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Is this just what "compromise" is?


SonicHighway
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I think like what the other's said, if you want something different (sounds like you want a genuine relationship where you feel like you're deeply in love with someone), then you won't ever be truly happy with just a FWB situation.

 

Life doesn't have to be complicated though, you either choose that, and realize you won't feel truly fulfilled deep down according to what you're saying, OR just be picky and go after women who are what you actually want.

 

I'm sure you can do it.

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Now, it seems, you're challenging yourself to approach things more actively, wading a toe in: with your friend, with a so-so date, with this woman. Wonderful! Shake the snow globe and all that presents a story of abundance: options, exploration, a compass sharpening. What you have "at this point" is...quite a bit. Your last thread on here made it sound like your friend was the only woman on planet earth. Five minutes later, during a pandemic no less, you've met one woman, have this opportunity. Think about that as if it were a math problem: odds are in your favor that there is more than all this, as long as you make the effort to find it and clarify what you want.

 

Perhaps, but is there really much to any of these things? I haven't had the chance to actually talk to my friend but it's likely that will lead to nothing. The one date I did go on last month amounted to nothing and I haven't met anyone new to try going on dates with. And even with my current "FWB" woman, that could easily fizzle out at any moment (especially since she and I aren't super local, so traveling might eventually erode interest). Right now, this "FWB" thing is really the only thing I have going on, and it's iffy enough that it could easily go away, and if/ when it does, I'm back to not really having anything.

 

Granted, that's not to be overly negative or pessimistic about these things. I'm just not sure I really look at these situations and feel like I have an "abundance of options". At the end of the day, I have feelings for a friend I likely can't be with, I went on one date that amounted to nothing, and I'm currently engaging with a woman I met online in a possibly questionable "long distance FWB" type situation. So, I dunno.

 

You got involved with someone who you don't want to be in a relationship with.

 

You did this because you can't be in a relationship with the person that you do want to be with.

 

It's like you're trying to prove that if you can't be with your friend, you can't be with anyone.

 

That's silly. It's a defeatist attitude.

 

Yes, dating can be an unpleasant, arduous experience. But you have absolutely no chance of success if you give up before you even start.

 

I don't really think of it as "If I can't have my friend, I can't have anyone". It's just... Okay, so, I haven't really been thinking about "dating" in a very long time. 4+ years, I'd estimate. I had put it out of my mind, I wasn't thinking about it, I wasn't dwelling on it, I wasn't allowing myself to feel that sense of "loneliness", I was just trying to focus on what I did have, and getting through my day to day life as it came to me. I'd put it out of my mind, and I was doing fine, I think.

 

When I started having feelings for my friend, it's like the "flood gates" opened up in my head, and I've not been able to stop thinking about my "loneliness", and my desire for human companionship. And with my friend, I felt like we're already sort of "halfway there"; we're really good friends, really close, we seem to care about and value each other quite a bit. Being able to take that into something more just seems so wonderful, like exactly what I'd want. So, it's difficult and painful having to accept that that's just "fantasy" that likely can't ever happen in real life.

 

And I know she'll undoubtedly be able to find someone sooner rather than later. I'd be shocked if she's not in a new relationship by January or February. She'll find someone that she's happy and excited with, and has all of those things with, and she'll start building a life with someone, and I'll... still be here, exactly where I am, alone, with no real options or prospects on the horizon.

 

This combination of thoughts had been weighing on me quite heavily for the last few weeks... Knowing that I can't truly be with my best friend, realizing how very "lonely" I am for that kind of companionship, feeling like I have no real options, knowing I'll have to watch the person I really want to be with right now build a life with someone else while I remain alone... It's been keeping me in a pretty low place.

 

This FWB situation kind of came out of nowhere, and while it's certainly not what I "want" in the long term, it's been a solid distraction (at least up until the last couple of days). She's been making me feel good about myself, she's been helping me feel excited, we've been having fun, I haven't been "thinking' much about anything else... But now that the "newness" is wearing off, everything is kind of hitting me, and I'm starting to take a step back and actually process what's been going on over the last couple of weeks. And I'm just feeling weird about all of it.

 

I don't know what, if anything, will come of this FWB situation. Maybe we'll keep it going and eventually meet up and have sex. Maybe we'll keep chatting but it'll gradually decline and we'll fizzle out. I don't know. But it's "more" than what I had before, even if it's not what I really "want". What I "want" feels impossibly out of reach, and if I can't have what I "want", I dunno, I guess I just figure maybe I need to learn to be happy with what is available to me, even if it's not what I was hoping for or expecting. I dunno.

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Life doesn't have to be complicated though, you either choose that, and realize you won't feel truly fulfilled deep down according to what you're saying, OR just be picky and go after women who are what you actually want.

 

Well, "picky" or not, it doesn't appear to me like there are any women to "go after" for what I "really want". Or if they are, I sure as heck don't know how or where to find them.

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This FWB situation kind of came out of nowhere, and while it's certainly not what I "want" in the long term, it's been a solid distraction (at least up until the last couple of days). She's been making me feel good about myself, she's been helping me feel excited, we've been having fun, I haven't been "thinking' much about anything else... But now that the "newness" is wearing off, everything is kind of hitting me, and I'm starting to take a step back and actually process what's been going on over the last couple of weeks. And I'm just feeling weird about all of it.

 

Well yes. It's like thinking of a Michelin star restaurant and anticipating the head chef cooking for you and then ending up in the drive through of McDonalds. It is definitely going to be weird.

 

Good for you for recognizing that. I think you're thinking about things critically which is good. Most people just end up at the McD's drive thru and couldn't care less. You do. That's the difference.

 

Why not just keep it at arm's length and don't agree to meet up with her? What's the point anyway? Getting an STD? Covid? Being part of someone's "mix"? I don't know about you but there's something dehumanizing about this and it devalues the intimacy shared between two people.

 

I have opportunities to meet for sex and while I've done it here and there it doesn't offer much by way of fulfilment or interest in the long term. I also have a tendency to compartmentalize naturally... probably since I was a child so I'm not opposed and don't find it difficult thinking of people or things for specific purposes. If there's no reason to overlap, I don't overlap or confuse emotions for purpose. I think I lose interest fairly quickly and either end up being impatient or unresponsive. Similar to you, there is a pervasive weirdness about it that has never sat well with me even though the fun of it is apparent at the beginning. There is something richer about being with someone with whom you can connect with on more than one level and I can't continue to keep interacting for example with an FWB with the emotional range of a jellyfish.

 

Whatever you are looking for it's possible. I still don't think casual sex is wrong. But you'll have to determine whether it's important enough for you to engage with or whether its reward is great enough for you to spend energy or time on. We travel through life, I believe, in different periods or with different sets of challenges. At any time you'll find yourself longing for companionship or friendship. There are lots of people out there. Lots of choices too. It's really up to you.

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It's a little premature to be drawing conclusions about compromise in relationships.

 

When people talk about compromise in relationships, they mean agreements between the two people who are in a relationship.

 

You are not in a relationship. In your case, you are compromising yourself and your own relationship goals.

 

You got involved with someone who you don't want to be in a relationship with.

 

You did this because you can't be in a relationship with the person that you do want to be with.

 

It's like you're trying to prove that if you can't be with your friend, you can't be with anyone.

 

That's silly. It's a defeatist attitude.

 

Yes, dating can be an unpleasant, arduous experience. But you have absolutely no chance of success if you give up before you even start.

 

I agree. When I asked if you would advise your friend to do what you're doing I meant a hypothetical friend not that particular woman you want to be with. I dated on and off for 24 years before I became the right person to find the right person. I was 42 and he was as well when we married. First marriage. Neither of us ever had casual sex or settled in that way or the way you are describing even though at least for me it was incredibly hard to find the right person. And hard for many I know who are lovely people of character and integrity and all that good stuff. You seem to be relying on social media recounts and the bragging that goes on about how "easy" it is to find the right person.

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So, it's difficult and painful having to accept that that's just "fantasy" that likely can't ever happen in real life.

 

That should be difficult to accept, because it's not true. But, by settling for less than what you want in a relationship, you are behaving like it is true. So, what do you really believe?

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I agree. When I asked if you would advise your friend to do what you're doing I meant a hypothetical friend not that particular woman you want to be with.

 

Ah. I misunderstood. My bad. Still, in general, I feel like most people will have more "options" than I will, regardless.

 

I dated on and off for 24 years before I became the right person to find the right person. I was 42 and he was as well when we married. First marriage. Neither of us ever had casual sex or settled in that way or the way you are describing even though at least for me it was incredibly hard to find the right person. And hard for many I know who are lovely people of character and integrity and all that good stuff. You seem to be relying on social media recounts and the bragging that goes on about how "easy" it is to find the right person.

 

It's not even so much "social media bragging" or anything, it's just having witnessed so many people through the years being in relationships and whatnot. And yes, I know, "most" relationships end up coming to an end rather than being "forever". Even still, it amazes me that people can so easily find someone to be in a relationship with for several months, or even several years. Even if that relationship ends, that's still a nice chunk of time that you get to spend being with someone that you like and care about for that period of time. I've known a lot of different people over the last 10-12 years, and I can't say I've ever met someone like myself who just couldn't date at all. Pretty much everyone I've known has been able to date, be in relationships, and find people they connect with and enjoy being with, even if only for a time.

 

Even looking now at people I used to know years ago, so many are married, with families, or at least in what appears to be some kind of loving and committed relationship. Heck, even if she was unhappy for a bit, even my friend was with someone for five years up until she finally decided he just wasn't the one.

 

I can't even find someone I could go on a few dates with, let alone be in a relationship with for months or years. And yeah, okay, "anything can happen", and maybe 10, 15, 20 years down the line, I'll finally find someone, but I'm just so tired of being alone right now. I'm tired of feeling like there just isn't someone out there for me. I'm tired of not getting to experience that kind of connection with another person. It's just... sad. Makes me feel like there's something wrong with me. And I know that there's not, er, not necessarily, but it's just hard to see all of this and not wonder "Why not me? Why never me?".

 

That should be difficult to accept, because it's not true. But, by settling for less than what you want in a relationship, you are behaving like it is true. So, what do you really believe?

 

Well, that part you quoted, I meant specifically about me and my current friend that I feel something for.

 

But in general, I do find it incredibly difficult to believe I can have the kind of relationship with anyone that I really "want". I just can't see it, unfortunately.

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No you can’t. It has to be reciprocated. So what do you do on a daily or weekly basis to advance your goal of finding someone ? Here are examples of things I did in my 20s and 30s (I stopped dating when I turned 39 and reconnected with the man who I married).

 

I went to singles events, did volunteer work, told friends and acquaintances I liked or respected or both that I was looking to meet single guys , I was active on several online dating sites , I was involved in activities at my place of worship, I set people up with single gals and guys (partly so they would reciprocate ), I stayed healthy and fit , I moved to a city (moved 9 miles from where I grew up) teeming with single men and women , I kept up lots of networking professionally (also a great way to meet people). When I attended a singles event I made sure I stayed at least 45 minutes and spoke to at least three people before I allowed myself to leave. I didn’t do anything with men against my values save one or two mistakes partly to avoid being jaded.

 

It was all worth if. Totally. But it was years of hard work. Disappointment. Aggravation. Stress. And totally worth it. So what are you doing to meet the right kind of people for you? No guarantees of course - there has to be a mutual click and chemistry - and mutual goals and values and all of that stuff but you gotta be in it to win it. Are you in it??

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So what are you doing to meet the right kind of people for you?

 

I've really never understood how other people I've known have been able to find and meet people to date, because I can't say anyone I've ever known as seemed all that "active". Like, as far as I know, most people I've known have lived pretty standard lives, with fairly standard routines. They work a full time job, they spend time with friends and family, and maybe have a little hobby or two. I can't say I've really known anyone more "active" than that; I've never known anyone that fills up all their time with things like volunteer work, and doing lots of interesting and exciting activities that let you meet lots of people. I've never understood that.

 

Admittedly, right now, I don't have any avenues to meet new people anymore. I work full time, I have a handful of hobbies that are really just solo activities I do from home, and I occasionally spend time with my friend (which used to be a more frequent part of my routine when she was still with her ex). The thing is, there's not really much of anything I have any kind of a strong interest in to get out there and go do, just for the sake of doing it. I've looked over stuff like Meetup, I've looked at local event listing stuff for my city, etc., but there's just nothing that ever really strikes my interest. I'm a very introverted and reserved kind of guy, I'm a bit of a "homebody". I dunno.

 

I mean, obviously I know I'm not going to "meet" someone if I'm not out in the world where people are, I get that, but it just feels harder than ever to find ways to meet people. Not to mention, with the pandemic, it's probably not really going to be safe to be mingling for several months, yet, if not even longer.

 

And even then, even if I am out somewhere meeting people, there's still the issue that I never really "connect" with anyone as more than acquaintances.

 

So, I don't know. I just feel totally "lost", and I can't even begin to see a path to finding someone. I figured, at least using the dating apps for the last couple months was SOMETHING, as far as trying to meet and interact with new women, especially while we're all stuck dealing with the pandemic. But matches were so sparse, and conversations mostly went nowhere, there were no connections, and now new matches are practically non-existent. So, even that has been a non-starter.

 

I just don't know.

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I see you're making a lot of excuses. I worked wayyyy more than a full time job from age 28 to 42 and before that I was in an intense grad school program and worked part time, and before that had a somewhat more normal full time job out of college, pre-grad school. Who cares how others meet - nothing to do with you. I met my high school sweetheart at a sweet 16 party and my mother met my father the same way. One friend married her salsa dancing instructor and another met her husband on a rainy valentines day night in their building's laundry room. My friend from grad school met his wife through a dating site, as did a number of my friends. I originally met my husband at work - I was his "welcome wagon" basically on his first day of work and my 40th. If you want a relationship badly enough you will make the choices to be proactive and stop the excuses. And as a guy you get to ask women out -much harder, still, for women since asking out men likely is still stigmatized and not always effective for a woman who wants a lasting, serious relationship. You don't need a strong interest in an activity aside from "hmmm if I go to this meetup there might be single gals there or people who can introduce me to them.

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I know, and I'm not trying to "make excuses". It just feels difficult to find ways for me, personally, to really meet people more easily. The idea of "Maybe I'll meet someone at this thing" isn't really enough to motivate me, because I'm not extroverted or socially proactive by nature, so in most cases, the result will be, no, I will not meet someone there.

 

To me, it makes more sense to pursue activities and whatnot that I will actually enjoy even if I don't meet someone from it. But I struggle to find such things.

 

In any case, I'm not trying to "avoid having to do the work". It's just, it's all such a vague process with no clear "do this, and get from point A to point B" kind of path to it. I could go to every event or activity under the sun and still not meet anyone, yanno? So, it's not a matter of "making excuses" and "not wanting to work". I just don't feel like I know what the "work" actually is.

 

I'm the type of thinker that tends to find the willpower for things that have clear steps and measurable results to them. For instance, if you want to learn something, like, I dunno, how to play an instrument, there are clear steps to be able to do that. There are classes, books, video tutorials, and all kinds of resources, and as long as you educate yourself and put in your best efforts, you'll at least learn the basics.

 

But dating, relationships, etc., there's no real process like that. It's all random. You can do everything right and still end up alone. Someone else can do everything "wrong" and still find multiple people to date. There's no real rhyme or reason to any of it.

 

And I get that, I get that that's just how some aspects of life are. But I just don't feel like I have what it takes to be successful in that type of scenario.

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I know, and I'm not trying to "make excuses". It just feels difficult to find ways for me, personally, to really meet people more easily. The idea of "Maybe I'll meet someone at this thing" isn't really enough to motivate me, because I'm not extroverted or socially proactive by nature, so in most cases, the result will be, no, I will not meet someone there.

 

To me, it makes more sense to pursue activities and whatnot that I will actually enjoy even if I don't meet someone from it. But I struggle to find such things.

 

In any case, I'm not trying to "avoid having to do the work". It's just, it's all such a vague process with no clear "do this, and get from point A to point B" kind of path to it. I could go to every event or activity under the sun and still not meet anyone, yanno? So, it's not a matter of "making excuses" and "not wanting to work". I just don't feel like I know what the "work" actually is.

 

I'm the type of thinker that tends to find the willpower for things that have clear steps and measurable results to them. For instance, if you want to learn something, like, I dunno, how to play an instrument, there are clear steps to be able to do that. There are classes, books, video tutorials, and all kinds of resources, and as long as you educate yourself and put in your best efforts, you'll at least learn the basics.

 

But dating, relationships, etc., there's no real process like that. It's all random. You can do everything right and still end up alone. Someone else can do everything "wrong" and still find multiple people to date. There's no real rhyme or reason to any of it.

 

And I get that, I get that that's just how some aspects of life are. But I just don't feel like I have what it takes to be successful in that type of scenario.

 

I gave you specific steps you can take and many many worthwhile goals in life have no specific cut and dry steps at all - you have to be flexible, adjust, "pivot" for the really rewarding stuff. Of course you can end up with no one -there are no guarantees at all. Just like with a lot of other stuff -like our health, our careers, financial stability, etc. I believe your "but" statements are mostly all excuses -if not all. Random doesn't mean you don't try -some of it will be random. So?

 

It depends how badly you really want it. Be very honest with yourself about how badly you really want it - my guess is you might prefer to stay in your negative comfort zone cause it's easier , much much easier - you get more attention that way and you can justify sexting with random strangers.

 

I gave you specific examples of the work . I also had to stop getting in my own way -become the right person to find the right person. I did some stuff wrong and some stuff right. Like everyone I suppose. So my downside was not getting married till age 42, not being able to try to get pregnant till around age 40, because I chose to wait till I was happy and ready to marry the potential father. So it meant one child and not the two I thought I wanted (thought -am glad I have one!!), so it meant major post-birth health condition because of my age, it meant having to endure being unhappily single for 17 years longer than I wanted to. It's much easier at least in my world to be a couple, whether married or otherwise committed. It hurt a lot to have the label "still single" -to be looked down on as somehow "immature". Now I get to watch my son miss the toilet seat again, I get to be with my family 24/7 during a pandemic and stumble through "home schooling" because of virtual learning. Yup. Random. Who would have thought we'd have to adjust to this kind of lifestyle? Talk about "vague process" - so much of this is blind leading the blind.

 

So decide -how much do you want this -be 100% honest with yourself. And if you really really do I've given you many suggestions for the work to do and there are many many books and articles on the subject. No, there's no recipe or manual (just like there isn't one for marriage or parenting or Covid) - that's what makes it darn stressful and darn exciting.

 

No guarantees -but then you will know you did your utmost. Now you really are just making excuses -the title of your thread and what you wrote tells me that too loud and clear.

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Well, again, I apologize; it's not my intent to "make excuses". My only real point is that everyone's life is different, and there's no "universal" path for dating and relationships. What worked for you won't necessarily work for me, what works for person A won't necessarily work for person B, etc. Is that an "excuse"? Eh.

 

I guess my perception is, it doesn't always matter how badly you actually want something. Of course I "want" it. I wouldn't be here, feeling so much heartache if I didn't.

 

I just feel "beaten down" at this point. I look back and all I see is failure on my part to be able to make dating happen, to be able to connect with people romantically, etc. And with that kind of track record, I find it incredibly difficult to see how the future can be any different. I find it incredibly difficult to have any faith in myself to actually get what I "want".

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I know it's not your "intent" but nevertheless you are. There is no universal path of course - that's just another cop out statement. Here's a universal truth. If you have a goal and do nothing towards your goal you are basically guaranteed not to get your goal. Another universal truth -people move towards pleasure and away from pain. So consider what benefits you are getting from your negative comfort zone defeatist attitude.

 

Yes, it does matter how badly. Because the work you do towards a hard goal correlates -with rare exception -with how badly you actually want it. That's how you make it a priority. Feeling heartache doesn't mean you want it badly - I know of many people who choose to whine instead of to act. People who choose to be negative because to do the work to change perspective is super hard and they take the easy way out. People who are unfit/obese and really want to be thin but they choose not to do what they know works (meaning they know because it worked for them in the past).

 

Feeling beaten down is normal. I can relate - I feel beaten down by covid sometimes. I don't feel like going out in the cold to do my workout at sunrise. I don't feel like it. I feel beaten down. And ---- I do it anyway. In fact, I make myself do it even harder to show myself that I choose not to react to feeling beaten down by making an unhealthy choice.

 

It's difficult to have faith. So you fake it till you make it. By taking actions that show faith - fake it "if I had faith in X I'd do Y." Well, I don't have faith in X but I will do Y anyway.

 

You can find anything incredibly difficult. Normal. Choose to react to that feeling by doing it anyway. It's incredibly difficult for me to go downstairs at sunrise when it's dark and I'm tired and really hungry and it's cold out now. But I've committed to exercising daily for several health related and personal reasons. So I do it -like on autopilot. I have my workout clothes ready, my water bottle ready, my sneakers and little bag with my outerwear hanging on the door. No excuses. It's all there. I never ever regret pushing myself. Ever. The rewards are phenomenal over time. Same thing for you - take the baby steps whether you feel like it or not. Whether you feel motivated or not. Do it anyway. Make your plan to go to X event. Plan it all out, buy the ticket or pay or whatever (I know, covid -I mean when it's safe). And whether you feel faithful or happy or not happy or hungry or cranky or headachey - go anyway. Go. One foot in front of the other.

 

I had to take a huge leap of faith when I married my ex fiancee. I shouted from the rooftops for years like you did -how badly I wanted a spouse, how it was soooooo unfair how easy it was for everyone else, how I could do all the right things and still have no husband. Luckily some well meaning people like my sister called me on it. Like I'm calling you on it. Stop the complaining and start taking action - baby steps. You can do it.

 

On April Fools Day 1990 I was at a birthday party and saw that there were friends there who were in grad school. I'd been scared even to apply -I didn't think I had what it took. On April Fools day I made a choice -I would take one of those review courses and I would do it. On April 3 I signed up and a year or so later started grad school. Had i kept whining "but I wannnt it so badly of course I do!!!"" instead of quietly taking the steps to take my entrance exam, apply, and show up - 80% of life is showing up! - I wouldn't be a married mother now and financially independent and have a career I've mostly loved for decades. Met my husband at my first job out of grad school, had a successful career because of grad school, saved my pennies so I could afford to be a stay at home mom for a long time without draining the family income at all if that were needed. Because of April Fools Day 1990. Because I didn't make excuses or let my fear dictate my path. Choose action not fear.

 

I don't care if what I suggested worked only for me -it was an example of concrete steps you can take. You can take different steps. But if you take zero steps you're basically guaranteed to get zero results. I'm a self-made chick. I fought long and hard for my goals. It wasn't easy. It's still not easy. But yup it's because I wanted it that badly. Be honest with yourself because if you really don't want it badly -and saying you want it badly and pouring your heart out here doesn't really cut it - sit with yourself quietly and decide -if you don't want it that badly don't bother. Too much work IMO to be out there proactively looking for the right person if you don't want it that badly. Good luck.

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I wish I knew what to say. I mean, I don't necessarily disagree with you, and I'm not going to argue with you on any of that. You're clearly a very strong person, and I respect that.

 

I suppose that's a big part of my problem. I'm not "strong". I look back at my failure, and I just can't see anything else. I can't find the faith in myself, I can't find the strength to push forward even without that strength. And believe me, I'm incredibly disappointed in myself. I really am.

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Unfortunately as long as this friend remains your muse and dream girl, who in your mind, there's some sort of romantic relationship, albeit unrequited, you'll be stalled out.

 

It's unclear if this is a chicken-egg dilemma. In other words this dream girl/ friend keeps you safe from real relationships. All else pales in comparison. So to perpetuate the self-fulfilling prophecy, vague situationships are sought out.

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Unfortunately as long as this friend remains your muse and dream girl, who in your mind, there's some sort of romantic relationship, albeit unrequited, you'll be stalled out.

 

It's unclear if this is a chicken-egg dilemma. In other words this dream girl/ friend keeps you safe from real relationships. All else pales in comparison. So to perpetuate the self-fulfilling prophecy, vague situationships are sought out.

 

In fairness, my feelings for her are very recent, and I've been having these dating/ relationship issues pretty much forever, even before I knew her. In any case, while my feelings are still there, we've had quite a bit of time apart (I believe due to covid), and that along with my recent "FWB" stuff has, at the very least, turned down the intensity of those feelings for the time being.

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I wish I knew what to say. I mean, I don't necessarily disagree with you, and I'm not going to argue with you on any of that. You're clearly a very strong person, and I respect that.

 

I suppose that's a big part of my problem. I'm not "strong". I look back at my failure, and I just can't see anything else. I can't find the faith in myself, I can't find the strength to push forward even without that strength. And believe me, I'm incredibly disappointed in myself. I really am.

 

You can. You choose not to. You choose to make excuses and beat yourself up and justify it with "but" and broad generalities/negative generalizations about "Life". Being "incredibly dissapointed in yourself" is about self-absorption in a negative way, not about making better choices. I wish you all the best and welcome you to accept my input or not - matters not at all to me -no ego in it for me -was just sharing. Like I said, when I had to I faked it till I made it. I'm not any "stronger" I just made different choices. Take care.

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I wish I knew what to say. I mean, I don't necessarily disagree with you, and I'm not going to argue with you on any of that. You're clearly a very strong person, and I respect that.

 

I suppose that's a big part of my problem. I'm not "strong". I look back at my failure, and I just can't see anything else. I can't find the faith in myself, I can't find the strength to push forward even without that strength. And believe me, I'm incredibly disappointed in myself. I really am.

 

I have 3 sons so I can relate in a way of thinking of you almost like a future version of one of them.... I get it, dating for the traditional or serious type male is NOT easy. It IS rare to find a youngish female for men when they're in their 20's to settle down with, unless they seem to get really really lucky. We were lucky and I was lucky in that my parents raised me to know exactly what I was looking for. Neither them or I expected it to happen so fast (I pictured myself single well into my 20's maybe even late 20's), but for most men in your age range, it *can* be hard and depressing.

 

But I don't see someone who's not strong, I see from what you've described about your history, a man that's A LOT stronger than the typical unfortunate man who is extremely depressed over this situation in their 20's and pining away after almost any available girl near him.... You're NOT doing that, so that's something to feel proud of.

 

A lot of men in their 20's allow their entire existence to be determined on whether or not girls notice them/like them etc. And you avoided that exceptionally well! I hope my sons are like you in that way, I don't want them to obsess over girls when they realistically could be working on developing and carving out a strong life foundation for them. If they find a girl in their 20's who complements their life, that'd be great! But most girls in their 20's are no longer really interested in doing what I did... settling down and having babies.

 

You weren't so easily swayed by what women were after or thinking, you focused on yourself and your career it sounds like, that all means you're very very strong as a man. Please don't think you're weak now just for realizing what you'd like to go after. It's completely normal to feel upset or like maybe you've missed some years, but you still have time.

I think the only thing concerning about your statements is that you don't seem to see yourself in a correct view or lens like we can. That may be coming from something deep inside where you maybe feel like you don't deserve happiness or love or something.

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OH something else I just thought of.

 

OK... so coming from a "motherly point of view," (yak! LOL) IF you're worried that by asking out this friend you have feelings for will only end the friendship, I suggest you go ahead and do it anyway.

 

Back when I was dating, I had just broken up with a serious boyfriend, and I had 2 guys interested in me, but BOTH of them said they didn't want to date me because they'd only be a rebound boyfriend. One of them I really liked and I laughed inside because I knew I was looking to settle down and find someone to marry, and I knew myself well enough to know if he was the right man, there would be no rebound relationship.

 

I had just ended the serious one because I could tell he was NOT good marriage material. So rebounding (to me) made absolutely no sense.

 

The next man who had the courage to really pursue me was my husband :D because he was brave enough to risk the friendship we had (I'd been his friend for over a year).

 

 

Those other two guys missed out, and one of them actually got really angry when I started going with my husband and he could tell we were serious.

 

Don't be the man too cowardly to ask (you sound a lot stronger than that). The friendship will end anyway when she finds someone serious, SOOOO you have to take your chance or you'll never know. That one that really wanted to be serious with me, he was hurt when I went with my husband but what on earth was I supposed to do? Find a rebound relationship when I knew myself better than that just to make him have courage?

 

Do the right thing. Ask her out !

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There was also a third man interested in me that was too afraid and I would have married him in a heartbeat for sure... we had been set up on a blind date and according to him and our mutual friends, really liked me. He was 6 years older, a good person, came from a rich family, but he couldn't tell if I'd like him enough or not. I could tell he liked me a lot, and wondered why he never asked. He let me know later on (while I was engaged which I know... is kind of sketchy on his part) that he felt like he really missed out and wanted to, "clone," me.

 

So please... don't miss out on this girl just because you think there might be a chance she'll say no. If you were my son, I'd tell you all these stories and tell you that you better go for it!

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The third man is still single at 41.... He still tries to reach out sometimes through social media, has asked for my phone number, has wanted to meet up for coffee etc, and tries to let me know when he's in town, but I'm happily married so I've turned down all that stuff because it's scary. A real threat to my marriage now.

 

Honestly, I would have married him and had his babies. I think he knows that and seems like he really really regrets not asking back then.

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You can. You choose not to. You choose to make excuses and beat yourself up and justify it with "but" and broad generalities/negative generalizations about "Life". Being "incredibly dissapointed in yourself" is about self-absorption in a negative way, not about making better choices. I wish you all the best and welcome you to accept my input or not - matters not at all to me -no ego in it for me -was just sharing. Like I said, when I had to I faked it till I made it. I'm not any "stronger" I just made different choices. Take care.

 

Either way, I freely admit, I tend to make poor choices. I don't really deny that. I've always made bad choices. To be honest, I feel like bad decisions are just what I'm inclined to. I don't blame anyone or anything else; I recognize I make bad choices at every turn. I blame me for that. Honestly, I really don't feel like I know how to make better choices.

 

I think the only thing concerning about your statements is that you don't seem to see yourself in a correct view or lens like we can. That may be coming from something deep inside where you maybe feel like you don't deserve happiness or love or something.

 

Maybe? I dunno. I just look back, and I see a past in which I've never been able to find anything even remotely "romantic" with anyone I've ever met and known. There's really no reason I shouldn't have been able to at least find one person to date and have a relationship with. There should've at least been one. I met and knew a perfectly normal amount of women throughout my 20s. Looking back at that, I just can't see a reason to believe or have faith that something could change in the future. Especially now that I struggle even harder to meet new people anymore.

 

The friendship will end anyway when she finds someone serious, SOOOO you have to take your chance or you'll never know.

 

Well, I'm not sure about that, really. She was with a serious boyfriend for the last several years I've known her (they were together when I met her), and that didn't really stop us from being friends. I was friends with both of them. She has something of an attachment to me, and I think that attachment is strong enough that she's not going to just dump me to the curb over some guy. She's indicated to me multiple times that she hopes we're still in each other's lives for the long term. I'm sure, in the short term, she'll probably be overly distracted with the next guy she gets serious with for a while, but I think she expects it'll eventually get back to me being friends with her and her new boyfriend like I was with her and her ex.

 

Anyway, I do plan to talk to her next time I can see her, but unfortunately, I don't know when that will be at this point. I don't know for sure, but I think we're not hanging out for a while due to covid. And by the next time I see her, she might have already met someone on one of her dating apps. So, I'm kind of assuming I probably already missed the chance to say anything to her. I dunno. We'll see what the future holds, I guess.

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I am done because you keep making excuses that are about "can't" instead of won't so I can't do more than refer you to my prior input. I can't wrap my head around "I don't know how to make better choices". Obviously you do. You just don't want to do the work -your way now is easier. Like one of my favorite ever Rush songs "if you choose not to decide you still have made a choice"

 

Best of luck in whatever you choose to do. Dating is really hard. And if your goal is marriage/serious relationship it's totally worth the effort even without the guarantee. You don't have to date, you don't have to marry, you don't have to commit. Being on your own is perfectly fine - lots you can do in life without being in a romantic relationship. But if that is your choice -it's your choice, not because the world has conspired against you - because you weren't in it to (potentially) win it.

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