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Hey, ENA. Welcome to part one of the new PDN5 series called "shouting into the void about his past and present problems." For context, I am a 26-year-old man. 

Relationship Problems and Break-Up

I broke up with a long-term girlfriend (23 F), call her R, almost three months ago. Things with R were not going well. Here is why.

Problems.

  • Views on Children. I was originally open to children when entering my relationship. R really wanted/wants biological children: that became apparent we got to know each other better, and especially in the last several months. (Of course, that's totally okay). I started going to therapy for our relationship problems last December. During the course of that therapy, my therapist and I realized that there was a complex moral issue that was causing me mental turmoil. I likely didn't want to accept it because I knew it probably would affect or end the relationship. Essentially, for moral reasons, I realized I should not have biological children. After I came to terms with this and told R, we stayed together for a while - maybe a month or two - but it affected us, and eventually, I knew that would likely remain an irreconcilable difference.
  • COVID-19 Restrictions. R was very, very, very worried about the pandemic - at their core, the worries were for good reason, because some of her family were at greater risk of serious illness. I tried to work within her parameters, but they became unreasonable and began to affect our relationship. To illustrate how far it went, it became tough to see even my small immediate family because, if I did, I would not see my girlfriend for two weeks. That extended to responsible friends, even while outside, 1-1. While I've been a responsible citizen of the world during this pandemic, I am an independent guy who likes his freedom. Additionally, I haven't always gotten along with my immediate family so well. We are in a good place now, for the first time in my life. I really value them, so knowing there would be consequences put an unfair strain on seeing them. (I tried to be reasonable - "Hey, R, let's go and wear masks the whole time?"). Eventually, hope was on the horizon because the vaccines were coming out. But then - she was fearful of all of the vaccines, too. She believed without any scientific basis (she has a degree in a natural science, so this was surprising) that there was a substantial chance that the vaccines would cause fertility issues. So, not only were all of those limitations on my seeing others becoming unreasonable and difficult, but I also saw no end in sight to them. It became too much. 
  • Sex and Communication. Though I try to be a giving partner in this department, R eventually stopped giving earnest effort here. It felt like sex was for her benefit mostly. In many cases that is okay - I am a giving partner - but I don't like feeling neglected or not working together in this department. I communicated concerns to her, but doing so just seemed to make a difference once and then the habits would continue. Intuitively, I chalk it up to being interested in different things sexually - perhaps she obliged my interests for a while. No one's fault, just incompatible here.
  • Misc. Communication was not easy. She would not let me support her as a partner, i.e., help her with tasks like resume/applying for jobs (I help a lot of my friends with resumes, usually with success) or driving (she was for most of our relationship without a driver license - in her early 20s. Early in our relationship, she hid this fact from me out of embarrassment, but when I wondered why she was always having me or her parents driving her around, she eventually told me. I only wanted to be a supportive partner and help - she should be able to drive to see me on occasion instead of parents dropping her off). For the second half of the relationship, I paid for everything: food, dates, gifts. I understand I had a job and she was not in a steady job, but once in a while doing something like picking up McDonald's for us would have been nice. She often acted spoiled or child-like: it at times felt like I had a daughter instead of a partner. Probably as a result, I often felt uncertain and anxious about the relationship. 

When I sit down to really think about it, there were so many problems. Due to past experiences where I left the relationship too early instead of fighting for it, I now believe in fighting for the relationship with best efforts... but perhaps I let the pendulum swing too far the other way this time. 

The Break-Up.

There were many other problems (see misc.), but the first three above were the primary deal-breakers. The break-up was the most belligerent and perhaps infantile that I've ever had. When I sent the "we need to talk"-esque message, R refused to meet in-person (even with double-masks, six feet apart), and so I eventually had to do it over the phone (which felt awful - like I was back in high school). While on the phone, she immediately claimed I was heartless for breaking up with her days after a friend of her younger brother's had died. I did know that there had been a death - her younger brother's friend and classmate - but intuitively in my conversations with her I was not aware that this had hit close to the home for the entire family. I asked for details in days past, and R actively told me that she did not think it was appropriate to share details with me, so we did not talk about it further and I did not pry. I had not honestly gotten the impression that this was more than a person the family had known / the brother's friend and were vaguely sad about. During that accusation of being heartless, she described the gory details to me about this decedent 13-year-old's tragic suicide and how the family was going to essentially have a grieving session that night - and impliedly I was sending a broken-up daughter back to that family. That made me feel horrible. Obviously, if a family member had passed away, I would not have ended the relationship for some time out of respect/care for R. My therapist said describing the gory details of a child's suicide and blaming me for being heartless after her previously withholding that information was manipulative. Still, I profusely apologized and felt terrible. In hindsight, I wonder if it was an exaggeration, but either way I wish that would have gone down differently. 

As the phone conversation went on, R accused me of being unfaithful/cheating, which wasn't true. She said also that I always messaged other women when she was over, which was not true (that would be rude - I don't do that and I'm not sure where she got that). She criticized me for my choice of friends and therapist. She further claimed I had bad timing for breaking up around my birthday/holidays. Ok, that one was probably true, seeing as we broke up on April Fools' Day. (ok so she has a point there). Anyway. Eventually the long conversation was over.  We returned items a few weeks later. It was cold, but perhaps to be expected. A few weeks afterward, without using my name, she called me a narcissist and awful boyfriend on Facebook. That really hurt. My whole extended family saw it. She did not respond to me confronting her about it - she probably has me set to “ignore” on everything. At least the family was good-natured about it. My grandpa, jokingly: "well, we know you are a narcissist, but why is she posting about it!!" Thanks, Grandpa, lol. 

It has now been almost three months since the break-up. Admittedly, though I miss her and the relationship sometimes (and, those experiences hold a place in my heart: we had history spanning over two years), I think all signs before the break-up and especially afterward point to that I made the right decision. 

Moving Forward – Dates & Misc.

It has been approximately three months since the break-up. I do not feel like I am clinging onto my past relationship: I had tossed and turned for months prior to breaking up. I do not feel heartbroken: I feel like I made the right decision. However, there is now an empty void where love and the satisfaction of being a good, faithful partner used to be.

Dates So Far.

I have not yet found a partner, but I've so far gone on dates with two different people. An attractive acquaintance and I had been having more conversations. She eventually asked me to go running with her at a local trail while she biked alongside. It was fun - she was nice, but she mentioned that she wanted kids and I didn't feel a major spark or connection. So, the conversations have mostly fizzled out. 

Recently, out of the blue, a love interest, call her K, asked me out to brunch. It sounded like a date and I assumed she and her boyfriend had broken up (not listed on Facebook, etc.). We've seemingly almost always had mutual interest in one another but have been single at different times (and I know previously she mentioned she might want to adopt but not have kids - bingo). We also competed in ballroom dance together and we are quite good. I like her quite a lot. I was excited for the date. I arrived. Not to be rude, but while I do and always have found her very attractive, it looked like she didn't put in any effort to get ready, while I definitely had. Shortly after arriving, she mentioned that she is still dating her boyfriend. Oof. The resulting conversations were… superficial? We talked about ostensibly deep topics, but it still felt superficial - maybe on account of me feeling guarded that she was still dating someone. She mentioned that her boyfriend and her fight a lot, so while I was puzzled why she asked me to brunch, maybe it was (1) just a friendly meet-up, (2) an ego-boost because her relationship isn't going well, or (3) a low-interest or testing the waters meet-up. I sent a polite “thanks for brunch – it was nice seeing you :)” text shortly after getting back home. She was evasive/non-responsive. Who knows what that was about - kind of confusing. It makes me think maybe she thought the conversation was superficial or forced, too. Whatever it was, I know I should not pursue her, because she is in a relationship. Still, that was a major let-down.

FWB.

I am in a non-public FWB with someone. We see each other occasionally – maybe once every two weeks. She is also in professional school. She's a great person, but at the moment we both only want to be friends and occasionally hook up because our sexual interests coincide. I would rather be in a relationship with someone, so it's just a meantime thing.

Limits to Meeting New People & Dating Apps.

Last, I want to meet people, but (1) the hopefully subsiding pandemic still limits available social events (esp. at my University (law school): speaking candidly, Zoom does not bring out my good side. I do not think I will make a connection over Zoom), and (2) dating apps, including this time around, seemingly just do not work for me. Though I feel I am charming in person, I just don't have that ~~~~pizzazz~~~~ that the men who get matches seem to have. So, if I can't get matches, I do not get dates. If I do not get dates, I do not get to be charming in person. Then I do not make that possible connection. 

Worries.

I am especially concerned given the fact that at this time, I do not want to have biological children. I am worried that that severely narrows my potential dating pool by a lot. I would need to date someone with whom not only do I feel a connection or spark, but also one who is (1) undecided/open to children or (2) also does not want children.

____

I am not sure what I am looking for by posting this. I am lonely and worried about the future. Perhaps, all these topics are in the back of my mind. Maybe just shouting at the void was good for me, or maybe someone might have an insight or some words of encouragement. Thanks for reading. 🙂 

Edited by Pleasedonot5
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20 minutes ago, Pleasedonot5 said:

I am especially concerned given the fact that at this time, I do not want to have biological children. I am worried that that severely narrows my potential dating pool by a lot. I would need to date someone with whom not only do I feel a connection or spark, but also one who is (1) undecided/open to children or (2) also does not want children.

I have news for you, PDN.  You would be amazed at the number of couples (married included) who nowadays decide not to have any children.  The birth rate has plummeted over here in some European countries.  The reasons given are manifold. 

I don't know where you are but maybe there is more societal pressure in some places than others to have children.

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43 minutes ago, Pleasedonot5 said:

I had tossed and turned for months prior to breaking up. I do not feel heartbroken: I feel like I made the right decision. However, there is now an empty void where love and the satisfaction of being a good, faithful partner used to be.

Right, so it's best you slow this all down, especially with getting involved again so soon.

One needs time to reflect, accept & recover from a long term.

 

43 minutes ago, Pleasedonot5 said:

. I sent a polite “thanks for brunch – it was nice seeing you :)” text shortly after getting back home. She was evasive/non-responsive. Who knows what that was about - kind of confusing. It makes me think maybe she thought the conversation was superficial or forced, too. Whatever it was, I know I should not pursue her, because she is in a relationship. Still, that was a major let-down.

Why was it a Major let down, when you are just out there, trying to 'get to know' other women?

You expecting way too much too soon, IMO.

 

Re: dating app stuff, fine if you do not prefer that, but do NOT focus on 'match' stuff etc..  You go on to tour,, to check out other's on there.. to maybe kick up a chat on occasion.

 

43 minutes ago, Pleasedonot5 said:

I would need to date someone with whom not only do I feel a connection or spark, but also one who is (1) undecided/open to children or (2) also does not want children.

State this in your dating profile.

 

43 minutes ago, Pleasedonot5 said:

I am lonely and worried about the future.

Yeah, maybe a little too much? 😕 

I don't understand why you are pushing to such drastic, immediate results.. months after your BU?

You are still young, you've got so much time to 'give things time', in order to find someone suitable.

My brother did not find his wife until late 30's, which was also over 8 yrs single.  

Take some down time!  Relax.. slow down here.. and in time, you may come across someone with similar interests in their own future.  But, at this rate, you will ruin yourself! 😕 .

Deep breathes.. be single a while and NO expectations.  Get over this 'lonely' phase to get yourself back to good.

 

 

Edited by SooSad33
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I have several friends who don't want kids. They are all married. So yes, those women are out there.

Just be sure to be upfront about it. My friend's ex husband lied on his dating profile after their divorce about wanting kids because he said if he told the truth no "young women" would want to date him. Oof.

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You have a good head on your shoulders and good women will see this.

What I can tell you is, after a breakup it always feels like you'll never find anyone. But that's not the case.

 

Edited by Wiseman2
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Yes this sucks a lot but honestly, once one person wants kids and the other one doesn't, it's all over red rover lol I mean, no matter how much two people like each other, it just would never work. I'm not trying to make you feel bad by any means but it seems like people who don't want kids are more a minority. So I think it would be in your best interests to try to figure out fairly early on which women want kids so that you don't pursue them, as it would be a waste of time.

The woman with the boyfriend, ditch her because she doesn't have much integrity. 

FWB sounds fine, no harm in it as long as you're safe I guess. Because you don't want kids lol

There are still women out there who don't want children. I recommend using dating sites where you can search that part. E.g. OK Cupid dating app. Just search for women who said "do not want children" and only contact those women. You'll be fine.

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What is the rush? It's only three months. Go out and have the time of your life meeting new people. You made the right decision with your ex and you still have to let go of those things she said to you. People say things during a break up out of emotion and hurt. It doesn't sound like you've been able to let go of your past relationship yet. 

The friend who talked about the issues in her relationship while out with you looks like she was looking for someone to talk to only. It wasn't a date. I'd chalk up the misinterpretation to feeling a bit vulnerable after your break up (this is natural). Once the the sting of that fades, I wouldn't begrudge that person. Let it roll off your back and keep on with your hobbies and interests.

I don't think you're ready for a serious relationship, frankly. Take your time and learn to enjoy those silences and quiet moments. Don't let it control you or drive you to being with unsavoury people or those who aren't suited for you. 

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On 6/22/2021 at 4:17 PM, LaHermes said:

I have news for you, PDN.  You would be amazed at the number of couples (married included) who nowadays decide not to have any children.  The birth rate has plummeted over here in some European countries.  The reasons given are manifold. 

I don't know where you are but maybe there is more societal pressure in some places than others to have children.

LaHermes, thank you for your kind reply. That's a solid perspective.

I am located in the United States ('murica). The birth rate here is a little higher per capita, but only by around 0.20 children. So, I think your point stands: there are many who do not want children. 

On 6/22/2021 at 4:36 PM, boltnrun said:

I have several friends who don't want kids. They are all married. So yes, those women are out there.

Just be sure to be upfront about it. My friend's ex husband lied on his dating profile after their divorce about wanting kids because he said if he told the truth no "young women" would want to date him. Oof.

Thank you, boltnrun. Yes, I wouldn't misrepresent myself like that - major oof indeed. On some dating sites, I would have to pay in order to filter potential partners or even to put myself in that category. Still, I should be able to write that info into my profiles. 

On 6/22/2021 at 5:11 PM, Wiseman2 said:

You have a good head on your shoulders and good women will see this.

What I can tell you is, after a breakup it always feels like you'll never find anyone. But that's not the case.

Thank you, Wiseman2. That's very kind of you.

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Can you explain -or clarify -why you don't want biological children? What about being a stepdad or adopting -is that out too? Not judging just didn't understand what your "moral" reason was for not having a biological child.  Certainly be honest right away about this with women you date - even with sex partners since they may want to take extra precautions/double up on birth control.  

It's good that you know yourself so well!

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Posted (edited)

SooSad33, thank you for your reply. 

On 6/22/2021 at 4:36 PM, SooSad33 said:

Right, so it's best you slow this all down, especially with getting involved again so soon.

One needs time to reflect, accept & recover from a long term.

(...)

You expecting way too much too soon, IMO.

(...)

Yeah, maybe a little too much? 😕 

I don't understand why you are pushing to such drastic, immediate results.. months after your BU?

You are still young, you've got so much time to 'give things time', in order to find someone suitable.

My brother did not find his wife until late 30's, which was also over 8 yrs single.  

Take some down time!  Relax.. slow down here.. and in time, you may come across someone with similar interests in their own future.  But, at this rate, you will ruin yourself! 😕 .

Deep breathes.. be single a while and NO expectations.  Get over this 'lonely' phase to get yourself back to good.

Very good points. I acknowledge, looking back at my post, that I am rushing for results right away. That probably isn't needed. Looking for results, etc. might be causing me stress. And you're right. Three months out after a long-term relationship is not long at all. The "loneliness" of not sharing an intimate connection with someone / being supportive partners: that's probably what has gotten me into such a tizzy.

While I think that I am over my last relationship in terms of losing the person, maybe I need to get over some of the void left by leaving that relationship before putting so much emotional stake into looking for someone else. 

Quote

 Why was it a Major let down, when you are just out there, trying to 'get to know' other women?

The reason is that "K" and I have known one another for quite some time. Friends, flirts, competitive ballroom dance partners. We have a few times expressed interest in the other, however it has never worked because we have been in relationships at odd times (i.e., I, single, express interest but she's in a relationship. She, single, expresses interest but then I am in a relationship).My intuition says we would have a solid "power couple" dynamic and I feel that rare "spark" or connection (and our plans for kids are currently aligned too). 

So, my hopes were up when she asked me out to brunch, I perceived the offer as "date"-esque, so I guessed she was single. Of course, the brunch did not go as planned. So, I was let down. Sometimes I say "major" or "definitely" just because it rolls off the tongue (or keyboard lol). I am not heartbroken over it, but I was mildly disappointed (and a bit puzzled) for the above reasons.

-- 

Re: dating apps

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State this in your dating profile.

Good advice. I will. 

Quote

Re: dating app stuff, fine if you do not prefer that, but do NOT focus on 'match' stuff etc..  You go on to tour,, to check out other's on there.. to maybe kick up a chat on occasion.

Yes, that is true. I know many apps/sites are inundated with more men than women, so reaching out to chat instead of relying on "matches" is better. I've sent messages - usually brief but thoughtful ones asking about something in the person's profile on sites like OkCupid - but this "dating cycle" none have responded. I don't feel bad about myself - maybe just doesn't work for me as good as in-person/natural dating works. (Again - maybe I just need to take a break from it / limit time on it and settle down for now).

Edited by Pleasedonot5
"lunch" -> "brunch"
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Posted (edited)

Tinydance, thank you for your reply. 

18 hours ago, Tinydance said:

Yes this sucks a lot but honestly, once one person wants kids and the other one doesn't, it's all over red rover lol I mean, no matter how much two people like each other, it just would never work.

Yes, and even if there were a possibility one of us would change our minds (it may be unlikely, but it is possible), the relationship was going poorly in a lot of different areas. So many that I think I overstayed this time, as opposed to what I've done in the past which is leaving too fast.  

Quote

I'm not trying to make you feel bad by any means but it seems like people who don't want kids are more a minority. So I think it would be in your best interests to try to figure out fairly early on which women want kids so that you don't pursue them, as it would be a waste of time.

(...)

There are still women out there who don't want children. I recommend using dating sites where you can search that part. E.g. OK Cupid dating app. Just search for women who said "do not want children" and only contact those women. You'll be fine.

Thank you. Good advice. 

You're not making me feel bad at all: I like seeing the situation as it is. It is true that most people likely want children and would consider my not having children a deal-breaker - just as I might see it the other way around. It makes sense that in order to spend less time becoming invested in people who are incompatible, I should try my best to "filter" early on. And even if most want kids, since there are approximately one bazillion people on this planet, it stands to reason that there will always be potential dates who do not want children or who would be okay either way. 

Quote

The woman with the boyfriend, ditch her because she doesn't have much integrity. 

I will certainly not be pursuing her for the time-being, at least. I might add some context: K and I have been friends since either late 2018 or early 2019. We were involved in the same social / competitive club, even danced together as ballroom dance partners. We saw each other only once during the pandemic: (1) because of the ex-gf's concerns re: the pandemic, and (2) because my ex-gf was very jealous of her (🙄).

It is possible that I misread just a friendly catch-up as a date, though I think it may have also been for an ego-boost, to test the waters, or to keep me on standby, etc. Intuitively, it seemed to be more than just a friendly meet-up at first, but intuition can be wrong.

With that added context, do you still think that what she did was wrong? Should I stay away ~forever~?

Quote

FWB sounds fine, no harm in it as long as you're safe I guess. Because you don't want kids lol

I lol'd. don't worry I'll be safe tiny haha.

Edited by Pleasedonot5
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Posted (edited)

Rose Mosse, thank you for your reply. I think that you give some of the best advice, by the way, so I am glad you replied.

7 hours ago, Rose Mosse said:

What is the rush? It's only three months. Go out and have the time of your life meeting new people. You made the right decision with your ex and you still have to let go of those things she said to you. People say things during a break up out of emotion and hurt. It doesn't sound like you've been able to let go of your past relationship yet. 

(...)

I don't think you're ready for a serious relationship, frankly. Take your time and learn to enjoy those silences and quiet moments. Don't let it control you or drive you to being with unsavoury people or those who aren't suited for you. 

You're right about a lot. I appreciate your candor. Re-reading my post, I agree that I am rushing or looking for quick results so soon after a long-term relationship has ended. Three months is not a long time at all. I am stressing myself out looking for someone when it probably better to just chill out, work on myself, and allow any future connection to happen organically down the line.

In regard to this break-up, I feel more "okay" than usual this time around (knock on wood). I indeed vented during my original post to set the stage: some of those experiences were very tense or stressful. Especially the break-up conversation. However, I can confidently say that the relationship I was in was not right for me - and just looking back at the reasons listed, I think I stayed in it too long. 

And as much as she publicly wrote "narcissist" this or "awful boyfriend" that, that might have helped my healing more. She's human and she is/was going through lots of emotional pain. I get that we aren't our best selves when dealing with that - it is a mitigating factor. Still, we remain responsible for our actions, and I know many who do not post publicly degrading their exes where their families can see it. I think I'm still being fair when I call that action childish. It affirmed some of my reasons for breaking up. 

I think you're right that I am still grieving the relationship, but best described in a more... general sense? Our relationship was not good for me for quite some time. But I miss having a partner - I miss having a relationship. Its absence can feel very palpable at times. Perhaps when it no longer does, I'll know I'm not rushing into a relationship just for the purpose of having any connection, but rather the connection.

Quote

The friend who talked about the issues in her relationship while out with you looks like she was looking for someone to talk to only. It wasn't a date. I'd chalk up the misinterpretation to feeling a bit vulnerable after your break up (this is natural). Once the the sting of that fades, I wouldn't begrudge that person. Let it roll off your back and keep on with your hobbies and interests.

Yes. I agree there was some disconnect there. I was mildly disappointed by how that interaction went, and I was a little puzzled (it left left me looking a little like the little confused react guy on ENA, lol). Intuitively, it seemed like more than just a friendly catch-up. It still plausibly could have been a "testing the waters" or etc. meet-up given the history of mutual interest and her relationship not going well, but it just as well could have been a friend that hadn't seen me for a long time wanting to meet up - and I misinterpreted it. Intuition can be wrong. And either way - she has a boyfriend so she's unavailable in either scenario.

I do not hold anything against her. 🙂 

Edited by Pleasedonot5
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2 hours ago, Pleasedonot5 said:

The reason is that "K" and I have known one another for quite some time. Friends, flirts, competitive ballroom dance partners. We have a few times expressed interest in the other, however it has never worked because we have been in relationships at odd times (i.e., I, single, express interest but she's in a relationship. She, single, expresses interest but then I am in a relationship).My intuition says we would have a solid "power couple" dynamic and I feel that rare "spark" or connection (and our plans for kids are currently aligned too). 

Ahh, okay.... but maybe is just time to leave this one alone and just keep her as a 'friend'.. sometimes, when people get involved and were already friends, and things go sour, it affects the friendship you once had 😕 .

Anyways, yeah.. slow things down and focus on yourself for a nice while.  Get back to good.. take it easy.  No need to run into another relationship right now.

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Posted (edited)

Hey, Batya33. Thanks for responding!

4 hours ago, Batya33 said:

Can you explain -or clarify -why you don't want biological children? What about being a stepdad or adopting -is that out too? Not judging just didn't understand what your "moral" reason was for not having a biological child.  Certainly be honest right away about this with women you date - even with sex partners since they may want to take extra precautions/double up on birth control.  

It's good that you know yourself so well!

I am open to the idea of adopting or being a stepfather someday. At the moment, adopting sounds the best. 

I purposely kept the moral part vague because the reasoning is essentially rooted in some sort of philosophy (though I do feel it strongly; it's not just arbitrary musing). Many might find it strange or eccentric and I didn't want to make it the focal point of my post. But in very brief form it is that one should not cause suffering, life contains immense suffering, and my bringing a being to life would result in that suffering. I would be happy to talk about it in longer form by DM, if interested. 🙂  

And yes. I use protection. But also, my FWB person is aware of my views on children.

Edited by Pleasedonot5
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I'm guessing your reasons align with the belief structure followed by actress Ashley Judd.  Interestingly, her ex husband (who obviously married her knowing her beliefs) is now remarried and has two or three children with his new wife. So apparently he didn't share her views.

There are others out there who feel the way you do. And there are others who don't want children for their own reasons.  I think you will be able to meet some of them and find someone compatible.  All in good time!

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5 hours ago, Pleasedonot5 said:

Rose Mosse, thank you for your reply. I think that you give some of the best advice, by the way, so I am glad you replied.

You're right about a lot. I appreciate your candor. Re-reading my post, I agree that I am rushing or looking for quick results so soon after a long-term relationship has ended. Three months is not a long time at all. I am stressing myself out looking for someone when it probably better to just chill out, work on myself, and allow any future connection to happen organically down the line.

In regard to this break-up, I feel more "okay" than usual this time around (knock on wood). I indeed vented during my original post to set the stage: some of those experiences were very tense or stressful. Especially the break-up conversation. However, I can confidently say that the relationship I was in was not right for me - and just looking back at the reasons listed, I think I stayed in it too long. 

And as much as she publicly wrote "narcissist" this or "awful boyfriend" that, that might have helped my healing more. She's human and she is/was going through lots of emotional pain. I get that we aren't our best selves when dealing with that - it is a mitigating factor. Still, we remain responsible for our actions, and I know many who do not post publicly degrading their exes where their families can see it. I think I'm still being fair when I call that action childish. It affirmed some of my reasons for breaking up. 

I think you're right that I am still grieving the relationship, but best described in a more... general sense? Our relationship was not good for me for quite some time. But I miss having a partner - I miss having a relationship. Its absence can feel very palpable at times. Perhaps when it no longer does, I'll know I'm not rushing into a relationship just for the purpose of having any connection, but rather the connection.

Yes. I agree there was some disconnect there. I was mildly disappointed by how that interaction went, and I was a little puzzled (it left left me looking a little like the little confused react guy on ENA, lol). Intuitively, it seemed like more than just a friendly catch-up. It still plausibly could have been a "testing the waters" or etc. meet-up given the history of mutual interest and her relationship not going well, but it just as well could have been a friend that hadn't seen me for a long time wanting to meet up - and I misinterpreted it. Intuition can be wrong. And either way - she has a boyfriend so she's unavailable in either scenario.

I do not hold anything against her. 🙂 

One day at a time. There can be a lot of back and forth in a break up and painful. Shock, anger, denial, resentment are all part of it (if it happens to be there). Not all break ups are the same. Sometimes words do linger, especially angry or hurtful words. In time they fade because we meet new people and remember new things, sometimes old friends and old things too.

Most people have an innate desire to connect with others so there is nothing wrong with that or experiencing loneliness - all part of being human. I have my moments too. I hope you grow in that strength though, knowing that you are still a thinking/feeling person, also capable of more life than what you've already lived. Life goes on that way. And you do not have to settle ever.

Glad you and your friend there are ok. If you don't feel comfortable getting too personal with relationship problems, you can be tactful about it and switch topics or guide the conversation that way. Sometimes people say what's at the forefront of their minds, not actually thinking about what they're saying or the impact it has on someone else. I'm sure she appreciated your presence. I agree - this is a no-go zone and if it makes you uncomfortable meeting up with her in confusing date-like scenarios, make alternative suggestions or decline.

Thanks for the kind words! Great posts too. 

 

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7 hours ago, Pleasedonot5 said:

it is that one should not cause suffering, life contains immense suffering, and my bringing a being to life would result in that suffering.

A perfectly valid standpoint OP.  Just as valid as any other.

 

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9 hours ago, Pleasedonot5 said:

Hey, Batya33. Thanks for responding!

I am open to the idea of adopting or being a stepfather someday. At the moment, adopting sounds the best. 

I purposely kept the moral part vague because the reasoning is essentially rooted in some sort of philosophy (though I do feel it strongly; it's not just arbitrary musing). Many might find it strange or eccentric and I didn't want to make it the focal point of my post. But in very brief form it is that one should not cause suffering, life contains immense suffering, and my bringing a being to life would result in that suffering. I would be happy to talk about it in longer form by DM, if interested. 🙂  

And yes. I use protection. But also, my FWB person is aware of my views on children.

That's great that your sex partner is aware you don't want to have biological children -of course it would be up to her were she to get pregnant.  Protection can fail.  My friend's protection-failed daughter is off to college soon! He and his ex girlfriend became parents in their 40s! 

Totally fine to be discreet as to why - so this means though that the woman you're with can be artificially inseminated right? And carry her own child which you can then adopt - I'd make that clear as that might be ok with certain women who want biological children.  

(As an aside- a lighthearted anecdote - my son just finished his breakfast of rice cake with nutella, plus PB and J and announced -as he regularly does -that he loves me so much and will just love me forever (he's 12). Yes he's suffered -he's had illnesses, covid vaccine side effects, I make him use a fluoride rinse every day and he had to go to the dentist yesterday without even getting to miss school since school is over, he's seen and heard of tragedies, he saw the Freedom Tower post-9-11 being built and he lost his grandfathers in the same year - on and on and on.  I have no concern that my and my husband's bringing him into this world caused any suffering.  Because on balance our intentions were to act in his best interests when we started trying to conceive, because we love each other and him to the moon and back, because we knew what kind of life we could give him and adventures big and small and moral values and spiritual values. 

Could we have been wrong?  We did our genetic tests to try to see any risks of horrible/fatal illnesses (all negative, all good)  - but the decision to create a life from the perspective I described -to me vastly outweighs any risk of suffering.  Sometimes suffering makes you stronger and I've seen that with covid and saw that with 9-11, for example.  

All of this is NOT AT ALL to try to convince you otherwise -I feel just as strongly that it's not fair to bring a child into the world if you're not 100% enthusiastic -putting aside accidental pregnancies where the parent decides to give up the child for adoption or have her raised by other family members, etc - so I do not think you should be a father without being 100% into it for whatever reason. 

But I will never ever believe that people who have biological children with their hearts and heads in the right place -with the best interests of the child as the focus - are causing any sort of suffering in the least.  Very often they are heroes (I apparently am not -see above where I make him t do a fluoride rinse among other have to's) and contributing so much to this world.

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On 6/24/2021 at 7:41 AM, Batya33 said:

but the decision to create a life from the perspective I described -to me vastly outweighs any risk of suffering.  Sometimes suffering makes you stronger and I've seen that with covid and saw that with 9-11, for example.  

All of this is NOT AT ALL to try to convince you otherwise -I feel just as strongly that it's not fair to bring a child into the world if you're not 100% enthusiastic -putting aside accidental pregnancies where the parent decides to give up the child for adoption or have her raised by other family members, etc - so I do not think you should be a father without being 100% into it for whatever reason. 

But I will never ever believe that people who have biological children with their hearts and heads in the right place -with the best interests of the child as the focus - are causing any sort of suffering in the least.  Very often they are heroes (I apparently am not -see above where I make him t do a fluoride rinse among other have to's) and contributing so much to this world.

Said very beautifully, Batya... I agree... some of the strongest, most beautiful people I've known went through suffering and came out of it kinder, more compassionate, etc.

I think the scariest thing is to raise children who become entitled, selfish, narcissistic arrogant people who believe people should be ostracized, treated differently, ignored, etc. because they believe differently than them.  Cruel souls that end up *causing* others to suffer is probably where most evil (even indifferent evil) occurs... not parents just trying to raise their kids with love and teaching them kindness etc.

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On 6/24/2021 at 5:06 AM, boltnrun said:

There are others out there who feel the way you do. And there are others who don't want children for their own reasons.  I think you will be able to meet some of them and find someone compatible.  All in good time!

Absolutely, Bolt. 

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