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What does it mean to have a connection with someone?


Fudgie

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As my latest long-term relationship circles the drain and I'm changing as a person preparing to move on with my life, I wonder about what the future will bring me in terms of relationships. What do I want from a future partner?

 

I am not even sure if I want to be with someone for sure in the future again. My heart isn't broken by any means but I am tired and I sometimes wonder if my effort would be better spent elsewhere in my life.

 

Looking back though, I don't think I ever really found the "connection" I wanted with someone. I am by no means a genius but I have a lot of academic interests that I always wanted to share with a partner. I've studied dead languages for a number of years and when I started doing that when I was in my early teens, I always fantasized about finding a man who studied that too and could "keep up with me", even though it's really rare to find ANYONE who studies this subject. It has nothing to do with my career choice but it's a BIG passion of mine, in my free time.

(Of course, I went to college but didn't find anyone who really interested me.)

 

Nevermind that, I always wanted to find someone who would match me intellectually and emotionally. I think in the past, I've tried to "convince" myself that I've had it with past partners (3 partners) but in the end, I really didn't and we broke up over some pretty big compatibility issues. I have dated older too but I don't think they really "matched" me in the ways that I wanted. It goes beyond just wanting someone "mature". I understand that now.

 

I have lived a privileged but also challenged life thus far...well travelled, well educated, well experienced in several respects, etc. But yet I've grown up in a pretty different family dynamic (developmental disabilities in my family, etc), I've had health issues and had surgery done because I was morbidly obese, diagnosed with severe depression/anxiety when I was a child (I've been on some meds over half of my life, I'm fine now) etc. I can at times be described as "morbid" and "morbidly curious" since I watch dark things (real crime shows) and my mind can go to dark places. I spend my time wondering about things and I love real life mysteries. I like politics, have no religion, and don't want/can't have kids.

 

I always thought that me having a "connection" with someone would mean that they would understand the vast majority of that (upon me explaining of course) and would understand where I was coming from, the person that I am now. and maybe even share some with me. There are a lot of things I do actually like myself that I want to see in a partner. I wanted someone who would love learning as much as I do but also understand my own demons because he would have some of his own, so he would know what it was like. Because I believed that no one could really understand how I would feel unless they had suffered like I had at points in my life. but now I think maybe that's not so good. Many of my boyfriends were abused at some point in their life, usually childhood, and it led to issues in our relationship, not understanding.

 

I don't really know what I'm trying to say here, I'm sorry if this is disjointed. I guess I am wondering what it means to have a "good connection" with someone. I can talk to and laugh with anyone but I've never felt like "it" was there. I've never dated my intellectually equivalent. I always felt like no one really understood my thought pattern even when I tried to explain it, or got what really makes me "tick". I am not the traditionally romantic sort so that's not really what I'm talking about. I wanted someone who would be my intellectual equivalent, love learning, have a morbid curiosity, have a wild, wild, wild imagination like I do yet be grounded and realistic, yet open to personal growth and not completely jaded by life.

 

Is that connection something unattainable? Am I even making sense? Am I just too out there?

BTW, I never gave a hoot about looks and never will. I've lost a lot of weight, still losing, and am a sag bag so I am not judging anyone.

 

I am done settling. I am getting to the point in my thinking where I really realize, I'd rather live and be alone than be with someone again who doesn't connect with me. That isn't a sad thing for me. I am special and I am going to do all that I love and want. I ultimately want a partner to share that with, but I will be fine if I am with myself.

 

Sorry, just my thoughts.

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Did you ever feel truly loved by any of your partners unconditional love where they see you for you and love how you are every part of you and understand how you feel and think without having to explain it every time something happens they just know they can read your facial expressions or tone. For me a connection is they get who you are no explaining no excuses and you can be happy sitting in silence sharing time with each other and you don't need to fill up any silences.

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I've never felt unconditional love by any of my partners. My boyfriend has told me in the past that he does not love me unconditionally several times. He said that flat out.

 

I've always felt that I needed to "explain" a lot, and I mean a LOT. I don't want or expect a mind reader but I sort of would like a long term partner to come to know with SOME things about me, "Oh, I think Fudgie would/woulndn't like this, etc" just from knowing me.

 

I've had the "happy sitting in silence" but to be honest, I do that with many people, even patients at the hospital. I think I am someone that people are okay being quiet around and not feeling awkward.

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To me it means feeling comfortable with the person and like myself. You can feel less of a connection at times, more at other times. I think you are talking about more than just feeling a connection -you are trying to figure out your "musts" for a partner. In my experience, the shorter the list the better. Not because you should settle but because if your list gets too specific and detailed you might (might) want to consider how ready you are for a long lasting relationship - for example you might have a long list because in some way you're trying to avoid getting too close to anyone. Just something to think about.

 

I'm sorry things aren't working out in your current relationship, I really am.

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I think your head is a little cloudy because you are still in the relationship. Once the relationship ends, and you have the chance to process it more, your needs for a new relationship will continue to be clarified.

 

I think the same as you at the ending of my previous rs so I think Darcy got it right.

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I've never felt unconditional love by any of my partners. My boyfriend has told me in the past that he does not love me unconditionally several times. He said that flat out.

 

I've always felt that I needed to "explain" a lot, and I mean a LOT. I don't want or expect a mind reader but I sort of would like a long term partner to come to know with SOME things about me, "Oh, I think Fudgie would/woulndn't like this, etc" just from knowing me.

 

I've had the "happy sitting in silence" but to be honest, I do that with many people, even patients at the hospital. I think I am someone that people are okay being quiet around and not feeling awkward.

 

Bad form off the bf who told you that... why would he think saying that would be helpful. I agree a partner should be able to read you as well if not better than your parents or siblings because you are on a different more intimate level with them. If they don't it just looks like they don't care as much about you and your relationship with them as they do about themselves it is supposed to be a partnership. Maybe you haven't yet found the right man for you the one that gets YOU.

 

You probably have a open heart towards others and are giving of yourself to friends family partners even strangers and when you don't feel that from your partner it makes you question things. You should be able to get the same feeling of love back you give out to someone you are intimate with.

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Are your expectations unrealistic? I don't know. They don't sound unreasonable, but I do know that a list on a piece of paper often sets you up for failure from the get-go. Having a list of boxes to tick off never bodes all that well.

 

However, I can tell you what I've found out myself, over the years.

 

What works best is to find someone whose core values are in line with your own. That means, from parenting to moral subjectiveness, from what you expect in a relationship to what you expect from co-habitation, etc... those things cannot go against one another. You don't have to have all of the same interests, the same education level, even the same political beliefs or religious beliefs. You do have to have respect for the other person, and their beliefs. At your very cores - you need to value the same things. Honesty, integrity, etc. Whatever those values are, you have to find them in another person. That may not look how you expect it to look, but that is the one single thing I have been able to pin down in the successful relationships I've seen (including my own.)

 

A partner should challenge you. Not in a combative way, but in a way that makes you grow. You have to be willing to learn... but everyone has something to teach.

 

There should be both comfort and excitement; euphoria isn't a constantly maintainable state. Contentment is. Periods of euphoria will happen, in both the right and right-for-now relationships.

 

There should be a security in knowing who they are, in who you are with them, and who you will grow to be together.

 

It is not a partner's job to entertain you. A relationship shouldn't be a job in the first place. Once you fall into that role, it's hard to get out of. Yes, it takes work. Yes, it's often hard. Nothing worthwhile is truly "easy" for the duration, typically.

 

The core values lead to a connection and mutual understanding that can typically transcend the rest. If growth, learning, knowledge are important to you - find someone who also feels those are important. It seems like everyone should, but it's not true that everyone does. Their interests don't have to be the same as yours - it's that core belief in growth, in learning, and knowledge that is important.

 

See where I'm going?

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I don't want to put off thinking about this. Neither of us are in a position to break it off for at least a few months, financially and physically (for me, still can't lift anything due to medical reasons - how could I move out?). That's plenty of time to ready myself so I don't get out of the relationship and then do something stupid.

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for example you might have a long list because in some way you're trying to avoid getting too close to anyone. Just something to think about.

 

I'm sorry things aren't working out in your current relationship, I really am.

 

There's probably some truth to that.

 

Thanks. I'll be fine with time. I don't know about him overall but I know I will be fine.

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We've had so many "heart to hearts". It's not that he doesn't understand my point of view, he does, he just doesn't like it and won't accept it. We fight about my family a lot. He hates them and doesn't want me to see them. Wants us to move out of state. That is NOT going to happen. I am done.

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I'm not sure if this will work for you or not, but at least you may want to think about it: could you transition from being in a relationship to being friends and roommates till you both feel able to move out independently? It sounds as if you are both remaining in the relationship for logistic reasons and nothing else - why not be honest about it then and calling it accordingly?

 

If you felt there was no way you can continue to live with him, there would be options to organize a move: ask your family to do the packing for you, pay someone to pack for you, find a roommate to live with etc ...

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I'm so sick of being told that I am stupid, brainwashed, and psychotic. I can do a lot better. He may think of me poorly but I don't think of myself that way. I am not perfect but I am none of those adjectives. I have held my tongue when we argue because I could say terrible things to him that would break his heart.

 

But what's the point of saying those things? He's broken on the inside anyway. He had issues when I met him but I didn't care because he seemed like he was on the road toward fixing himself, becoming a better person on his own. I was wrong.

 

Nothing I could say now will mend him or break him further. I am tired.

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Yikes, on what he thinks of your family.. that must be difficult for you to hear and accept off him, he should try harder to respect how you feel re your own family instead of bad mouthing them, does he even have cause to take digs at them and encourage you have NC with them? I think that is a huge differing of views right there and can cause harm to a relationship, I would never accept a bf telling me that about my family either.

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I'm not sure if this will work for you or not, but at least you may want to think about it: could you transition from being in a relationship to being friends and roommates till you both feel able to move out independently? It sounds as if you are both remaining in the relationship for logistic reasons and nothing else - why not be honest about it then and calling it accordingly?

 

Probably because it's easier for now. No drama, no explaining, just leave things the way they are. Neither of us wants to date other people or anything like that. Still sleep in the same bed. I mean really, I don't care what it looks like on the outside. I will not be dating again (if I do) for a long, long time.

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Yikes, on what he thinks of your family.. that must be difficult for you to hear and accept off him, he should try harder to respect how you feel re your own family instead of bad mouthing them, does he even have cause to take digs at them and encourage you have NC with them? I think that is a huge differing of views right there and can cause harm to a relationship, I would never accept a bf telling me that about my family either.

 

He has his own reasons for not liking my father. That's been going on for a long time. But he hates it when I see my mom now too and doesn't like that I've gotten closer with her. At that point, that's when I knew it was over.

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I am done settling. I am getting to the point in my thinking where I really realize, I'd rather live and be alone than be with someone again who doesn't connect with me. That isn't a sad thing for me. I am special and I am going to do all that I love and want. I ultimately want a partner to share that with, but I will be fine if I am with myself.

 

I don't think you should settle and I don't think what you are looking for is ridiculous at all. We all learn from our past experiences and hopefully you can see the relationship as a learning experience.

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Fudgie, I think a lot of what you're going through is totally normal. Finding the kind of connection you're looking for can be a process and it can take time, but yes it is possible. And the chances are pretty good that sooner or later you'll find that with one or more people even if they aren't a lover. My own experiences have sort of echoed what Lieale says, if the core values match everything else is usually able to fall into place. And there are some things don't matter quite as much or they're things you will turn to friends for. But I think the best relationships are those where the things you do that maybe not so many people do like the dead languages thing (so cool BTW) are things that someone in a good relationship would find highly interesting, because they admire you and like hearing you talk about it and seeing you get enthusiastic. And because they like to learn new things and are open to you expanding their world in news ways and vice versa.

 

I have that with my current SO who yes I confess with great pride never touched a Stephen King book or watched an episode of Criminal Minds before he met me. In return I've been happy to learn that it really is worth it to get up before the sun rises just to get the perfect photograph, because the light under certain circumstances will make an ordinary landscape turn into something of otherworldly beauty. Also that board games can qualify as an intense near-combat experience with the right set of players and a taste for bending the rules a bit. I never knew checkers could be so much fun until I met my current SO.

 

And there are other interests that honestly you'll have to probably get from friends since I don't really think it's possible for one person to fulfill everything you would like or want. My SO refuses point blank to read some of the more macabre true crime books in my library and he never will, but that's where my neighbor and I can have intense coffee shop sessions that make other patrons in the restaurant shoot alarmed looks at us then get up and leave. So I've found a variety of people to have different kinds of connections with, but my SO does have the most.

 

I will say it's better sometimes to stop trying for something and just relax and enjoy your life and any connection you can make no matter with who it's with. What you don't want is a relationship where the other person openly or otherwise rejects something that is very, very important to you. Settling for something that you think is just okay or finding yourself having to deny a part of who you are just to keep a partner happy is almost a sure guarantee you'll be miserable and when I gave up doing that life got really, really good. So that's something to keep in mind too.

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I do think you are right in that it's not possible to share all of your interests with a SO. I understand that. I've never met someone who likes macabre documentaries like I do and I'm not really expecting that someone to share that.

 

The dead language thing though, it would be REALLY REALLY cool to meet someone who did that as well. Because it's a very intense passion of mine and it took me years to get where I am so if I had to teach someone, it would take years too. It would be cool to meet someone who knew as much as I do.

 

I definitely have struggled in the past to meet people with the same values. It is true for friends too. I never had a "group" of friends that I hang out with. All of my friends are one-on-one. I never have fit into a particular group or clique. It's very specific. I get "certain things" out of each one friend but I think when it comes to relationships, I falter, especially as the relationship goes on. I find that my partners will sometimes feign interest or enthusiasm for things that I like and I don't really "get it" until later. What a let down.

 

While I don't have that baby desire, I worry about my age. I worry that if I wait TOO long, I'll meet a great guy later and he'll have had some kid and I'll have to deal with that versus meeting him when he's younger, before he procreates, and thus, no kid is there. It was SO hard to find people who don't want children and I fear that will be harder when I get older because they will have already had kids and then that's a mess I don't want to get involved in. Plus, I feel like if a guy really shared my values, he, like me, wouldn't want children.

 

But I am not keeping my hopes very high. I know I want something that's probably pretty rare. I do try to distract myself from worrying about the future though. I am imagining life solo, thinking where I would live, how I would fill my time, who I would talk to, etc. I'm either going to move back home or move back to my hometown and live in a studio because it's cheap and I will drive to work. I don't mind living at home as long as I keep my job so I can contribute.

 

Right now I am doing what I want to do. I go where I want and do what I want.

 

I will never settle again. I will be alone before that happens.

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No worries, I don't plan on dating for at least a couple of years. But I figure I need to emotionally ready myself NOW so that I don't screw myself up again.

 

I agree with greywolf. Being single for a while - becoming more comfortable within your own skin and healed in your key family relationships - is the best mechanism for emotionally readying yourself.

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