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How do you differentiate between healthy and unhealthy reasons when looking for a partner


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Recently I started discovering a frightening attitude of mine. I am going out on dates with different girls and my end goal is finding a partner for life (well, at least theoretically). BUT, I really feel a void when I think about it. I am satisfied with other areas of my life (job, family, friends, hobbies) but I really miss the companionship of a girlfriend.


So, when I meet a girl I like, I don't think about how nice it would be to get to know her more, to enjoy our dates without expectations, to have fun, to see if we are compatible etc. I am just fixating on that "need" for having a girlfriend (which I guess stems from some kind of need for emotional support, validation, sex if you wish etc.) and proceed like this is the ultimate goal of mine. It doesn't matter that I don't even know that girl and it may turn out we are not compatible at all, the fact that I like her at least a bit makes her a potential partner in my head. So I start making plans, start dreaming about the future and so on. In other words - I put the horse before the cart. I imagine it something like a two step process - I go out with a girl and I like her and then we are bf/gf somewhere in the future (in my head). The process between these two events is missing - whether she would like me too, would we be compatible, won't she meet somebody she likes better while we are dating and leave for him etc. I just want to reach the end goal with a giant leap, skipping all these things, so I can calm down. Once I have a gf (which I like, of course), I will be satisfied and my life will be perfect. Like it's the missing part in the puzzle. Having a girlfriend will satisfy my desire for companionship, support, sex (healthy desires, I guess) and my need for validation (unhealthy one, I suppose). I feel like not having a girlfriend makes me a bad person. I am constantly seeing happy couples and I feel sad. I really want to have a partner, to give and receive love, and I am torturing myself thinking about it all the time. Like I am not good enough for somebody to be with me...


So how do you differentiate between healthy and unhealthy reasons when looking for a partner? What are the natural reasons for a human being to want a companion? I may have some of them, but for sure I've got plenty of unhealthy ones (need for validation, ego stroking, social pressure etc.) and they get the best of me. How do you remove the "need" to be in a relationship (I feel like my happiness depends on having a gf)? I want to find a partner for the right reasons so our relationship is a healthy and stable one. But at the moment, coming from a place of scarcity (I am single for an year now, no matter I've met 11 different girls for the past 6 months), I feel more and more urge to find a gf and I am ready to attach to any girl I like (without even spending enough time to get to know her and see if we are meant for each other). How stupid is that?


I know I've got a lot of deep rooted issues (neediness, insecurity, low self-esteem, big ego etc.) and I want to learn as much as I can about myself so any help will be appreciated. I've got an appointment with my counselor but I count on the different opinions here.

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It's fine to want to find a long term partner, but you may be putting too much pressure on this. All your friends and colleagues are in relationships or married and you see that as a success in life, I get it (been there).


But stop assuming that being married = success:

1. you don't know the day-to-day routine of your friends and their partners, even if they seem happy together or post 10 cute pictures a day of themselves on social media, this doesn't mean they are truly happy or have a good relationship going on

2. try to think of someone who is single and that you think this is a successful and happy person

3. how many people do you know that had long term relationships, maybe even kids, and ended up in a divorce?


Try to question and observe if relationships really equal a complete life. You will realize that it isn't like that. Even if you find a girlfriend, nothing is guaranteed forever.


Doesn't mean you should give up on finding someone but just try to take this pressure off yourself. Our body language reflects a lot about your feelings and the women you meet may feel these impatient vibes coming from you.

We often meet our partners when we are not expecting/looking for it, when we are just happy and enjoying life as it is (happened to me). People want to be with people that are happy and relaxed and this is what you may need to change in yourself.

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I guess it's fine to want to find a long term partner but I am affraid I want it for the wrong reasons (at least some of them, not all) - it's like I rely on a relationship to be happy and not being in one makes me feel not good enough. I want to remove the unhealthy part of the equation. I admit putting too much pressure on this. I don't know if relationships really equal a complete life, it's just a part of my life that's missing and I want it (I am satisfied with other areas of my life). Of course nothing's guaranteed forever but I don't think about it in such a pessimistic way : ) As for the body language - I guess some women (not many) may have felt such vibes from me but most of the times I am not such a mess when out on a date. In fact it's quite the opposite, I am calm and relaxed (sometimes even a "nice guy"), I make jokes, tease, flirt to some degree etc. But when alone with myself, between/after dates, I am eating myself from the inside, thinking about the girl and whether she's liked me, will she text me, what I should do now and so on. I walk on eggshells. Like I am in a mine field and try to navigate my way to her heart. I ignore many of the things I don't like about the girl (if they aren't deal breakers for me, of course) and proceed with the ultimate goal in mind - to be in a relationship with her. I don't assess girls thoroughly, if I like her a little bit and there aren't some red flags to me, I automatically aim for a relationship - picture our next date, our relationship and so on. So I don't have high standards, I guess. It's like I am the one trying to live up to a girl's standards (I don't even know what they are and if it's not only in my head) and I try to "win" her over. I come from a lower position always.

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You seem to know what the problem is quite well. You are right about all you say: ignoring red flags, things you don't like about this girl, you seem to be willing to accept any of them for a partner even though you are not a good match.


Getting to the point where you are really happy with yourself and having a relationship is rather an extra plus point in your life instead of being a missing piece, will probably be hard work.


I have been kind of like you are in the past, though I wouldn't accept all of the guys I would meet as potential partners, I was believing that being in a relationship was success. It took 2 years therapy (also working on other issues) and I got to a point in my life where I was really happy and enjoying my single life. That was when I met my current husband. At the beginning I didn't even consider him as a potential partner, but as we continued our contact things just developed so smoothly, without any of us having to make any effort or over analyze things, that we ended up staying together, live together, get married.


I think making this type of change in ourselves takes some time - it's almost like a personality change, not easy. But I think you are on the right track by recognizing where the problem lies and wanting to change this.

Don't lower yourself and chase a woman you don't feel like is the right match. That is just a waste of time and won't get you anywhere.


May I ask your age?

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I think I know what the problem is (I hope) but it's just in my rational mind. My emotions drive me insane with all this self-torture so knowing the problem doesn't help me a lot but at least it is something to begin with, I suppose. That thing with ignoring things I don't like about a girl - I really struggle to find the line between being too picky and accepting almost everything that the other person offers. I mean - I know two people have to make compromises, nobody's perfect. But I don't know where the boundary is so I err on the side of accepting most of the flaws a girl has. It is additionally backed up by my low self-esteem and thinking that I am not good enough for somebody so I am content with almost anything that comes my way (I don't like every girl, of course, but my bar is not set high to say the least). I want to get to that point of being happy single so a relationship would be a bonus point, but at the moment I really see it as a missing part from the puzzle. I will continue reading and going on therapy and I am happy with the help received on this forum so I hope some day I'll be a better version of myself. P.S. I am 30 year old.

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