spend a solid year or two working on yourself, getting your life in order emotionally and otherwise and once you do that, you'll find that right relationship and it will be healthy and lasting. There was actually a journal, if I remember correctly by a guy who had some challenges and was very much in similar shoes as yourself. He sought out counseling, he worked really really hard on himself and once he got himself together, he met the right woman as well. It's quite inspiring. Maybe someone can recall that journal and link it for you. My point is really that you are not alone in your journey.

  3. #13
    Silver Member Dalesboy's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by DancingFool
    Thing is that your life situation is where most people are at - grandparents passing away, parents aging, unbalanced or even toxic family relationships and sorting out how to deal with that, etc. We all have to deal with that, it's just part of life and yours isn't different in that respect.

    Most kids don't actually grow up with the soccer mom. When I was competing, there were maybe one or two soccer moms or really team moms - the quintessential mini van driving, giant purse and cooler lugging mom who had snacks and drinks and bandages for everyone and spare things and mending stuff on the fly kind of mom. My point though is that majority of us didn't have that super involved doting parent and we all still grew up without being codependent. I would say that my own mother is flat out cold. So what? It's who she is, you know?

    You really have to learn somehow to value the life that you have instead of looking at others and wanting forever something else because that's the definition of hell. I think you are very much waking up to that and doing things to benefit you. Losing weight is fantastic and will serve you well forever. It's quite an achievement and something you can look at and say to yourself "I did because I can." That's how learning self reliance starts and it does feel good, doesn't it? That knowing that you can deep down. Doesn't mean that it's easy, but that makes the achievement all the more sweet.

    The other factor is that as a guy, you don't have that clock ticking. You very much can spend a solid year or two working on yourself, getting your life in order emotionally and otherwise and once you do that, you'll find that right relationship and it will be healthy and lasting. There was actually a journal, if I remember correctly by a guy who had some challenges and was very much in similar shoes as yourself. He sought out counseling, he worked really really hard on himself and once he got himself together, he met the right woman as well. It's quite inspiring. Maybe someone can recall that journal and link it for you. My point is really that you are not alone in your journey.

    Thanks for this. Some of it is hard to hear but I get you. I agree regarding being that age, but I suppose being brought up by grandparents it was inevitable it was going to happen sooner. I think I've been very much 'victimising myself' for being 'alone', but as I said to a good friend yesterday.....I'm blessed to have some good friends and I need to start looking on them as family.

    I suppose when I said the clock is ticking, it is just that my 20s have flown by and I haven't lived. I do appreciate the clock ticking for women is a far more pressing issue. I would like to see a link if anyone can find it to that journal, thank you.

    I think I've felt very alone for a long time. Again, I appreciate this forum greatly.

  4. #14
    Silver Member Dalesboy's Avatar
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    I watched this last night before bed, very useful about improving self esteem. As I hate being overweight (I'm working on it successfully), but accepting and liking how I am now is going to be my biggest challenge.


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  6. #15
    Platinum Member catfeeder's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Dalesboy
    I think I've felt very alone for a long time. Again, I appreciate this forum greatly.
    The up side to being alone is that you learn that you're able to do it.

    That's actually a far more advantageous position than those who compulsively monkey-branch from relationship to relationship, never understanding why those all blow up, as they grow more and more desperate to find and keep someone in their lives.

    So you know that you 'can' live solo. Your next step is learning how to enjoy it and view it as a position with options.

    This requires choosing the right lens through which you view yourself as valuable rather than damaged and worth-less. We are all imperfect, we all have flaws, and there isn't one human who is inherently more valid and valuable than anyone else.

    We are each uniquely valuable because we exist. What we opt to DO with our value, and whether we opt to 'see' it and capitalize on it to invest in an expansion of our value--that's up to us. While it's fortunate that some have had parents who've taught and cultivated certain skills in doing that, skills are skills--they can be learned.

    So the question becomes, what am I doing to appreciate my self worth? If I'm willing to trash it every time I encounter someone who does not own the capacity to see and appreciate my value WITH me, then who owns that decision?

    Most people are NOT our match. Most people do NOT own the capacity to see and appreciate our value, and that speaks of their limits rather than of any deficiency in us. Those are natural odds. It's a level playing field for those of us who seek only ONE partner.

    If finding love were simple, what would be so special about it? Hold out for simpatico with the RIGHT person. That person will see your value, but you'll need to see it first, yourself.

    Head high, your intentions and focus are in the right place. Keep up the great work!

  7. #16
    Silver Member Dalesboy's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by catfeeder
    The up side to being alone is that you learn that you're able to do it.

    That's actually a far more advantageous position than those who compulsively monkey-branch from relationship to relationship, never understanding why those all blow up, as they grow more and more desperate to find and keep someone in their lives.

    So you know that you 'can' live solo. Your next step is learning how to enjoy it and view it as a position with options.

    This requires choosing the right lens through which you view yourself as valuable rather than damaged and worth-less. We are all imperfect, we all have flaws, and there isn't one human who is inherently more valid and valuable than anyone else.

    We are each uniquely valuable because we exist. What we opt to DO with our value, and whether we opt to 'see' it and capitalize on it to invest in an expansion of our value--that's up to us. While it's fortunate that some have had parents who've taught and cultivated certain skills in doing that, skills are skills--they can be learned.

    So the question becomes, what am I doing to appreciate my self worth? If I'm willing to trash it every time I encounter someone who does not own the capacity to see and appreciate my value WITH me, then who owns that decision?

    Most people are NOT our match. Most people do NOT own the capacity to see and appreciate our value, and that speaks of their limits rather than of any deficiency in us. Those are natural odds. It's a level playing field for those of us who seek only ONE partner.

    If finding love were simple, what would be so special about it? Hold out for simpatico with the RIGHT person. That person will see your value, but you'll need to see it first, yourself.

    Head high, your intentions and focus are in the right place. Keep up the great work!
    Very powerful words Catfeeder, thank you.

    Today as it happens, has been a special day....and I think I mean that. I've really started to value myself, stopped thinking about being overweight and I asked myself what could qualities I had. Caring, kind, loving, thoughtful, funny (perhaps)..... but I stopped myself looking for what was negative, and it felt incredibly rewarding.

    On my walk tonight, I had a long imaginary chat with my ex.....felt like I was putting to bed 3 years of codependent pain. I told her I knew she was never right for me, but the fear of being alone outweighed that. I told her we were never meant to be together and I was sorry for my codependent behaviour, plus pointing out were were both as bad as each other. Ultimately I thanked her for finishing it with me.

    I'm not naive to believe that is the end of my troubles, but its a start I think. Maybe not all the weight has lifted off my shoulders, but a small part has at least.

  8. #17
    Silver Member Dalesboy's Avatar
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    I've also downloaded the audio version of 'Codependency for Dummies' onto my phone. Ideal for listening to on my commute.

  9. #18
    Platinum Member catfeeder's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Dalesboy
    Very powerful words Catfeeder, thank you.

    Today as it happens, has been a special day....and I think I mean that. I've really started to value myself, stopped thinking about being overweight and I asked myself what could qualities I had. Caring, kind, loving, thoughtful, funny (perhaps)..... but I stopped myself looking for what was negative, and it felt incredibly rewarding.

    On my walk tonight, I had a long imaginary chat with my ex.....felt like I was putting to bed 3 years of codependent pain. I told her I knew she was never right for me, but the fear of being alone outweighed that. I told her we were never meant to be together and I was sorry for my codependent behaviour, plus pointing out were were both as bad as each other. Ultimately I thanked her for finishing it with me.

    I'm not naive to believe that is the end of my troubles, but its a start I think. Maybe not all the weight has lifted off my shoulders, but a small part has at least.
    Great job, DB! I've found it helpful while walking to have the same kinds of conversations. One of the most productive has been a dual role: my Adult Self as coach and mentor to my Child Self.

    This might be useful to you, because you attribute some of your difficulties to a flawed parent. So what happens when we recognize that we have outgrown the influence of anyone who may have harmed us as a child or a teen or even as an adult?

    It's one thing to assert that recognition, but it's another to actively engage in our own healing by mentoring the aspects of ourselves that are stuck in old wounds.

    By allowing the 'wounded younger self' to voice a complaint or position, we can hear that voice and validate it, even while we teach ourselves through our earned self sufficiency how and why these painful events needn't continue to be viewed through a self destructive lens.

    If you've ever walked through a pre-school or elementary school, you've noticed how the miniature furniture barely reaches your knees. While it's appropriately sized for small children, it would no longer serve the purposes of an adult--much less intimidate an adult. Same is true of our mental landscape when we can view it through an adult lens. What served us as self preservation in the past does not usually work to our advantage as adults. While it's easy to recognize this intellectually and gloss it over, it's quite another to work 'though' the emotional aspects of old wounds in order to heal those.

    So keep up the great work! Keep walking, and use the time for self-therapy. This doesn't replace professionally guided therapy, but I can't think of a better time than changing the body to also change the mind.

  10. #19
    Silver Member Dalesboy's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by catfeeder
    Great job, DB! I've found it helpful while walking to have the same kinds of conversations. One of the most productive has been a dual role: my Adult Self as coach and mentor to my Child Self.

    This might be useful to you, because you attribute some of your difficulties to a flawed parent. So what happens when we recognize that we have outgrown the influence of anyone who may have harmed us as a child or a teen or even as an adult?

    It's one thing to assert that recognition, but it's another to actively engage in our own healing by mentoring the aspects of ourselves that are stuck in old wounds.

    By allowing the 'wounded younger self' to voice a complaint or position, we can hear that voice and validate it, even while we teach ourselves through our earned self sufficiency how and why these painful events needn't continue to be viewed through a self destructive lens.

    If you've ever walked through a pre-school or elementary school, you've noticed how the miniature furniture barely reaches your knees. While it's appropriately sized for small children, it would no longer serve the purposes of an adult--much less intimidate an adult. Same is true of our mental landscape when we can view it through an adult lens. What served us as self preservation in the past does not usually work to our advantage as adults. While it's easy to recognize this intellectually and gloss it over, it's quite another to work 'though' the emotional aspects of old wounds in order to heal those.

    So keep up the great work! Keep walking, and use the time for self-therapy. This doesn't replace professionally guided therapy, but I can't think of a better time than changing the body to also change the mind.
    Thank you for this.

    This possibly sounds a silly question, regarding the child and adult conversation, are you talking as you still...the child you to the adult you? Or as child you to an imaginary parent? I'm presuming the former.

    Seeing my counsellor on zoom at 7 tonight. Plenty to talk about tonight.

  11. #20
    Platinum Member catfeeder's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Dalesboy
    Thank you for this.

    This possibly sounds a silly question, regarding the child and adult conversation, are you talking as you still...the child you to the adult you? Or as child you to an imaginary parent? I'm presuming the former.

    Seeing my counsellor on zoom at 7 tonight. Plenty to talk about tonight.
    I reach for my biggest child or teen or young adult complaints from my past, and I voice those to myself as an adult. Then I approach a response as my adult self to soothe the younger self and explain what I know today that I didn't know then.

    Lots of times I'm able to respond to my younger complaints with a whole new vision of why someone hurtful may have behaved as they did. I encourage the younger 'wounded' self to draw on compassion for that person given the new hindsight. In teaching my younger self to let go of the locked vision and adopt new, more enlightened vision, I move a small brick in my wall.

    This helps me to let go of 'stuff' that has solidified and hindered me in certain ways. I don't need to figure out how, all I need to do is recognize what I'm holding onto that may be preventing me from moving forward. If I can address that stuff, it may be a hit-or-miss as to how liberating letting go of any given incident may become, but I'm doing the work, and any gains build confidence in my ability to self soothe and expand my vision for the future. All because I'm releasing the stuff from my past that may be locking me into stagnation.

    One key is to teach my younger self to forgive myself for any mistakes I made along the way if I did not handle a given incident advantageously. This is big, because self forgiveness teaches me to forgive the faults of others as I navigate forward. This is important, because it reduces self injury from gnawing unnecessary bones. Things impact me less, because I learn how to stop triggering the old wounds every time I encounter something that I could opt instead to handle well today.

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