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Thoughts on First Relationship

Knight of Hope

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So, it's been a long time since I've posted (haven't posted much since December/January). Don't know how many of you really remember me, but a while back I posted a thread called Tired of being single, and I'm gonna do something about it! (handy dandy link provided). Basically, that thread summarizes my quest for my entire first year of dental school (I started last July) - to at least start dating because I was sick and tired of being permanently single.


As of the last time I posted on that thread, things were going very well. And they continued to go well for quite some time. This girl became my first official girlfriend (accomplished my goal of not being single anymore!), the first girl I ever kissed (multiple times, and it turns out I'm good for a beginner from what she told me), the first girl I ever said "I love you" to, the first girl to tell me she loved me. I even took her home with me at Easter to meet my family! All good stuff, right?


One more thing that I thought was good at the time - she was talking about marriage. It sounded good to me that she was that serious about us, and that she could see us together forever. Since I'm sometimes somewhat lacking in confidence, having her so serious about us was inspiring to me. She was even saying that we might get engaged by next spring! That was very exciting to me because I was very much smitten with her, but a little warning bell went off in the back of my mind. At the time, I didn't know what it was saying.


Now, I know it said - "Hold on buddy this girl's going way too fast!" After all, she will be graduating from college next spring. She had also expressed fears about graduation and going out into the big wide world all alone. Coincidence that she's talking about getting engaged (and married soon after) right about when she's graduating? I think not.


But that was only one of the warning signs. She also has this annoying habit of speaking without thinking. Well, she'd hurt my feelings by doing this, and she did it a lot. I'd ask her to clarify what she meant, and the hurt she caused would slip into my tone. Of course, she would pick up on this - I'm very easy to read. But instead of lovingly asking "I'm sorry. Why were your feelings hurt?" she would become angry with me for expressing that hurt to her. "I just spoke my mind! What's the problem with that?!" she would say. So I would wind up apologizing for something that was her fault to begin with. And this wasn't an isolated event - this was a pattern that kept repeating and kept repeating.


I met her friends once. We never took a picture together. She was convinced that my mother hated her and was out to get her (she wasn't right). She hated my church denomination (both Christian, but I'm very traditional and she's not). She barely talked to anyone when she was home with me - she wouldn't even talk about her school to my little sister (who will be looking at colleges soon). And finally, I had the inescapable feeling that she was trying to change major parts of me. Bad stuff, huh?


Anyway, I still wanted to fix it - I was convinced I loved her. So I tried. And tried. Eventually, the strain was way too great and I didn't feel it could be fixed. I felt constantly drained, and I knew that it wasn't all dental school. Somewhere in my heart, I knew a lot of that feeling was her fault. And so I called her, and I broke it off. All in all, we dated for exactly 9 weeks. Much shorter than I imagined my first relationship being, but I think you'll agree that it had to end.


So I learned a lot of things in this relationship - about myself, about women, about dating, about love. To keep this post from becoming even more monstrously long, here's my Top 5.


(1) There are girls out there that are attracted to me and will date me!


(2) Just having a girlfriend isn't enough. To be really happy, I need the right girlfriend.


(3) There is a point in a relationship where all the effort in the world will not save it. At that point, it is better to cut it off than suffer/inflict needless pain by dragging it out. Also, I am kindhearted, but I can break up with a girl if that situation arises again.


(4) The good parts of this relationship (there were a lot) have convinced me that a relationship with the right girl will be pretty much the best thing ever!


(5) I'm a good snuggler and a pretty decent kisser!


Thank you for reading! Please feel free to share your thoughts and ask your questions! I'd love to answer!

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Good update. Interesting to hear the positives that came out of this experience. You are in great shape moving forward. In the end, you learn different things about yourself which is always important.


For me, I am still struggling to get any girl attracted to me. It is a lifelong quest and hopefully will have an end sooner or later. Unfortunately, I cannot comment or share my own experiences yet as nothing has happened with me.


I'm going through mental and emotional ups and downs lately. I have tried for years to be content/happy being single. I just cannot do that. For my own sake, I really hope that I can experience what you went through sooner rather than later. There are days when it becomes really apparent that time is running short.

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hey man, i'm happy to see you were able to get a girlfriend. even better, you really seem to be able to correct past mistakes and negative behaviors/attitudes. this is what's key if you're trying progress yourself as a person.


instead of giving you advice personally (your 5 lessons seem right on), i just want to point out to people that simply getting a girlfriend will not solve all your problems. life's a progression and there are many lessons to be learned in terms of relationships, even after you have been in one. there's always a way to improve yourself as a person, and that can start right now. a girlfriend will come along the way if you can do this.

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there's always a way to improve yourself as a person, and that can start right now. a girlfriend will come along the way if you can do this.


This has been my motto recently. I've been putting more effort into my schoolwork, and it has been improving. I've gotten myself more involved at my church, and I'm making more and closer friends there.


And here's the big one - I've gotten myself in shape! I weighed around 215 (it wasn't muscle) at the beginning of December, so I bought myself a Wii Fit and started exercising an hour a day. Now, I weigh a bit under 180, just a few pounds from a healthy weight for my height! I look the best I ever have, and I am probably the healthiest I've ever been.


But enough of all that - you get the picture. I'm making myself better - I'm the only one I've got control over, after all. I hate to focus on myself so much... it makes me feel somewhat selfish! But then again, a high (but not arrogant) self-esteem can be a key to that quiet confidence that women find so attractive.


Is this what everyone tried to tell me before I started dating? I think it is, and it does make sense. Now all I need is for that girl to come along!


On a slightly different note, it's strange how much happier I am without her. I was afraid that I'd go back to my old lonely and miserable self that I was before I had a girlfriend. But I haven't. So now the key is to keep this upbeat attitude!


I really hope this thread is an inspiration (like my other one was) to the shy guys and gals on here! I also hope that you all can learn something from it. So maybe you won't repeat my mistakes, etc... though I must admit that making the mistakes was a valuable learning experience.


I guess the only area that still needs improvement is my skills at approaching women. But practice makes perfect for that? Or should I look in places like church, or have mutual friends set me up? Any tips in this area?

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