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how to handle craving for a relationship, filling void?


LAYAAN

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I am really craving for companionship these days. I keep myself busy a lot. 7-8 hours are spent in school work (in PhD program). 5-6 hours are spent at the pharmacy (completing internship to become a pharmacist). I'm quite an introvert. Weekends are a bit more relaxed but whenever I'm home alone, I tend to think about men and go back and forth on my decision of turning some men down, think of going back to those that turned me down. I really want to come home to someone especially on weekends. Now, I've started to work extra hours on weekends in a hope that I would come home tired and hit bed right away. My friend said to me the other day and I agree with her "You are running away from this need of yours. You should acknowledge this need instead of running away." While my friends agree that I should have a caring BF, they don't think that marrying right now through arranged marriage system (or even falling in love quickly and tieing the knot with someone in a hurry) is the right thing for me to do. They say that I will wake up one day to realize that I wasn't in the right frame of my mind to make such a serious decision. My parents can't understand what and why I'm feeling. According to them I have so much going for myself. Why do I want to throw that away for the possibility of companionship through marriage and hope of finding a caring person? My mom said to me "If you are craving for marriage, come back to India, we'll find someone and get you married. But if I were in your shoes, I'll complete my education or atleast get an MS, get the license, before I think of going ahead and getting married. I'm afraid you will end up making a poor choice unless you are at a certain stable point emotionally before making this decision. Marriage is unfortunately a legal decision and getting out is difficult and can scar you for life or atleast for a few years before you can get back on track."

I was on EH for a while but a lot of Indian men (I'm of Indian descent too) wanted to get married quickly and they had 2 excuses against me 1) Your schooling is not over so we don't want to be living in 2 different cities 2) You don't have a job/ we are not sure that you will get a job in our city.

I'm at a point where I don't know what to do. Should I join some dating service again so that at least I'm going on dates? I feel like I have this void in my life that only a relationship can fill. I look at other happy couples in my school. Why not me? What is so wrong with me?

Is it just me who feels this way? I would really like to hear from people who have successfully dealt with this feeling. What did you do? How did you handle it?

Thank you.

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i'm in a phd program also. it helps me a lot to have a big group of friends. i try to socialize at least 1-2 times per week. either with a girlfriend one on one, or with a large group. i take dance classes and havemet a lot of friends that way. i would recommend joining dance classes, or some kind of school club/organization where you can naturally meet people with similar hobbies/interests as you. i know you are busy, but i think it's important to carve out some time for a social life too.

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I'm an American of European descent so I can't really relate to Indian culture and the arranged marriages.... however I can recall feeling much the same way you do when I was in college and single.

 

Looking back on that situation now I think your friends have the right idea

-do not deny or run away from your feelings

-don't rush into marriage for the sake of getting married

 

what you need to do is go out and have fun doing things that interest you.

 

check out link removed and check craigslist to see if there are groups in your area that do things you're interested in. I was also an introvert (less so now but I still am) but the only way you're going to get better at meeting people and opening up is to go out and do things in public. Don't go to a bar or a club (not unless that's your "thing") but go out and do things that are fun for you where you will meet other people.

 

If you see someone you find attractive think of something you might have in common and strike up a conversation "so... what do you think about X?" if you're doing something that interests you finding common ground shouldn't be difficult, and once you've broken the ice it's easy to segue into "I'd really like to continue this, want to get some coffee sometime?" and take it from there.

 

date, and have fun and if you stick with someone beyond the honeymooning period and you still feel as strongly about them as you did when the relationship started then start looking at marriage. Don't get married unless it feels right to you and you're sure that it's the person you want to spend the rest of your life with.

 

I think if you keep running away from your feelings you're only going to make things worse for yourself, and if you rush into marriage you're going to regret it down the road when your incompatibilities start rearing their ugly heads.

 

best of luck

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You seem to have some good direction in a few things, but others could use some prodding...

 

Your friend is right in that you should never really intentionally "run away" from problems, but keep in mind also that being OK with being by yourself can be a good thing. So to that end, try to ensure that the distinction between "running away from your problem" does not equate to "running away from being OK by being by yourself." In my opinion, everyone should come to terms with being OK with being by themselves before taking part in relationships. Also, I do believe that being by yourself and going about your daily routine increases the chances of coming accross someone whom shares your wavelengths of life. It's a challenge, no doubt, to do all this in the midst of misunderstanding and anxiety, but whenever you feel that pang of loneliness kick in on the weekends, it's just your body telling you that you've misplaced your idea of self-appreciation or reality satisfaction. In other words, do something you consider to be either fun or relaxing when that feeling begins to set in and while you do it, try to increase your social interactions at the same time. We can never really have too many friends (unless, of course, they become toxic or abusive in some way).

 

One more thing... You're in a Ph.D. program, so there's no room for mistakes or laziness. While I cannot comment on your situation (both personal and professional), I do know many people who appear to be in similar treks and all take advantage of university counseling centers. I would encourage you to do the same merely as a way to seek the outside perspective of someone who is actually qualified to hear you vent and in turn, provide constructive and professional feedback / advice.

 

Hang in there.

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tinu, I would try to figure out why it is so important for you to get married now. - I understand you want companionship/ a relationship - but why does it have to be marriage also immediately?

 

is it just a cultural thing, or do you believe you need to be married to someone so that this person cannot reject you anymore and has to stay with you?

 

i think anything that one feels is an urge/ seems overwhelming covers usually some kind of underlying emotional need/fear, I would recommend to try to figure out what it is.

 

as to your job/educational situation: like everyone else already said: don't throw this away, this is you investing in yourself and your future - no matter what you will do with your degrees afterwards. You can choose not to pursue a career, but at least the choice is yours. YOu can never 100% rely on anyone in life (married or not), but only yourself

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i think if you think of not having someone as a void in your life, you need to not be dating at all.

I agree with you, but I can't practice it. I'm having a hard time. Every female around me is married or in a relationship except me.

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Tinu, I would try to figure out why it is so important for you to get married now. - I understand you want companionship/ a relationship - but why does it have to be marriage also immediately? The reason why its important for me to be married is b'coz 1) I'm already in my 30s 2) and marriage is the only way Indian culture recognizes companionship. I'm fine with dating but I'm not into the western way of sleeping together early on (The farthest I've gone is being intimate but not sex), moving in together, dating for 3-5-7 years. I'm not into all that.

Is it just a cultural thing, or do you believe you need to be married to someone so that this person cannot reject you anymore and has to stay with you? I think it is cultural in a sense of how I'm raised and I certainly feel the pressure too. Since I'm in my 30s, its right time for me to get married. I'm afraid if I wait too long I wont find an Indian man to marry me.

I think anything that one feels is an urge/seems overwhelming covers usually some kind of underlying emotional need/fear, I would recommend to try to figure out what it is. The emotional need is that someone be interested in my life, in me, companionship, someone I can come home to, spend time with. Not so much sex... that I can get anywhere. I'm not sure about kids either yet.

As to your job/educational situation: like everyone else already said: don't throw this away, this is you investing in yourself and your future - no matter what you will do with your degrees afterwards. You can choose not to pursue a career, but at least the choice is yours. YOu can never 100% rely on anyone in life (married or not), but only yourself Yes, I agree with this. I've learned that with a man/without a man, you have only yourself to fall back on. So, I'm not looking for a man to provide me everything.

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tinu, this might sound harsh, but it is not meant to be: if I understand you correctly (?) you want 2 things at the same time that might not necessarily be compatible - on one side you want to be this modern women, with a high education and independence, while on the other side you want to have a relatively traditional (in your cultural context) marriage.

 

if you want a traditional marriage, that will most likely happen with a guy who shares those same type of traditions and most likely (I am aware that I am broadly generalizing) wants to share that with a traditional woman - this is where your problem is: that you cannot fulfill those expectations/ 'prerequisites' since you have not been really traditional and will most likely not been perceived by those type of men as such.

 

In consequence it is going to be an even bigger battle against the odds for you to find that one right man for you who has traditional enough expectations, but yet is open minded enough to accept those things in you that are not traditional.

 

I am by no means suggesting that you are wrong in your wishes/ dreams, I just want to make you be a bit more realistic what it will require from you in order to fulfill those dreams: lots and lots of patients, the will to go through a lot of rejections/ disappointments, thus a thick skin.

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tinu - the one thing i have noticed from here is that having a partner doesn't mean that there is a lot of love, companionship, etc.... many couples just co-exist and hang out with other people. i would finish your PhD, because you will always have your education, but there are no other gaurantees in life. even if you get married, he can divorce you. or he can die. and there you go, you will be single again, but without an education.

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but yes, regarding the 'void' - you need to fill it with YOURSELF. take care of yourself, start some interesting hobbies, join some clubs, learn a new language, get a puppy. the right man will be attracted to you when you are interesting and have a full life.

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well, just show up! look up some interesting things going on on your campus or in your town, and show up. try to go to 2 such events per week. is there an indian student association at your school? i think you should join. maybe meet some like minded indian men who are between cultures.

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I am thinking of leaving PhD and trying to rush to finish my internship b'coz I have a hope that it will raise my market value for marriage. These are the Qs I faced during marriage interview. Your education is going on and we have other girls who have completed their education and have jobs and can find work in our city, so we are not interested in you. Once, I get a job, they won't be able to give me this reason.

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to be honest with you, if you really want to give up the PhD for the prospect of maybe getting married, then you are not PhD material. sorry if that sounds harsh. but i can say, being that i am in a PhD program myself, you need to really WANT it. if you don't want it, then forget it. don't waste your time.

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omg!!! i m not indian but i do understnand ur cultural thing. Why MARRIAGE IS SO IMPORTANT TO YOU!!

 

Why you think that there are not better things to do in life. I took divorce from my husband right after 5 months due to some critical issues. Its been over a year, I have not been physical to anyone or have any rebound or in a relationship.

 

I have soooooooooo many activities going on despite work and studies, i go to gym, i have ALOT of friends, i hang out with them so much!! and then i do voulunteer, i love my independence so much.

 

Trust me, i have so manyy guys running after me too... and i dont care! I dont nee da man in my life to make me fill or void.

 

I have alot of pressure from my family too and i dont care ... i need a life and i am happy to live own my own!!

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Just have some guy friends. I have alot of guys friends. They are always there when I need them and very good.

 

OR just try to be social. Try not to dress like typical indian all the time. U should take care of urself!!

 

In my case, i m so into fashion n clothes and I dress REALLY GOOD!! I do get alot of compliments!! Try that!

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but yes, regarding the 'void' - you need to fill it with YOURSELF. take care of yourself, start some interesting hobbies, join some clubs, learn a new language, get a puppy. the right man will be attracted to you when you are interesting and have a full life.

 

annie, despite me having activities i.e. soccer about 3 times a week, university studies, sometimes hanging out with my sister and contacting my friends, at times I do still wish I had a gf. I don't quite understand it myself either. Once these activities are over, I sit in my little corner and I still feel lonely. Despite having friends to talk to, sometimes they aren't always available and I can totally understand that, so I can't always be meeting up with them to talk to. And I know this goes the same for any gf or bf that you may have - which is a thread I wanted to put up about "does a gf or bf make you less lonely?".

 

I'm just not sure what to do to try to make my life more entertaining during these troughs.

 

waz.maria, I have more girl friends than guy friends, and I don't think it makes a difference. Possibly could be worse since girls like to stick around with each other and then you don't feel like you are involved.

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how many new women do you meet a week? i was reading a book, that asked you to look at how many new people you meet a week. most of us associate with a core group of friends/co-workers, and don't meet new people often. we should try to meet new people.

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I can't remember meeting 'new' women last week or the week before. Perhaps it could be the reason why I fail to enter into a relationship, I don't know. But what I do know is that I'm awfully shy when meeting new people. Even still I managed to enter into a relationship with this personality trait about 6 years ago. I'm the type of person who will stick around that core group of friends and stay closely knitted to them. They mean a lot to me since I don't make many friends often, and I'm glad I do keep in touch with them often even accross geographic borders. To be honest, I may be to blame for my loneliness. I never searched for love because I believe that if things were meant to happen, they will come accross me. Some girl did come accross me, but as you know, life is unfair and a b*tch.

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