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Dating Struggles


Dean Gladwyn
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English Questions and Answers For D...
English Questions and Answers For Daily Conversation - Part 01
10 hours ago, DarkCh0c0 said:

Ah thank you so much @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?

You're quite welcome  DarkCho0c0.

My musts on my list were long and I wasn't about to settle for just anybody.  This stringent requirement list of mine stems from bad dating experiences with "not good enough" men, my late father who was a horrible husband to my mother and not a family man.  I wanted a guarantee that I would have a good life.  No sense suffering if I don't need to.  Freedom of choice was mine to make.  I didn't want to take any risks regarding choosing a man who didn't check all the boxes.  That's just me though.  I'm extremely picky and choosy in all I do in life.  The silver lining to hailing from a nightmarish childhood and teenage life was yearning and longing for the type of NORMAL, loving, kind, nurturing family lives my friends had.  I so wanted what they had and I didn't want to feel envious forever.  Everyone wants a stable life.

I thank my lucky stars that my husband is similar to his late father.  I wanted a very moral man in my life.  I think most women do. 

I don't feel pressure to give back because successful relationships are like a ballet.  Both partners are in lockstep, balanced and on the same page.  It's intuitive and common sense.  No need to psychoanalyze relationships to death.  Either mutual respect, habitual kindness, love, selflessness and responsibility are there or it's lacking.  If it's lacking, he or she is trouble and it's not going to work. 

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Cherylyn said:

I don't feel pressure to give back because successful relationships are like a ballet

When I meant to give back, I meant in the list. Like, you have a list of requirements, but do you feel pressure to give something back to it in exchange? You expect X from a partner, and you'd be giving that X (or more/ something different) too? If that makes any sense? Or do you just jot down your must haves and go simply after them?

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3 minutes ago, DarkCh0c0 said:

When I meant to give back, I meant in the list. Like, you have a list of requirements, but do you feel pressure to give something back to it in exchange? You expect X from a partner, and you'd be giving that X (or more/ something different) too? If that makes any sense? Or do you just jot down your must haves and go simply after them?

I contribute a lot in my marriage and extremely invested in it so it works both ways.  Most definitely.  There is no pressure because it goes without saying what we both contribute daily and for years. 

Everything isn't exact though.  For example, my husband does all the yard work.  I don't mow, trim nor clean up both front and back yards.  He planted my rose garden.  That's his job and he enjoys gardening.  When he was in high school, he worked for a landscaper during several sweltering summers.  He is very knowledgeable.  He knows how to prep soil, uses a rotatill for yards, plants sod, knows masonry such as constructing block walls with cement, retaining walls and all of that.  We never hire contractors because my husband did it all.   

I don't repair and maintain our cars and suburban house.  He's very adept at electrical and plumbing repairs and maintenance whereas I'm not.  His father taught him everything and my husband can figure things out easily on his own because this is how his brain operates.  He's a "do it yourself" man.  He's the handyman type.  My neighbor said my husband is very "handy" and I'm lucky. 

I haven't pumped gas in our cars in years.  My husband always takes care of it. 

I'm better at cooking than my husband so I menu plan and cook while he is my sous-chef.  I'll do the actual cooking while he plucks herbs, shreds cooked meat, sets anything up, washes everything at the sink during meal prep and after meals.  He'll clean up the kitchen.  He does what he's good at and I do what I'm good at. 

He prefers to do laundry while I find it peacefully quiet to fold laundry at the end of the evening.  I'll iron occasionally because he's not good at it.  He'll dust and vacuum while I'll mop floors or he'll clean the entire house while I get dinner prep started. 

My husband's handwriting is terrible so I'm in charge of anything that requires my very neat printing and cursive penmanship.  Calligraphy is one of my hobbies.  (I'm into stamping, making greeting cards, love cake decorating and sewing.)  I handle all correspondence such as postal thank you notes, greeting cards, stationary type tasks, gifts, gift wrapping which I enjoy and fancy craft stuff.  

I enjoy sewing so I've made gifts for his relatives, my relatives and friends.  I've sewed several quilts.  I love to create and make things.  I knit and crochet.  I sew some clothes.  My husband isn't the artistic type.  My sons are similar to their father. 

My husband doesn't have that great of taste when it comes to wardrobes so I do all the shopping and choose chic apparel for my men from head to toe ~ shirts, ties, suits, casual wear, shoes of all sorts, chose my husband's wedding band long ago and I have "an eye" for anything aesthetic pleasing.  I prefer anything stylish.  They ask me for a lot of advice. 

My husband helped immensely with newborn / child care, etc.  He helps a ton with errands, chores and tasks.  He just does it.  I don't have to ask nor nag.  He helps with anything.  He always picks up the slack.  He makes my marriage smooth and easy.  Happy wife = happy life.  🙂

I do a lot for my husband in my own way.  For example, last year and this year when my late father-in-law (FIL) fell gravely ill, I sent my husband off with a lot of home cooked meals in tow for his mother, siblings, their spouses, kids and spoon fed my late FIL.  We all reside locally.  They loved it and it was a godsend.  Then shortly before the funeral, on the funeral day and days post-funeral,  I cooked for my husband's side of the family, out of town relatives, in-laws and visitors.  I continued sending my husband off on the freeway with more home cooked dinners in tow for his mother and siblings for months.  I stepped up when no one else would.  During times of tumult,  I'm not a "cake and flowers" lady.  And, talk is cheap.  I do more.  My husband said that I came to the rescue because everyone eventually becomes hungry and they enjoy my cooking so I do what I'm good at.  He said that I made him look good which was a very sincere compliment.  His family was very appreciative, too.  (My mother taught me how to cook well.)  

We both share our Christian faith.  We pray together.  We pray before meals. 

We balance each other out. 

 

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Just now, DarkCh0c0 said:

@Cherylynso you expected certain criterion from a potential partner and knew you would give back in your way? You didn't reflect on how, but you knew you were a person who steps up in her own ways just as you would expect a partner to step up in his own way?

Yes, because we all have our gifts and talents.  It all works out in the end.  It's balanced and we are a team.  We divide and conquer a lot.  Four hands make for light work.  🙂

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I want to add -my list of musts wasn't long but everything that was a must was a biggie - and as a result I screened out many men.  I'm confused as to why you're focused on the reciprocity part.  When two people love each other and commit to each other it's assumed they each desire to give to the other, they each desire to contribute to the relationship. 

The tweaking part often happens when the couple shares a home (we did not until we were married and we became parents a few months later), when they choose where to live, how many children to have (if they've decided to start a family), where to go on vacations, how much time to spend with each person's family and when.  

It also requires humility and flexibility.  That's why keeping score is antithetical.  There's a scene in the joy luck club movie where he keeps tabs on what she buys and if she buys fancy food he doesn't eat then he expects her to pay for it.  Obviously they divorce.  That's an example of keeping score of course.  

And that old cliche -communication - using I statements if you feel annoyed, frustrated, disrespected.  If it feels unfair.  We were on a family vacation once and it was one of those rare times I needed to go to the big box store and buy one item I needed -it was a mile away.  I also mentioned I'd look to see if they had a few other things we needed and would return the damaged item.  He drove the mile.  I went in. 

I had no more than 10 minutes to myself - I was halfway done -when I start getting texts about what's taking me so long.  He didn't get why this was particularly annoying since all I wanted was a brief time to run this errand without interruption.  A bit of me time - and it feels like a spa time when I get to shop alone lol. 

To him it was just random texting.  To me it was intrusive.  He's not a mind reader.  He also doesn't get what it's like to do all the vacation packing and laundry. So when you have your list of musts, built into that list should be a person who is flexible and humble and would prefer to be close rather than right.  Those people typically are giving people  - and you want that giving to come from a position of strength not insecurity.  

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 8/25/2022 at 10:41 AM, 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 can empathise with this... Is it always just fear of rejection though?

I don't know if I fear rejection as much because I can't really imagine a scenario where I approach a woman, she says she isn't interested and everything is OK.

As a kid I was seen as weird (not in a cute, uniquely weird way, more a creepy makes other people uncomfortable weird way). I've had people say too that they suspect I'm the sort of person who has ulterior motives, that I seem nice but might be hiding something. So... I'm pretty self-conscious about being creepy.

I don't approach women, I never have, not once in my entire life... because I just can't shake the feeling that it won't just be a case of a man approaching a woman, asking her out and her not being interested, that because of how I look and my mannerisms and speech patterns and whatever else it is about me that gives people the creeper vibe, it would be more of a case of a pervy looking creepy guy slithering up to a woman and making an inappropriate comment that makes her feel unsafe. Then me subsequently losing all my friends as everyone who hears about what I did wanting nothing more to do with me and becoming the social pariah that I plainly deserve to be.

Ugh... dark stuff. It feels just about real enough to discourage me from approaching women. TLDR I just don't trust myself to be able to apporach a women in a nice non-creepy way.

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It’s typically inappropriate to cold approach a stranger and ask for a date. It’s much more natural if in the context of a gathering or activity where people are supposed to mingle. I’ve asked men out. Would have done if a lot more if back then it was an effective way to find a long term relationship. I was both accepted and declined.  No biggie. 
It is creepy for a man to approach a woman like that who  he doesn’t know - with rare exception. For example I work out daily in our building fitness center. There’s sort of an unwritten rule since it’s small for one thing that you don’t use it as a way to converse with neighbors especially at dawn when I go.

There’s a man who goes around when I do a couple of times a week. One day we did have a conversation while I was getting ready to start my workout. It was interesting. Hearing about his background.  I then put in my headphones and worked out.
That was months ago. We never spoke again. Not because of any bad reason - we respect each other’s space and need to be in our zone and get our workout over with. If he continued to speak to me regularly I’d be uncomfortable in that context. Not as far as him flirting - he wasn’t !- but because it makes it awkward for me then to indicate I need my me time.  

This is why it makes sense to me to get involved in situations where people are supposed to mingle. Makes it so much easier than having to be concerned about etiquette and personal space and figuring out social context and cues. 

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17 minutes ago, Batya33 said:

It’s typically inappropriate to cold approach a stranger and ask for a date. It’s much more natural if in the context of a gathering or activity where people are supposed to mingle. I’ve asked men out. Would have done if a lot more if back then it was an effective way to find a long term relationship. I was both accepted and declined.  No biggie. 
It is creepy for a man to approach a woman like that who  he doesn’t know - with rare exception. For example I work out daily in our building fitness center. There’s sort of an unwritten rule since it’s small for one thing that you don’t use it as a way to converse with neighbors especially at dawn when I go.

There’s a man who goes around when I do a couple of times a week. One day we did have a conversation while I was getting ready to start my workout. It was interesting. Hearing about his background.  I then put in my headphones and worked out.
That was months ago. We never spoke again. Not because of any bad reason - we respect each other’s space and need to be in our zone and get our workout over with. If he continued to speak to me regularly I’d be uncomfortable in that context. Not as far as him flirting - he wasn’t !- but because it makes it awkward for me then to indicate I need my me time.  

This is why it makes sense to me to get involved in situations where people are supposed to mingle. Makes it so much easier than having to be concerned about etiquette and personal space and figuring out social context and cues. 

That's fair... but I agree too and don't think I'd ever consider approaching a woman who was a perfect stranger.

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I approached a man and asked if he would like to take my number and call me, but only after we'd hung out as part of a group a few times. Turned out he already had a girlfriend so he politely declined. I didn't feel rejected or like I was some creeper. It was just something that happens sometimes.

I did have a man sort of cold approach me at a couple of events and again at a party. I admit, I was rude to him because I was dating someone at the time and I knew he knew this. Interestingly, we did end up dating a couple of years later after my previous relationship had ended. He didn't hold my previous rudeness against me, I guess!

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12 minutes ago, boltnrun said:

I approached a man and asked if he would like to take my number and call me, but only after we'd hung out as part of a group a few times. Turned out he already had a girlfriend so he politely declined. I didn't feel rejected or like I was some creeper. It was just something that happens sometimes.

I did have a man sort of cold approach me at a couple of events and again at a party. I admit, I was rude to him because I was dating someone at the time and I knew he knew this. Interestingly, we did end up dating a couple of years later after my previous relationship had ended. He didn't hold my previous rudeness against me, I guess!

Yeah, I know not everyone will have the same type of hang-up that I have. I do wonder how common it is though. All through school I was characterised by other kids as weird and creepy and this feeling has just never left me; so now the main thing that goes through my head if I think I want to approach a woman I'm friends with is that I shouldn't because it will only scare her, and that yeah women do like to be approached in certain situations, but not by guys like me.

Sometimes I do see guys, and they are being really inappropriate and such and just things about their body language that seem threatening towards women. There's this guy who a lot of people I know also know and he's always propositioning women in inappropriate ways, often in a transactional way like 'I did this for you so now maybe you do this for me', he's not even the only one, and I just think... if I started approaching women, that would be how it would be, that's how I would appear. If I am going to eventually get to the point where I can take the initiative in romance then I need to improve myself first... a lot.

Mostly I actually try and disguise the fact that I like a woman. Especially if she is a friend, I have this fear that it will become obvious I like her, and then of course I will lose her as a friend as well as potentially be seen as creepier and lose other friends. I have a lot of friends I'm attracted to too, which probably just makes it sound like I'm very shallow in who I choose to be friends with, but I think it might just me more that the circles I move in do seem to contain a lot of women who tick all the hypothetical boxes for me and that the things I look for in friends and the things I would look for in a potential match are pretty much the same things. In any case I tend to be a bit hypervigilant over the signals I might be giving off in an attempt to hide any signals of attraction.

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1 hour ago, Carnatic said:

I don't approach women, I never have, not once in my entire life... because I just can't shake the feeling that it won't just be a case of a man approaching a woman, asking her out and her not being interested, that because of how I look and my mannerisms and speech patterns and whatever else it is about me that gives people the creeper vibe, it would be more of a case of a pervy looking creepy guy slithering up to a woman and making an inappropriate comment that makes her feel unsafe. Then me subsequently losing all my friends as everyone who hears about what I did wanting nothing more to do with me and becoming the social pariah that I plainly deserve to be.

 

That is just "catastrophising". You wont lose friends just because some girl said "No". Or because some girl thought you were "creepy". That is just an overall perception on you that you have and that needs to change. You need to feel that you are the best guy in the room(even if you arent) and that girls would be lucky to have you. If you think that she would say "Ew, what a creep" then you wont ever do anything. Its the perception you have about yourself that needs changing.

I mean the last few I didnt met by "cold approach" but either through friends or large gatherings or work. But back in the day (listen to me talking like a boomer lol) when me and my friends were mostly single guys and got out in town way more, "cold approach" was one of the ways if you didnt have somebody who already knew a girl to introduce you to her. After a while you would realize its not that hard because all you do is introducing yourself, talk about whatever and try to exchange contacts if it goes good. But my point is, you need to at least try it a few times and see that its actually not that scary even if they say "No" at the end. But due to your thinking how they would put you on "Twitter wall of shame" just because girl wont like you, you havent experienced something that most of guys need to do in order to get the women. Because women maybe get that "priviledge" to be approached. But unless you are some super cute guy model, I am sorry but you wont get approached by women that much or almost at all. So you would have to get the courage and do it if you want to meet women. Try it at least in social settings. Go and introduce yourself to some girl. Any girl. And just talk a bit. Dont even think about the outcome and just practice talking. If you dont want to talk anymore or you see that it doesnt go that well, you can leave. Its no big deal and try not to look at it as it is. 

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22 minutes ago, boltnrun said:

What are you actively doing to overcome your irrational fears?

I'm in therapy... it takes a while though, it's a long process. A few years ago I probably wouldn't even have been able to articulate the answers to questions such as 'why do you think you are so creepy', I had terrible mental health, terrible self-esteem, PTSD from an abusive relationship and hang-ups over the way I was treated at school. It feels like at every point in my life... especially when I have come close to being more confident (I healed myself to an extent in my late twenties before getting into a relationship that kind of undid all the progress), I've been hammered back down.

Now I can, but the self-image I have had been so relentlessly hammered into me as a kid. It feels difficult to fight it... seems to take a lot more than just me thinking 'I have an active social life' or friends saying 'I don't think I'd be your friend if those things were true'.

I was weird, and I was bullied, I was told that I was weird, I was told that I was ugly/weird-looking and I was even used as a way to bully other kids (i.e. girls would be teased by being told that I was their boyfriend) and on the occasions I told teachers I was being bullied, teachers told me that it was my fault for being so weird and the kids who were bullying me were nice kids and good kids and I was the bad one for trying to get them into trouble. Teachers punished me because they thought I was being deliberately weird to mock them.

Kids are known for being cruel so I don't think I'm going to be the only person who had this sort of childhood. I always hope that if I post here it isn't just me asking people to help me, but a chance for a group of people to discuss the way we all feel.

@Kwothe28 my perception about myself does need to change. On the surface I'm doing everything right... I think. I mean I do go out and have friends, I'm an outgoing person, sort of... outgoing but highly self-conscious at the same time. I approach people of all genders to just have a chat with them when I'm out and meet a lot of new people that way... but I mask a lot, and that includes masking my sexuality by trying to hide any signs of attraction I may have when talking to women, far from actually being open about that attraction.

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3 hours ago, Carnatic said:

@Kwothe28 my perception about myself does need to change. On the surface I'm doing everything right... I think. I mean I do go out and have friends, I'm an outgoing person, sort of... outgoing but highly self-conscious at the same time. I approach people of all genders to just have a chat with them when I'm out and meet a lot of new people that way... but I mask a lot, and that includes masking my sexuality by trying to hide any signs of attraction I may have when talking to women, far from actually being open about that attraction.

Its an ongoing process. For example lots of guys come through what you described. Fear to approach, not know what to say, fear that they would be rejected etc. Those are all normal. But should be gotten over in time. We all go through some of those phases in some capacity. You are kinda late but its never too late to work on yourself and manage to get through those phases. Same with attraction. You should have been able to express your attraction toward somebody in a healthy way. Compliment a girl, pick up if she likes it, call for a drink etc. 

Apropo your "agressive approach" story. I have an aquitance that is like that. We were at the wedding, he practically ran to the girl he likes(probably because he feared somebody else would be faster lol), pulled her by the hand(she was on her chair) and has gone to "first dance" with her(we have a sequence at the wedding that is for couples, bride and groom dance as slow music goes and other couples join to dance with one another). He didnt do anything by the end but even some girls noticed that he was way too agressive there. Some guys can get away with that. You shouldnt be that. But you should be able to express your attraction in a non-agressive way. For example in this case actually asking the girl for a dance.

But yes, first and foremost, you need a better perception on yourself. As much as "cliche" it sounds, nobody else would see you in a better light unless you see yourself there first. I think its good you started therapy and hope it helps with your self- image.

 

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