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Dating Struggles


Dean Gladwyn
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5 Red Flags In Relationships
5 Red Flags In Relationships

Hi guys, I have been doing a lot of reading on the subject of dating and I am very interested to know other people's opinions on this.

What would you say is the most difficult part of meeting someone new or finding a partner in the modern age?

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The world is very fast paced these days and there’s a tendency for people to get so wrapped up in their own lives that they don’t have the time to make genuine connections when it comes to love and romance, imo. Of course that’s not true for everyone, but to a general extent, I think it’s true for a lot of people. Online dating is a good example. Just push a button and meet someone. Like products on a shelf. It’s not natural, but it’s the way the world is turning these days. The expectation of instant gratification many times lends itself to missed opportunities, imo.

 

 

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My most difficult part -I started dating my husband in 2005 when I was 39, dated for 24 years while single and not in a relationship - was becoming the right person to find the right person and to stop getting in my own way of finding the excitement and joy of true love in a stable, committed marriage.  Also growing a thick skin because I was out there working my behind off to be involved in environments, activities, etc where I could meet other singles or married people who could introduce me to single people.  Of accepting "rejection" and getting up and brushing myself off after a number of bad/awful/bizarre first meets through online dating sites.

I would not be married now if I had not crossed a crowded conference room on the morning of Halloween in the 1990s and greeted the new employee at the new employee breakfast.  It took us many years including many of being totally apart to get our act together and get married but if I had not said hi to him and chatted with him and made him feel welcome when he knew nobody we'd most likely not have met.  He was so very shy back then plus we worked for the same really large company but not together.  He asked me out -we had a very traditional relationship -he courted me to the hilt. 

But I see so many people men and women hiding out, being passive, not being willing to chat with people in environments where you're supposed to, where it's expected -and not going to those environments where you're supposed to. 

There's so little need to do any random or creepy "cold" approaches or to be around drunk people to meet people -but it takes effort, time, aggravation, stress and you also have to be willing to go alone so that your friends who might flake on you or get to a singles event and want to leave after 15 minutes won't stop you from staying the course.  

Also the hardest thing is getting 100% clear on what is on your list of musts, sticking to that list, avoiding investing time in strangers online, not dating online but using dating sites to meet in person ASAP, and being clear on your goals - if it's just casual dating then to me online sites are often a waste of time, and if there's some notion or dream of the wedding reception to the exclusion of the actual marriage I would question as to whether the person really wants marriage or just a big party and to be the center of attention and do what all his friends seem to be doing.  Those are tough questions to be honest about.  

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45 minutes ago, jul-els said:

The world is very fast paced these days and there’s a tendency for people to get so wrapped up in their own lives that they don’t have the time to make genuine connections when it comes to love and romance, imo. Of course that’s not true for everyone, but to a general extent, I think it’s true for a lot of people. Online dating is a good example. Just push a button and meet someone. Like products on a shelf. It’s not natural, but it’s the way the world is turning these days. The expectation of instant gratification many times lends itself to missed opportunities, imo.

 

 

When I was dating you didn't push a button in the 80s and 90s but it was like that at bars -for the people who frequented bars and clubs as a way to meet people  (and totally about instant gratification)-very visual by drunk people glancing your way and then away - and the world was extremely fast paced especially since you couldn't telework -so you were constantly rushing to the office and often doing face time late into the night.  Not FaceTime -I mean being present in the office at 9pm in case your boss came by and needed something.  

Also we had personal ads in newspapers- how I met my first short lived fiancee situation and how a couple of my friends met their spouses.

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2 hours ago, Dean Gladwyn said:

I have been doing a lot of reading on the subject of dating. What would you say is the most difficult part of meeting someone new or finding a partner in the modern age?

Are you doing research? This is a very broad, very vague question.

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1 hour ago, WaterProofCandy said:

for me its walking up to x girl I like and being do you wanna date thats hard as heck. I feel like I have the looks/personality im normal no incel/sexist but im a coward and too cowardly to ask anyone out thus here we are lol

I understand this. It can be extremely daunting approaching a woman we're attracted to. I think we tend to focus on the outcome, making it a high risk exercise

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10 minutes ago, Batya33 said:

My most difficult part -I started dating my husband in 2005 when I was 39, dated for 24 years while single and not in a relationship - was becoming the right person to find the right person and to stop getting in my own way of finding the excitement and joy of true love in a stable, committed marriage.  Also growing a thick skin because I was out there working my behind off to be involved in environments, activities, etc where I could meet other singles or married people who could introduce me to single people.  Of accepting "rejection" and getting up and brushing myself off after a number of bad/awful/bizarre first meets through online dating sites.

I would not be married now if I had not crossed a crowded conference room on the morning of Halloween in the 1990s and greeted the new employee at the new employee breakfast.  It took us many years including many of being totally apart to get our act together and get married but if I had not said hi to him and chatted with him and made him feel welcome when he knew nobody we'd most likely not have met.  He was so very shy back then plus we worked for the same really large company but not together.  He asked me out -we had a very traditional relationship -he courted me to the hilt. 

But I see so many people men and women hiding out, being passive, not being willing to chat with people in environments where you're supposed to, where it's expected -and not going to those environments where you're supposed to. 

There's so little need to do any random or creepy "cold" approaches or to be around drunk people to meet people -but it takes effort, time, aggravation, stress and you also have to be willing to go alone so that your friends who might flake on you or get to a singles event and want to leave after 15 minutes won't stop you from staying the course.  

Also the hardest thing is getting 100% clear on what is on your list of musts, sticking to that list, avoiding investing time in strangers online, not dating online but using dating sites to meet in person ASAP, and being clear on your goals - if it's just casual dating then to me online sites are often a waste of time, and if there's some notion or dream of the wedding reception to the exclusion of the actual marriage I would question as to whether the person really wants marriage or just a big party and to be the center of attention and do what all his friends seem to be doing.  Those are tough questions to be honest about.  

This is great

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4 minutes ago, Dean Gladwyn said:

I think we tend to focus on the outcome, making it a high risk exercise

What do you mean by this? If you are trying to get lucky on early meets/dates, yes it will backfire. Meet for a brief drink/coffee. If there is mutual interest, ask them for a second date. Pace yourself so you don't come off as too forward.

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I agree with Jul- els. Due to too many choices, nothing gets that special anymore. The next opportunity for something better is just around the corner. So you dont even invest properly or you try with current. There is a good research showing the connection between multiple choices and happiness. And how you are actually less happy the more choice you have. That is todays modern dating in a nutshell. Just people who cruise around unhappily. 

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2 minutes ago, Kwothe28 said:

I agree with Jul- els. Due to too many choices, nothing gets that special anymore. The next opportunity for something better is just around the corner. So you dont even invest properly or you try with current. There is a good research showing the connection between multiple choices and happiness. And how you are actually less happy the more choice you have. That is todays modern dating in a nutshell. Just people who cruise around unhappily. 

Yes -for people without a serious mindset it's a candy store. For people with a serious mindset -like I had -it was a very very temporary candy store for a day or so but since my goal was marriage and family that very very quickly overshadowed the candy store array.  I wasn't a fan of being any sort of center of attention from male strangers on dating sites so I stuck to my search parameters and waded through the volume of messages focusing only on similarly serious minded men.

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I would say it's time intensive. When you're serious about finding a partner, you have to get yourself out into the world a lot, because the more people you meet, the higher success rate of finding a good match.

Spread your net wide. Online dating. Meetup.com groups. Joining clubs, engaging in hobbies, participating in environmental cleanups or other volunteer work.

The good thing about activities where you will regularly see the same people, is that you will, over time, be able to see the clues that a woman will likely say yes if you ask her out. If you don't know what those clues are, search the internet for articles that mention that subject.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I don't know what dating was like in the era before internet dating became a thing.

I do wonder though if internet dating has made things harder for those of us *ahem* not blessed in the looks department. I've heard it said that tinder (and other online dating sites) are really only for good looking people, I guess it presents people with the illusion of choice (and maybe it is just an illusion that there are hundreds of people out there) and I think makes them more picky. There are maybe more people as a result who are content to remain single until that person who (in their eyes) is the most beautiful person they've ever seen comes along.

It also means that if someone doesn't like the way you look you probably never even get the chance to speak to them and dazzle them with your personality.

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2 hours ago, Carnatic said:

I don't know what dating was like in the era before internet dating became a thing.

I do wonder though if internet dating has made things harder for those of us *ahem* not blessed in the looks department. I've heard it said that tinder (and other online dating sites) are really only for good looking people, I guess it presents people with the illusion of choice (and maybe it is just an illusion that there are hundreds of people out there) and I think makes them more picky. There are maybe more people as a result who are content to remain single until that person who (in their eyes) is the most beautiful person they've ever seen comes along.

It also means that if someone doesn't like the way you look you probably never even get the chance to speak to them and dazzle them with your personality.

I dated pre-internet for about the first 20 years then 5 years with -with some overlap.  It was very similar because the bar/club scene was very visually focused and in the major city where I did all of my dating it was also like a candy store as far as volume of singe people in one place so if you were inclined to casual dating then often the focus was more on looks and sizing people up that way.  Same with meeting through online -people more inclined to casual dating will see it as a candy store.

People who are serious minded won't be swayed other than maybe very briefly just because there are many attractive looking people to choose from at first glance whether in a bar or online.  They may be picky about looks but if they're serious minded it's not going to be fun for them to chat up a bunch of people and keep meeting people to find someone "even" better looking.

Casual dating is great for those who want it -this wasn't meant to judge that preference!

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Despite social media, online dating websites and apps, the best way is to still meet and date the old-fashioned way which is in person.  Meeting someone through mutual friends, acquaintances, neighbors or relatives is safer because they can vouch for another person as they've scrutinized, pre-screened and done their "homework" for you.  (Colleagues know people, too.  They have friends and family.) 

Another route is meeting people in person based upon your activities such as sports, recreational activities (preferably healthy lifestyles), volunteering for charity or community work (empathetic types there), fundraisers, in person business networking functions or events, hobbies, special interests, clubs, organizations and the like.

If you're faith based, church is an excellent way to meet a lot of people within your brethren.  There are a lot of sub groups.  

A lot of people met during college and married.  Or, met during some type of class or course work.   I know a lot of couples who met at work and married.  That can be a gamble and risky especially if the relationship goes awry and now you're stuck with daily awkwardness while you earn a paycheck. 

You have to put yourself out there in person as opposed to being holed up indoors with your eyes glued to the computer or with your nose in your phone. 

Having an insular personality doesn't work if you want to meet someone.  I also agree with Batya33.  Have a strict list of lengthy high quality requirements otherwise you'll have to settle for mediocrity or less than that.  I've been married for a long time and if I didn't snatch up my husband when I did, some other very lucky lady would be typing this response instead of me! 

I would never trust shopping around for a partner with complete and total strangers out there in cyberspace.  You'll never know what type of weirdo, whacko or criminal you could encounter which is downright scary not to mention dangerous!  😮 😦

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55 minutes ago, Ernest Stone said:

For me, the hardest thing in finding a partner these days is to find someone with similar interests. You may like going for a walk in the park or having sex in different positions, but if all you agree on is very little. It is important to have a lot in common with your partner in order to build a long-lasting relationship.

I think common values are essential.  I think things in common are less important than both people being curious about the world and wanting to learn more and grow and do this together.  I am now more interested in Star Trek than ever before, I am more flexible about leaving my comfort zone to travel and explore the world, my husband is more interested in aspects of health and fitness and is more willing to work on being on time for things, especially things like air flights and appointments.  

Common sense of humor is important too.  It's easy to find a like minded partner if you put yourself out there and get involved in activities and environments where people like you and who like some of the same things are likely to show up.  

I think people who do online dating are not dating.  They are typing and talking and maybe sexting online sometimes for months or longer and telling themselves they are dating. 

 I think people who use online dating sites to meet people in person ASAP for a quick first meet will be just as if not more successful than people who rely entirely on meeting for the first time in person -meaning the first time they lay eyes on the person .

This is because for serious minded people you often can screen for the essentials on line that you can't always do if you meet someone "cold".  For example I met a really nice guy at a high school reunion.  It wasn't the high school I went to.  I asked him to meet for lunch and we did.  But I didn't know we didn't have the same religious background.  I personally did not date outside of my religious background.  So I stayed friendly with him but did not date him.  The lunch was not a real date and he figured out my situation with my religious background and was totally fine with it.  

I met my future husband across a crowded room.  At work.  We also could have met through an online site.  We each had profiles during the years we were not dating each other.  We also could have met through mutual friends/acquaintances as it turned out, coincidentally -we did.  I don't think it matters how we met because we were right for each other.  We weren't anymore right for each other just because we happened to work for the same large company at the same time for a period of about a year or so.

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I read a repeated study of groups of 20 people, each with numbers 1-10 labeled on their foreheads. Nobody knew their own number. They gave the people under x minutes to approach the others and find their match. Everyone started by approaching the top numbers, yet within the given time each paired with their own matching number with a few one-offs.

I guess the point is, we each learn from trial and error how to pair up. While some potential dates may have sought the most attractive looks, it doesn't mean they'll have any luck there.

So its a level playing field, and it makes no sense to imagine an unrealistic level of difficulty.

Dating requires resilience from everyone. If you can position yourself to meet people organically, where attraction can develop from familiarity, great. If not, then setting up quick meets through an app or two or more, can at least put you in the game.

The best way to squelch all odds and ensure zero dating is to hang out on the sidelines complaining about the difficulty. I know this--I've done it! Hah!

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@Cherylyn and @Batya33 hey ladies,

what would you say should be part of the requirements/standards? (aside from the obvious no having red-flags).

The dating world is not easy indeed. I personally have been trying to dip my toes, and it's been bringing up a lot of emotions and thoughts on what I had and what I want from a future partner.

 

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22 minutes ago, DarkCh0c0 said:

@Cherylyn and @Batya33 hey ladies,

what would you say should be part of the requirements/standards? (aside from the obvious no having red-flags).

The dating world is not easy indeed. I personally have been trying to dip my toes, and it's been bringing up a lot of emotions and thoughts on what I had and what I want from a future partner.

 

Everyone's requirements are different and based upon individual preferences.  I'm different from Batya33 as everyone is different from each other and what each person wants. 

For me: 

What I wanted in a future partner was envisioning what type of future I'll have with this partner because a future is what I wanted.  I foresaw long term potential as opposed to a temporary relationship.   A lot of my decision making was from history, intuition and observation. 

Will mediocrity suffice?  Was I willing to tolerate and accept a person if he met most of my requirements but not all?   NO.  I've already lived through that hell with my mother. 

I can't speak for everyone.  However, I decided to choose my husband based upon my nightmarish late father who was the exact opposite of my husband and late father-in-law (FIL).  I was bound and determined never to repeat my poor mother's horrible mistake.  She told me that you can never change a man which was scary forewarning long ago and I had never forgotten.  I've already witnessed more than enough of what a man should not  be and I wasn't about to relive it.  😪

I wanted what most people want.  I wanted a normal, happy life.  In order to attain it, there were absolute strict requirements such as high moral character,  sound economics,  physical and mental stability.  I wanted an overall very solid, stable life. 

I live a very established, settled, peaceful life in the suburbs.  I'm very comfortable in my residential neighborhood. 

I observed how my husband and late FIL treated others which was very respectful and kind.  I wanted a man who naturally possessed common courtesy and common decency.  It was important to me that a man knows how to respect not just everyone but women in particular.  I wanted a very honorable man which was like finding a needle in a haystack.  I've dated a few men who were typical and subpar.  I wasn't about to settle for just anyone.  No way.  I was extremely picky and choosy and it paid off.  🙂

My late FIL set the bar very high.  He treated his wife (my mother-in-law - MIL) like a queen.  He was a strong father figure in his sons' lives (my husband and his brother, my brother-in-law - BIL).  They did a lot together, fixed cars, fixed whatever broke in the house, helped his wife without her having to ask nor nag (chores / errands / tasks) and possessed great manners unlike my sister's husband (my other BIL) who chronically humiliates my sister and became the shameful embarrassment of the family. 

My husband is reminiscent of my late FIL.  My husband observed how his father treated his mother so naturally he is the same towards me.  His late father never had to give his sons finger wagging lectures.  My husband learned everything from observing his late father and followed his footsteps. 

Will a man be easy to live with or will he become a pain in the neck and my endless project?   Will he be an embarrassment or can I take him everywhere confidently?  Will he give me a lifetime of financial struggle, angst, grief and hardship or can we live a comfortable life?  Is he difficult, complicated, complex and dramatic?  Or, compatible and a joy to be with?  Can we relate?  Is conversing easy or unpleasant?  Is he intelligent or not?  Does he possess emotional intelligence (empathy) or not?  Is he selfless and very considerate or not?  Is he generous or cheap?  Is he witty?  Does he possess an intelligent sense of humor and NOT a goofy, dumb sense of humor?  Is he the encouraging type or a 'Debbie Downer?'  

What type of father will he be for my child?  (We have two sons.)  What type of husband will he be for me?   Where does he see himself in 10 years?  I covered all of that.  🤔  🙂

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3 hours ago, DarkCh0c0 said:

@Cherylyn and @Batya33 hey ladies,

what would you say should be part of the requirements/standards? (aside from the obvious no having red-flags).

The dating world is not easy indeed. I personally have been trying to dip my toes, and it's been bringing up a lot of emotions and thoughts on what I had and what I want from a future partner.

 

It's very individual. I had a short list of musts.  I knew my worth (borrowed from the awesome movie Joy Luck Club).  I knew my goals -marriage and family.  I knew I would never settle even if it meant risking my fertile years- which I risked, big time.  I knew I genuinely liked men -I've had male platonic friends since I was a teen.  I could be flexible on a lot that was not on my list of musts.  I was inflexible on the list and a couple of my friends criticized me for one or two items on the list but I am so glad I stuck to it.  

I personally think it's good to know your dealbreakers/ musts.  And also helpful to reevaluate them as needed but without resorting to "ok I'll just settle."  

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Ah thank you so much @Batya33and @Cherylyn

I appreciate taking your time to write about it.

I know the lists are individual because each person has different needs. I like that you mentioned not to settle despite a couple of things other people may think are unseasonable/different. You stuck to it.

Did you also think about what you're giving in return as a partner? Like, would you give the exact same qualities you listed in return for e.g.? Did you feel pressure to give back?

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5 hours ago, DarkCh0c0 said:

Ah thank you so much @Batya33and @Cherylyn

I appreciate taking your time to write about it.

I know the lists are individual because each person has different needs. I like that you mentioned not to settle despite a couple of things other people may think are unseasonable/different. You stuck to it.

Did you also think about what you're giving in return as a partner? Like, would you give the exact same qualities you listed in return for e.g.? Did you feel pressure to give back?

I've never felt pressure to give back in a close personal or romantic relationship because the desire to give, the actions of giving is what a relationship is in essence -right?  More than receiving in many ways.  I would never be in such a relationship where I felt pressure to give back.  I wanted to be partners with someone and give of myself. Loving is giving much more than a feeling.  My list matched up with what I was offering -literally.  Always did. It's why I felt comfortable with my list.  I wrote about "know your worth" and part of my worth is what I offer emotionally, physically, financially even.  

Yes, in another way -pressure -sometimes I do things/sacrifice/compromise after self-talk.  Like today I really really don't want to have to sit in a medical office for 45 minutes plus with my son so that my husband can get work done and sit in the car - I wish I didn't have to go too -it's routine.  I don't feel "pressure" but yes I remind myself at these times that I am inconveniencing myself/sacrificing for the good of the family and for his best interests as far as getting his work done.  He is sacrificing because if I took him by myself it would mean waiting for an uber and/or walking long distances with a really heavy school backpack. 

So it goes both ways.  I think it's essential to find a relationship where each person does what's right even when it's hard/does what annoys them but is good for their partner/family.  

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6 minutes ago, Batya33 said:

My list matched up with what I was offering -literally. 

Yes, that's what I meant by giving back. So, you expected things that you were already matching yourself and giving in a relationship.

Did you expect more than what you were giving to your partner? Or just sort of same level?

I like the example you shared. It ties to the sort of big image of the relationship.

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10 minutes ago, DarkCh0c0 said:

Yes, that's what I meant by giving back. So, you expected things that you were already matching yourself and giving in a relationship.

Did you expect more than what you were giving to your partner? Or just sort of same level?

I like the example you shared. It ties to the sort of big image of the relationship.

My musts were 100% equal. Expect "more"? I don't really get that or relate to it in terms of a committed romantic relationship. Also it's not about keeping score and if it feels that way time for that bit of self-talk!!  It should feel overall "fair" -the expectations -but overall -sometimes one person gives a whole lot more.  I had to for years - parts of years -when my in-laws were very ill and dying.  Give and give and give.  Not always "getting" in return -lots and lots of invisible behind the scenes work, and effort. 

A lot of parenting is invisible work but this was also invisible effort I put in so that if/when my husband wanted to share his grief, his stress, his emotions, he would know I was there to receive it and hopefully help. 

I couldn't express this to him affirmatively as that wouldn't have motivated him -I had to show him often by giving space, by the way I made eye contact when he did speak, by actions like sitting with my mother in law for hours while she was in hospice so my husband could have a break.  And I'm an extrovert and  tend to be chatty but I knew that would not work for him.  That's part of it too - putting aside your needs when your partner needs you.  And not keeping score.

He helped me when I was seriously and suddenly ill.  It didn't last long but it was traumatic especially because that very same night his mother took a fall and was also sent to the ER.  Can you imagine? And with a 12 day old newborn?? Can I imagine him ever dredging that up as in "remember I saved your life basically and remember what that was like??" No.  But at times I remind myself of it -those times when the invisible work is way too invisible and I want to be noticed.  His work that night was invisible since he couldn't tell me why he thought I should go to the ER and leave our newborn.  I can't imagine how hard that was.

Specific examples to me are far better than broad-based abstract discussions about "relationships" and "giving."  Hope this was helpful. 

 

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