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Let's Talk About...relationships / Dating


GraphicsGuy
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Slow day for me (day off...nothing to do), so here's another thread. Was going to put it in the "Sex" forum, but it's not specifically sex related.

 

I really want to be in a healthy relationship with a nice woman, but I think I often subconsciously sabotage the ones I get into. Maybe I'm too picky, maybe not. Maybe picky-ness will keep me from being in a bad relationship again.

 

One thing I keep thinking is that relationships should not be as difficult as we make them out to be. They should be simpler and less stressful than they always seem to be.

 

Like I said, I'm picky. I break up with women for the slightest reason lately...well, and maybe my reasons aren't so slight, who knows.

 

One got snippy with me because I didn't want her over four nights in a row. Dumped her.

 

Dumped another due to bad sex.

 

Another; I found out she'd dumped her previous boyfriend because he wasn't "applying his full potential to his career"...WTF? Well, damn, babe...why the hell are you wanting to go out with someone like me who doesn't care about his career? Boom...gone...

 

Another; too much of a go-getter (actually, there's been a few of those)

 

Also, I've been on dozens of dates in the last two years and I seem to attract women that haven't dated in a long time. Seriously. Women that haven't been on a date in 2, 5, 10, 15 years...I'm their first bloody date in that long. Gee...think any of those went anywhere...NOT!

 

So, I am talking with someone now who seems to be on the same page as me. We're kind of at the same place in life and agree that things shouldn't be as complicated as they get. Unfortunately, we haven't actually met yet so who knows what's going to happen...plus, she's been drinking a LOT during the last week so who knows if that's an issue or just an opportunistic phase...

 

What are your experiences/advice/whatever...???

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My kneejerk reaction is that you need to be more patient. When two people try to combine their lives, there are going to be arguments and some concessions may have to be made, and if you see any discord at all as a sign the relationship won't work then you will never have a chance, except with a timid women who is never honest with you.

 

Granted, constant argument is not good either, but you need to make sure you let people show you all sides of them, otherwise you may be discarding a flower that simply hasn't bloomed yet. It's also okay to date casually and given them multiple chances while not being beholden to them.

 

Maybe I would have dumped the same girls and you have horrible luck, but if you look for the bad in people you will surely find it.

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Yeah, I hear ya. I definitely don't want a timid woman, that's for sure. Shy is one thing. Timid? No.

 

I think a partial problem is that all the women I seem to meet are all concerned about the career, vehicle, kids, house, etc.

 

I don't care about these things at all.

 

My job does not define who I am.

 

I have a nice car and I like nice cars, but I don't need a $50,000 truck/SUV.

 

Have a kid...having more isn't high on my priority list at this point in my life. If she has kids, I am NOT going to be "daddy".

 

House...I have a room in a house with good roommates. Why do I need a whole house to myself or why does it just have to be "us" or whatever? Too much bloody work to take care of the thing.

 

Really, I'm seeking an abstract woman who likes abstract ideas and she can accept that I'm a bit of an oddball.

 

Random thought-processing / babbling...sorry... :P

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You seem a bit controlling (oh noes, a woman got snippy with you) and you also seem like you're looking for a carbon copy of yourself. You talk about all the ways these women are wrong for you, but are you making any attempt to be accommodating yourself, or just looking for possible incompatibilities as an excuse?

 

Why do you need to control what's important to someone else? So you meet someone who's involved in her career and likes nice cars. That doesn't mean that you have to be the same way or do things the same way. Tell her that you're not very interested in talking about work, but you can set up time after she comes back from her job to have fun doing something else. And if she does want to vent about something you don't care that much about, remember that you're probably not fascinating all the time either. It's ok to be in a relationship with someone DIFFERENT than yourself.

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speaking of the sex forum, what the hell is the password?Or how do i find it out?

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You seem a bit controlling (oh noes, a woman got snippy with you) and you also seem like you're looking for a carbon copy of yourself.

[snip]

It's ok to be in a relationship with someone DIFFERENT than yourself.

 

Actually, I probably am over-compensating after BEING controlled for my entire life. I don't want the remote chance of having someone else tell me how to live my life.

 

Carbon-copy of myself? Hmmm...not that bad of an idea actually...but I'd make an ugly female... :P

 

As for someone different...how different is different? How different should I put up with? Someone who doesn't read, doesn't philosophize, doesn't like sex, doesn't like to talk about odd subjects, doesn't like spending time apart, doesn't like that I don't care about Xmas or birthdays or whatever else?

 

EDIT: What's the point in being with someone if it takes so much damn work to be with them? Ultimately, I want to be with someone I'm crazy about, not someone I merely tolerate.

 

Monkeygirl: PM a mod about the password...

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Sounds like you want to date an artist or some other creative out-of-the-box thinker. Any art shows in your area?

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Thanks, Phanta. Your thinking ultimately resembles where I'm at. I know I'm not the only one who feels like I do, but it sometimes seems that way.

 

Compatibility is the key for certain. My wife and I were completely incompatible. Entirely. I mean, I can put up with a LOT of shit, but that shit definitely needs to come from someone who admits they have issues, not someone who ignores all their issues and points out all your own faults.

 

I tried bloody-frickin' hard for 9 years to no avail and no change. My own issues were just getting worse. Had to get out. Had to move on.

 

That's the thing, I guess. I never want to have to work THAT hard at keeping things together again. The right mix has to be a hell of a lot easier.

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Sounds like you want to date an artist or some other creative out-of-the-box thinker. Any art shows in your area?

 

Maybe in the larger centres...Edmonton and Calgary...but Central Alberta is the frickin' Texas of Canada. We don't need them there fancy-schmancy art-fangled shows.

 

Fact is, I will be attending college in January and this new woman I'm talking to is pretty nice. We seem to agree on a lot of the points I've brought up. I definitely have no shortage of options...

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Great advice from Phanta, pretty much the direction I would have gone if I'd read this earlier so don't feel the need to expound. Warning -- I stalk smart, insightful people to see what other crumbs of wisdom I can glean. ;)

 

Something I would like to throw out there because it's something that I'm learning about my own relationship quandaries. It occurs to me that we modern-esque types spend a lot of time getting to know ourselves, our needs, desires, proclivities, what makes us tick, etc., and sometimes forget to let ourselves really see the people we date. I'm reminding myself to pay attention, to hear what is going on behind their words, to see what makes them tick, because people generally aren't self-aware enough to articulate what they are really feeling or what is going on behind their need to talk about nice cars or a job (deep seated nearly subconscious fear of doing without which are ultimately about abandonment) and so on. There is no perfectly compatible perfect person -- we are all works in progress, flowers waiting to bloom with new buds on the vine every day. Maybe what we need to do is give ourselves permission to fall in love with that person, and see how far and how deep we can travel with them, before we decide how long the journey will be (weeks, months, years).

 

Peace~

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You seem to get dates/relationship with more frequency than I've known. Years could go by between one relationship and the next, in my own experience.

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You seem to get dates/relationship with more frequency than I've known. Years could go by between one relationship and the next, in my own experience.

 

To put it in perspective, I have been on a LOT of first dates (close to 30). Very few seconds. Even fewer thirds.

 

Out of those, approximately 6 have been potential relationships. 4 of those were physical (2 ended before they started). Of the 4 (which all lasted a matter of days or 2-3 weeks), there is 1 that I do want to be with, but I'm becoming more and more certain it's just never going to happen.

 

I'm laying this all out to point out that downtoearth is pretty much spot on with the numbers AND to say that you're really having just as much luck with your years in between as I am with my hyper-dating...

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Yeah I don't blame you being picky.

It is understandable that you don't want to settle and you are wary. I agree with downtoearth, basically you are saving time by separating the wheat from the chaff, (excuse the biblical ref). I don't think it is sabotage, you just have a nack of knowing what you want and what you don't want. You just figure it out pretty quickly. I think I am like that with making friends. I can't be bothered to deal with so many people I meet. They come and go. Good friendships are hard to come by, and basically finding that partner for life, there has to be a friendship too, because as Phanta said, those early chemical highs do ware off after a while and so then what are you left with?

 

A bit cliche I know, but you will know when you have met the right person, the one you can tolerate for more than 4 nights in a row. ha ha. ;)

 

I would say just carry on doing what you are doing, no pressure, no time limit.

 

I hope you do find that someone.

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How different should you put up with? Hey, if you discover that a woman doesn't like sex or has no interest in talking about anything you're interested in, that's not going to work out. But someone who isn't smart in the sense that they don't read and philosophize a lot may be smart in other areas- it could be worth your while to find out about what their talents are and appreciate those, even if it's not going to become a major commonality.

 

It seems like you have pretty rough criteria- not unreasonable, just not a very common combination. You want a smart, well-read woman who isn't timid, isn't very career oriented, doesn't want a child with you, and isn't clingy or needy. However, it seems to me that women who meet MOST of your criteria are going to be found pursuing careers. That's why I think, why not give a chance to the kind of "go-getter" that you'd normally reject and use any additional time she's spending on her career as some extra private time for you?

 

Is there any way that you can meet more women through mutual friendships or common interest groups instead of online? (In your first post, you mentioned that you haven't met in person the woman who you're currently most interested in.) At least you'd know you had something in common, or some common friends to hang out with, and you'd get to see and interact with the person before you asked her on a date. Having a lot of dates that don't work out seems pretty common for online dating or never having observed the person beforehand- of course you're going to show up and not click when you're two complete strangers with possibly nothing in common except wanting to find someone to date.

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Okay, I haven't read everyone else's responses yet, but here's my $.02 on the topic...

 

When I was still single and dating, I had sat myself down and wrote out all the things I wanted in a partner - everything that came to mind went on the paper, regardless of whether it was stupid (such as eye color) or major (such as beliefs - which, at the time, was major). After doing that for some time (couple weeks or so), I made three columns on a seperate paper: one for things someone HAD to have/be, one for things I really wanted, but could maybe live without, and one for trivial things that would have been nothing more than icing on the cake.

 

One of the biggest ones for me was accepting me for who I was - especially since I was still neck deep in fundy christian stuff, the fact that I was not going to be the timid wife was a biggie. Also, I wanted an equal relationship - not a "man leads the wife" type. The lists covered a full page and then some.

 

I used this when dating - and even pulled the lists out on occasion to see if my hunches matched with the lists.

 

In the end, it paid off. My hubby is great, and we get along wonderfully (my only regrets are personal, nothing to do with him). He's my best friend. I've been told by people (including a shrink) that our relationship is not emotional enough - well, for me, that's great. I'm not a drama person, I hate drama (get plenty from mom), and prefer to just discuss things. We've been together for a total of over 8 years now (6 married) - we have not yet had a single fight. Disagreements, yes, but we've always been able to just discuss them and work it out. Sometimes we may be annoyed or even mad at the other person, but it's never escalated to yelling, fighting, pouting, etc. Granted, both of our personalities tend to be the more "even keel" type that just don't get worked up, so I'm sure that's a factor.

 

But back to the lists - it's almost more about getting to know yourself than about the other person. Might also be worthwhile to see what kind of person you tend to be attracted to vs what you have down on the paper. For me, there's a rather large difference between the two, but the lists I think proved more useful than just attraction (of course, attraction is always a factor to some extent, but the lists kept my attraction in check, at least after the first few dates).

 

Now, the lists won't help you find a date or meet people, but I found it very useful to organize what I was looking for. Plus, then when I broke up with someone, I knew why, and I knew why it was a real issue (for example, one guy I dated I really didn't like, but he was totally into me. When I decided to break it off, I went to the list and figured out exactly why I wasn't into him...and those concrete reasons gave a lot more substance into the break up).

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But someone who isn't smart in the sense that they don't read and philosophize a lot may be smart in other areas- it could be worth your while to find out about what their talents are and appreciate those, even if it's not going to become a major commonality.

 

Good points. It's pretty much impossible to know what's going to attract me to someone. Attraction/chemistry is so bizarre sometimes.

 

I'm kind of stuck meeting women online right now. I would much rather be going out and doing things, but am unable to due to my current situation.

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But back to the lists - it's almost more about getting to know yourself than about the other person. Might also be worthwhile to see what kind of person you tend to be attracted to vs what you have down on the paper. For me, there's a rather large difference between the two, but the lists I think proved more useful than just attraction (of course, attraction is always a factor to some extent, but the lists kept my attraction in check, at least after the first few dates).

 

Geez...I'm getting some pretty damn good advice.

 

I guess griping and bitching and beating my head on the wall was actually productive this time around... :P

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I third making a list of standards.

 

I didn't have terribly good luck with dating until I did just that. After my divorce I woke up to the realization that one of the reasons I kept ending up with asshole men in crappy relationships was because my standards were so vague as to be nonexistent. I'd never thought about what I wanted in a relationship or a partner, and I'd never thought about why I wanted it.

 

So I sat down with two pieces of paper and came up with two lists. One was a list of things I wanted in a partner, one was a list of things I didn't want. I later refined both lists much in the same way as HRDWarrior mentioned, filtering them into categories like "must have's" and "dealbreakers". Each list had about 50 or so qualities on it, with about 10 of those being absolutely non-negotiable.

 

Small digression: I've nicknamed one of my exes "41" based on the above lists - #41 on the Shit I Don't Want™ list was "always pestering me for anal sex."

/digression

 

Coming up with a set of standards just helped me figure out what I actually did or didn't want. It was useful as a filter for potential partners, but it was also a useful exercise in self-awareness. If you don't know what you want, you can't go out and get it.

 

So there's some questions: what do you want? What don't you want? How close to your standards does your intended have to be for you to be happy with them? How much variation can you tolerate? How much do you want? What are your absolute requirements? What are your absolute deal-breakers? Are you being picky, or petty? Are you being reasonable, or too demanding? Are you looking for a real live person, or a reflection of yourself? Do they have to be perfect? What's your idea of "perfect"? What's "good enough"? If you come across someone who isn't exactly what you want, are you going to resent them for it, or just accept that they aren't right for you and that's okay?

 

Digging deeper, you might also ask yourself things like what you think love is. What is it? How do you know when you love someone? How do you feel, what do you do? How do you know if they love you? How do you know if you want to be with someone long-term, vs. when short-term is okay? Do you want to be with someone for the rest of your life? Why? Why not?

 

I found asking questions like that very useful, anyway.

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Hmmm.. don't know what to say, Mark.

 

 

I don't have a formula for dating. The more women I've met and known, the more confused I get.

 

 

No two are the same, yet there is a common theme. I have no idea what that is.

 

 

Quantum physics is comprehensible; a woman's feelings are not. Even Einstein said so.

 

 

My current sweetie pretty well kicks the shit out of me after every date. "I can't believe you said that". I whimper like a whipped puppy, then we have hot sex.

 

All romance is science fiction. Really, it is.

 

Start enjoying the company of a woman. It's not a test paper to mark. So what if she's working class trash. Or daddy's girl. Or really wishes you were a tennis pro. Maybe she's not sure what she should be either.

 

I usually just wait for something to go "click".

 

Sorry for the beating. :grin:

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What are your experiences/advice/whatever...???

 

Man, I don't know what to tell you. Not counting prom I dated one woman and married her after 3 months 36 years ago. Yes we are still married and we still hold hands.

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How the hell do you get first dates in the first place? That's always been a great big mystery to me.

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I've used online date sites (Plenty of Fish mostly) pretty extensively. Met a few people on there that became friends and from them enlarged my circle of friends.

 

I've been on there somewhat steadily for 2 years. Well...hardly steadily. I've dumped and restarted my profile numerous times when I thought something was going to happen with someone or when I just got too strained by life in general.

 

I contact anyone who seems like they could be compatible. I like to meet fairly quickly to see if any chemistry is there - pictures and words lie pretty easily. Every woman is different though so I try to be sensitive to what they're comfortable with.

 

I've met some women at the bars/pubs and some through friends. I make a point of talking to people and being social. Find out their interests and see if there's going to be any compatibility. I ask for phone numbers and always call or text them the next day. Sometimes they respond, sometimes they don't.

 

First dates can be awkward, but more often they're just a great opportunity to have a good night out. I don't regret very many of the ones I've been on, but it's frustrating when things continue to not work out.

 

I'm hoping college will yield a larger field of women with more compatible interests.

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Yes,online dating is good for getting first dates.

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