leep with someone because you want to, not because they said the equivalent of 'open sesame' by saying "Let's do something tomorrow" or alluding to the possibility of another date or future plans because that's like going, "OH.... so we're going on a fourth date / they mentioned the future! Ching ching! It's safe to drop my pants now."

Recently I had a few lengthy conversations with a close friend about the guy she’d been on three dates with, where my bottom line message was to not sleep with him until she was ready and knew him a bit better. It was clear that she was very hopeful about him but she’s been burned before by the whole moving too fast sexually and much as she loves sex, she also recognised that due to her love of it, it can cloud her judgment or leave her feeling quite vulnerable if things don’t work out and she happens to really like the person.

She felt that that they had a lot in common but it also became clear from her description of the dates that sex had already cropped up a few times in conversation. He’d made it clear that he was eager to sleep with her. My spidey senses went up, not because he fancies her or was horny but more because he was clearly persisting with that line of conversation and at the same time I knew that she was flattered but it was all getting a bit cat and mouse plus self-doubt was creeping in.

It’s that second-guessing your reasoning due to feeling ‘bad’ that someone is horny and you’re not doing something about it. It’s that fear of playing it wrong and ‘scaring’ them off. I thought this type of thing would stop once you got into your twenties but I hear from people who are in their fifties and sixties who are worried about coming across as ‘frigid’ and losing out on dates due to not putting out.

Oh poor him with a hard-on that he doesn’t know what to do with, I thought. He’s horny not ill! Couldn’t he delay gratification for a bit longer and enjoy the anticipation?

I did my best to caution my friend without bursting her bubble. I told her about the numerous tales I’ve heard and what to look out for. Guess what happened next?

Resolute in her decision not to have sex, they went on another date and because they were having such a good time and he said that they should do something the following day, she changed her mind. Hell.To.The.NO! As she was getting ready to leave the next morning, she asked what time and where he was thinking of meeting and she was met with a blank face. He didn’t even remember suggesting it and made no steps to go ahead with the plans anyway. She was understandably furious.

Every day, people share similar stories with me that are basically tales of making an exception to their general rule of behaviour and values because someone said or did something that sparked a sense of potential and hope. They change who they are based on associations they make about certain hooks and then feel burned by deviating from who they are because the assumptions they made didn’t hold up.

Why change your mind about being you and doing things that chime with your values just because you were given flowers, attention, asked on another date, or because they’re good looking, popular or were saying things that sounded like you had a lot in common with one another?

That immediately screams that you’ll forget your own needs, expectations and wishes to chase potential and to do what you think will appease the other party. But what happened to being you?

There’s nothing wrong with my friend sleeping with this guy if it’s, 1) what she wanted to do and, 2) what she was doing in line with her values. She did want to sleep with him and she owns that but she is regretting that she did it on the basis that she did.

Sleep with someone because you want to, not because they said the equivalent of ‘open sesame’ by saying “Let’s do something tomorrow” or alluding to the possibility of another date or future plans because that’s like going, “OH…. so we’re going on a fourth date / they mentioned the future! Ching ching! It’s safe to drop my pants now.” Realistically “I’d love to! What shall we do?” would have been more than sufficient…

It’s understandable to be bit (or a lot) hurt in this situation and to also feel angry or even foolish, but situations like this are a valuable lesson on doing the right thing by you and not changing your mind on a whim of chasing potential. When you start making exceptions, you forget the very reasons why you made the decision and how it tallies with your needs, expectations and wishes. My friend is at a point where she’d like to get into a serious relationship, so hand burned, lesson learned.

It’s easy to give you a hard time when this happens but while of course it’s frustrating when your hopes and expectations aren’t met, what you can be sure of is that situations like this flush out who someone really is and also give you a gentle or even firm boot in the bum to quit people pleasing. Ultimately, she hasn’t missed out on the riding off into the sunset fantasy but she is going to ‘miss out’ on a fling that’s not going anywhere.

Your thoughts?

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315 Responses to Don’t change your mind about being yourself on a whim of chasing potential

  1. Peanut says:

    I haven’t had sex since I was twenty-two years old. I am twenty eight. Yup. I have not met a suitable man to have sex with. Nor have I tried to find a suitable man to do anything with. Yes, there was the ex. Though I was in love with him, he was not a suitable partner for me in any respect. I had to leave without satisfying the urge. And believe me it was gargantuan. I wanted to sleep with this man more than I’ve ever wanted to sleep with anyone. Well, almost. But he would have devoured me and left. I am not a plate of cookies to be ravenously eaten, shat out and forgotten about. I am a human being.

    • dancingqueen says:

      Ah Peanut I am going to be the first to respect your decisions, although I am sure that there will be a few who say that it is somehow impossible to not meet a quality man in that time…it is possible, at your age, to run into a slew of low quality guys. Although at my age ( mid 40′s) there are some as well…

      I have not had sex for a year, and I do not know if it is my age now, or what, but I honestly am not that bothered; I just can’t seem to get worked up about it. I am going to really try to get myself out there again, but I have to say, that my boundaries and my sense of what I want does rule out a lot of guys my age. I know that there are some great guys out there, just looking for someone like me, who is like them, but man are they hard to find in their 40s and 50s!

      I do feel great about one thing though; whatever hormonal deficiency that I have now due to getting older is helping me not worry about dropping my trousers for just anyone:)

      • Tinkerbell says:

        Hi Dancing. I think a man 60+ just might be a better bet. I understand that you’re not gung ho for an intimate relationship as you say due to hormonal shift. But, I dare say, you may also feel the possiblilty of meeting “Mr. Right”, (and and I use that term loosely) may be pretty dim for you. Not so. IMO, men in their 40′s and 50′s still have a lot to prove to themselves, i.e, that they’ve still “got it”. The tendency is to have one last fling, but they never reach the end of the flings until years later. A man over 60 will likely have more maturity and be more in touch with his mortality. He begins to think about how many more years he has to be on this earth. With that, he may want to earnestly right the wrongs he committed in his youth, and cherish peace, harmony and tranquility. Now, of course, I could be dead wrong and am only going by what I, personally have seen. But, it’s something to think about. a couple examples of what I am saying: the adage, “It is better to be an old man’s darling, than a young man’s slave.” And, let’s face it, as men get older they seek younger women. Therefore, if you are in your mid-40′s, a man over 60 will consider you youthful, but at the same time mature and ripened from life’s experiences.

        It is now 5:am and I don’t know what has brought on this response from me to you, but I do hope you will give some some thought to what I’ve said, every now and then. I’m sure you have much more important things to do. I just wanted to cheer you on and encourage you not to give up hope.

        • Kit-Kat says:

          Peanut. I liked reading your post. I am 53 & am told all the time I look much younger which I take as a compliment. It’s been almost 2yrs since my break-up from the AC who I spent 9yrs with. Thinking back I knew things weren’t exactly right but I was content. I saw some waving red flags but I dismissed them, talked myself into believing we were meant to be together. He had alot of good points but I just knew he was a commitmentphobic thru & thru.I figured eventually he would have to throw in the towel & commit fully to US. I mean at 55 who wants to still be a player right. WRONG ..But that is water over the dam & I have moved past all that and am NC for life because thats whats best for me.. In the 2yrs I have not met 1 man I would even look twice at. I havent lost hope but I am not desperate & I know what I want thanks to BR. I see the chances are slim to meet a quality guy but you have to have hope or where would that leave you… I have a full life & if it happans great and if not it doesnt.. I look at happy couple & think who really knows whats going on with them. THey appear happy but who really knows.

          • Peanut says:

            Kit-Kat,

            Perhaps the chances aren’t so slim. They might be but maybe not. The good thing is that whether we are in a relationship or not our worth and identity can stay the same. I’m not ready to date and sometimes it feels as though I’ll never be. I need to cut the umbilical chord with my seriously dysfunctional family before I’d be comfortable to start dating again. I need to stand on my own two feet. For me I want that more than I could ever want a man. I want to be a successful, warm, happy, thankful, strong, assertive level-headed woman before I start dating. It seems eons before I’ll reach that. I am near thirty and feel like a scared teenager. But I am not. I am an adult. I am a woman who is constantly capable of facing reality and the truth. I just have to breathe and keep reminding myself of that. That I can handle what life throws my way.

            • Daphne says:

              “I want to be a successful, warm, happy, thankful, strong, assertive level-headed woman before I start dating.”

              Oh, that was lovely to read! And yes :-) That’s the journey I’m on myself, luckily with friends who are supportive of it rather than asking constantly, “So have you met someone yet?”

              Uh, no. It would probably help if I looked, but I’m not even looking and haven’t been for a long time. When my own house is in order, maybe then I’ll think about adding a man to the picture ;-)

              • Peanut says:

                Daphne,

                I am not looking either. I had a severe inferiority complex when I was dating and I’d attract men who if were not narcissists, were very close. Also, little did I know consciously that my type fits the bill for psychopath. I googled the definition and was shocked that this was what alerted my interest. It should have alerted alarm bells. It is starting to. So after the ex I swung to the other extreme, and went through what felt like an exorcism as I was crying and just looney and on edge for about a year along with health problems surfacing. I started to notice narcissistic qualities in myself and it terrified me. Thank goodness I was in therapy. I am working through it though it is maddening and terrifying to think of who I have consistently let into my life. Dating is not on my list right now, which is exactly where it should be. Take care xx. Wishing you hope, adventure and healing on your journey.

          • fran says:

            Can I just say Peanut and KitKat…(now that sounds like a yummy combination!) that quality men are hard to find, yes, I won’t say that’s not true but I have a sneaky suspicion that sometimes it has more to do with our own ‘timing’. You know there is a saying someone said to me once, and it rang true at the time and since has seemingly proven true in my life. And that saying is, When the room is ready the guests will arrive.
            Maybe, when you are ready the right man will arrive.

            • Kit-Kat says:

              Fran… I believe you are so right. When I entertain the thoughts of dating again my stomach gets tied into knots. I just dont have the desire right now. Eventually I know the time will come & hopefully I will meet a quality man. I had a sweet little irish woman tell me the other day she was going to pray to have a good irishman sent my way..ha,ha.. She was hilarious. My future is full of possibilities and when the time is right it will all fall into place.

            • Peanut says:

              fran,

              I agree. The timing is so not right for me now. Sure I want the goods of a relationship but I am just not available and will only attract unavailable which will just set me back further in the long run.

              • Fran says:

                True Peanut, that is basically what I did for a while because I didn’t really want or was ready for a relationship. I attracted the wrong sort of men…until I realised, this must be what I want right now because this is what my actions are resulting in. If I want something different I have to do something different. Funnily enough, my “epiphany relationship” was with a wrong man but I don’t regret it at all. He was a beautiful if damaged man but he taught me so much… I regret a lot but not him. Even some wrong relationships can be the right ones at the time…if that makes any sense! I think i explain it better here… http://truthjoybeauty.blogspot.com.au/2012/02/oh-how-i-loved-him.html

                • Tanzanite says:

                  Hi Fran

                  Is that your personal experience ? ( the link you left )

                  I’m just wondering what the age gap was ?

                  It’s great you feel that way and you have no regrets.I can certainly relate to those feelings.

                  I didn’t quite feel the same after realising who he really was and the person I loved with a passion didn’t really exist.In many ways my life has improved greatly because of my experience but I lost hope in relationships because of him.
                  I just think-”of all the lives in all the world you had to come into mine”.

                  I was ready for change and I would have found my way without the short sharp shock.

                  I’m glad it is a positive memory for you.

                  • Fran says:

                    Hi Tan,
                    He was 23 when I met him and I was 41. But he looked and acted much older than his age and I look younger so it didn’t look odd when we were out together! In fact the first night we met we spent the whole night chatting until the topic of age came up and we were both surprised! In any case, the age gap was always going to be an issue but we focused on the friendship and in a sense I needed that at the time. After many relationships based on sex, it was refreshing to have an intimate friendship with a man that wasn’t. What I am trying to say by sharing this is that not all relationships that don’t end in happy ever afters are negative. Of course, the down side was that while he was around no other man that could have given me the full relationship I really wanted could get a look in. So when he left, to go back home, as much as it hurt it was a blessing. It all worked out and now I am with someone that loves me in all the right ways as I do him, but I still miss him… :)

                    • Tanzanite says:

                      Hi Fran

                      Mine was a 13 year age gap which turned into a 15 year age gap and to be honest,I don’t know for sure what the age gap was.He seemed very mature.I too, look 10 years younger than my age and we didn’t look odd together.It was nice getting all that attention without having sex (I couldn’t ,I was married) Perhaps I was being naive thinking he was going without sex too.It was 9 months before we slept together.I was so certain he was the one I ended my marriage.The change in him was instant.

                      I had twelve months feeling like you did and a couple of years feeling like Grizelda did in her response to Peter in a recent post Natalie left.(if someone has truly changed,there’s growth and change in their habits )I now realise the age difference was a problem because he now has a child I couldn’t give him,which he probably had whilst we were supposedly together.He could have been with someone else all along I will never know.

                      I agree with you 100% that not all relationships have a negative affect.I have male friends who I could have had relationships with but now they have unfolded I realise it wouldn’t have worked but they are still great mates and they treat me very well.

                      As Natalie has written many times it’s knowing when to fold.It is also how well they treated you whilst you were together which leaves you with a positive or negative memory.

                      I liked your blog-

                      ” oh how I loved him ”

                      we certainly did !

        • Wiser says:

          Ha Tink, this made me smile! I hope you’re right about the 60+ men having more maturity, settling down, learning from their experiences, etc… I had to smile because the AC was a 61 year old guy and I made the huge mistake of assuming (and to assume is ALWAYS a big mistake as you make an ASS out of U and ME and everyone else) that, wow, he’s older AND a leader in the community AND a bigwig at work, AND has raised three lovely and successful daughters no less (so he must know how to treat a woman well, right?) AND at age 60 is done with all that “trying to find himself and prove himself” nonsense – and therefore is probably a honorable and trustworthy guy with good values and integrity. WRONG! I think he’s probably one of the most immature men I’ve ever met. Yes, he eventually “settled down” with the current GF who is in her mid 40s (his divorce isn’t even final yet), but not before he ran around “sampling” other women while he was newly separated, amusing himself, hurting people and in general acting like a complete asshole. I was treated with more care and respect by inexperienced boys in high school than I ever was with him.

          SO be warned – don’t be impressed with someone’s age and experience and think that automatically means they’ve learned a lot over the years, have gained wisdom and maturity and therefore are decent human beings. Sometimes 30 years of experience is just one year of experience repeated 30 times. Means nothing. In many cases, very little growth has happened at all.

          I’m sure there are some lovely, mellow and mature men in their 60s as you say, Tink. I hope so, as that’s the age group I will be in shortly and where my hope of finding a life partner will be.

          • jewells says:

            I can attest to the immaturity knows no bounds. I work with a lot of those and a few are real doozies. I swear one of them thinks he’s a rockstar – he is a driver. I recently met another rockstar that had to be at least 70, actually ‘met’ isn’t the right word – I’m over forty, so he wouldn’t even glance at me, I’ve been told that he prefers 20 somethings…he’s a property developer. I can only laugh, these guys just don’t see an accurate view in their mirrors, nor will they ever ‘know’ themselves or have a ‘real’ relationship. But, I have to say, at least these guys wear their absurdity on their sleeves, the dangerous ones are the ones who hide it behind ‘social conventions’ ie secrets and lies and presentation that defies who they truly are underneath.

          • runnergirl says:

            Thanks Wiser, you said it all. I’ve been dating the 50-somethings and I might as well be dating a 20-something. Hornyashell. So, Tinkerbell, maybe it’s the 60-somethings that have a clue? I doubt it though. I don’t think age has a thing to do with it. Just like appearance, degrees, jobs, and helping little old ladies cross the street and volunteering at the homeless shelter and reading War and Peace. It’s all about trust, honesty, and respect. NOT AGE!
            PS. I’ve been approached by some totally 60-something horn dogs. Totally gross at any age!

            • simple pleasures says:

              runnergirl you are spot on!
              Age has nothing to do with being emotionally available/ready for a love relationship. If someone is eu,they probably always will be without soul searching changes. Don’t chase potential as I did for 6 years.
              I met the math professor when
              he was 33, handsome, vibrant, energetic, educated,
              accomplished,oh, and did I mention emotionally unavailable? After 6 years of potential chasing I finally got the message. Flash forward 30 plus years when I ran into him again.
              Could hardly believe my eyes, snow white hair, wrinkles, yellowed eyes and teeth, but still peppy. I
              assumed he had lived an adult life, matured, suffered some nicks and dings of failed relationships. Assumed he had grown wise from life’s experience, now alone and
              isolated. I thought at least we could be loving friends into old age.
              Nope, he panicked. He never married, had a vasectomy so he’d never father any children, has lived alone many years, wants to live alone. It is not age that determines you,
              it is your character-some of which is innate, some which is either cultivated, ignored, or harmed by childhood and parents.
              The math professor is now 72. But Peter Pan never grew up (I did!). He has the emotional maturity of a 6 year old, and always did.

              • simple pleasures says:

                I’d like to add that age
                does not fulfill potential. My son dated one girl in high school, and then another in college for four years. True blue, trusted, respected, and loved her.
                They married at age 22 (and have a lovely young son now they adore). He has told me and my daughter- in- law that he is often hit upon while working by women and he makes it clear he is happily, commitedly married yet it doesn’t seem to bother the women. He has no interest in having an OW, he thinks he’s the luckiest man in the world to have the wife he does and he found her early on. (he’s 28 now) It’s in his character and values. Either you got it or you don’t. 22 or 72, it’s who you are.

                • Tinkerbell says:

                  Hi All who responded to my most recent post. I know there are plently of exceptions to the rule and I’m not saying that because a man is 60+ there’s any guarantee that he will be mature kind, respectful, honest and want a healthy enduring long term relationship. I fully realize that’s a lot to ask for. But I’ve met some really great older men who seem to have more potential. Of course, I’m not privy to how they treat their women. But I stand by my opinion that 40-50′s is a more risky age group to bank on. There are always exceptions. I than God that I’ve God one of the good ones who has proven to me his sincere love and devotion over and over again. Perhaps I may peering through rose-colored glasses for everyone else on this blog. I wish every one of you all the best. I don’t think being all alone at 70 is the ideal. Not for me, anyway.

                • Tinkerbell says:

                  SP. You did a marvelous job raising your son. Congratulations. I expect that my grandson will be similar. I hope so. There are absolutely some young men who are exceptional.

                • Peanut says:

                  simple pleasures

                  You so pointed out a truth. It’s not about our age, it’s about who we are.

          • ParisHiltonsChihuahua says:

            I’m 50 and I’ve dated men in their 60s and one in his 70s. They are just as screwed up as younger men. Many of them want to play the field and be casual because they’ve “been there done that,” i.e., married and divorced, had the kids, and wifey took them to the cleaners.

            Many of them want only the sex and to leave the rest. You have to be just as diligent as younger women in assessing their character. Age has nothing to do with it. In fact, you may find men in their 30s and 40s are MORE mature if you are in your 50s, and for what it’s worth, they’ve got hotter bodies anyway. I’m dating a 35-year-old right now who is more serious about “us” than I am ! And he’s smokin’ hot as well. Trust me – there aren’t many guys in their 60s who fit that description. LOL.

          • fran says:

            I have to agree with you Wiser. In my three years of being single and dating, including internet dating, I went on more dates then I can recall with men of all ages! I mention some of my experiences in my blog…but one thing I did glean, age does not equal maturity when men are concerned. Not one IOTA!
            I am in my early 40s and am now involved with a man who is 31 and he is one of the most mature, intelligent loving and respectful men I have met. Maybe I lucked out, but they are out there.

        • Georgie says:

          I am 45 and I dated a 67 year old man last year. He was hot and cold. He fast forwarded and future faked. He eventually did the fade out. I thought an older man like that would not act that way! So maturity does not equal age:)

        • meerkat says:

          Oh Tinkerbell, I wish what you are saying was true but occasionally it is not so. My ex is 67 years old. I had been so attracted to him for such a long time and I had sex with him very quickly. While we had a great physical relationship he was an EUM and emotionally caused me so much heartache which I am still working through. He did not respect me and my needs never came into it as it was all about him. He eventually dumped me for an older woman and quickly professed his love for her because she did not put up with his BS, unlike me. I am working on forgiving myself for allowing him to treat me like a doormat – not easy. My two nephews (in their 20′s) would have more maturity and decency than this man.

        • dancingqueen says:

          Thanks for the advice Tinkerbell, I had not thought of that. It is sad that men in their 50′s are still trying to “prove that they have got it”; when does it end lol?

          I will mull that over. I had thought that my age range-wanting to date 50 something-was about right but who knows…maybe it is a bit older:)

      • Peanut says:

        dancingqueen,

        I really don’t know that I’ve ever experienced there being a slew of appropriate partners at any age. And if there were they were invisible to me. At the college I went to there were at least 30,000 students and a plethora of men my age. I never dated one. Instead I got involved with a violent pot head. I wasn’t interested in any men near my age in high school either. I dated a meth dealer who was well out of high school.

        My mother was a paranoid schizophrenic (before she took her life) and I’m pretty sure my father is a sociopath or a narcissist at the very least. I am not attracted to normal, warm healthy men. My last ex had extreme emotional disturbances. All the men I date or am attracted to do. Lately I have chatted with a few warm, together men and here’s what happens: They end up a bit frightened and alarmed by me and after two or so minutes of chatting with them I am bored to tears. I have no friends either. Same thing happens. I do have a dog. She loves me. She is my best friend.

        I am now seeing I don’t attach properly to people as I never had anyone attach to me growing up. They couldn’t. I’ve been in therapy. And my current therapist has really been the only one who has been able to help me. And Natalie. They are strong women. Ah, and my boss. She’s a strong woman too. She’s very professional and keeps it that way. She doesn’t try to be my mother or anything. But she taught me what it meant to be respectfully assertive in the work place without bulldozing over people and how to effectively focus on you and look our for yourself.

        As for sex, I don’t really hear people talk about masturbation a lot because it is so personal. But I really knew I had to discover my body this way before I could let anyone else. When I was a young child I spent some time in a household where I was told sex was dirty, horrid and bad and basically though it wasn’t said, it was implied that if you masturbated then you were going to hell. Being molested shortly after by my aunt’s husband didn’t help things either. Unfortunately the scenario I described happens to a lot of people. Some people do get to enjoy a flourishing sex life without shame. Perhaps that is waiting for me if I ever become ready.

        Apart from fearing sex, like any human being, I craved it. And became promiscuous in high school and a bit in college. But because there were no emotional connections and I was not selective with partners (I’d have sex with men I wasn’t even physically attracted to) the experiences only added to the pain and confusion surrounding sex.

        I’ve had to learn that sex doesn’t make you whole, can turn into a miserable unfulfilling compulsion, is not shameful or bad, doesn’t need to be under ‘perfect’ circumstances (like marriage) just respectful, mutual and caring (like with sane, non disturbed people).

        I’m still not ready for sex as I still desire insane men. My place in my family cycle is this: I am around emotionally disturbed albeit charming people. These people charm then hurt me; I end up more emotionally disturbed making it even harder for me to attach, I become more distrusting and isolated, work in a cubicle where I don’t interact with the public, hang out only with my dog, make no new friends, and on the off chance I chat with a nice man I get frustrated, bored and annoyed. My ex was near black out drunk the first night I chatted him up. Somehow this was interesting to me? Anyway he crushed me. Crushed my soul. No, I think in this case I chose him because I blamed me for the badness in my childhood and therefore thought I needed another soul crushing.

        You sound like a very level-headed warm lady. Good partners don’t come easy to some of us in any respect. They are out there. Perhaps not in abundance but that will make it all the better when you finally meet him. And if you don’t meet anyone, it sounds as if you have the tools to live a happy fulfilling life with self nurturance.

        • Selkie says:

          Hi Peanut,

          Can I share something with you that I learned about me that may have some truth for you too? My dad was a narc/socio too. He was evil. My mom was not mentally ill but she was emotionally wrecked from the crap my dad put her through so I was left to fend for myself most of the time and I became a loner since about age 6. I’ve often felt like a social misfit. I kept the world out and I didn’t relate. So, later in life, when I did get close to a man, it was usually a man who didn’t have his shit together or was mean, or emotionally unhealthy. It dawned on me this past couple of years that I purposely engaged with these kinds of men because I didn’t feel normal and thought that normal people wouldn’t like me. I slotted myself into last place. When a weird guy would approach me, I felt chemistry and comfortable….thinking….this guy is a misfit like me so he will understand and love me. I sold myself out to the LOWEST bidder thinking that was all I was worth. When decent guys came around, I hid in my shell and had no faith in myself that they would even look at me. Well, I got my heart broke over and over, cheated on, beat up, stolen from, used, reused and usually tossed aside when the losers found out I was a bigger loser than them and desperate to be loved, at any cost. I wasn’t really a loser, but I felt and acted like one and picked the worst men, so why wouldn’t I get treated like a loser. I was an ego boost to the loser while my self esteem drained away.
          My idea of sex was out of whack too. My dad had sex with girls my age, girls I knew, friends of mine who came to spend the night while I was in high school. He cheated on my Mom all the time, pretty openly, but just called her crazy and twisted things around on her if she brought it up or tried to leave. I wanted to be loved by my dad, but he was cold. I saw his affection of other women as him loving them but not me and my Mom. Naturally I grew up to equate love with sex. And so the cycle goes.
          BR helped me immensely to recognize and get out of that cycle. I found this site right at the end of my epiphany relationship and things started to make sense to me….now two plus years later….I have my shit together and feel like a normal human. I don’t relate to the loser guys any more. This new attitude adds a little shine to me….so instead of feeling like a loser, I feel like I am unique and special…..worth knowing. I also know that sex can’t replace love. Keep working Peanut. We all see little bits of ourselves in each other here and it helps to know that there is a way out of the cycle because we see those here who have fought the same insane battles as us and have found a way out….and some peace. I am inspired by the stories here.

          • Peanut says:

            Selkie,

            Whoah, our stories are similar. My father dated really young women too. I remember us going to Cancun or something and him bringing back a young woman in a thong bikini who didn’t speak English (he said she was eighteen) to our hotel to stay with him while we were there. I was fourteen or so and remember thinking, “Ah, he brought me a friend. How nice. How fun. My dad is so cool.” Now I look back and see what a sicko he was and undoubtably still is. The last ex I struggled getting over so much brought me to a strip club for a date and insisted that I tip the dancer he had fancied the most. I was mortified. But he was so handsome and was kissing me the entire night I thought I better go along with it. We were misfits together all of 2.5 months then I realized I was just another groupie to him. Just as I am nothing to my father, I wasn’t even an afterthought to my ex. Sometimes I think, “Why did my father hate me so much. What did I do?” He’d be a cruel unforgiving bastard to me and then come in and tuck me in at night and say, “I love you more than anything in the world.” That was when he was married to the ex wife that used to punish me by forbidding me food or water for a day or two. Then when he was single he was out at the bar chasing women and rarely home. I know it’s not about me. I try so hard to see he’s just nuts and I fell into an unfortunate situation as a child. I feel so broken and take up with broken men thinking it’ll fix me, that we can fix each other and that they are the only ones who will understand me. They do understand me. They get me. They get that I perceive myself as broken and I am an easy target for them to use and discard. It’s altogether painful. I want to pretend it doesn’t hurt as much, that who my father is didn’t have that much effect on me, that I can be as blaze as he is about it all. But the truth is I’m crumbling thinking about all the horrific memories. Now that my focus isn’t so much on the ex I’m getting all these flashbacks of all the craziness, abuse and neglect my father put me through. With each memory I feel as though I’ve been kicked in the gut. At least I am feeling now. At least I am putting appropriate associations with the memories instead of thinking what my father had brainwashed me into thinking: “He’s just a fun guy. He’s carefree and just knows how to have a good time. Everyone else is average, stuck up and rigid.” Which oddly enough is exactly how I felt in terms of the ex. My father is a sociopath that is addicted to ecstatic highs and screeching lows and when he bothered to be around he drug me through all of it. Just like all my significant exes.

          • Tinkerbell says:

            Selkie. My goodness! How far you have come! Your comment is very inspiring. Hugs, Tink.

        • dancingqueen says:

          Hey Peanut you are so sweet! I can’t write this without thinking of a female version of the peanut cartoon with the peanut as a person with a hat and shoes and picturing you.

          Well I will say this; as awful as your childhood was, you have emerged with a heart and mind intact, which many, who have gone through less, might not. This is to your credit. You can trust that that will save you, in the long run.

          As far as feeling scared; you know, I felt pretty traumatized in my 20′s as well. I did not realize it then, but now of course it is pretty obvious that I had PTSD as you might have as well. I can also relate to being attracted to crazy men. In my twenties I was only attracted to emotionally abusive drama kings who played with my mind and expected me to save them. On top of that, I had a daddy complex and expected them to save me. From both ends it was just no good. Add to that lack of boundaries and a love of cocktails and a lack of interest in any stability and voila…it is amazing I am not in the slammer or the mother of 18 unwanted children. I must have an angel watching over me.

          What helped me though was…just aging. Really, I feel a lot of peace right now with so many things in my life and it is just because of aging. So much of life works itself out if you aim at your goals, try your best and try to keep your heart open for the right people.

          You will be fine; the 20′s is just super hard for most:)

          • Peanut says:

            dancingqueen,

            I got such a warm laugh reading that. And then I googled the peanut guy cartoon and I do wear a hat (not quite a top hat though, but still) glasses and similar shoes. Kind of like lady versions of his accessories. Too funny!

            Our stories are very similar. I have done everything you mentioned. These men I date, are so wounded and want me to save them and then hate me when I don’t. I want them to make me the exception to their rule, not hurt, use and leave me, but they just end up doing that anyway no matter how hard I try to save them. Truth is we can’t save anyone else. And to save ourselves we need a lot of work, focus and healthy support.

            I agree. I really see a lot of people struggle in their twenties. And the people who don’t, I have noticed tend to have always been grounded or don’t change much. Struggle isn’t bad if it’s for healthy reasons toward a positive goal, realistic mindset and healing.

            But man did I bleed for these men only to be emotionally ripped open again and near bleed to death! I mean I was a shell after this last guy.

            After it ended his attitude was so blase, like “Welp, there there, see ya, this has been sort of nice. Perhaps pleasant for me at times even. You’re so lucky to have gotten crumbs from me you sensitive kitten you” while skipping off headed to the bar in the twilight. Like a little stealing hearts thieving leprechaun. Into the night to drink beer out of his golden pot, at the end of a rainbow dangling his feet into the night sky as he texted his ex something he texted me far too often as we lived in the same city: “I miss you.”

    • twistinmysobriety says:

      Peanut,

      Yup, same here. From 27 to 34 I didn’t have sex with anyone. Then I met someone whom I really fell for and stupidly had sex with him without even been taken out on a date!

      We were friends for a while before, so I somehow justified to myself that it would be ok. Of course, this was not what I really wanted. I just fell for his lines, banked on the potential, thinking I knew him and that as a friend it was fine to “skip a bit of dating” (in the hopes of course of getting into a relationship afterwards). I also felt that I was such a freak for not having sex in over 6 years that I had to do it. Waiting another month or two after 6+ years of not having sex really should not have been such a big deal!

      I have made huge mistakes by betting on potential, the whole dream works. I now think that I absolutely do not want to have sex with anyone unless there is real commitment, trust, care and respect ;). If I really must have sex, then I think that I could handle a pure one night stand with someone completely inappropriate (with no potential) much better than one of these guys you sort of date and have high hopes for. I doubt I will though.

      Good for you for not caving in! I wish I had had the same courage and conviction.

      • Peanut says:

        twistinmysobriety,

        Not giving into the wanting to have sex with this man was the most difficult thing I have ever done or been through. I mean it really tormented me. Our sex life is ours and we must guard it with care and health and so what if it goes against convention? That might not be a bad thing.

  2. Ruth Johnson says:

    Only tonight I’ve actually acted on ‘not betting on potential’ and held true to who I am and what my needs are…

    I’ve been in a FWB situation with a guy I’ve known 6 years. We slept with each other when we first met but his subsequent behaviour to me ended up very cruel and hurtful..even now I can still remember the pain and heartache I felt. 2 years later he got back in touch to apologise and since then we’ve met up for coffee etc every couple of months. Anyway, circumstances led us to becoming FWB recently. He was very honest from the outset in that he’s not looking for a relationship and is more than happy being single. One of Natalie’s blogs referred to George Clooney as a perfect example of someone who is very comfortable and happy in his single status and this is my ‘friend’ all over. I thought I could handle this but my current situation (awaiting an op that I don’t want and will seriously impact the rest of my life and will result in the loss of an ‘intact body image) already means I’m very vulnerable and emotional. He let his guard down believing I was on the same page and consequently the more I’ve got to know him the more I wanted to know him and I finally realised on Tuesday, with the help of a very dear friend, that my emotions had been engaged and so I emailed him explaining this. The communication since has been very confusing. He suggested time out but then started sexting me and even led me to believe he was ready to come over for sex. The next day it was time out and more sexual references. So tonight, with a dvd and a curry, it had to be addressed. Yes, we ended up in the sack with each other but I did initiate the conversation afterwards. After some confusing dialogue, he once again stated that he’s a ‘stand alone’, that it’s natural for him to be like that and he can’t offer me what I’m looking for. That he knows emotions are at stake (ie mine of course)and that he thinks time out is the right thing. And so, having to accept who he is and not bet on potential, I stated that time out has to be just that with no sexting or anything and so we’re back to being friends. How that will pan out and how I will handle that remains to be seen. Yes, right now, less than an hr after he’s left, I’m feeling sad and empty. But, I do know, it’s the right decision. I just couldn’t go on busting my boundaries and suppressing certain aspects of who I am, being an emotional, caring and tactile person, in order to meet his terms of the ‘understanding’ we had (he never liked the term FWB). It wasn’t easy but better now than further down the line…I am so thankful for Natalie’s blogs – they have certainly helped me gaining insight to who I am and what I’m about.

    • Allison says:

      Ruth,

      I seriously suggest you go NC for at least six months, or you’ll be right back in bed together. Maybe, you can be platonic after that point.

      I don’t understand the whole ‘timeout’ thing, as both of you know the situation will never change. This guy is a waste of time, and he’s told you as much.

      You’re both EU, and if you really want to have a relationship, I would address why you were a FWB for so long.

    • ParisHiltonsChihuahua says:

      Anybody who “sexts” you – or whatever the word is – isn’t worth the pixels needed to spell their name. Flush this loser out of your life.

      I’ve experienced the hooking up with guys after a period of time has gone by and IMO nobody has changed, including me. I always deluded myself into thinking I could “handle” something more casual and the guy comes back and suddenly gets “honest” about how he’s in it for the short run and doesn’t pick any bones about it. Just let him go and be done with it.

      I’m with Natalie on multiple back and forths with the same person – unless he or both of you have had some serious psychotherapy (preferably long term) indicating major characterologic changes, it’s going to be hopeless 99% of the time. So not worth it.

      Given some of the assclowns I’ve dated, I wouldn’t be interested in hearing from them for at least 4-5 YEARS after we stopped seeing each other. That’s how messed up they were, or how messed up it was with us together. IT would take that long just for them to get their heads screwed on straight.

  3. Jenna says:

    Yes, it’s easy to tell someone as a 3rd party that they need to refrain from sleeping with someone they really like, however, it is not so easy to do in real life.

    When you have People Pleasing tendencies, chances are, you are

    A. Not very in touch with your own truth;

    B. Lack skills in setting boundaries;

    C. Suffering from unmet childhood needs that leave you feeling desperate in certain scenarios.

    D. Even if you do have learned boundary-setting skills, it’s impossible to use it without practice, hence failure which perpetuates the shame spiral, etc…

    I think it’s deeper than just whether you please your date or not. People who are not taught their worth and value as children do not have a clue when they are adults. It is just a level of almost insurmountable cluelessness.

    We need training and skills on precisely HOW TO navigate these waters, from how to respond, to what to say, to how to think, validation, etc… and I think you are doing this.

    Thanks! I get a lot out of your writings.

    • Gillyfleur says:

      This is exactly how I feel Jenna. I’m on this course due to not setting boundaries about a year ago. The guy subsequently dumped me and within a couple of months was living with another woman. I keep asking myself what her boundaries were and why it was OK for her to sleep with him almost from the first date, but not for me? I know I’ll never know the answer, but this course is at least helping me, bit by bit, to sort out who I am, what I want and how to become a little stronger. At 67 I can’t see me meeting anyone else (on the grounds that a lot of suitable candidates are probably dead!!!) but it’s starting not to matter so much. It’s more important to feel I could cope better if I did meet someone, than to actually meet someone – hope that makes sense.

    • Peanut says:

      Jenna,

      I identify. I certainly needed a how to. The very qualities I thought were desirable in potential partners and friends were the very qualities that qualify people for being psychotic. Mental illness is rampant in my family. And it was in my dating life. I dated, fought after, and chased relentlessly the looniest characters on the block and perhaps in the world. I just grew up around so much sickness that health appeared sick and boring to me. I became sick. I internalized everything around me and thought it all my fault all the while thinking I was the worst human on the face of the earth for having family so atrocious. I thought I was the only one in the world with pain so great. The problem with that is that it keeps you hopeless and stuck. It was easier for me to think I was inherently flawed and that I was a monster, than to look around and see that my entire family on both sides are very mentally ill or at the very least emotionally disturbed. They are like robots without much individual thought or emotion. They are a gang rotting from the inside out going through the motions of sickness out of familiarity and guarding it with ferocity. I’m just in the middle. Not because I have to be. I am still sick too. I choose to be here. I have held myself captive from getting out of the cycle because it’s all I know and I’m afraid. I’m afraid of what’s out there. Afraid it’s worse. Logically it can’t be worse really. Well, that’s not true, it can be and there is worse. But there is better. I think I might deserve it. The better. Health is hard work but sickness, codependence is soul sucking and miserable. Lies are the worst.

  4. swissmiss says:

    Loved the topic and Peanut’s post. I hadn’t had sex with my husband in 10 years when I met the MM, and neither had he, with his wife. It was amazing. I thought that kind of connection came along once in a lifetime. If so, there may be a good reason for it: it can be incredibly dangerous. Fifteen months later, we were still going at it like rabbits when I woke up one day and thought ‘enough.’ Without so much as drawing a breath, he cleaned out his temporary bachelor apartment and went back to his wife. That’s how special our connection was. I have remained estranged from my husband until I can process it all. Everyone says oh wow, what an experience, to feel that, focus on the good things, it was special. What a lot of waffle. My life would have been far happier without it.

    • Tinkerbell says:

      WOW, Swiss. I am very happy for you that the “dream” is over. It is quite shocking how callous a MM can be with an OW. And, you learned just how special it all was to him. NOT. Hopefully, you won’t indulge in that particular fantasy again. We live and we learn, hopefully.

      • Swissmiss says:

        Oh, Tink, your good wishes mean so much to me. I dosed myself with magic elixir from a snake oil salesman. What do I have to show for it? Indigestion.

        • Tinkerbell says:

          You’ll be fine, Swiss. You kicked out the Boogieman. MM’s are the absolute worst experience, I think. For those who have been with the narcs and other seriously disturbed individuals, I apologize if I didn’t give credit for you having experienced the worst. I can only speak on what I know from my own experience. So glad, Swiss, Selkie, I fell for it, Runner and ,of course, myself have all come to our senses. But there are many more ladies on here that haven’t yet. I sincerely hope that Natalie’s posts the comments we “old heads” make(I don’t mean in age, either) will help you find your peace and contentment within YOU, so that you don’t waste time on anyone who cannot respect, care and love you for who you are.

          • EllyB says:

            Well, my personal theory is that a fair share of the MMs are narcissists. Remember, narcissists are unable to be faithful, they are very manipulative and they need constant supply. I think if you’re getting involved with a MM, odds are way above average that he is personality disordered.

            And if you’re getting involved with a narc who is (purportedly) single then he’s quite likely to have other women on the side…

            Anyway, of course MMs don’t need to be personality disordered to be toxic. Totally agree regarding the five bell fire alarm!

            • Tinkerbell says:

              When I first gave the MM the boot, I spent time trying to diagnose his disorder. I decided he was definitely a sociopath. Is a narc an extreme sociopath? I don’t know. But I also realized that it really didn’t matter what his mental disorder was. Labels were unimportant when I knew I was going to focus on ME, which meant he was not going to ever be a part of my life again.

      • I fell for it says:

        I am 12 weeks NC with the MM. As I am now able to clearly reflect on what happened during the few months of the non-relationship, I can see that this is exactly what happened. He told me many times that as soon as he left his wife we would have so much fun. He was always going to do something for me or take me somewhere and I fell for it. Future faking at its finest!

        I gave up after he stood me up at the last minute for the 3rd time. I broke it off with him (by text, of course) and I haven’t heard from him since…not an I’m sorry, I miss you…nothing. It definitely proved to me that I meant nothing to him.

        I hadn’t dated in 15 years before that and at this point I’m not sure I will ever date again. I don’t think I can trust myself to not fall for the same crap again. I thought I knew this man because we had worked together for 3 years and talked for a year before we got involved. There were red flags which I ignored, the main one being that he is married. However, other things he told me he had done in the past were just as bad and I should have listened to my gut and stayed away. I am just going back to taking care of myself without a man in my life. It is so much easier.

        • Selkie says:

          I think if we consider the fact that a man is married to be a complete five bell fire alarm to evacuate instead of a red flag, maybe we couldn’t future fake ourselves or be future faked into a bad/dead end situation agian. A red flag is too easy to walk past (seeing potential)……a blaring alarm that says “DANGER, get out, save yourself” may be a better mental picture. Just thinking. I guess we could apply that to several situations really, not just married men.

          • Swissmiss says:

            I was married, too, Selkie. I thought he was safe, there would be no pressure, that I could walk away when I liked. I was drawn in, hypnotized, I surrendered to him completely. At the end, what I had become scared me to death. It’s very hard to come to terms with the fact that none of it was real. All I have to do is hear a man—married or not—utter similar phrases and I bolt–that’s the main lesson for all of us. Run like your sanity depends on it, because it does. I don’t know if I will ever be my self again.

          • runnergirl says:

            I Fell For It, I think Selkie is spot on, a married man is complete five bell fire alarm. DANGER. I fell for the exMM’s future faking too. MM’s all have the same line “as soon as X happens, Y will happen”. Of course, X never happens. BTW, we worked together too and I thought I knew him…sorry…pretty standard for affairs. Great for you, going NC after the 3rd time he bailed on you. I can’t count the times before I finally had it. And even better, you broke it off via text. You go girl.
            Dating is easy once you read everything Nat has written on dating. MM’s are an automatic flush, even though I still resist the urge to smack them in the crotch. I don’t even worry about packing my lipstick, I pack my flush handle.

            • I fell for it says:

              Runnergirl,

              Texting was our only method of communication. During the 10 months of the non-relationship, I only saw him 5 times and talked on the phone with him maybe 5 times. I hadn’t seen him in more than 6 months when I finally gave up. Sometimes I think I should have called him to end it, to be better than he was, but really he didn’t deserve any courtesy. I’m glad it’s over and I wish I hadn’t let it happen, but it was a good lesson for me.

              • runnergirl says:

                Of course texting was your only mode of commication because he was married. Me too. Nah, don’t do the shoulda, coulda, woulda. You ended it and don’t change your mind. ExMM’s don’t deserve a drop of “courtesy”. The only thing a cheating married man deserves is a drop kick to the curb. So now we know. NO MARRIED OR ATTACHED GUYS. Drop kick. There’s no potential in a MM, no matter what job he holds or that he helps little old ladies cross the street.

                I won’t fall for it again.

              • Allison says:

                Fell,

                Don’t feel bad. It was nothing more than a booty call.

                • EllyB says:

                  When, many years ago, after a horrible one night stand, I broke up with a married man by email (he was 30 years older than I) I felt GUILTY. I was actually afraid of coming across as IMPOLITE (with an older man, a “father figure” no less…).

                  I can’t believe it now!!!

          • I fell for it says:

            Selkie, Maybe a five bell fire alarm would have gotten my attention. His actual words sure didn’t. Since I can look back on it now, I realized what a complete fool I was.

            • jewells says:

              Fell for it, don’t beat yourself up too badly, a lot of us here have been there. I felt like an utter fool once the penny dropped, but now I look at it as a kind of rite of passage, I’m now much wiser to not only MM’s, but all EUM’s as a result of going through that and winding up here and all the other work I’ve been doing. Like the pinterest sign ‘sometimes you win, sometimes you learn”. The exMM was my epiphany relationship, from now on I date with eyes open. I certainly wasn’t before him.

    • Peanut says:

      swissmiss,

      I have never felt desire or longing as much as I did for the ex. I mean I was rabid with passion and urge for him. It was like a fever, chronic sickness, a cancer, a torment that just kept growing. I’d be unable to quit thinking about him and how we had kissed or how he had groped me. Then I’d barely be able to do my work the next day, as I’d daze off fantasizing about him and couldn’t even spend thirty seconds focused on the computer screen (data entry). I was a wreck. I was obsessed with him physically. He knew it, too. He used it as leverage and teased me like mad. He’d seduce me then disappear and he only seemed to be wanting to do anything other than making out and groping on a couple occasions and I couldn’t go through with it because, as much as I wanted to something seemed so “off” and it’d be off the back of him doing something shady and me bringing it up. It was pure torture. Stop and go stop and go. I’m pretty sure he had other sources for sex or was too busy with his recreational drug use to feel the sexual urges like I did. I think he consistently has a steady stream of groupies just itching to satisfy him. Me, well, I’m just a loner who has a hard time letting anyone in, much less men. He used that to his full advantage. He wanted to own me, posses me, devour me and spit the bones out (figuratively. I hope!) But in all seriousness I felt like a bunny who chased a wolf and got caught out by the wolf stomping on its tail, digging its claws in and watching the animal squirm for its dear life while the wolf salivated, sharp teeth dripping with spit. But then I got away. I wriggled out from under his grasp and I got away. I ran like hell (though looked back a few times, but didn’t stop long enough to be caught again) and now I am free. From him. Now I have a whole pack of wolves to deal with: My family.

      • EllyB says:

        Peanut: “Now I have a whole pack of wolves to deal with: My family.”

        Judging from your life story, your family does NOT belong into your Circle of Trust (http://www.baggagereclaim.co.uk/the-circle-of-trust-do-you-know-whos-in-yours-why/). Which means, you don’t have to deal with them anymore. You don’t have to take care of THEIR needs, because obviously they never took care of YOURS.

        Take care of yourself. If that isn’t possbile while keeping your family in your life, cut them off or at least take a temporary break.

        • Peanut says:

          EllyB,

          You are right. I still live with them. I am twenty eight. I am in the process of moving out. They don’t know yet. I am giving myself 6 months to find a suitable place of my own. It is time.

  5. Tundra Woman says:

    From the old lady/happily married and waaayyy-too-young-widowed in the Nose-Bleed Section:
    Look, I get the whole head (intellect) and heart not to mention hormone stuff: Been there (still go there) kinda stuff but IMO, here’s reality:
    If your partner truly cares about you as a human being, a woman, he’ll back off, OK? Sex *at it’s best* is a mutually pleasurable primal manner of becoming closer to someone with whom you share similar morals, values and ethics. If there’s any part of you that says, “Not YET” even if you can’t articulate why, it doesn’t matter. If you’re willing to settle for hormones etc. only, then get real about it first-with yourself. If you’re gonna do the deed and that somehow means it’s more than that, then it’s on you and your, well, fantasy.
    Because girl/woman, that’s what’s up.And when ya do what cha did, ya get what cha got.
    Really.
    And since the guy has been, ahh, pleasuring himself since he was a kid, he knows what to do and how to do it. Just as women do, OK? And if he’s making his alleged “problem” YOUR “problem” it isn’t a real “problem:” It’s an itch and he’s hoping you’ll scratch it but if you don’t? Well, he has choices.
    Equally as important, so do YOU.
    Don’t ever loose sight of that reality.
    TW

  6. Little Star says:

    I love everything what you write Nat, I have an addiction to BR now:)

    What I noticed from my past dating experiences that the guys who were into me never mentioned sex, they were scared to offend me and were waiting and waiting etc. Meeting AC N2 was different, I was so desperate to forget AC N1, that I “dropped my pants” on the date number 3! I did not actually regret, but he kept reminding me about my “naughty” behaviour, like he never participated on it…Live and learn:)

    • Tinkerbell says:

      Little Star. You will learn more. I’m addicted to BR, also. Sometimes when I think that perhaps I’m spending too much time on here, I can’t help but remember where I was when I first got here. BR helps to keep me strong and levelheaded. Even though I have peace and love with my “soulmate”, (hate that word, but he is that), I still remember the pain of not too long ago. I know that I will NEVER AGAIN allow myself to sink so low as to be an OW, or to be used and thrown away by ANYONE. Of that I am certain!

      • Kit-Kat says:

        Tink & Little Star.. I am addicted too:) Part of it is I read others post & its as if I could written them myself. I see the struggles of others and realize I am not alone in this journey. Its a kinship of some sort. I have healed here with all of you..Its so empowering and I have gained so much knowledge but mostly knowing that u can come thru the other side of these relationships and become whole again is worth more than words can say to me.. Thank all of you for sharing your stories & Nat for such wisdom.

        • Little Star says:

          Kit-Kat me too, I read stories on BR and it’s amaze me that we have so many similarities! We are all lovely, intelligent, beautiful and I do not know how we ALLOWED these losers to use us?! Thanks to Natalie, she keeps me focused, if it was not for her, I would be still with both ACs:(

          • Tinkerbell says:

            Kit-Kat & Little Star. Your words are wise and true. I agree. This BR blog is very enlightening and empowering. If you don’t wise up and at least think about making changes after spending just a few weeks on here, something is seriously wrong.

            • Tabitha says:

              Yes, I always think if we all met up with photos of the Assclowns/EUMS/Narcs who have brought us to our respective knees, we would all look at each other aghast and say “Him?! That man? Really?!”

      • Little Star says:

        Tinkerbell, I am SO happy for you that you met your soul mate! I love reading happy-ending stories and hopefully one day it will be me and others:)

    • Pauline says:

      Little Star,
      “Meeting AC N2 was different, I was so desperate to forget AC N1, that I “dropped my pants” on the date number 3! I did not actually regret, but he kept reminding me about my “naughty” behaviour, like he never participated on it…Live and learn:)”
      I had exactly the same sh*t from my ex AC, I was always the “naughty girl” leading him astray – It seems he was never there either … where do these guys get this stuff from …

      • Little Star says:

        Pauline, what piss me off the most, they CAN live without me with someone new, and ME?! Still longing for them and missing them, for what?!! NOTHING! None of these two ACs spent any holidays, Birthdays with me etc…I felt I was their DUSTBIN who was used and used and used. My memories does not help me to move on…I feel such a failure.

        • Allison says:

          Star,

          Are you still in contact with them? If so, then you know the answer as to why you’re not moving on: you’re impeding your own recovery.

          • Little Star says:

            Allison, I am not in contact with ACs, deleted them from everywhere possible, I presume they are with someone:( You are right my virtual friend, I do stop myself from “recovery”, I must try harder!

            • Allison says:

              Yay!!!! :)

              You mentioned recently that you were still in contact, that’s why I asked.

              Thrilled that you took the step! Isn’t it freeing?

  7. marie83 says:

    Well i have had some interesting news on the ex (not from him!) Most people probably know my story, 3 years of nonsense with a guy who i believed was the love of my life, he blew hot and cold during the entire relationship, broke up with me countless times but still i clung, last September we were in the process of getting back together when he cut contact with me, no explanation – i actually did do the sensible thing and left him to it, focused on me etc, 2 mths later i get a text to say he has got a girl pregnant, she is a ‘psycho’ and he is so sorry that he has ruined everything, he misses me etc – the girl loses the baby very shortly after, some time passes and they have supposedly parted ways and he is trying to get back with me – we start to get close again but something feels wrong, i don’t trust him but say nothing – jump to january, i stay at his house but he tells me that this isn’t what he wants, i ask is it to do with her? He gets mad says no there is just stuff he wants to do and we are going different ways – a month later i see them together and word is she is pregnant. Since then i have been in a world of hurt but for the last month i have been nc with no desire to break it – i have just found out that the girl was never pregnant, all lies but after living with him for months she is now. It saddens me that they are bringing a child into the world but i also think that he has met his match and they are welcome to one another

    • Grizelda says:

      Marie, you’re so much better off walking away from that ridiculous man and his big-mistake-making girlfriend. Believe me, she knows. She knows all about him, all about you and all about whatever additional women he’s had on the go, and she’s responding in the worst way possible: by trying to ‘settle him down’ with a baby. Yeah, an actual live baby. Just like the kind that real Family Men have.

      These men can only ever unfold one way. Whether or not any eggs are fertilised in the process of unfolding, and revealing nothing but garbage on the inside, is merely a matter of biology over common sense.

      • Tinkerbell says:

        The poor children. That’s who I care about, not the selfish, idiot adults. They did not ask to be born under such unstable, destructive conditions. And, when they’re old enough see and know they believe it’s all normal.

  8. NoMo Drama says:

    IME with meeting guys for first dates, it seems that the more he makes unsolicited references to things we’ll do “next time” and places we could go in the future, the more likely he is to just drop me cold, not even responding to my followup ‘nice to meet you’ message. What’s puzzling though is that it doesn’t seem to be part of a Future Faking tactic to get me into bed sooner. What could be the thought process behind this deliberate scrambling of signals? I know, I shouldn’t care, but I am curious.

    • Stephanie says:

      I can so relate to this. The AC was making plans about our 2nd and 3rd date on the 1st date. I think it’s just a future faking tactic. He would always say “next time we’ll do this” or “I want to take you there next time”. He dropped me cold and disappeared!

    • dancingqueen says:

      It is future faking imho. I actually had a guy a few years ago, ask me to go with him skiing on Thanksgiving with all his friends…on the third date! Yes, we made it to the fifth date and then when I would not sleep with him he vanished after not calling me back after I returned his call…doing that is a ploy to get a woman to think that there is a connection to drop her drawers methinks…

    • Rosie says:

      Good question, No Mo Drama! I don’t think men are as simple as we’re told they are. The guy who tried to use me for sex strung me a long for a while. Not that it matters why, really, but I’m baffled by this behavior. When he knew I wasn’t going to have sex with him, he dropped me, got back in touch with me a few weeks later without bothering to make plans with me.

      Why keep me in the picture without wanting me in the picture? If I had sex with him then that would explain his keeping me around as a potential booty call but, in this case,…? I can’t say it was even for an ego stroke because I only called/texted him to reply to his calls/texts and my replies were usually days later.

      Oh, whatever, and it doesn’t matter now, can barely remember what he looks like. It’s just that particular behavior is so baffling.

  9. Cupcake says:

    The problem is there’s lots of guys who claim they want a ‘relationship’, when they just want sex. It’s confusing. I have experienced it myself after being single for 2 and a half years. I couldn’t get past one or two firsts dates, as they guys just wanted sex! Trouble is women confuse it with being wanted, desired and even loved. And think they will get a relationship if they have sex.
    It can be hard when you are single and haven’t had sex for a while, it can be tough to stick to the rule. It’s a hard lesson to learn after being burnt.

    I had amazing sex with my previous partner but he didn’t treat me properly. Which proves that sex isn’t going to keep you together.

    When I met my current boyfriend, there was no rush into being intimate. I knew he was a decent guy who genuinely wanted to spend time with me, not just use me for sex. People are too quick these days, you should get to know someone first before you ‘open yourself up’!

    • Peanut says:

      Cupcake,

      I want great sex. But not with a psychopath. People, myself included make the mistake of thinking that great sex = some sort of mythological other worldly connection. I think this man I wanted to have sex with (didn’t. couldn’t go through with it) was just really, really experienced and calculated. I don’t think he had ever consistently held a job. I think he just played in bands and compulsively chased women. He chased and devoured women the way I compulsively eat cookies.

      • jewells says:

        Haha, I love that:”compulsively chased women. He chased and devoured women the way I compulsively eat cookies.” OMG, I so totally get that one, I have a sweet tooth too and can’t keep cookies in the house – I eat them forgoing any other type of food till they are gone. Looking at EUM womanizers in that light kinda makes me almost feel for them…almost ;)

        • twistinmysobriety says:

          Haha yes, I think about food the same way an AC guy thinks about women. “If it’s there in front of me I MUST have it”!

  10. AngelFace says:

    My comment is about SEXTING.
    Don’t you wonder how many pics thes guys have in their phones of naked women parts?

    I’m on vacation in Arizona and texted a new friend about how lovely the pool is here and how I enjoy swimming & sunbathing. I got the reply that he wants to see me in my swimsuit. I texted back that there is a beach in our city. He texted “yup”.

    So I did not send text of me in bikini- I did let him know if he wants to see me in a swim suit it will be on the day He takes me swimming. Seriously. Not even a future date, and that was perfect segway for making one. I agree with all the ladies posting that it is ok to go as long as you want ( could be years) without having sex with a man. Difficult, but better than being used and hurt.

    • EllyB says:

      AngelFace: That guy is not a “friend”. I wouldn’t reply to such a text at ALL (much less sugest a trip to the beach together!). Silence (and cutting him off FOREVER) is the only appropriate answer!

  11. runnergirl says:

    “He’s horny not ill!” just cracked me up. Thanks Natalie.

  12. noquay says:

    Tinkerbell
    You are right; men in their 60s and above are, in general less likely to use us for sex or to just use us period. My ex husband was considerably older than I; we had a wonderful relationship. In retrospect, all relationship attempts I have had with guys my own age, including the AC, have been disasters. My best friend is 21 years older than I. I am in my 50s and it shocks me that soo many dudesmy age SSTILL have young kids and are “recruiting” for a mommy. Mats post addresses an important issue; we womyn associate sex with love, men do not, one cannot f#$% her way into a relationship.

  13. pinkpanther says:

    And from the gay side of things…
    My experience with women over the past 10 years (I call it the “lost decade”).

    4,5,6, I don’t know, I’ve lost count of the short term “relationships” I’ve been through. All of them started off with the big bangs of stars colliding, and end do to mysterious suckage into vague black holes of nothingness.

    I haven’t been able to meet a woman who wants more substance that that.

    I’m reluctant to just sleep with someone I really like because I can’t stomach the idea of losing another woman to the same song and dance. So many women say the same crap that the men do. “I’m not ready for a relationship, let’s keep it casual, can’t we just keep it lite, ect…”

    I have been told by a few women that they see me as the type who just wants to fuck around, get around, and move on. but as many of you know me, that’s not how I am at all.

    I’m starting to lose marbles over here!

    I’m getting to the point where I am tempted to just sleep with someone I don’t even like all that much (she’s made it clear that’s what she wants from me). This is a nice, sexy, woman, but there is no long term potential (she is much younger). I’m wondering if I should just do it, so as to open up some sex energy that has been closed off. I’ve turned down a bunch of similar situations over the past few years (since I’ve been reading BR). I don’t want to use people for sex, or be used either. Some of you may find it surprising that women do use each other for sex too. But I am starting to think if I wait forever for the perfect woman, it may not happen. In the meantime I could at least be “practicing”.

    Maybe it’s all me bullshitting myself. I feel like a fence sitter, and really, I know all it would take is a few stiff drinks and I’d be down with “going with the flow”.

    • EllyB says:

      pinkpanther: With due respect… I’m afraid you ARE bullshitting yourself. As you can see here, decent women who want a committed relationship DO exist. And I don’t think gay or straight makes any difference here. If many straight women want true love (instead of just being used), then the same must be true for gay women!

      I have a hunch that you are making the same mistake many of us straight women made with men. We focused on the toxic ones and told ourselves they were the only ones available. We stubbornly ignored the decent candidates, because they weren’t our “type”, because we didn’t “click” with them, we had no “chemistry” or whatever. Those are excuses, as NML has repeatedly pointed out.

      If I were you I would refrain from having casual sex at this point. I’m afraid you would only get hurt. You will find the right woman someday… and she’ll be worth it.

      • pinkpanther says:

        EllyB,
        Thanks for the thoughtful insight. I think you are correct.

        And since reading BR, I have been working hard to change my type. I haven’t felt at all desperate to date, but certainly open to it.

        I’ve joined a bunch of meetup groups, and have met some great women, one of them was this younger one who put the moves on me. It’s been 2 years since I’ve been with anyone past 1 or 2 dates. It has been me who has chosen to pass on going further since none of them seemed to have any potential. Most of these women are simply mystified as to why I would turn down sex. Gay culture is permeated with no holds barred sex. I live in a big city, it’s easy come easy go. It seems to me from what I observe, that many of us reserve out true intimacy for our friends who we know will always have our backs. I know there are plenty of people in loving relationships, but the world of gay singles (in this day and age) is like going to a restraunt and ordering a meal.

        I have been working hard on making sure I end up with the right GF, but after all this time, it sometimes feels like I am just looking for someone who doesn’t exist.

        Pretty much all my friends (great, smart, kind women and men) think I am off my rocker turning down all this interest. I can really only trust myself to keep my best interests at heart, to love and respect myself, and I’ve been pretty good at doing that over the past few years since BR.

        So, I have my moments of wondering if I should “just do it”.

        Natalies headline of this post:

        Don’t change your mind about being yourself on a whim of chasing potential

        Ironically, if I do sleep with this women, I would be doing the oppisite of Natalies headline. I don’t see any potential with this situation due to big age difference, so hence, I would not be “betting on potential”, I would not sleep with her if she was looking for a relationship, I know she isn’t. This is simply sex between adults. I have not made up my mind.

    • vhs says:

      PinkPanter,

      just because a woman (or even 2,3,4,5 etc) say they ‘think you look like the type who’s in for casual sex and flings doesn’t mean that you ARE. It means they are tricking you INTO casual sex and a fling. Don’t let their projection of what they want you to be, make that into who you are or what you should think of yourself. If you’re not, you’re not. Period. My ex had -or has, wouldn’t know-, some deranged illusion that I was that type who went home with a guy on a hunch, he even called me a whore, because we hit it off almost right away, which never happened to me before and I was smitten, all the while he was projecting his own behaviour on me (not in the least because it still takes two aswel!) He insulted me from the very start, insulted my true feelings for him, my devotion and my compassion. Had I known about that in the beginning, his own promiscuous ffing around, (he tried to make me believe he was a sensitive wounded bird who only had those ‘sex’ relationships because he was so hurt – woe is him!) I wouldn’t have lost 3 years of my life and precious time and maybe had found a guy who appreciates the real me from the get go and wouldn’t use me to feel better about himself. Because that’s the only reason people assume ànd speak out such ravaging assumptions about somebody without any real prove whatsoever. It’s an insult, and take it as such, especially if you are nothing like the type they picture you to be.

      • pinkpanther says:

        vhs:
        I didn’t sleep with the women who told me this, she was flabbergasted, and she told me it was a complement.

        I don’t at all feel pressure EVER to sleep with any woman, in that respect being gay is different than being str8.

        In my personal dynamics, I tend to be the one who initiates. I like it this way!

      • pinkpanther says:

        Rosie:
        I’m sorry to hear about this rotten guy. I think that any guy who would call a woman a whore has f’d up issues with women. It’s archaic and simply absurd.

        I can tell that you are a good woman with thoughtful intentions. I’m glad you got away from that creep.

        You know what pisses me off? The fact that these types of people hurt the decent ones.

        All the best to you in the future

    • Anon says:

      PinkPanther; maybe be open minded about the age difference- Ellen degeneres and portia de rossi have a big age difference, Marc Jacobs and his twenty some thing partner, Tom Ford and his partner (twenty yr difference, they have been together for decades)…..all gay couples for a long time :))) is this girl cool and cute?

      • pinkpanther says:

        vhs:

        This girl just wants to get it on. She is not who I am really looking for, she’s just standing naked in my path.

        • Tee says:

          Had a weird visual with the ‘naked in path’ oh dear, i’ve experienced those last year dating. I’d been single about a year this time last year (still single) and i went on some dates, one with someone new who’s general attitude to sex was that it should happen even if on the first dates, after we’d had two dates and i wasn’t willing to sleep with him, he began to blow hot and cold.

          I went NC and then he began the messaging. Baffled face! Anyway, have not heard from him again. As i blocked all contact on phones. When i mentioned that i felt it a bit narcissistic to get into this kind of scenario, as it’d be empty essentially for me. He replied mockingly ‘narcissism smarcissim’ that was like ice cold water.

          I felt a cold fear, i couldn’t pin point it. **off topic** It wasn’t until dating a diff guy towards end of the year 2012 for 12 weeks (i mentioned i wanted to take my time knowing him as i didn’t like feeling rushed – he did a houdini)***

          That is eventually how discovered BR and wow! I wasn’t going mad with any of these scenarios. I thought i was being frigid and cruel, i’m in my late twenties and have had so many aha! moments since october, thank you Natalie!

          • Lilly says:

            Tee,

            “When i mentioned that i felt it a bit narcissistic to get into this kind of scenario, as it’d be empty essentially for me”.

            I love this sentence and the best thing is I will be able to see this next time! Well done you for spotting the user.

            • Tee says:

              Brilliant, glad it makes sense, i was using my phone and was trying to type fast before my internet connection got lost. It’s what i feel. And in the past, Two occasions i have fallen for the sleeping with someone before i was ready to, and felt crap about it.

              This last year i’ve been listening when my gut twists / turns / feels like a no. And voicing it.

              It’s annoying to still be dealing with this in my late 20s! I feel like i should know this by now, but i was active sexually till 20 even though i’d had boyfriends at college etc.

              Sex adds a diff aspect to things if not handled with care. Thank goodness for BR

              The boundary articles have been very useful in many areas for me!

  14. pinkpanther says:

    Oh, and I’m just going to add, as far as women and sex goes, I’ve actually been thrown out of a woman’s house on X-Mas eve for not having sex with her as soon as I walked in the door. Since we had such a sexual relationship, I thought she might like it if we had a little romance, ie a movie and dinner at her house. I brought over the movie and some stuff to cook, after we ate, and as we were watching the movie she got all agitated and thought I was playing out some weird domestic fantasy which didn’t involve me jumping on her right away, so she kicked me out, on X-Mas eve! the funny thing is, I ran into her a few years later and she apologized. I told her I was trying to not just treat her like a sex object and get to know her a little, and she she realized that now, and was sorry for being such a bitch.
    I laugh about that one, hella funny.

    • Allison says:

      Pink,

      I would rethink the type you’re are attracted to. If you are repeating this pattern, over and over, you are the common denominator.

  15. pinkpanther says:

    Oh, and let me add, the reason I was with her at all is because my “real” lover had another GF, and she suggested that I find one too so that I don’t get too attached to her.

    Bunch of nut balls

  16. pinkpanther says:

    and you thought it was only gay men…

  17. espresso says:

    Tinkerbell – my ex was over 60 when he embarked on a fast forwarding, inappropriate and oblivious relationship without thinking of the consequences and the recklessness of his behaviour. He later told me that he was just looking for “anybody” and it could and would have been anybody. AT one moment of candour he said he could see that he had the mindset of a 12 year old boy and I couldn’t agree more!

    He had completely naive ideas about sex and even about himself. He had done no processing of our relationship and separation at ALL, had taken nothing away from it to learn from, or of his needs, wants, issues. He was looking for an emotional airbag and sex (preferably really really fast) from the beginning and lately I have realized that it actually could be anybody that wants to listen. I also think that he is far from being over me – talking to women I know who have been on dating sites with older men they tell me that these men find it really really hard to detach from their ex-wives and often hope they can go back to a relationship they perceived was safe (for them). He HAS sobered up a bit and is working on some of his issues now (for himself) and yet I see the fundamentals are the same with him, given certain triggers.

    I just think women should be careful here. I think that having less life left can lead people to take desperate measures…. I am only speaking of my own experience but there are a LOT of men in their sixties, I understand, on dating sites and buying and driving sexy sports cars. And many of them have quite conventional views of women.

    Of course I do agree that these men want to date younger women – and women in their forties and fifties would be it. Perhaps I am a bit…cynical about all this.

    • WO says:

      I think you are being a bit cynical; men in their 60s may have certain qualities that really appeal to younger women. I would imagine men in their 60s are very secure in their lives, and may find they would enjoy a younger woman, esp., a playful one with a lot of pep! For some women, the idea of a secure, protective man can seem overpoweringly attractive. Of course, this is pure conjecture on my part.

      • vhs says:

        There is definitely a number of women , a continent of women so to speak, who not only confess to like older men, they are actualy proud of it too. It’s like they’re saying or thinking that when a man, say at least 10 years older, likes them or wants them, it makes them feel more woman, more grown up, smarter and so on. When really, one shouldn’t be thinking what it defines you as a woman when a man of a considerable amount of years older makes of you, but what it might say about him. Especialy if they don’t want to date their own age. Of course, not every relationship where there is an age gap is doomed or untrustworthy, only when it is a consistency in choosing a partner. It’s based on assumptions and like somebody else said in this thread, you could just as well base your preference on the size of his car or if he wears boxers or not, or a good one I hear a lot too, “if he reads books he must be a clever and sensitive man”. Oh so when somebody has traveled around the world that means he’s able to speak all the languages? It doesn’t mean a thing if he’s 60 or 20. Manners and respect are not dependant on age, if he hasn’t made the necessary steps towards authenticity, sincerity, honesty, respect and the lots, then how does his age make him a better or truer choice?

        • EllyB says:

          vhs: I totally agree! I wouldn’t rule out dating someone who is 15 years older than I. If the guy was explicitly LOOKING for women my age though, then that would be a red flag for me! And if I overheard any of them talk badly about those “old” women who happen to be their own age, I would RUN FOR THE HILLS.

          I know that many guys out there chase younger women, and ONLY them. To me none of those guys would be an “eligible” candidate. I know this limits my “options”… but I think it is going to save me a whole lot of trouble.

          • twistinmysobriety says:

            Exactly EllyB,

            There is nothing more off-putting than a man who is purposely seeking ONLY women who are younger than himself! Even if I would fit into someone’s preferred “age group”, I would NEVER want to be with such a age/gender bigot.

            Seems that there are many older guys, who never had a family because they were playing the field, or who had one, but were never there for their wife and children,and who suddenly in their late 40s and 50s want to have that perfect family. So they are looking for a 20-35 year old breeding machine with nice perky everything. I have been approached by quite a few such men, who NOW would like to play the role of a perfect hubby and father??! Dream on old douchebags! Don’t do it to your fellow sisters ladies!

            And just to clarify things, I am not talking about guys who could date a younger or an older woman. Just the ones who only look for younger women. It is not fair and a major red flag about the content of their character!

        • truth=freedom says:

          Spot on vhs! Totally agree. My ex AC was an older man, he was 55 years old, thirteen years older than me when I met him. I had never dated an older man before and was persued and lulled into a false sense of security bout him being older,wiser,kind,financially secure and he would have dated in a different era before internet dating, not a game player etc etc. Wrong, wrong wrong! AGE has absolutely nothing to do with AC behaviour. He SEEMED to want the same things,said the right things, then the unfolding over a lengthy period of time….it was awful and the worst relationship I have ever been in. I call him ORIGAMI man, from the outside he had it all together, once he unfolded there was no way you could get the creases folds and tucks back together to get what you started with…just a crumpled mess!!!

    • Little Star says:

      Espresso, you are telling the truth and you are not cynical at all. I am on dating site and I am 40 and most of men who contacts me from the age of 50, mostly 55. My best friend 36 and her dates are 45 years old guys, even I look younger than 40 still, I do not want to “reduce” my age (in my profile) to attract more contacts! Strange really, but I was never interested in younger/older men, I always attracted to guys who are the same age as me:)

      • Grizelda says:

        I’m with you Espresso and Little Star. I think women have to have their eyes wide open if they’re going to opt for a relationship with an older man and what they’re likely to be buying into.

        If you genuinely like the man at any age for who he is, what he is, what he stands for, what he’s achieved, how he behaves towards you and everyone else, go for it. Likewise, for a younger man.

        But to say that older men just behave better towards women than younger men do is sheer nonsense. Assclowns aged 65 and over are still assclowns. Not all men want to, or are able to, learn from experience and avoid repeating behaviour that damages others.

        And the myth that men ‘need’ to date women a decade or two younger than them is garbage. Men don’t ‘need’ to date younger women any more than men ‘need’ to drive Aston Martin DB9s.

        In fact, let’s get down to brass tacks. Over the age of 65 there’s increasing risk of bad behaviour that signals the onset of dementia in men. This often starts with unprompted and inappropriate sexual comments or unwelcome aggressive sexual gestures towards strangers as well as partners/family members. When called to account for the oddly sexualised behaviour, the men become truculent and defensive — there’s no fixing it because it’s a symptom of their mental deterioration and the personality changes which are a part of that. Women need to know this if they’re going to take on a man who is advancing into his latter years well before they themselves do.

        • Tinkerbell says:

          About older men vs younger men. My comments were pertaining to those who have manners, show kindness, courtesy and respect regardless of which age group they belong to. There will be immature creeps in any age group. I still think there are a whole more of them to be found with younger males. AND as I clearly stated there will ALWAYS BE EXCEPTIONS TO THE RULE. I’d be a fool to state it’s a given, or clear cut, indisputable.

  18. marie83 says:

    Hi Grizelda yeah i totally am – i spent a good few months comparing myself to her i must say but in reality neither of them are anything/have anything to be envious about, they don’t value the life of this child and my ex is using it as a way to define him – the only infuriating thing is he is telling mutual friends that we broke up because im too good for him – yes he respects me so much and recognises my worth i think not

  19. Rosie says:

    Pinkpanrher- I’ve missed your perspectives & insights. If you don’t really want to use somebody or be used, rhen why cave just because you’re discouraged, frustrated, & haven’t had sex in while?

    What I’m learning since improving my charactet is that when I allow my emotions to dictate my morality, I find myself in Oz. This is because our emotions come from our amygdalas and our moral compass develops in our frontal cortex, the “higher” part of the human brain. Basically, by letting my emotions dictate my morality, I’m a child in the driver’s seat while the adult is in the boostet chair in the backseat taking orders from the child. It just doesn’t work, ya know?

    That’s how I ended up hete on BR! I knew the guy just wanted a hook-up but I ignored it out of loneliness & discouragement. I did like him, though, it wasn’t desperation that attractede to him & I did say no to sex. My mistake was caving to diacouragement & dating him anyway when I knrw I should have said no but, you know, it was only fair to give him a chance… ;)

    • Rosie says:

      I apologize for all the typos. I did it by phone and it’s hard to go back and correct all the errors. I hope you can read it.

  20. Swissmiss says:

    Oh wow. ‘Less life left.” I am 65, my mother is 95. We’re vital and alive. The MM I dumped was 60. He had the maturity of a 10-year old and the deceit of a used car salesman. He is a well-regarded leader in our community, thought of as a man of integrity, so you would not guess looking at him what is underneath. I was absoutely carried away by his charm. Then the real man revealed himself.

    I think older people–myself included–don’t want to start all over again. We prefer to solve things within the existing context–”the hell you know.” I was devastated when he went back to the wife who threw him down the stairs, but there are houses, bank accounts, shared history, and a core family unit. It’s not easy to kick that aside and create a fresh context.

    • WO says:

      “The hell you know” that is profound. I’ve heard one can get comfortable and actually “like” sleeping on a bed of nails if they do it often enough.

  21. KM says:

    This is true any male who starts making innuendos and comments about sex when you barely know eachother is shady as all hell. A man who wants to get to know you will at least wait a few months or let you drive how far the physical aspect of the relationship goes for the most part.

  22. Nicole says:

    I had been contemplating getting back together with an ex-boyfriend who had treated me poorly in the recent past. He was putting on the full press, with the good morning, how is ur day going, goodnight type of texts for months. I was finally softening up and had accepted his invitation to come and visit him in the near future. The next text-convo, I was feeling kinda frisky and sent him a pic of my breasts. He was so excited and seemingly happy. Well, a couple of days go by and no texts hello, good morning or goodnight, just some banal “whats going on” text in the late evening. At first I wasn’t going to address the issue, but couldn’t resist. I basically mentioned that it was odd that I wasn’t getting the same effort from him. Omg, he snapped and said that we obviously wanted different things from each other and that we should go our separate ways. I said ok and haven’t talked to him since. I’m so glad I listened to my gut and said something.

  23. paolo says:

    From reading everyones posts, I guess we could all do with some remembering that just because someone sleeps with us, doesn’t mean they want a long term future with us.

    • Little Star says:

      You right Paolo, that’s why I decided to avoid sex all together, till someone proves with actions that they really love and care for me. IF it is not going happen, I rather stay single and sane!!!

    • paolo says:

      I’m a mature age student and will continue to be for about another 4 years..Think i’ll give this relationship business another go then…Right now, im married to study.

    • Grizelda says:

      The only solution is for women not to ‘remember’ this at some point after they’ve already had sex with the guy (“oh yeah I forgot! Some guys just tell you they love you forever so that you take off your panties!”) but to ‘know’ this, know it well, and understand what it means, before the idea of sex even comes into the picture. Which might well mean that women no longer have sex with liars, time wasters and con artists.

  24. noquay says:

    True, if a man does not have his act together, doesn’t treat you with love be, caring respect, he needs to be thrown away. What I have found is that a lot of those issues have to do with the dudes role models, the environment in which he was raised. If I am ever going to find a suitable partner before I retire in 7 years, it is going to have to be someone older and retired himself: there’s zero job market here except for our college (ain’t going down THAT road again), I will not deal with kids, period, and it is impossible for me do 100 mile one way trips to the nearest place where educated, healthy men are present, especially during the school year. I was reading the other posts about age and thinking about how usually the younger dudes don’t have their act together but the older ones do. Here it is the opposite because the 50-70 year olds are the remnant of the old 70s mining heavy drug/alcohol using/ wife beating culture. If this town is to survive, it will be due to the far more progressive 30 somethings but this town is an anomaly. Yep, I sure do wish I could find someone very much like my ex husband; retired university administrator who has strong work ethic, strong need for social/environmental justice, kept himself healthy, and respected my values and treated me the best I have been treated my entire life.

    • Magnolia says:

      Noquay, I just went to one of the many anti-Monsanto food activism marches that happened yesterday and looked around at the 100+ crowd. I’d say it was 25/75 men to women, and most of the men were scruffy/bearded/hippie/older types. Nothing at all wrong with that, but I reflected that I didn’t see more than a handful of the cleaner-cut hipster/professional or even suburban/working class ball-cap wearing dudes that make up the majority of men my age. I noticed that living my values tends to bring me into contact with not just fewer conventionally attractive men, but percentage-wise just less men. But I’m keeping my eyes open, trying to see past the facial hair and sandals.

  25. Magnolia says:

    “he said that they should do something the following day, [so] she changed her mind”

    I remember exactly what changed my mind about the ex-AC, an older man who was dropping $400+ on dinners with a woman (me) he knew almost nothing about! I thought I was just entertaining some older wealthy dude who ought to know better until he took me to a party with insiders of the local city council. I partied with the Mayor. And I immediately went from feeling like he wanted me to me wanting “him,” and slept over with AC on the next date.

    He basically found my “open sesame”: the mere suggestion that I belonged in the “in” crowd.

    I felt unworthy, low class, and uncool and didn’t particularly want to keep “being me.” It’s hard to choose “being yourself” over some dude’s approval if you don’t like yourself that much.

    Fast forward to a couple years later, post BR: I wrote over a month ago that I’d been offered this gig with the national broadcaster. That I’d been promised the stars. That it felt like future-faking and that they were dangling the possibility of being a “big star.” That I felt like the unreliability of the contact person I was working with at the beginning would continue if I said yes, even though he insisted, word for word: “I’m not flaky, I just want you to know that.”

    All this has come to pass, I’m doing the work but I never did it with the expectation that I’d be a big star or that this person’s unreliability would change. I saw that I would only be disappointed if I was doing it for the promises and not for what was right there in front of me (this work has taken me all over the country and has been amazing). When I liked myself less, I would have been way more upset that the magical Magnolia-recognition didn’t happen.

    I’ve also been in front of some cameras and have been at meetings that have felt very insider-y. I felt an attraction to one of the project leads – but it felt super familiar – and I knew that what was happening was that old “tell me I’m an insider” feeling. I had some extra opportunity to examine those feelings when I learned his age and realized I wanted his attention much more when I thought he was older than me. I was projecting a lot of daddy issues onto a guy five years younger than me!

    Behind the desire to get with the business in-crowd is long and old anxiety from childhood around money, safety, and stability, which I learned could only be bought by giving up creative goals to take a safe job. Every time someone comes along that seems to offer the magic jackpot I’ve been looking for all my life, I get excited and willing to sleep with them.

    I try to find my interest in sex outside these dynamics and honestly, I still haven’t found it. Guys who seem normal and fallible are just ok. I can imagine getting with someone like that in a kind of mutual masturbation way, but I don’t know that I’d be much excited about it. Hope I find my way out of this!

    • EllyB says:

      Magnolia: I can relate to that feeling of wanting to belong in the “in” crowd! For me, sex wasn’t even part of the game (I usually slept with the losers…), but I was obsessed with power and popularity anyway.

      Most recently, I’ve accepted a new job in which I’m going to lose a lot of this. Almost no more access to powerful people at the national level, lower (perceived) status… I still need to grieve the loss of what I had. I had such high aspirations (probably because I wanted to “win” my narcissistic parents’ approval), and yet I’m probably never going to climb any “higher” than where I’ve been during the past few years (all the while still feeling inadequate…).

      And it was hell! I’ve been constantly bullied by a powerful coworker, plus I work in a shrinking industry, layoffs and bancruptcies everywhere. Fear has become normal. I can’t stand it anymore.

      I think the only GOOD reason for wanting power is if it gives you an opportunity to change the world for the better. I cannot see that happen at my current workplace. I had to give in to (almost) any demand from management recently. Once they started doing increasingly shady things, I was the only one who tried to stand up to them, to no avail of course. This is not “power”. It’s the epitome of powerlessness.

      I think many men aren’t aware of this. They just seem to “go with the flow” when it comes to politics, work and the like. They seem to content themselves with the little privileges they have because of being male… no matter what happens in the bigger picture.

      I think Monsanto is a good example. Why should we “settle” for a guy who refuses to see the bigger picture if we do?

    • Tinkerbell says:

      I hope so too Mag. A man who doesn’t appear to be offering that much can be a superior human being. It’s who he is in his own skin, and how he relates to you that is important. Men who are powerful and influential with big bucks can just as easily be a huge waste of time. Look for QUALITY. You may find that you’re just as happy with him and less materially speaking.

    • EllyB says:

      “I can imagine getting with someone like that in a kind of mutual masturbation way, but I don’t know that I’d be much excited about it.”

      Well, this doesn’t sound that bad to me. Actually, pretty good. What I had with my ex-EUMs and ACs was WAY WAY WAY worse than that!

    • runnergirl says:

      Ah Dr. Magnolia, so good to hear from you and congratulations on your work both professionally and emotionally. I loved your comment: “Every time someone comes along that seems to offer the magic jackpot I’ve been looking for all my life, I…”. Me too! It’s odd to think that that magic jackpot I’ve been looking for all my life is within me. The magic jackpot is with you too.

      You have a nice way with words that conjures up very visual images. When you see the young man again, just imagine him with dollar signs in his eyes…

  26. Michelle says:

    Has anyone here ever dated a widower?

    I hope someone can help me. I’m in a tough situation which is making me more and more depressed. I’m 34 years old and i’ve been dating a widower for the past 14 months. We met a month after his wife committed suicide and started dating 2 months after. We were friends first but quickly became closer, as i was also coming out of a tough relationship with a bipolar man who put me through HELL.
    So my current boyfriend is 15 years older than me, he’s 49 and he has 4 children who are going through major grief, naturally. They know about me and i’ve met them a few times, had even dinner with them ONCE, but apart from that he keeps me away from them most of them, and as a result of that i spend most of my nights and weekends alone. I’ve kind of always struggled with loneliness and depression, so again i’m in this impossible relationship with someone who doesnt aspire to the same things as me.
    I want to get married and have children, i want the relationship to go faster so we can at least talk about a DATE when we’d be moving in together. He does want to rebuild his life and live with someone again, but he’s in no rush. I’m so tired of this loneliness. It’s causing me to have dark thoughts and question my whole life. I hope someone here can hear me and give me some life experience. I just dont know how long it’s gonna take for him to be ready to fully integrate me with his children, let alone move in together. He loves me but he cant give me what i want now or in the near future. I dont know what to do. Breaking up is gonna be HELL. i deal with breakups in the worst possible way, but i might have to go thru it again. Please help if u know anything about this kinda situation. Thank you.

    • paolo says:

      @Michelle..Iv’e not dated a widow but i have dated a woman who was grieving the loss of her brother from a year before, and it was no fun dating someone grieving, surprise surprise…1 month seems like nothing to get over the loss of a loved one. I’m not really sure what can be gained from it that can be good?

    • yoghurt says:

      To be honest, Michelle, the first thing that strikes me, nay, screams at me about this is that you were both very recently out of traumatic relationship experiences – three months is no time at all to deal with the suicide of a spouse and yours sounds awful as well. I wouldn’t know my arse from my elbow after any of that, let alone know how to handle an intimate healthy relationship with someone else.

    • Lilia says:

      Michelle, you´re not going to like this but this guy started dating you way too soon – 3 months after his wife killed herself? Don´t you feel like you´re the cushion between him and his pain? How could he have faced his wife´s suicide, let alone work through it, in such a short time?

      And I cannot begin to imagine how his children would accept you right after such a traumatic experience.
      It seems to be common for widowers to seek a new partner asap after the funeral but their new girlfriends are just that – painkillers. Understandably, when there are children, they see it as a betrayal towards their mother. So it´s no wonder he is keeping you out of their lives, they have probably already questioned his decision to be with you, and you aren´t his priority.

      You mention you were coming out of a bad relationship when you met him and he was just sticking his head out of his own hell of a suicidal wife. Perhaps that is just what this relationship was for – to help you both get out of hell a bit. Maybe now it´s time to go your separate ways and work on your issues. I really think there are better things waiting for you, Michelle, but you need to let go of the lesser things in life to gain access to the better ones.

      • Tinkerbell says:

        Michelle, You state that your last boyfriend was bi-polar. Now, this one. Examine what kind of men you are drawn to. Are you a drama queen who enjoys relationships that are difficult, stressful, depressing? Look into yourself and get it figured out because these kinds of partner-ships are not going to bring you happiness and satisfaction.

    • Peach says:

      I am a widow and my husband died a sudden, unexpected death. I was 37 and our son was 4. I did not even think about a relationship till 1.5 years after. Then did not get into one till 2 years after. Unexpected death of a spouse is TRAMATIC. I was dealing with shock and depression for 4 years after. In this case, you are both very raw in your emotions regarding the loss of a loved one, regardless of how it happened. Give the poor man some room. He has enough on his plate. Give yourself some room to process your loss. Two wounded people don’t make a whole. They make a 1/4 of a wholesome couple.

  27. Emerald says:

    Totally agree. Don’t compromise on what’s really important to you. If it’s something more than fly by night you’re after and you want to take the scenic route, then if someone pressures you to sleep with them too soon that’s a red flag – and a red card to them!

    It always seems to down to we ladies to “go slow” when it comes to giving up the goods at the right time though. I wish we could just enjoy something for what it is and not try to shoehorn a relationship into every dating situation. If the guy’s an assclown then there hopefully won’t be another date, but he may be a guy you fancy but don’t feel you want to pursue romantically – in that case why not sleep with him if you both want to? But keep your head!

    Personally I’m a bit of a go-with-the-flow type myself, but I would still recommend that it’s best to wait for as long as possible before having sex if it’s a proper relationship you’re looking for. That way you build on the anticipation, plus more importantly you get to know each other at a more leisurely pace. A decent guy will understand, and surprisingly enough he may feel the same!

    The lady in the story’s date doesn’t sound like such a great loss. If he were tipsy when he suggested it and forgot about it next morning, then he could’ve confessed then rearranged the date. It almost sounds as if he got what he came for. But if it’s not the same as what you were wanting then play by your rules next time ;-)

  28. espresso says:

    When I was saying I was cynical – I meant it was that I see that in general men in their sixties and fifties reject women of their age and go for younger women because they don’t find women of their age attractive physically and because they think of themselves as always desirable at any age. There are exceptional men who feel differently but I would say this is more exception. I feel there is a deep seated hostility towards older women whereas older men are just seen as more distinguished and “successful”. It is hard on older women who may want a relationship with their peers and who are attractive, take care of themselves and are successful and interesting in their own right. I think it is part of the reason why women are going in droves to get plastic surgery and other “enhancements” to make them look younger. It is sad and reveals a lot of deep seated things in our society that we haven’t addressed.

    My ex would have sworn up and down he didn’t buy into this but he immediately reached for the first women he had an intimate conversation with – a woman who was, coincidentally, 15 years younger than him. He later told me after he ended this relationship that he didn’t realize how EASY it would be to get a woman of pretty much any age. I don’t know why he felt he needed to say this to me but it is the kind of thing he used to say to me. She chased him like mad after he ended it in ways that I even became aware of.

    He is working on himself right now not relationships and it is not my business what he is doing but I know I will find it difficult when he has women after him and I will be bravely creating a life of my own. I will hear about this because we have issues we still are addressing.

    When he was really screwing me over last year I was reading a book by Elizabeth George, the mystery writer. In the book there was a couple who had divorced but were sharing the same house for economic reasons. The ex husband was bringing home a different woman from dating sites every week saying that “wow, people have sex MUCH more quickly than I used to when I was younger!” And telling his ex wife that she too would have lots and lots of possibilities for relationships. She said, that perhaps he didn’t know that the years of women were calculated like years of animals…., one year of a women’s life was actually seven years so to most men, even though she was 55 in woman years to men she was like 85. I honestly believe that is true for most men particularly North American and British men…perhaps less so for European men.

    I accept that, don’t want to be hopeless but do want to be realistic so I can clearly put my energy elsewhere. What I think I most miss is the opportunity to have a sexual relationship with somebody who I can trust and feel close to. I do feel that as a loss. Doing my best on my own but it is not the same! :-)

    Interestingly I was talking to one of my daughters about how people say to me that I should not be so pessimistic and she (young career women, finding it difficult to meet men she finds interesting, enlightened etc.) said she got annoyed when people tell her that too.

  29. espresso says:

    Oh and one more thing. I can really see that men in their 50s are both trying to be players (I met a man like that recently) or are recruiting for mommy. Men who are older are often recruiting caregivers to take care of them or in the case of an impoverished friend of mine, somebody with money to provide an ego boast and economic security

    • paolo says:

      @espresso…That’s one of the worst generalizations iv’e ever read..I hope no one in here takes your post seriously.

      • Revolution says:

        Paolo,

        You just brought me out of the depression of reading Espresso’s comment.

        No offense, Espresso.

        FYI all: I was “dumped” by the AC who was 10 years older than me for a woman 5 years older than him.

        • paolo says:

          @Revolution..I know what you mean…Espresso…It’s less about age, and more about the character of the men your meeting.

    • Tinkerbell says:

      Espresso. You make some valid, enlightening reminders. Thank you.

    • Mymble says:

      Espresso
      I think there’s some truth in what you say. My mother has been mostly without a partner now for 30 years or so. She’s attractive and has had offers but she says most of them wanted someone to “look after them” if not in the obvious physical way then socially, emotionally. They weren’t really doing well on their own. And she didn’t want to take that on. But, that said, that’s her experience, and she has her own issues too.

      • Lilia says:

        Mymble
        My mother is the same. I thought she was bitter but when I take a look at how my father and uncles are ageing, I can see her point. What a bunch of whiny old bores they´ve become!
        And another thing I found out during my married with children – experience is that a husband can easily take on the attitude of an additional child. Whenever I see my ex husband I´m still amazed at how infantile he can be.
        On the other hand, there are some older marriages that seem to be happy but as far as I can see it´s because the women don´t take on a mothering role, quite the opposite.

  30. Wise ol owl says:

    Grizelda! My father has dementia and says some crazy things, get angry, blows up, calms down, lashes out at my mother and she is in hell most of the time. The thought of dating a man much older than myself, and Im 54 does not sound fun. I know many older folks from where my parents live (in a beautiful condo in an upscale community of retirees) and many of the women pull me aside. They say, “what do you need to get married for–for this?” then they allude to their ailing husbands from across the room. The women are usually in better shape then the men and end up caretaking, it’s sad and frustrating for them, and while they have love for their husbands, it’s now a life of strictly duty. I know it may sound selfish but I don’t want to take that on at my stage of life right now. The people I refer to are with partners they married in a different time and have been with 50 plus years. I am struggling to take care of myself, my home and property and commute an hour a day each way to work. The guys from 50-59 or so have also been burned either in a divorce, by “dating a psycho” as so many have told me, and are just gun-shy about getting involved with anyone. And yes, most of them still fancy themselves young and would like a younger woman. Women like me also have our defenses up because the little we have earned we don’t want to get conned out of, we have also been burned and don’t want to get into something awful. I would also say that many 50 year olds act like Expresso’s ex (even tho he was 60)and act like 12 year old boys. I find myself spending social times with friends, in groups–and that’s fine. I still have hope for a relationship and the nowadays my fantasy one would be to see each other 2 weekends a month. I am not looking for kids or marriage now, juch something to look forward to now and then

  31. Caterpillar says:

    Selkie and Peanut,

    Ladies I cannot believe how much we unfortunately have in common with our fathers? Sperm donors? I’m not sure people like that deserve to be called “dads”.

    Mine is completely self absorbed, critical, charming, cowardly, irresponsible and oh yeah a sociopath and potentially a molester. He had used and twisted my mother into knots. She moved around the world to stay with him while he pursued his career. She was so incredibly obsessed with him and lost her beauty, health and sanity in pursuing him. She passed away when she was in her early 40s when he dumped the family in yet another new country. He left us kids with her, no money, no language skills, foreign to the culture. Our family and friends were far behind and she was so alone that she broke down and became abusive. He literally put my sister and me through hell. My sister claims he molested her and she has always been distant from me and emotionally unwell. I somehow retained my sanity, though I by no means remain unscathed. I have been NC with him for many years, I broke and allowed him back in several times, the latest about five years ago, thinking and praying that age would bring wisdom and he would change his ways…not so, not in the least. I have also been NC with my sister for years. They are both toxic and I had to accept that in order to distance myself and my son from damage.

    Problem is, although I have come to full terms with not having a childhood family, the impact they had on me penetrates my relationships, romantic and otherwise, well into my adulthood. I’m finally progressing on learning to love and respect myself, in a two steps forward one step back manner. I’m constantly conflicted between progressing and gaining new ground on self respect and just giving in and reverting to old people pleasing habits.

    I struggle so much to hear a voice of reason from within. I’ve been single for a year and I still cannot define most of my past relationships. I waiver between setting boundaries and then thinking I’m being paranoid, when I think I’m just being self protective. I fear that I’m becoming too exclusive. I used to allow so much and had many more people in my life. Now I’m standing more true to this unfolding me, yet I find that there are very few people that were in my life that I will now tolerate. It’s scary that when I stop lying to myself about how “great” these people were, now I see that they were often disrespectful and relied on my low self esteem, knowing that I would stick around no matter what because I needed them to be my “family”. My friends are now few, but they are the healthiest ones out of the ones I had. I am now single, but I feel less lonely. I’m still confused although I know I just have to ride it out and trust in me. This changing process is oh so scary – all new, but also exciting. Although I haven’t hit the dating scene in a year, I know I’m better off waiting til I’m ready now, and I truly hope that when the time comes I will sleep with someone only when I’m ready. When I want to, because he’s decent, he cares about me and he respects me enough to honour my wishes to take it slow. And that’s ok. That’s my biggest take away lesson ladies, that it’s ok to be me, that where I came from doesn’t define me, that I’m worth the wait not just in spite of where I’ve been, but especially because of where I’ve been and came out of to redefine myself anew :)

    • Peanut says:

      Caterpillar,

      I suspect my father was horrific on my mother too. She was a diagnosed schizophrenic and again I suspect he used that to his full advantage. I don’t know for sure but I imagine he psychologically tortured her. I’m not saying she was a saint but she was really ill. I wasn’t there to see it that I can remember. He left when I was a baby. But just a few years ago he was telling a story where he was making fun of her, scorning her and talking of her in such a condescending way. I had asked him about her. I just wanted more pieces of the puzzle. I just remember this grin on his face, ear to ear, as he told a story of how he had messed with her by leaving out of town without her because she was running late. He took an insane amount of gratification in telling that story. He has so many more twisted tales. That was part of it all. Me listening passively to his nonsense so terrified and in awe of him. Just like with my ex. Tears run down my face as I type this. I guess I’ve never really consistently contemplated and felt the pain of the dynamic between my mother and father. It was just all so one sided. She emotionally and mentally bled for him and he used her and still to this day (she is dead. Took her life some time ago) acts as if it was a funny game to him and or he was the victim (that’s why he left).

  32. Brenda says:

    LOL! Can’t say I can even relate to this post right now..but can see the point as I am sure I may have been there at one time, Not sure?

    But I do recall putting out when I was not sure if I even FELT any attraction.. would not do that again, I really do NOT want any JOB in any way period.

    • Rosie says:

      Brenda- I can kinda sorta relate and not sure if this story fits here or not. I gave away my physical virginity when I was about 23 yrs. old to a guy I met in a club. I had sex with him about 2 weeks after I met him. What makes this story different from the usual stories is that he wanted a relationship but I was EU and used him for sex.

      Because of oxytocin (bonding hormone released in large doses in women during sex)and because of my conscience and his emotional manipulation, I became confused about my feelings for him and talked myself into believing I was in love with him. I ended up moving in with him for the sex and ended up engaged to him out of guilt.

      Fortunately, I had the wherewithal, strength, and courage to break it off before we made it to the altar.

      The whole “relationship”, including “engagement” lasted a whole whopping 3 months. Oh! Did I mention that he was a drug addict? Oh! Did I mention that he stalked and attacked (didn’t rape) me after I broke up with him? I didn’t press charges, didn’t occur to me to press charges, just left town for a while. He left me alone physically when I returned but would still call (this was before cell phones, didn’t know who was calling). I eventually changed my phone number and, can’t remember how I found out, but he tried to commit suicide three times, supposedly over me.

      I wish BR were around then but I don’t think it would have mattered as I wasn’t ready for it anyway. I was so disconnected from myself, had no clue that I wasn’t capable of a real relationship. I think I would have still posted like crazy and what I would say would make sense but my real life would have still been in shambles.

      • Brenda says:

        Yeah that sex stuff..

        People never believe it’s a start of anything PLEASE.. God knows I have been celibate for years now.

        I was fed the cr@p lies that only if the sex worked.. Hey everything else will fall into place.

        God knows we all want it desire it and all that.. But trust me it really is NOT what we should put #1 and I would tell all of you women that having sex too soon only makes your brain dead to other things you should be paying attention to.

        let’s get BACK to wearing Chasity belts I say.. Notice how many f*cked things started with sex Even when we THOUGHT we could swing it?

        Many things that start with sex seem to have gone really wrong.

        Been there done that like most of you.. Don’t even want to say what stupid @ss things I did to keep getting it at one time.. Even when it was less than satisfactory, LOL!

    • paolo says:

      @Brenda..Most of the women iv’e slept with i’ve only had varying degrees of attraction to..It’s quite difficult i think to find someone that ticks all the boxes; and even if you do, there’s still no guarantee that the attraction is mutual, or mutual enough for a future together…Or that something else isn’t going to balls it up, like overseas job ambitions etc…I sometimes wonder how ANYONE gets into a relationship that goes for longer than a year.

      • Brenda says:

        Yes but I am not talking “Physical” attraction ONLY he was considered sexy enough by most.. It was his arrogant selfish attitude right off.

        That RED flag -Later I met a women that also dated him and felt the same exact thing right off like I did, very arrogant.

  33. Tired says:

    I was very nieve , but i take it from it a lesson well learnt and i agree if your a people pleaser it is hard to change the habit but im learning slowly . I been bobbing along quite happy , on my own and being very content . Then bang younger bloke from work whos always flirted with me steps it up a bit . Now he is recently just out a rlship about 4 months so alarm bells start ringing really loud so he is classic rebound , hoping older women is gonna be a sticky plaster to make him feel better . Now i got sucked in with the attention it was nice but its like being in a whirpool and im hanging in by fingertips because you think oh ^*^^^^€ i like him . I bloody pulled myself up by the boot straps yesterday at wk and gave myself a good talking to. I done the sleep with them thry will like me bit before , No No No . Back in reality today and so thankful ive got BR im doing okay and proud that ive not f****d things up again . Decided to give him wide berth :)

  34. Em says:

    I learned my lesson the hard way with this a few years ago with a man who began pressuring me for sex almost from the very beginning. I was adamant in my decision not to..despite me feeling bad about his blue balls etc. He then offered me a relationship and because at the time I was relationship crazed..I grabbed that with both hands and soon felt it safe to sleep with him because we were in a relationship and he told me he loved me (in less than a fortnight of knowing each other..before the sex). Needless to say, the relationship ended badly a few weeks after the sex..he didn’t want to have to make an effort for me and deep down I knew something wasn’t right about the whole thing. Now, looking back it’s NUTS that allowed myself to be swayed by all of these promises and declarations that were quite frankly..bonkers. It is obvious he was just trying to do anything to get laid.

    I don’t think I will even encounter a situation like that again..fingers crossed..it was so odd that a man in his twenties was using the bargaining tactics of a teenager. I still find it difficult though to believe anything a man has to say and it is affecting future relationships.

    • jewells says:

      Oh Em, you must be in your twenties yourself. The exMM that brought me here was 47, and said what he needed to to get what he wanted. I was foolish also, but no longer. Whatever you do, do not tell yourself that ‘because someone is of a certain age, they will not lie to get laid’. At all ages certain men will lie to get laid. They just learn it as teenagers and spend the rest of their life refining it. This is what this blog is for, to learn to weed these out before they drive us around the bend with their lies. Hang in there Em, keep reading, learning and eventually these types will not even phase you. They are a part of life whether we like it or not, it’s up to us to not take them personally or let them get away with their BS (with us at least).

  35. lo j says:

    Grace … many posts ago you mentioned a book you were reading about how our attitudes/ perceptions re: relationships determine what kind of relationships we have. (Something like that I think??). The authors name was maybe Steven?? Anyhow, I’ve tried to find your comment to no avail. Can you tell me the name of the book … would love to read. (Hopefully I got the gist of the comment correct … or I might be smoking crack. Oy! Lol!)

    • grace says:

      Hey lo j
      It’s steve carter, getting to commitment.
      On a separate note, I’ve skimmed the comments on age and find them quite a downer. Commitment does throw up the question of ageing, how will he/she age? It’s not something we need worry about if relationships don’t progress.
      One of the pluses of church is that you get to mix with people from 8 months to 80, male and female. And we are not that different. Men and women can get a terminal illness before they’re forty, get dementia (I know a woman with early onset alzheimers and it’s pretty bad now she’s fifty),either the man or the woman can end up the carer, either spouse could die first. My father ended up the carer of my mother and she’s younger than him.
      You cannot know on date one or date one hundred who’s going to croak first. You can have a good guess if there is a fifty year age difference but life does throw curve balls. If you love someone, it goes with the territory. it’s guaranteed that one of you will get ill, injured, die first. It will happen. The only way to one hundred percent avoid it is to not get involved with anyone. Stereotypes abound and are true to a point, but each situation is unique.
      On paper the age difference between the boyfriend and me would suggest that it’s all about sex and a fling. So not true, it’s almost funny.
      And yes a young man in his thirties can not have sex and live.

  36. marie83 says:

    Thanks for posting that Teddie, it is very interesting – i am guilty of only dating people where there is a ‘spark’

    • Rosie says:

      marie83- But there has to be a spark, doesn’t there? I mean, we have to, at least WANT to have sex with the person. Because of my personal sexual values, I can’t have sex outside of marriage but, man, I want him to be a temptation to fight!

      What I don’t want is that overpowering chemistry, the fireworks will burn me every time. I do want a small spark, though, just a small one, the kind that grows over time. Should the relationship make it to an actual honeymoon, we’re not leaving the bed. :/

    • Brenda says:

      Well.. I have given many a chance with NO sparks .. and still the same BS can happen anyhow, when your questioning every damn thing you DO and only asking what THEY want ( most dont know when they move 100 miles per hour )then yeah it won’t matter rather there is any big “spark” or not.

      • marie83 says:

        Hi Rosie and Brenda,
        Yes this is what I struggle to understand – you definitely need to be sexually attracted to someone but if I feel the butterflies in the stomach feeling, which I always took to to sexual attraction, is this really a sign to abort mission entirely. I have recently been on dates with guys where there was no ‘spark’ and so after a couple of dates I decided not to pursue anything. However this has left me feeling rather defeatist

        • Tinkerbell says:

          A few dates does not mean he’s “The One”. Take your time. There’s no fire.

        • Rosie says:

          marie83- I know what you mean. A friend recently set me up with this guy and we went on a blind date. It was the best date of my life in that I now have a baseline of comparison about how I’m supposed to be treated. He set the bar! He was a good conversationalist, was quite chivalrous, a perfect gentleman, etc. His eyes stayed above the neckline, although the waiter kept looking at me below the neckline (I hope my date didn’t leave him a tip!). The problem is that there was no spark, no slow burn, nothing. He smelled a little bit too, not sure if it’s his diet or if he didn’t shower before he met with me. There was nothing for him, either, apparently, as he hasn’t called/texted since the date.

          After being treated the way he treated me, I went home and cried because how I wish, I WISH I wanted to see him again.

          As you said, I don’t want crazy butterflies but is one butterfly, perhaps two a bad thing?

          • EllyB says:

            Rosie: I’m not sure whether I understood you correctly… were you determined NOT to see him again or not? If you considered seeing him again, then why didn’t YOU call him?

            As to body odor… I think some people have problems with it even if they shower often. To me that wouldn’t be a “no-no” anymore if the guy acted like a decent, respectful, nice person otherwise.

            • EllyB says:

              When it comes to superficial criteria, I would be full of “red flags” to most men: No high heels (unstable ankle), no nail polish, no thongs or padded bras (too uncomfortable), crazy about computers (preferring the command line over iPhone interface), very little interest in housework…

              Dismissing a guy for some similiar “flaw” (?) would make me quite a hypocrite. Although I’ve certainly been guilty of this in the past!

      • Rosie says:

        Brenda- I hear you and the BS can happen even if you aren’t questioning yourself. I found religion about 13 yrs. ago and haven’t had sex since. Until a year ago when I moved, I’d only dated “religious” men so my sexual boundaries weren’t really tested as their sexual values were the same as mine. Yet, I still met AC’s who were psychologically abusive and/or deceitful or what have you.

        I told one (religious)guy that I wanted his friendship and I meant it. I really liked him as a person and enjoyed his company. His words were friendship words, no indication that he wanted to date me, said that he, too, was having a hard time finding friends in the area where we lived (we lived in an area where everyone gets married young so we older singles have it hard there).

        I don’t know, then, how he thought we were dating, especially since we didn’t even shake hands let alone do anything else that would constitute a date. After our lunch get-togethers, he’d call me later at night (after 9 pm) telling me what a great time he had, etc. When he invited me for coffee one weekend I told him no, that I was tired and wanted to stay home (I was tired and, as it turned out, getting sick). He dropped me like a hot potato! Good riddance but I was really hurt. I felt so emotionally used.

        Another “bf” (I use that term loosely as it was a LDR) became psychologically abusive as time went on and he was supposedly “religious”.

        When I moved to the large city where I am now, I stopped dating only religious men and am giving other men a chance but that’s when I met the guy who tried to use me for sex, the one who brought me here to BR even though I can barely remember what he looks like. Other men won’t give me the time of day when they find out I won’t have sex with them. I met one religious guy since moving here and he’s relationship-oriented but unrealistic and immature. I told him that I wanted his friendship as he was good company and he agreed but then still had it in his head that we were destined to be a couple. So, ok. I told him to stop contacting me as it was clear he wasn’t listening to anything I was saying about what I wanted. He contacted me anyway. He ignored every social boundary I set with him.

        I don’t know what to do. I give up. :(

  37. espresso says:

    Magnolia
    I really appreciate your astute observations both before and during your new work…about your self, what you have brought to the work, what you see in yourself and others as you do this – your fears, hopes, worries etc. I am trying to do the same kind of detached observations about myself in these kinds of situations and also in terms of understanding more about the dynamics of my past relationship which was/is so painful to me. I think you have been really self honest and that has helped me too!
    I had to go to a business meeting with my ex today and I had new more detached perceptions about how I am guarded and anxious, fearing things will blindside me (he often came to meetings unprepared) even when we I thought we had discussed this in advance. I became hypervigilant in the relationship over the years and when I had to do work with him. So in these situations I don’t relax….I felt a bit calmer noticing these things as if he was a stranger.

  38. Tired says:

    Today had a bizarr conversation with bass player whos in band with ex mm . He has remained in contact as a friend as has drummer . We dont normally talk about ex mm as i dont but for some reason he was mentioned . He told me that he looks tired all the time and does not seem any happier after changing his life . I replied it was himself that need to change not the things in it . And that was it , i thought id be rushing to tell my friends all about it , but i havent it really doesnt matter any more . Just on here to point out we think they skip off into sunset happier , not the case it seems lol

  39. Peanut says:

    I remember noticing my ex acting unusually immature. He was soooo handsome that I just ignored it. Today the venue I was at to get coffee was swarmed with teenagers. And they struck me as really insecure, immature, shallow, loud, ill adjusted with a very limited vocabulary. They just about drove me bonkers. And the sad and scary thing is many people stay this way. Not all teens are unpleasant. But generally they are growing emotionally and socially. I attribute their insanity to growing pains. And shit, they can be mean, judgemental and heartless. (Overheard their conversations). Maturity is something to work at and look forward to.

    Also, after stumbling across a few blogs, I can’t say enough about how well Natalie takes care of this one. Again, that naivete. I couln’t belive the way people actually talk to each other in these ways and are provided a forum for it. Also, it really made me more mindful and yes regretful about the things I post and put out there. It matters.

  40. Peanut says:

    And I’d like to point out my ex was 25 and acted with the mindset of a 15-year-old. I was at about a thirteen-year-old mindset when we met. I was 27. My father is 50. It is clear he hasn’t emotionally matured out of the teen years. I am still taking a hiatus from dating because psychologically I am not ready. When our growth gets stunted in adolescence we can get stuck in that time before solid, healthy boundaries are formed and we go bumbling about like loud, entitled limitless teens. It’s a miserable existence if you are an adult and the scary thing is you don’t even realize it because the self awareness that comes with maturity is missing. I’m glad to be an adult, to grow up. It is time to grow up. It has been for 10 years. I’ve just wasted them on ridiculous men who I chased in order to avoid reality. But reality is better than an empty life of lies.

  41. Lea says:

    Hi everyone. Apologies for my poor english as I am a native French speaker. I really need your help and insights.

    I am have had a long history of dating ass-clowns, EUM, bad boys, players etc. After a succession of disappointments including a failed marriage, I have finally decided to make a change and explore healthy relationships with decent guys.

    However, after reading this website, I get the impression that I should stop seeking love and mutual attraction altogether and, instead, be realistic, cold-headed and, as for a job interview, assess the strengths and weaknesses of a potential boyfriend. NML/readers, is there any room left for love and attraction? Should I discard them as misleading and rather focus on the qualities of the guy, with the hope to eventually end up loving him over time?

    I am particularly confused because a decent guy has approached me and he has most of the core values that I am looking for in a partner: responsible, supportive, generous, caring, respectful etc. However, his packaging is quite problematic and does not make me feel attracted to him AT ALL: less than optimal personal cleanliness (you know… smelling good, a fresh breath etc), absolute lack of refinement (ie he has no problem plucking his facial hair in public), outdated and sometimes even inappropriate dressing style (showing up to our first date with a plain white t-shirt that I would not even considering wearing as a pyjama). In short, I am absolutely not attracted to him and I can hardly imagine kissing/cuddling him. However, he has all those great qualities which I don’t often come across in the men I used to date.

    Last but not least, I am a bit worried that I will be permanently embarrassed in public if I dated. I am really confused with this one and would be grateful for your guidance.

    Lots of love from a convinced reader.

    • Tabitha says:

      Lea, your English is amazing so please don’t worry about that. I would say that you need to be honest with yourself about your values, your needs wants and desires.
      It does not make you shallow and silly to want/expect/need a partner to have a basic level of cleanliness. Or to have a basic level of attraction. I do understand where you are coming from though. It can be very confusing. I had a raging primitive desire for my ex and he was totally unsuitable.
      The guy I was observing,let’s call him Mr Prospect, was nice enough looking, a little shorter than I usually go for, and a little tubbier, but he has lovely eyes, and, a full head of hair!!! At 48 this is a real bonus!! I felt a basic level of attraction to him but not the raging full on thing. I thought this was a good place to start from and have been observing him, deciding whether he was a suitable candidate, so to speak. I know this all sounds very scientific but in fact it wasn’t. It made me feel like I had a romantic interest so it fulfilled my fantasy dreamer inclinations,without exposing me to any real danger, as I had my BR head fully screwed on.
      I have decided that although we have a basic level of attraction, and some common interests, he is not someone I would be really interested in pursuing a relationship with. There is nothing wrong with him, but I don’t feel that I would be all excited about seeing him. I would be “passing time” with him. I would be the EU assclown in fact, using him as an ego boost whilst I wait for the “Real Deal” to come along. NOT DOING THAT.
      Recognising my own code reds and bailing myself from this. I am sure Mr Prospect deserves someone who really wants and desires him. As do I.
      I hope this helps Lea. It isn’t as easy as it seems is it?

      • Lea says:

        You guys are so lovely! Thanks for your messages and advice. It feels like a family of broken-hearted people helping each other out of the mess. I love this community!

        Tabitha, I really like the idea of having a basic level of requirements, a sort of a minimal threshold without which a potential partner would not qualify. My question to you/readers: don’t you sometimes get afraid that by being too demanding with our criteria, we end up losing and see all the good guys taken? I have seen that happen to many women around me and I don’t want to be in that pool 10 years down the road. What I hear them say is: I wish I had picked any decent guy and fight tooth and nail to make it work, now I seem to be single forever…so scary!

        To be honest, I did feel shallow with the concerns that my prospect raised in me. It seems so hard to just focus on the spiritual connection (values, core qualities etc) and ignore the physical attraction + the looks. Among the numerous issues I faced during my failed marriage were poor intimacy and a terrible sex life which created unnecessary tensions. Due to that previous experience, I am wary of picking a partner with whom I would not feel attracted to because I understand firsthand how a good (I am not saying great) sex life, combined with care, trust, respect, can sustain a healthy relationship. I wonder whether NML would still call that letting your sexual organs and your sensuality (partly) decide for you…?

        Tabitha, I am very proud of you for deciding not to pursue a relationship with your prospect on the basis of a reasonable assessment of the situation (not enough attraction) and a moral calling, ie not wanting to hurt him and yourself. I join you in hoping you will find the REAL DEAL sooner rather than later and I wish you lots of happiness. I think you are on track. Love, Lea.

      • Lea says:

        …and thanks for my English ;)

    • NoMo Drama says:

      In your place, I wouldn’t lead him on, but just know that being able to recognize a good one when you finally see one is progress of a sort.

      • Tinkerbell says:

        Tabitha. You’ve learned and grown a lot. I’m impressed with your maturity and generosity of spirit toward Mr. Prospect and to yourself. You’ve done both of you a favor.

      • Lea says:

        NoMo Drama, yes – I would be against leading anyone on and that’s why I want to be sure before I definitely make it clear that we won’t date or give it a convinced shot. I don’t like to play with people’s feelings. I have been a victim of that too many times and I don’t want to put anyone in that place. Thanks for your encouragement that recognizing a good man is progress! I was really getting worried that now that I am ready to be with a good/decent man and stop betting on potential, I have to face these dilemmas. I guess this is the responsibility that comes with maturity and realism. It’s almost as hard as being led on by assclow/EUM…Life is not easy!

    • grace says:

      Lea
      It’s quite normal for women to believe that once they give up bad boys etc they have to settle for someone boring and unattractive. We simply don’t have the experience of finding normal and stable attractive.
      I say, as long as he does not actually physically repuluse you, give it a few weeks to see if attraction can grow. But if you cannot stand the way he smells or looks, then cut him loose. You’re not doing either of you any favours.
      I do think, though, that what they wear is unimportant. very few straight men dress that well. I don’t think you should continue dating this guy and there is nothing wrong with that. but it’s also worth looking at what you want. If you need a man who looks good in public I fear you’re not ready for a real relationship. Work on that while you keep looking.
      There can be a “gap” that we try to fill up with an impressive man or sex. It may be boredom, lack of self-esteem, not knowing who we are, dissatisfaction with life. Address it (as much as is humanly possible) and I think we automatically make better choices. We don’t go looking for flashy men and we don’t try to force ourselves to like men just because they seem nice. We look for someone moderately attractive, similar values, a bit sparky, with human flaws, and that’s enough.
      It does take time, from when I felt ready to meeting the boyfriend was about 18 months to two years(I wasn’t counting as I quite relaxed about it). But it was 18 months better spent single than trying to make a crap relationship work out!

      • Lea says:

        Grace, thanks for the advice. I agree with you that I feel somehow doomed to being with a regular, boring, intellectually un-stimulating guy. However, I am ready to take the sacrifice if, in return, I get a peaceful lovelife, a respectful and stable relationship, mutual faithfulness etc. I am not always sure if I will be happy on the long run, without the powerful attraction that used to connect me to my assclowns, without the amazing physical connection, the great intellectual discussions…It probably won’t be rosy but at least I won’t have to deal with disappointments, lies, cheating, constant pain.

        I am leaning more towards probably not dating him at all but I will try and observe him “as a friend” to see if my perception could evolve. This is really hard for me as I have zero attraction, or, put in a nicer way: I feel brotherly affection towards him. Despite him being very responsible with his finances and career, I just can’t see him as a man because he presents himself and behaves as a teenager.

        As far as trying to fill a gap with great sex life, like I was telling Tabitha I don’t want to repeat the mistakes of my marriage. I want some chemistry and a minimal level of attraction. This has almost become a deal breaker but not out of superficiality since I now give top priority to the core qualities and shared values.

        I love your definition of the type of men we are looking for. Just like you, I am no longer looking for a walking god (not sure you say that in English).

        Tell me, didn’t you panick durin that long period wondering whether you would be ever find true love? Do you now think that you have found the right person? How could you tell this was IT? With every assclown/EUM I was with, I used to be so convinced that was IT at the beginning of the relationship, only to end up being disappointed…Thanks for your insights!

    • Lochy says:

      Hi Lea, I think the ladies have got this covered. But one thing that struck me is, how do you know he ‘is’ all the good things you ‘think’ he is? It would take time (weeks/months) spent with him in various situations to observe and let his true self ‘unfold’ (and yours too of course!). He may be those things but have you actually had enough time to genuinely make that call? Maybe the grubby t-shirt is not what’s creating doubt? Hope this hasn’t caused further confusion and I wish you all the best with this and if not, onwards an upwards! ;)

      • Tinkerbell says:

        Lea. I think it’s quite personal and down to what YOU REALLY LIKE and want. I, personally, am turned off by a man who is negligent about personal hygiene and appearance. I am a mature woman, he would be also, and I would expect to be able to feel comfortable with him as well as have him meet my friends and family, eventually. I am way past the stage of allowing myself to be embarrassed by my date. I think that it’s difficult to tell a man, “You need to clean up”, tactfully. Anyway you put it is going to be an insult. It should not even be an issue. You want a man who is well-groomed. That’s it, and there is nothing wrong with that. I, myself, am used to a man who has class. My boyfriend doesn’t check all the boxes, but he is a really great guy. The only concession I made is that he is short. But it’s okay because so am I and he is still taller than I am. Something like height is silly to quibble over, I think. You have to decide what is important to you. When you meet a guy that you feel is worth the time of day, you will know. As I said before, it is a very personal issue.

        • DiggingDeeper says:

          Ha! Tinkerbell, that’s so funny about the height thing because I don’t care about height, well, as long as he’s not wrapped around my knees, that is. Funny, I’ll date men shorter than I am, but they sometimes turn me down, or don’t even consider me because they think I’m too tall. One guy even asked me not to wear heels–as if, of course I wore them anyway.

          I didn’t even realize that this other dude was shorter than me until he pointed it out, but he didn’t have a problem with it. ;)

        • Lea says:

          Tinkerbell, exactly! For me, personal hygiene and appearance are must-have. Even if it’s not ideal, I am willing to be relaxed on appearance and would not mind “teaching” my next man the ropes of appropriate dressing if he has a minimum standard. However, I don’t want to have to raise a child and tell him how he is supposed to take care of himself.

          I have heard some people say that as women, we are powerful and can definitely get the man to change and shape him to become the ideal mate. I think it is true to some extent (partners shape each other) but I don’t want to be a manipulative women. It is important to respect the person’s identity. And I am not sure it is right to settle for any man who enters my life just because I am
          a bit desperate to find true love and a healthy relationship. You said: “You have to decide what is important to you”. It might sound childish but can’t I have most of what I want? A clean, relatively good-looking man, smart, with a good heart and values? It sounds like mission impossible to me. Your boyfriend sounds like a good guy. Good luck to the two of you!

      • jewells says:

        Lea, I agree with Lochy, he may APPEAR to have all those qualities you are looking for, but until you’ve actually spent some quality time with him to let him ‘unfold’, you won’t truly know. So grubby T aside, until you know him, he may just be ‘different’ from your usual and sometimes that might be an openning for projections of what we’d like to see, or they can present well in the beginning as they know what we want, but they can’t hold that up for long.

        • Lea says:

          Jewells, I agree that one needs time to ascertain the suspected qualities in a prospect. The only caveat to your last point is that this is not a player. Quite the contrary, he is ackward/shy with women, has been played by women who abused his generosity. I just can’t picture him being Machiavellian and mean. Do I sound to naive?

      • Lea says:

        Lochy, I love your challenging question! This guy came into my life in an unusual manner through two people in our common circles who told me they think me and him could be a match (shared values, similar principles…) One of those two people whom I am very close to has known him for a while and told me he was a good-hearted guy, very generous, super caring, faithful etc. and that he just fits my expectation of Mr Right. So I gave it a shot and met him about 8 months ago. This was the first “date” I described earlier. He was very eager afterwards but I managed his expectations down.

        Now how can I be so sure about his qualities? I am not 100% sure but 8 months down the road, I traveled to his city for work and spent a week-end with him touring (as friends). He was just lovely, adorable, super caring, a gentleman and we talked a lot about his values, his vision of marriage, why it did not work out with his previous girls. I observed him a lot, even tested him a few of times and he passed with flying colors (I was in “job interview” mode). Let me reassure you though. Although I saw a confirmation of what I was told about him, I know that only time can confirm these qualities and a potential compatibility. I am trying not to be naive anymore and bet on potential. That is, if I manage to overcome the total lack of attraction, which is not guaranteed.

    • Mandy says:

      Firstly, your English is quite good! :)

      Second, I am in the exact same space as you. I keep being attracted to these very good looking, successful, charming men. But so far, not one of them wants to commit – at least not to me :(

      I keep repeating the pattern. I want to stop, but I am afraid I will either 1) be alone or 2) settle for someone I’m not enamored with.

      I can’t seem to find the balance – a handsome, successful man that is also smart, funny, considerate, and wanting a committed relationship.

      I do agree with someone’s comment about if you have a “type” – to move away from it. That may mean opening your mind to a guy you wouldn’t have considered before. I am told that things can develop if you give them time. BUT, that doesn’t mean to be with a guy just because he is nice or good to you even though you don’t really have feelings for him.

      I think you’re on the right path, and I hope I am too!

      • Mymble says:

        Mandy
        Why are “handsome” and “successful” so important, are you looking for a mealticket or a trophy, or a relationship?

        • Mymble says:

          That sounded a bit harsh, but if you are blinded by those things there’s a high chance you’ll get screwed over by a narcissistic asshole.
          Also if success is so very important to you, is it not better to earn it yourself rather than getting it vicariously through someone else?

          • Little Star says:

            Mandy and Mumble, my AC “1″ was an investment banker, AC “2″ a doctor, they both were successful, but had rotten personalities. What their success brought to me? NOTHING! They obviously spent money/love/care on someone else and I was not good enough for them:( SO success, not success, all the same RUBBISH!

          • Mandy says:

            Not harsh at all! I’m being harsh on myself, too.

            For successful, my mother and sister ended up having husbands who don’t work for various reasons, and that leaves them the breadwinner which has stressed them out. I’d at least like to be an equal with someone. I have a pretty good job and I’m in grad school for my masters, so I want someone with at least a solid job.

            For looks, I used to date guys I wasn’t initially attracted to but that grew over time. In the end, the attraction fizzled, and I had to end things. I worried that for me, not being instantly attracted to someone was not a good sign. Is that the case for anyone else, or is it just that they weren’t the right one?

        • Lea says:

          Mymble, personally, I like handsome for the pleasure of my eyes. It makes me want to cuddle, kiss, be physical with the person. On a more funny note, it makes handsome babies. This was a joke ;)

      • Lea says:

        Mandy, thanks on my english being good. I feel your pain on successful, smart, rich guys who break your heart. These men, I have found, need to be sharks in order to get to their successful position. It is that very cruelty that they have displayed in their relationships with me. I just have enough of that.

        I understanding your fear. Just like you I feel that I am left with those 2 options and neither will truly make me happy. Sometimes I think that I will be better off single forever, with adopted kids that I would raise but I can’t resolve myself to the idea. I so want to be in love, love and be loved. I so want to a family of my own and go through the joys of pregnancy with my man. :((( but I don’t know if this dream will come true for me.

        If I understand your last sentence, you are basically saying that attraction is a necessary first step before even considering the qualities of the person? I like that idea…only that so far, I have been attracted to ass****les, excuse my language.

        • Mandy says:

          Yes Lea, I have the same problem. All the men I’ve found to be physically attractive over the last several years have turned out to be unavailable for one reason or another. I didn’t know up front that they weren’t available! But I found them so good looking, smart, talented, etc. that I didn’t want to give up and I kept trying.

          I’m wondering if I’m too picky, and have been told I don’t give most guys a real shot if they aren’t good looking. I’m not sure!

          I worried that not being attracted to someone physically from the beginning meant I shouldn’t pursue it at all. However, I am told that that isn’t a good way to go about it all the time. Often, with a little encouragement, a guy who doesn’t dress how you think he’d look best or things like that CAN be changed. I do find this true at times. If you tell a guy you like his hair a certain way he’s worn it or you like a certain outfit you’ve seen him in, or you say – Hey, I think you’d look great in this! You can help him look a little better.

          Some people say this is changing someone and you should love them for who they are. Clothes and hair are easy to change if the guy is open to it. What isn’t changeable is if they are a jerk, if they are unavailable, or if they don’t want to commit to you.

          Sometimes guys are just a little lost when it comes to dress/hair, and some help from female friends or girlfriends can go a long way.

    • DiggingDeeper says:

      I think it’s up to you: if you don’t want to date this guy because his physical appearance doesn’t measure up to your standards, then maybe that’s your answer. You have a right to date and not date whoever you want–it’s your choice, and you don’t need to justify your boundaries or explain them to anyone.

      Personally, I like my men clean,… smelling good,… fresh breathe,… in shape, and well dressed. They don’t have to be perfectly fit or in style, or even stylish, but they do have to look “good” to me, and take care of their health. Some men are more casual than others, and that’s ok to a point, just don’t show up at a black tie in jeans.

      Sure, I’ve dated men that weren’t initially attractive to me, but I didn’t date them until the attraction had grown from being acquainted with them in some way over time, and I was never overly turned off by their appearance.

      Good Luck To You, :)

      • Lea says:

        DiggingDeeper, great piece of wisdom. This is why I think I would really opt for continuing being good friends with him and if attraction happens, perhaps I will try something with him. Otherwise, I will just let it go.

        The point on not having to justify one’s boundaries is good but I am scared to death when I hear people tell me: you are too complicated, you are waiting for M. Perfect and you will end up being lonely…Yet I don’t feel like what I am asking for is too much! Is it? Merci.

  42. noquay says:

    Lea
    You are not being shallow; think about it, if is like this on a date when you should be putting your best foot forward, what’s he like in real life? I too once dated two men who showed up dirty and smelling. The one whined about his health, his finances for a full three hours! I gave the other one a second chance, saw his home, beautiful high end place that hadn’t seen a dustrag nor vacuum cleaner for at least a year. Smelled like old socks. He was showing you who he was, be grateful for it.

    • Wiser says:

      That was a red flag for me too when I heard your story Lea. How someone presents himself says a lot about how he views himself. If he is grubby and slovenly on a date (especially those crucial first few dates) he might be saying loud and clear “I really don’t care about myself or think well of myself.” That’s really the issue. People who don’t think well of themselves are not going to know how to care about or think well of you either. It can be a matter of low self-esteem and a poor self-image, or just plain uncouthness, carelessness and a limited grooming mentality. No matter what the reason, if this doesn’t meet your standards, don’t feel bad about that! It means he’s not the guy for you.

      However, this is not quite the same as someone who has bad breath or something stuck in their teeth and really isn’t aware of it. I would hate to have some guy turn up his nose at me if there was something physically repellent about me that was easily correctable (and something I would want to correct if I knew about it) – but he never told me. Is it at all possible that your guy is in this latter category? If so, and IF he is really great in all other areas and you think the relationship might go somewhere EXCEPT FOR THIS ONE THING, why not take the risk and tell him something like “are you aware that this is how you are presenting himself?” or “I really like you but there are certain things you are doing that are rather off-putting for me. Can we talk about it?” Maybe he’s not really aware and would be willing to improve the situation. He might actually appreciate your honesty – then again, maybe not. It’s a risk. He might be angry and offended. It might not register at all. He also would have every right to say “hey, this is who I am and the right person will like me just the way I am.” In any case, how he responded would tell you a great deal about him.

      When my marriage was healthy, my ex-husband and I were able to talk about these kinds of things and laugh about them. If he was doing something that was physically repellant (not showering enough for example or picking at his face in public) I could tease him with “Whoops, it’s lust-buster #17.” This was our own private joke. He’d get the message and take appropriate action. And he could do the same to me. We were glad to have the other person point out when our grooming standards were slipping.

      • Lea says:

        Wiser, great post! In his case, I think it not so a matter of self-esteem (he is quite confident) but of limited grooming mentality. And that does not fit my standards. I love good smells, perfumes, taking care of oneself, being orderly…I would go crazy around a person who doesn’t take care of himself.

        On occasional slip-ups with hygiene, these are fine. The thing is I don’t know him enough (one date + a week-end) to confirm whether this is a routine or just occasional accidents.

        Lust-buster, hahaha. Very funny! This is also what I am looking in a mate, honesty and friendship! Have a great day!

    • Lea says:

      Noquay, thank you for sharing your experience. Lol on the house smelling like old socks! You are very right that in real life he is not well groomed either. He told me he does not really care about looks and he rather be practical and simple, even at work. One of his bosses even made a comment to him that he should be more formal during official meetings!

  43. Peanut says:

    Lea,

    I read your post with a warm smile. You very much remind me of myself when I just discovered BR. Dating is a discovery phase. You must drop the superficiality (and no, wanting a hygienic man is not a superficiality). Perhaps a value you need to add to the list is care. (Double checked your post and you have caring so maybe in a wider sense this guy is showing you he doesn’t sufficiently meet your value system). This is not the man for you. You are not interested. If you are anything like I was you will string him along for the attention and or because you are bored. DON’T. And: THIS IS JUST ONE GUY. For a solid healthy relationship it’s going to take more than that. It will take more than having one less than stellar experience. And no you do not settle for men that you are NOT physically attracted to. Would you want a man to go, “We’ll her values are good but ick.” No, you wouldn’t. So let this man go. If you have a type: LOSE IT. Your type is always going to be based on unhealthy beliefs. I just discovered my type was men we exhibited characteristics of psychopathic alcoholics (charming, parasitic, eccentric, quirky, self entitled, calculated, etc.) Not good. Figure out your type and move on from it. And dating is a discovery phase. It takes time, observation and introspection. And clearly define what you think love and attraction are. If you are partial to EUM and ACs it’s probable that these meanings are associated with ecstatic highs, crushing lows, infatuation, fantasy and obsession. These things aren’t love; they are lunacy. And no it’s not a job interview but just as you won’t just work for anyone (I hope not) you don’t just date anyone. Any ol job won’t do and any ol man won’t do. You are better than that.

    • Lea says:

      Peanut, I love your insightful and frank post. It is true that I am not comfortable with the idea of dating him. I am just freaking out that I am losing a potentially good guy. I have the impression that all the good guys are taken, so I did not want to be left out.

      I will definitely add “care” to the list as it is important for me. Yes I have a type: tall, well fit (some muscles but not a body-builder), intense eyes, smart and who I can debate with for hours. I get bored really quickly so intellectual sparkle is very important to me. I am going to learn to move away from that type because they have crushed me and destroyed me in the past.

      The question is: won’t I get too bored with a regular guy who can’t sustain a deep conversation? I think intellectual connection is important because as you age, what is left to share apart from discussions, friendships, spending quality time together?

      Thanks for your empowering words!

  44. noquay says:

    Mags
    Way to go at the Monsanto demonstration. We, in this tiny, damaged town, had a contingent at the protest in Denver. My ex husband was a high level academic that looked like a well trimmed, clean bearded hippie. Working class dudes generally do not nor have the time to deal with such issues, the suburbanites do not care at all, some of those hippies can surprise you but of course you have to keep the old Spidey senses on high alert no matter who you meet. Glad you are posting again, missed you.

  45. Peanut says:

    Tee,

    “Narcissism smarcissism” RUN. Run like the wind, better yet, RUN like hell and never look back.

    • Tee says:

      Oh i didn’t need to be told twice. I fled as if there was burning. At the time, i thought #he’s mocking me, so he thinks i’m silly for this?# I thought, maybe he was testing. But when i found he really was deadly serious. I didn’t need to be told thrice. Flee! I didn’t know of br till much later. But, true, he’s not that special. No one is to the extent of dismissing me for their passing whim ##shrug##

  46. Teddie says:

    Beware of charm when making decisions: you all will love this article:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2013/06/when-men-lost-their-charm/309303/

    “Charm is a social—a civilized—virtue. But its very refinement, the weight it places on self-presentation, means that it is inherently manipulative… The charming man (or woman) always knows that he (or she) is pulling something off, no matter whether that charm is used to put the wallflower at ease, to get the soccer dad to exchange some pleasantries, or to close the sale. The charmer knows that he or she is manipulating—and in the end, it’s impossible not to be at least slightly contemptuous of the object of one’s manipulation.”

    • NoMo Drama says:

      I hear that. For a long time now I have not thought of “charming” as a positive attribute, and tend to be distrustful of people who pour it on.

    • Lea says:

      Teddie, this is very true. What I have found is that players are usually charming and very refined. They know how to sweep women off their feet and to seduce them like no other man. I am guilty of falling into the trap.

      The good/decent guys I have been around lately, on the contrary don’t always know how to handle a woman and court her. And this exasperates me! I tend to lose my patience because I see them as hesitant teenagers who are not courting me like a real man should.

      I definitely have some more work to do on myself. Thanks for the article.

  47. Mandy says:

    I’ve been struggling with this situation and thoughts myself with a guy I’ve been seeing since February.

    Everything started out great. He seemed as into me as I was into him. He was calling and texting a lot, scheduling lunches or dinners, and we had talked about me spending a weekend with him in NY. (I’m in CT.)

    About 2 weeks in, he tells me he’s not sure if he’s ready for something serious, and he’s scared to start something new. He broke up with his girlfriend of 6 years 10 months prior, and had only started to date again in the last month or two. We talked about marriage, kids, what we wanted in a serious relationship, and decided to communicate and proceed with caution.

    We ended up sleeping together about 3 weeks in, and he said he still felt like he wasn’t ready to be a boyfriend. He suggested maybe we try to keep spending time together, but not sleep together. We scheduled a dinner the next week. That turned into a discussion about just seeing where things went, and he made it sound like he would be open to the possibility of something serious with me when he was ‘ready.’

    Suddenly, I didn’t hear from him for 4 days. He was traveling for work, but, 4 days was a long time to not talk when we’d been talking most days. I finally reached out after 5 days, and he acted as if nothing was up. We talked on the phone, and he said he assumed I was as busy as he was (I work full time and am in grad school). He said he felt like we should talk about where we’re at in the relationship. I’d made it clear that I had to protect myself from being hurt. He said he hadn’t dated anyone else since we started seeing each other, but it was clear he wanted the option. I said that if we were going to be sleeping with other people, I would want to be sure we were safe because of health concerns. He said something like “Well, if that happened we wouldn’t want to talk about it, so we should just be safe.”

    That conversation made me feel gross! It seemed like the reality was that he wanted to sleep with other people, and at that juncture, I didn’t. It had only been a month, but I knew how I felt about him and I am not one to sleep around.

    I called things off and said we shouldn’t continue if we didn’t both want a relationship. Stupidly, 2 days later I went to see him in NY. We saw each other a few times more, and then HE called it off, saying he could tell I wouldn’t be cool with him doing whatever he wanted, and that he wasn’t ready for the emotions and responsibility of being a boyfriend again. He wanted to be friends.

    We talked on and off, had lunch once over a two week span. Suddenly I get a text saying “Come over!” I had a date with another guy, and I went. I didn’t cancel. He put on the full court press.

    I caved and slept with him last week.

    I know I can’t sleep with him again unless we’re dating. Is there ANY hope of this being a relationship or he is just full of shit?

    By the way, he’s 41, a semi-famous musician. He’s been in a string of serious relationships 2 years, then 5 years, then 6 years without much break in between. He’s saying that although it’s backwards, he is trying to be single for a while to learn to be on his own.

    Do we try to be friends and keep getting to know each other without sleeping together if we both agree to that? Or should I just cut my losses and RUN!??!

    • jewells says:

      RUN.

      He’s keeping you an option. Musicians, esp ‘semi famous’ ones, can get their share of sex anytime they want. If he wanted a relationship with you, he’d be in it. Nope, you are unfortunately part of his harem. Even if he says he’s ‘not dating anyone else’, doesn’t mean he’s not sleeping with them…you slept with him without ‘officially dating’ – how many others does he have in this position that he can feed crumbs and claim to not be ‘dating anyone else’, yet sleeping with them? All I can say is ‘ewwwww’…and RUN

    • Allison says:

      Mandy,

      He’s a waste of time!

      I don’t understand why you guys are having such serious conversations, so early on. You don’t know each other – Big red flag!

      Seems like you are bending over backwards to accommodate!!!!! If you’re not comfortable with the arrangement, it won’t work.

      Go NC! You cannot be friends. Please get to know a man slowly, and make certain you both are on the same page.

    • grace says:

      Mandy
      Run, pronto.forget about being friends, you’re not that desperate.

    • Mymble says:

      He has told you he doesn’t want a relationship and he wants to sleep with other people. (I would think it likely that he already is). Hanging around him as “friends”, hoping he’ll change, is a bad idea, and actually makes you less attractive, as someone who will accept friendship crumbs and doesn’t have much pride or self esteem. It sounds like youre heading for booty call/FWB, at his convenience, and that’s not a good place to be if you are attached to someone and want a relationship. Also I think he knows perfectly well this is NEVER going to go anywhere but he doesn’t want the awkwardness of saying it and being the bad guy, plus it suits him to have a fallback girl for when he’s bored or horny , so he’s keeping you sweet, letting you believe that someday, maybe, (uh never) he’ll want a relationship with you.
      That’s already what he is doing

      • EllyB says:

        Mymble: “Hanging around him as “friends”, hoping he’ll change, is a bad idea, and actually makes you less attractive”

        No. Him acting the way he does makes HIM less attractive (or rather: not attractive at all). That’s all that matters. Our (perceived) attractivity has nothing – repeat: nothing – to do with it.

        Suggesting that we were more attractive to THEM by acting differently would imply that we could somehow influence their behavior. Please don’t even go there. It’s not true.

        • Mymble says:

          EllyB
          I wasn’t meaning to sugges that any particular behaviour would change the outcome.
          I would agree that the focus should be on oneself – how do I really feel about this & does it work for me. Still, one of things that has held me back from returning to the crime scene,(ESP at the beginning) so to speak, is the thought of how flattering it would be to his already over inflated hot air balloon of an ego.

    • Tinkerbell says:

      Cut your losses, Mandy. You two are not on the same page. You don’t want to risk getting hurt by someone who is not really into you and he doesn’t sound like he is. He know you are looking for a serious relationship and he has already told you in so many words, actions that he is not. Forget about being friends, because you don’t want a FWB relationship, and you don’t know him well enough for it to matter, anyway. RUN.

    • DiggingDeeper says:

      He’s sooooooooo full of sh$t! RUN!

      • Lilia says:

        Aw Mandy, I´m so sorry you´re going through this. It´s a terrible blow to your self esteem. Please don´t give him any more explanations and ignore this semi famous idiot.
        I just hate it when they make it sound like they´re being honest and open and considerate while they´re actually feeding you a load of BS.

        • Mandy says:

          Totally confusing! I said flat out – look, if you’re not into me or don’t see it going somewhere that’s ok, just let me know and I’ll just keep moving on. He insisted that wasn’t the case.

          My dating history has mostly been dating guys I’d been friends with for years, so meeting someone out of the blue and having this crap happen – I just don’t get it! Though…my ex who I knew for 10 years was a totally different person when we dated. I saw who he really is – a narcissist.

          I have a bad habit that’s seemingly formed over the last 5 years or so.

    • Mandy says:

      He kept saying that there isn’t one reason I wouldn’t make a great girlfriend, but that he’s just not ready. I told him that really didn’t make things any better! He said something like ‘If this were before my last relationship, you’d just be my girlfriend already. But I’m just too scared to start something serious yet.”

      I didn’t think about it, but was the marriage and kids chat “Future Faking?”

      He’s actually a homebody, he doesn’t drink or party. He goes to gigs and goes right home, even when they are out of town.

      I get hung up on the fact that he’s had three serious relationships – like – why can’t that be me. But I know that’s not helpful and someone pointed out – all those relationships ended. Maybe those girls were left in the dust broken-hearted and confused after years of their life with him.

      I know what I need to do. It’s just so damn hard pulling the trigger. I hate myself for struggling so much!

      It has been so helpful to read everyone’s posts and encouragement to each other, and everyone sharing their experiences.

      I hope this is the last time I get myself involved in this type of situation! If I can get out now, I’ve only invested a few months time. Better to hurt now…than later.

      • Tinkerbell says:

        Mandy. Just flush. You are spending way too much time on this. He ain’t that special.

        • Mandy says:

          Thank you everyone! I’m feeling better today. I haven’t spoken to him in a week, and I don’t plan on it.

          I have a hard time “letting go” and looking bitchy if I just go NC, but I know that that is the best policy.

          He’s also on a TV show where I work, and I think it will get cancelled. That means he won’t be around here and much easier to avoid him. Probably for the best.

          I have to stop getting wrapped up in these types of men! I know how stupid it is to base my self worth on a guy but somehow I keep doing it.

  48. Peanut says:

    Teddie,

    Thank you for posting the link and shinning light on what charm really is. Charm was my number one characteristic that I looked for in a man. It made me melt and drop all defenses and rationale. Charm is not a virtue. I thought it was.

    Possessing charm is the ability to near imediatley calculate (or at the very least try) what allows a person to let down their guard so that the charmer can win them over with ease and almost no effort. This makes the recipient of the person’s charms ripe for at the very least manipulation and possible abuse.

    The word charm is also associated with witchcraft and spells in mainstream media. Someone is put under a spell and charmed into doing something they normally wouldn’t that may be completely out of their character. Or even transforms them and their soul.

    I have a cousin who is charming, he is also an addict, has a huge sense of entitlement and could probably give the worst narcissist a run for their money. My grandparents are always commenting what a ‘nice personality’ he has. I don’t buy it. Sometimes he reels me in a bit but I don’t stay there for long. Like not even minutes. And when he crosses my boundaries and gets pushy with me to hang out with him (even go to church with him!) he gets a firm but respectful resolute NO.

    Charisma can be a natural personality trait but I’d watch closely to make sure it is authentic. Charmers (even if they’re not fully conscious of using it this way) are con men/women. It is a psychopathic narcissist’s gasoline and your ego stroking or whatever they con out of you is their destination. It is a means to an end. You are the means and it will be the end of your sanity if you let them con you. Charisma can be authentic (still watch out) charm is calculated insidious bs. Don’t fall for it. Ladies charm is NOT a good thing. Plus we have been brainwashed by modern media to believe that charm is an asset. It’s not and can be very destructive.

    • Mandy says:

      My ex was UBER charming, dazzling and mysterious. Both men and women seem to fawn all over him and think he’s just such a cool guy. Maybe they should try dating him! Holy moly, the HELL he put me through. I later realized he is very much a narcissist, let alone emotionally unavailable.

      He had multiple stories of female friends and coworkers falling for him and professing crushes on him thinking he was also interested, and he insisted he did nothing to make this keep happening. RIGHT!

    • Teddie says:

      Wow, Peanut, you nailed it! I’m so susceptible to this thing too, because it is being oversold to us all the time. I at least pay attention not to bank on this dubious gasoline myself. Whenever I observe that I’m trying too much, I take a step back and evaluate my drivers.

  49. Peanut says:

    With my ex I had seen him at the park and on Facebook before meeting him and he was trendy, charasmatic and charming. And I thought he was handsome enough and über tall. I saw him at a bar and talked to him (oh, man I really scoped this goober out). He was drunk, then as we said goodbye he firmly pulled me close and sloppily kissed my cheek ( I think he was going for my mouth?) and I felt it. The spark. My bones went weak and my body melted and went limp all the while my tummy danced. For our first official date when I met him I remember seeing him (he had this weird cold emotionless defensive look on his face) and feeling really disappointed. He wasn’t as attractive as I remember, the conversation was boring and cold. I didn’t like him and thought our time together a waste and just really wanted to get away. He sensed this and it wasn’t long before he went in for the kiss. And then I felt the spark again. I see now that the sparks were just reactions in my gut to inappropriate behavior. Drunkenly hugging me, insinuating about sex, boldly kissing me to distract me from his terrible temperament and social skills. The sparks would soon give way to dread and then torment. He would use them to play me like his own personal slot machine and he knew he’d win every time. Until the odds were not in his favor because lil ol faithful me stumbled across BR.

  50. espresso says:

    Mandy
    Cut your losses and run. He has already demonstrated he wants “options” and doesn’t want the responsibility of being a boyfriend again. He has told you straight up where he is at and you have different values and are in a totally different place. It is probable that he likes you but doesn’t want to be “pinned down” – with your values this means a whole world of hurt….for you.

    • Mandy says:

      Thank you. Yes, it’s been confusing where I’m not sure if he really cares for me or not. He suggested more than once that we try not to sleep together and just keep getting to know each other, and has insisted on being friends. I thought he seemed very genuine and with all the serious relationships under his belt that he could very likely need some time.

      Either way, I guess he should just do his thing and I do mine…separately.

      • Beardy says:

        @Mandy
        Hey, alternative perspective here which is as much for your benefit as it is mine. The guy you are seeing is taking some serious flak from people replying to you and I doubt very much I will get away unscathed from what I’m about to say. I am a guy with less money and musical talent than the chap you are seeing, but am in the same boat as him. The things he is saying to you are very similar to the things I am saying to the lady I am seeing and I mean them heartfelt. It’s true that I do wish to sleep with other women and I don’t want a relationship. Do I think she can handle this? no I don’t which is a crying shame as I care for her. I just want to live a different life to most people. Why must we get into relationships? they take the spark out of life. I understand this is different for most woman but men need variety and excitment. I see some of my friends and they dont seem happy in their marriage/relationships. Restricted and controlled by their women they are a shadow of their former selves. Life is just a rountine for them now. There are very little surprises left. Each day the same. Is this how we should live our lives? Respect is important, BS and lies are not fair but your man seems like he’s trying to communicate and be honest with you genuinely. He cares for you, but he doesn’t want to restrict himself. Like it or not, men are wired differently and we need the thrill of new sex. The good ones will not abuse this by intentially hurting others. I came out of a 3 year relationship and then straight into a 5 year relationship which ended last year. In that 5 year I helped my partner through many stressful things, including her lack of sexual desire. I didn’t leave her and worked hard for 5 years. Now I am single, I have never been happier. I feel I have been sexually frustrated and am now finding myself again and my true identity. I hope you can find a common ground with this guy. If I know women, it doesn’t really matter what others tell you on this site, if you feel strongly you will keep going back. Just don’t write this guy off just becasue he doesn’t meet your expectations. It sounds like you could do a lot worse. However, if you want that life of kids and marriage then why not look for that whilst still seeing this guy. Then when you find it you will not care so much for him anymore. In the mean time, have fun a special kind of friendship that doesn’t adhere to labelling. Thanks for reading. I would appreciate feeback that is honest but can see things from both points of view and not just attacks.

        • Mandy says:

          I appreciate the opinion, all are welcome. I’ve talked to many guys who say – hey, I get where he’s coming from and I don’t think he’s lying. Then I hear others say – not a good start. If you’re good enough to sleep with, you’re good enough to date. I have no idea what is what. I only know what he tells me.

          The thing is, very recently, things are nowhere what they were, and I feel more like an object lately. Texting me “Come Over!” out of the blue after we’d both called things off once each without even a ‘hello’ or ‘how are you’ seems disrespectful to me, even as a friend. I turned him down as I had other plans, and did not want to set precedent that I’d drop everything and run to him at a moment’s notice.

          Also, we slept together last Tuesday night, and I haven’t heard from him since one week ago today. Even on the level of friends, I’d expect to be hearing from him more than that. I’ve done my fair share of reaching out, I feel at the very least given the circumstance, the ball is in his court now.

          He started out saying he wasn’t ready, but he sort of flip flopped back and forth about that. He was treating me like a girlfriend from the get go. Checking in on me daily, left me the keys to his place here so we could be together when he got out of work, inviting me to his place in NYC for a weekend (I wasn’t able to go), offering to come over when I was sick. All things that people in relationships do.

          About a month in, things shifted and he was contacting less, and not acting as attentive. While I know that stuff can’t last forever, a month isn’t very long into it. He only resumed that strong pursuit behavior once I had basically started moving on and forgetting about him.

          Then we act on it and sleep together, and no word in a week. That doesn’t seem friendly to me…

          • Mandy says:

            And he did apologize for texting me like that out of the blue with the “Come over!” He also apologized for sending mixed messages, once I pointed out that people say look at actions, not words. His words said – I’m not ready! But his actions were saying “I’m ready!” I don’t know if he realized that and freaked out, worried it was progressing when he was unsure of what he wants.

            I’m not reaching out at this point. If he reaches out, I will tell him how I’m feeling and we can access it. However, if he wants to play the field and enjoy being single for a while because he has never done it, that’s fine! He should do that. But that doesn’t mean I want to be in that equation. I’m past that phase. I’ve been single for the better part of the last 2-3 years, and I am ready for something serious. We’re in different places. It happens. What reason would he ever have to think about committing to me if I’m already sleeping with him? He’ll just crave that ‘new’ feeling/high of a new woman, and I’ll be old news. I might be already! Granted, we’ve only slept together a handful of times – hardly a long affair. But for me, I’m at the point that if we’re going to continue sleeping together, I want a commitment. If he still doesn’t, it doesn’t make sense to stay intimate at this stage. It will only be disaster.

        • Mandy says:

          Also, I must add!

          There is nothing wrong with wanting a relationship, and I know men that want them or are very happy in theirs. Everyone is different, and that’s ok.

          While I am not one to be okay with a guy I really care about dating/sleeping with others, I am very adamant on having our own friends/lives, and not being tied to each other all the time. That’s not good. It’s important for people to have their own lives too. In all honesty, I’m not rushing to marriage and I don’t know if I want kids. I’m about to turn 30, and this guy just turned 41. However, I know that I do want a committed relationship. I want a partner, not a ‘friend with benefits’ or whatever. That situation is only feasible (at least for most of us) when you don’t really have strong feelings for the other person for one reason or another.

  51. Helena says:

    Yes again Natalie posts something that is relevant to my life at that moment. I (55) am about to embark on my second date with a guy (56) and it’s a 3-hour train journey to get to him so my first thought was to stay the night. However, that will make sex raise its ugly head won’t it? I read Nat’s post and went and bought myself a day return ticket, non refundable, so we’ll simply have our day out sightseeing and then I will catch the train home. Like you say, he can wait.

    • DiggingDeeper says:

      Helena, there is no way I would be traveling three hours by train to visit some man for a second date. I just don’t get it.

      If he wants to see me, and it’s that early in the relationship, he comes to me, and no, I don’t pay the bill (I might share it), besides I think he lives too far away. What is the point in getting this started?

      And, I certainly wouldn’t be paying for a train ticket to see some dude on date two–oh hecccccccccccck no.

      I’m not trying to be mean, but NO.

      And, I think you are too concerned about him being “put off” for not wanting to have sex on the second date. Oh, heck no, I wouldn’t even consider dating some dude who I thought was going to be upset about me turning him down for sex on the second, the third, the fourth, the…. Again, I just don’t get it. It’s my body, and if I want to share it with you, I will, end of–just as he can turn me down, end of.

      There’s your respect, self-respect, and don’t try to get anyone to respect you; it’s a requirement–don’t tolerate disrespect.

      Ok, with that said, don’t go back to his house; Just say your good-byes at your final destination; get on the train and go home.

      And if he asks you, just say “No.” Don’t discuss it, don’t justify it, don’t explain. He’ll get it, and if he doesn’t want to see you again, fine that’s his choice, but don’t twist yourself to cater to his feelings or needs. You don’t need to be mean about it, but you definitely don’t want to take responsibility for his feelings. He’s a big boy; he can handle it, and if he can’t run!

      And, one more thing, why put yourself in situations that you are not comfortable with? I just don’t get it.
      Don’t agree to date plans that make you feel uncomfortable or vulnerable.

      I’m sorry if I sound harsh, but I am intentionally being direct, so….

      Good luck to you, :)

      • Allison says:

        Helena,

        I so agree with Digging!

        Why are you traveling to this guy? Most especially, on the second date!
        Also, how can you expect this long distance relationship to work?

        I think you are showing this guy that he can disrespect you, as you are being waaaaaay too accommodating!

        You’re worried if he wants sex! What about what you want- my God you’re traveling all this distance and are worried he will be mad if you don’t put out! If he pushes or is upset, it is because that’s all he wants.

        Time to demand more for yourself!

    • runnergirl says:

      Helena, just a question: If it is only the second date, why aren’t you meeting half way? Over the past year, if I think a guy is worth meeting and he is an hour a way, we meet half way. That solves the sex issue, unless you decide on a hotel (which hasn’t happened to me). After being a studious BR student for several years, I now see how I set the tone in my past relationships within moments by being overly accomodating out of the starting gate.
      I also have a one word one liner for you if he tries to persuade you: No. The mere fact that someone would try to persuade me would make me run for the hills now. I also notice you used the word “when” not “if”. You can’t make him respect you, you have to respect you.
      PS. I just turned 54 and have been dating for a year. In my experience, guys in their 50′s and 60′s are just as horny as guys in their 20′s. It’s not about age, although I have no experience with the 70-80 somethings. Good luck to you.

    • 539 says:

      Helena, the women here offer great advice, listen to them. This doesn’t sound like a fair deal.

      I would never expect a woman to bear the brunt of the dating costs from transportation to food unless we decide to meet half way which this guy should be doing. If he has 3 hours to wait for you, he’s got a hour and a half to meet you half way. And then to let you you travel 3 hours back while he sits at home?

      I’m not even factoring sex into this but this second date doesn’t sound fair at all and if he doesn’t/didn’t offer to meet you half way, then he won’t take care of you or your feelings in the future. Now, if you like train rides, that’s another story.

      539

    • BS says:

      He must be something if you’re willing to sit on a train for 6 hrs!

  52. Helena says:

    PS anyone got some one-liners for me to use when he tries to persuade me? I’m good at being angry and indignant, but how do I say no in such a way as to not offend or put him off, but make him respect me more than if I’d “put out”?

    • Rosie says:

      Helena- I’m learning that I can’t “make” anyone respect me. The respectful ones show respect regardless and the selfish/disrespectful ones act selfishly/disrespectfully regardless.

      I don’t have any one-liners but why not be nice, calm, and straightforward? If this scares him off, then you’re better off.

    • Wiser says:

      It’s only the second date, so any behavior on his part that’s less than respectful or makes you feel the least bit uncomfortable is a huge red flag. Saying no shouldn’t be a problem at all – a simple “I’m not ready for that yet” should suffice. If he presses, then you’ll have your answer of how much he “respects” you.

      • Tinkerbell says:

        Helena. I think you need to read on BR more before attempting to date? Why are you so naive at your age? I was naive when I first began dating after a long marriage in which my husband died. If you are going to date, you better wise up fast. You cannot think like 18 when you are 55. Postpone dating until you are wiser, or you’ll be disappointed and possibly badly hurt. You don’t want that.

    • BS says:

      Tell him “that’s inappropriate” in a very serious tone. Any self respecting man shouldn’t coerce you into sex. It’s like begging. (Eww, turn off!) It’s not a business negotiation; it’s your body. YOU own it.

  53. espresso says:

    I think we should consider starting a BR dictionary where there are translations for certain stock words and phrases that we hear all the time. I mean THEY must have a dictionary because they are all so unoriginal…like I want options, I am not ready, I am not good enough for you, I can’t give you what you need, I am trying to work on myself or even I am too busy.
    It all means (to me) I don’t want what you want or I am not prepared to make a commitment so take it or leave it. I think we ignore these kinds of statements at our peril.
    I was constantly told by my ex that he “didn’t think he could give me what I needed” and I kept trying to believe that he could or would. I WANTED so much to believe in what I believed were his good intentions that I ignored my inner voice that was standing up for me. Now I am not even sure what kind of effort he put into it – but the words sounded good.

  54. Freedom Tastes of Reality says:

    I could use some feedback about a new fling I’ve been having recently. I met someone at church and we’ve slept together twice. I’m okay with this and don’t have any emotional expectations of it progressing into a relationship. However, I’m considering breaking it off, because the man I’m seeing is one of those guys who doesn’t like to wear condoms. I’m on a form of birth control that’s 99.9% effective and lasts for three years. I had to go through a minor surgery and shell out $800 to get it. I’m not pregnant and not becoming pregnant anytime soon. However, my sexual values demand condoms and safe sex practice. They just do. Both times we slept together, he came over without a condom. I stood my ground, told him he could leave and get a condom and come back, or just leave. The second time he got mean about it, said “Hell, no!” and kept telling me I needed to relax. However, he eventually did as I asked. I talked to a friend about it, recently, and she seemed to think I was uptight for considering condoms a deal breaker because “no guy likes to wear condoms” and I already had my sexual health perfectly under control. I like the fun we’re having, but I’m considering “breaking up” the next time he calls. Thoughts, anyone?

    • Mymble says:

      FTOR
      I was married 13 years and condoms were our birth control method, in fact they have been in every relationship I’ve ever been in. If that’s your boundary stick to it. I can’t believe he even complained!

      • Mymble says:

        Also as for your GF, doesn’t she understand the difference between “fertility” and “sexual health”?

    • SM says:

      Drop him, he’s definitely not sexually healthy with that attitude. What a jerk, I’ve noticed lately that men cant even be cool when its just casual. I had my own episode this weekend of a guy throwing a temper tantrum because I wouldnt hook up with him, and he even had a girlfriend. We werent even on a date and I showed zero interest, yet he persisted and turned into a major jerk.
      Also, and I say this as a christian, its a bit hypocritical to ‘hook up’ at church.

      • EllyB says:

        SM: “I had my own episode this weekend of a guy throwing a temper tantrum because I wouldnt hook up with him, and he even had a girlfriend. We werent even on a date and I showed zero interest, yet he persisted and turned into a major jerk.”

        Are you SERIOUS? That sounds like an open and shut case of sexual harrassment to me.

        Please.Don’t.Play.It.Down. When reading that, my first thought was: “This guy is a criminal”.

      • Tinkerbell says:

        What do you mean by,”It’s hypocritical to hook up at church”? There is nothing wrong with meeting someone at church that you “click” with and exchanging phone numbers for later. You’re not going to “get it on” right then and there. What I have a problem with is someone who attends church but seems to behave in a very cavalier manner about having sex. You don’t casually go to bed with anyone. It should be someone who has earned the right to enjoy your body – a man capable of honest, respect, care and maybe genuine love down the line. Having a careless attitude about intimacy will likely lead you to meeting all kinds of weirdos who could care less about your needs or wants.

        • Sm says:

          Tink that’s what I’m talking about, casually hooking up. As Christians we are to abstain from sex until marriage (although not everyone does it and its very difficult if one does), but showing up at church and using it as a means to meet people for casual sex is hypocritical. For her and him.

          • Tinkerbell says:

            MS. Yes. We as Christians should abstain if unmarried. But, unfortunately, that is no longer the norm. I agree that using church as a means of “hooking up”, to use your term, is unacceptable. I did not realize that you meant hooking up as looking for sex. I thought you meant just meeting someone for friendship . Even so, you don’t use church for that purpose. Agreed.

            • Tinkerbell says:

              This is for SM.

            • Tabitha says:

              Oh Tink! I never quite know what people mean exactly when they say “Hook up” either! Or “fooling around.” Is that just kissing and stuff or does it mean sex? I thought it was just cos I am English that I didn’t get all the terms.

    • kookie says:

      umm yes please break up with him. you don’t even like him that much to have a relationship and trust me there is NO shortage of men out there to have condomed flings with if that’s what you want. you don’t have to put up with something that makes you uncomfortable when you have options , girl!

    • Sunyata says:

      Turning mean on me for making a request to protect my HEALTH is a dealbreaker.

      I felt creeped out hearing he told you to relax – it reminds me of date rapists.

      Personally I’d ditch this guy, if he’s already balking at your boundaries, it will only get worse. I guarantee he’s thinking that once he gains your trust he’s going to find a way to get you to have sex without a condom.

      I don’t have a single friend who would do anything but encourage and validate me for insisting on a condom, male or female, not all women believe in pandering to a man’s preferences, and not all men believe that his extra ounce of pleasure is more important than respecting the well-being of the woman he’s having sex with.

      Think about this – if he’s balking at wearing one with you, how many other women has he had unprotected sex with – and then wants to pass that along to you??
      Flush.

      • Tee Tee says:

        That’s what i wanted to say! The ‘relax’ comment is a bit scary and i couldn’t place it fully. erm no. You are not giving me a massage here. You are trying to have unprotected sex and it’s not even within an actual relationship where we have spoken and discussed it etc. No, just no.

    • Allison says:

      OMG!!!

      We’re in the 21st century and people are still debating condom use!

      I can say my life is a hell of a lot more important than some asshole who does not like the feeling – or lack of – a condom. I lost two friends to AIDS, and cannot comprehend sex w/o one!

      Sorry, but your friend and this asshole, are fools!!!!!!

    • Bermiegirl says:

      Don’t walk away…RUN!
      My experience with this has been that it has ALWAYS and WITHOUT EXCEPTION been a strong warning (riotously red flag!)of things to come and just the first indicator of many that he does NOT respect, he does NOT consider anything that doesn’t suit him or his whims, and…the worst bit…they are almost always bullies or passive aggressive manipulators.
      Real men have no problems with condoms.
      It also might be pure coincidence but I find that the men who have a problem with condoms are NOT as good in bed! lol

    • Tee tee says:

      Do not have condomless sex with anyone if you haven’t discussed it and it is is NOT comfortable or SAFE for you. Once i experienced that a while back. I gave him a condom,he refused and tried to talk me out of it saying he wanted to feel ‘completely close to me’ and that he only used condoms with ‘loose girls’ i swear his words. *_** rigt! This would have been the first time we’d have had sex. I declined,he got pissed and left. I flushed,he came back fishing months later,but i already had my head off him.

      Funny, he was a professional hardworking guy,funny,caring to his family etc. But, dismissed my concerns and said i could get the after pill couldn’t i? Erm i could,but no. Don’t do it,and if you must at least be both tested first #i see that requires a different level in the relationship# still

    • Tee Tee says:

      Do not have condomless sex with anyone you have not chosen to. And him trying to glove your eyes (pardon the pun) by telling you to relax is not on.
      In fact that’s a manipulative ploy. Great that you held on. Next time he calls or makes contact. Either a. ignore b. say this doesn’t work for me, all the best c. tell him to take a hike. Whatever you decide. Be sure to do what is in line with your core and spirit. Otherwise healing takes forever.

      I have one, I’d been friends with him some yrs back. So us getting closer in time spent, made me deem him safe. Bad idea me! We’d only been dating maybe a handful of times of meeting, this was going to be our first time having sex.

      Anyway, he didn’t want to wear one. Told me he only wore one with ‘loose girls’ and those he didn’t really care about. That he ‘wanted to feel really close to me’ I felt a cold shiver up my spine (I know now a year later, i was scared) and in my head i thought *that’s not right** It’d take another encounter like this (I said no to no condom both times) for me to realise he wasn’t budging on the condomless sex thing. So i flushed. I doubted myself too! It took talking to a no nonsense friend to tell myself my decision was the right one. Even though i felt it in my being!

      You won’t believe me but he came fishing some months later about whether or not i missed him. I did a small bt then, but not enough to go against what my gut said. So that was a no go. SHUDDERS – please be careful

    • simple pleasures says:

      well, since we’re talking about condoms,
      I’d thought I’d offer my experience. When I started sleeping with the math clown he was 33 and had already had a vasectomy. This was in the 70′s before AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases which surfaced in the 80′s. The only reason a guy used a condom was to protect against getting a girl pregnant. (ok maybe to prevent venereal disease in some places with some women). Since pregnancy was no fear, I spent my twenties in abandoned sexual delight with this man.
      When I met him again, he was age 70, and the day we attempted to be sexually intimate again he took out a condom. I panicked! I asked, “Do you have AIDS?” he said, no, I don’t have anything. He just knew the accepted
      norm for the 21st Century was protected sex. And he knew I had only one sexual partner for the past 30 years, so he knew he wasn’t getting any disease from me, and he hadn’t been sexually active for years. And no
      I wasn’t going to get pregnant by him ever, he did it out of consideration for what is currently accepted sexual behavior.

  55. Lilia says:

    Peanut,
    If you don´t mind sharing, what narcissistic qualities did you discover in yourself? I think you´re onto something here. If I´m honest, I´ve always ended up playing the groupie to the guys I´ve been involved with, but when I remember my most secret dreams in life, they had to do with being admired myself.

    • Peanut says:

      Lilia,

      Thinking my pain is greater than anyone else’s. Ideas of grandeur. Way over estimating my contribution to everything. Thinking I am too good or exempt from working hard. A boastful sense of entitlement. Disregard for the feelings of others. Little to no compassion. Coldness. An extreme need for external validation, praise and attention. I denied all of these traits in me and my ex personified them. I was a homely looking book nerd when we met, he an enticing egocentric and charismatic bass player. I think I wanted to be him more than I wanted to date him.

      • Lilia says:

        Peanut
        Thanks for sharing that! And I really relate to what you say about wanting to be the guy more than dating him. When I look back at the types I´ve been involved with, they were all so flashy and exciting and popular, it´s almost ridiculous. I even remember envying one particular musician boyfriend I had because he got to be on stage with his band while I was just part of the public. (I played an instrument myself at the time but he had the talent and training.)
        I´ve often wondered lately if my last EUM was so fascinating to me because he is a semi-famous journalist and I´m just an aspiring not very disciplined writer (and at the moment I´m more concerned about my daughter having lice – akkk!! – instead of winning the Pulitzer).
        I´m working hard on concentrating on my own life now, instead of chasing external validation.

        • Peanut says:

          Lilia,

          I felt so ordinary and my ex provided an opportunity to feel extraordinary and noticed in his presence. Such a dangerous way to date much less live.

          In reality he is not that extraordinary and no more than any human being. He mastered charm and a skill and used it to what he interpreted his full advantage to be.

          Though lice is very inconvenient and distressing for a child, it is curable, which is good news.

          And I can assure you, as far as you and your daughter are concerned and as far as the long run is concerned and what really matters in life, worrying about taking care of her lice problem is infinitely more important than any Pulitzer. That said your writing, goals and aspirations are still very important.

  56. teachable says:

    You can do this Peanut (deal with yr pack of wolves/mentally ill/dysfuctional family. I KNOW you can. We are kindred spirits. I see great strength in you – power you may not yet see in yrself. Keep going. Hugs. Teach

    • Peanut says:

      Teachable

      Thank you. I had a very enlightening therapy session today where at the end it was like this veil had been lifted and I have more clarity to see, “Huh, I’m an adult. I process threats as a child. But now I am an adult.” Also, I’ve realized my family isn’t going to change. Subconsciously I have been banking on that. Nope. Ain’t gonna happen. Like the ex, they are who they are.

  57. Rosie says:

    EllyB- Doing this by phone. This is in response to your questjon about my not calling my blind date. No, I didn’t want to see him again but am frustrated with myself over it because of how well he treated me. Our mutual friend said that that is how he treats people.

    I did call him a few days later to wish him a happy Easter as I did like him as a person. He callwd me back & wished me the same & that was that.

    So…I’m looking for a one-butterfly man who treats me like this man.

    • EllyB says:

      I’ve been wondering about those “sparks”/”butterflies”… Maybe it is really FEAR that lies behind them, not love or anything like that?

      I’ve learned to ignore those feelings almost completely and I’m clearly benefitting from it. In the past, whenever somebody gave me “butterflies”, I felt compelled to suck up to him (even if he was just a coworker or an acquaintance), even if there was no evidence that HE would treat me well. Most of the time they did the opposite.

      • Peanut says:

        Rosie & EllyB
        Butterflies are fear. Not good. Common myth. An old wives tale that you should look for these in a potential partner. It’s fear, dread, an alarm system. It’s actual discomfort. It is your body telling you: “This situation does not feel good because despite what you may or may not think, this person is not good for you.” Instead, because of rom coms I think and bad advice from friends, we go, Ah! that feeling again. That spark. It’s a go! Nope. Unless it’s fireworks on the fourth of July, there should be no sparks. Fireworks give me a headache anyway.

        Ah, and real authentic attraction, that is something altogether different. First it is curiosity, and then if it’s mutual it can grow into something very sweet, joyful and then substantial.

  58. noquay says:

    Tinkerbell
    I sooo agree, at my age, one should not have to tell a man to clean up, they should’ve learned that lesson decades ago. Unless there was some sort of emergency situation right before the date (car exploded or something), a man should be putting his very best foot forward, especially on a first meeting. As to looks, height, etc. I too like a good looking, tall, articulate, successful man. The times I have tried to overlook a lack of some of these things, the relationship fizzled and I feel awful for having wasted someone else’s time. Ironically, these have fizzled not due to a lack of looks but because of other issues that unfold such as the men not trying to hide serious health issues and that they really want the occasional shag, not a relationship. As for success, I do think a woman has to make her own success; I tell my female students that before they even consider having a child, they get their degree, get competent in a job, have emergency savings in case things go south, learn to fix their own house/car. I have seen so many womyn here trapped with crap men because they cannot do anything for themselves.As for men who aren’t successful, it depends on WHY they are thus. Is it a glitch due to the recession or is it a lifelong pattern?

    • Tinkerbell says:

      Hi Noquay. I’ve written so much on this particular post that I don’t remember now what, in particular I said to prompt you to address me. However ,I do appreciate and agree with everything you’ve said. In case I gave the wrong impression, I do not condone hanging out with chronically unemployed individuals who are not even looking for work. Yes, times are hard and many are out of work so it’s may present a dilemna for some young women who must decide if he is worth the time after researching his history with him.

  59. Rosie says:

    EllyB- (Sorry, still doing this by phone. This is in response to your comment about butterflies=fear). Yes, I heard that true, based on my history, I’d say it’s true. But where’s the baseline of comparison? I now have one regarding how I’m supposed to be treated but what about attraction? Are we to simply date men we don’t find appealing at all?

    On the one hand, I agree wirh Brenda that sex shouldn’t be #1 priority. Two friends who are happily married (to each other) say it’s most important to be best friends. I agree as I want to be friends with my man but I also want to think, “Kiss me, you fool.”

    Again, where’s the baseline of comparison?As my previous post states, I’ve dated men who were no threat go my sexual boundaries due to shared sexusl values but they were still AC’s.

    • Peanut says:

      Rosie,

      If you are attracted to ACs change who you are attracted to. For me that is taking time. I’m on a year plus hiatus from dating trying to change this. It’s working slowly but surely. If you stick with BR and work on the self esteem issues or whatever issues that lead you to be attracted to ACs it will change. The obsessions I had with certain types are fading and I notice men I never noticed before. Once I started to be open to men who weren’t my type and really seeing what my type was all about (pain, self punishment) things started to change.

  60. espresso says:

    I think it is pretty typical for these guys to use confusing language….hot/cold/in/out/maybe/maybe not/now/later/yes/no/ready/not ready Perhaps they are confused themselves, who knows? But I suspect it is always to give themselves an “out” in case “something better comes along.” Even if they are genuinely confused it isn’t going to be good for us. It immediately sets up boundary problems.

    My ex genuinely confused me by saying he would do certain things and he seemed very sincere and then would go out and do something different or “forget” what he had said. Or he would also change “definitions” on me. THIS wasn’t a betrayal of what I said – you just misunderstood me. No way!

    There was a lot of forgetting going on in my relationship. I got confused and it was a mindfk. And the onus was always on me to “remind him” .

  61. espresso says:

    I have been really thinking a lot about the mantra “I don’t think I can be what you want” which is a variation of “I am not good enough for you” because this was the mantra always used by my ex husband in our marriage when I would raise issues or when a therapist would let him know that there were ways he was not handling things emotionally himself or with with me. He would often get teary eyed when he said it and it was a great way of him getting off the hook and instead of stepping up to the plate garnering a lot of sympathy from himself and also from me.
    My ex put great importance on being “sincere” and “honest” (not self honest but “honest”) and so when he said this I got caught up in it. I would try to reassure him that he could meet my needs if only he …(fill in the blanks)…then I would go on to cheerlead and encourage him while he would forget or not do anything only to have the same thing repeated the next time a crisis came around. So I was an accomplice in discounting of my self and my own needs.

    Sometimes in our conversations even though they are vastly reduced he still gets all teary eyed and says this like, “Even now, I just don’t think I can ever meet your needs.” Which is TOTALLY inappropriate because I am not the least bit interested in this crap anymore and do NOT give him any indication that I am interested in pursuing an intimate relationship with him (this is part of his disrespect pattern). But I think he is doing it mainly for HIMSELF so that he can continually say, look I am so honest, I am so sincere…so well meaning.
    It is such a neat I am not responsible phrase. He was basically saying “I can’t be bothered to try to meet your needs in an adult relationship and don’t you dare hold me accountable for anything because I am warning you in advance.”

    As Natalie says in another post if a person really knows they cannot meet another’s needs and if they really ARE respectful and honest then they should do their part at ending the relationship. He always wanted me to stick around so was happy to offer me crumbs. And, sad thought, I accepted them.

  62. Monique K says:

    It’s such a hard lessons. Lots of times I am guilty of moving too soon because I am “horny” or I feel a strong “connection” to the person. If there is a connection it will always be there. IT is so much better to wait because then you will be able to sleep with someone with confidence it is for the right reasons. It is such a hard lesson to learn even at the age of 35. As a matter of fact I think it is harder the older you get.

    • Peanut says:

      Monique K,

      You are young. Good for you for taking the steps to see things clearer.

      • Tinkerbell says:

        WoW, Peanut. I thought you were much younger than 35. We all have our different life experiences very early, or apparently quite late.

  63. Freedom Tastes of Reality says:

    Thanks, all, for the feedback. It was good to read your comments and get some honest opinions. I wondered if one of the reasons why he wouldn’t wear a condom was a religious thing. I go to an evangelical church (and in reference to the whole “hooking up at church” thing, it wasn’t my intention to be hypocritical. This isn’t something I do habitually, but I came to church later in life, when I was already a partially-college-educated adult, so my life experience at that point was what it was. I wondered if not wearing a condom was his way of fast-forwarding the relationship to something more serious. I was a little creeped out at one point. I honestly wondered if he was trying to get me pregnant in order to coerce an engagement. I had something happen like this with one other religious man that I dated. He thought that because we were dating – because I’d agreed to a first date with him – I “owed” him engagement and commitment. I broke off the relationship, but I wonder if that sort of thing is common in church.

  64. Diane says:

    This will always be a dilemma, when base instincts overpower your beliefs and opinions, or you don’t want to offend your date.
    Even some of my strong willed friends let lust get in the way of their intentions of not having sex with someone new. This happened even when they had told their dates that they would rather wait, and their dates agreed!

  65. Mandy says:

    For all the Fallback Girls! Anthem. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNyRU0fKHAY

  66. Rosie says:

    Peanut- Doing this by phone. Thank you for your replies & for sharing your painful background. I don’t know how long you’ve been on your journey toward healing & wholeness but wow! It seems as if you’ve come far!

    Thank you for your two instructive posts on what to avoid & what to look for in attraction. Sooo…no butterflies, not even one, ok. Look for someone I’m curious about &, if it’s mutual, sweetness, joy, & then substance through time.

    My dad was selfish &, though faithful to my mom, was gone a lot working or out doing his hobbies. Even when he was home, he wasn’t home as he was “busy” watching T.V. or otherwise preoccupied. He was physically & verbally abusive. Yet, he had a conscience, never owned his physical abusiveness but would give me money or something the next day. My mom was the typical self-absorbed co-dependent “martyr”, emotionally manipulative, notbing was ever her fault, always the victim.

    Thus, I grew up terribly confused about what it means to love & be loved. Thus I haven’t really dated mu h, a lot of it was by choice (avoidance, not bwcause I wanted to be alone, though that’s what I told myself.). A lot of it was because of the jobs I would choose & where I lived that limited my exposure to people in general (another EU trate of mine). A lot of it is because I’m attracted to men like my dad– there but not there at the same time. Married/attached men are not my issue as I don’t want them & they don’t want me. My issue are unattached mwn who don’t want me back. They may want to have sex with me but somebody else gets the relationship. Just as my parents made themselves & others more important than me, I choose men who do the same (drug addict ex-bf was only guy who wanted a relationship. Other ex-bf was secretly in love with somebody else.) I choose poorly when I am attracted to somebody &, because of not dating much, I’m also terribly naive, which puts me in a lot of danger! This is why I view the blind date as God’s gift even though we don’t want to date each other. I now have a baseline of comparison on how I’m to be treated.

    Anyway, I’m sorry for all the typos, corrected some, ridiculously hard to correct othets. I hope you can read it & I appreciate yoyr time (& everyone else’s), & your sharing of yourself, & instruction.

    • Peanut says:

      Rosie,

      Our stories our very similar. I come from a family (both sides) where the dynamic that has been set up is this: the man is domineering, condescending, entitled, psychologically abusive, and very emotionally unavailable and no doubt a misogynist. The women are passive to an EXTREME. They are martyrs and hard working. Except they do not even think about taking the time to work on themselves.

      I made an effort to be different. And though I am amongst millions of women in the world who make this choice, I am the only woman in the family who has wanted to break free from this cycle enough to not give up or at the very least try. These things are difficult and go much deeper than just dating. We must watch out for red flags, but before we start dating it goes even deeper than that: We must learn to truly love, value and treat ourselves well. There is no getting past this.

      And it must be mastered before successful dating can happen. Here is what worked for me: Crying, hypnosis, Natalie’s books, other informative books, journaling, praying, therapy.

      And I diligently contemplated the authenticity and value of each source. All self help is not created equal. And above all listening to my body, recognizing when I felt fear and paying attention to where it came from. I’m certainly not saying you need all of this to be ready to date as your journey is your own and though there is usually common ground amongst us that have came from less than healthy families, I find our journeys are all unique with their own nuances. Take care xx.

    • Peanut says:

      Also Rosie,

      Instead of sweet, look for kind. My ex was saccharin sweet to get what he wanted. Sweet can be insincere and creepy. Genuinely kind is the way to go.

      • Rosie says:

        Ok, thanks, Peanut- I thought you meant sweetness in the relationship with the person. I’m sweet, not sure if I want a sweet guy as that would be too much sweetness. Kindness, yes. That is definitely a quality to look for! :)

  67. Peanut says:

    The idea of charm keeps spinning through my head. I now see that this trait was on the top of my list as to what I wanted in a potential mate.

    My father is a salesman. I’d be willing to bet he has swindled millions out of people. I idolized him growing up and then in college I began to question his behavior and eventually developed a disdain for it.

    It’s one thing to develop something you take pride in, care about, market it at a fair price and offer something to the public that you feel is of great use, i.e., the services my therapist provides, my former guitar instructor who was not okay with my slacking as he said something along the lines of, “You aren’t getting what you pay for.”

    But to develop things with a sense of carelessness with no concern for the consequences only to serve a bottom line that you think benefits you, is not good. On a spiritual level, ill gotten gains harm us as much, or perhaps more than those we plow over to get them.

    Ill effects suffered by aggressors are often initially imperceptable to the aggressor, the ones effected and observers. Their methods will implode. Whether their impulses send them to prison, an early grave or keep them isolated and delusional for a lifetime.

    My father’s chief arsenal is charm. He disarms people with a big smile and catches them off guard with unconventional conversation. Some of this is very calculated (I’ve heard him speak of his strategies to get what he wants and I felt terribly uneasy) some is unconsciously habitual and some is ingrained character.

    Some people are more susceptible to charm than others. I used to fawn over it and try and emulate it myself. I now see I most likely appeared quite strange and awkward to many, as many charmers do.

    People with awareness will respectfully remove themselves from a charmer and not feel guilty for protecting themselves. People pleasers will stick around for hours, days, months, years and even lifetimes in the name of not being rude and find they experience inappropriate guilt if they try to cut contact.

    In thinking about what attracts me to a possible partner I recalled a movie I had seen a while ago that I completely dismissed as very strange, unpleasant and lacking any value: American Psycho.

    Now, I cannot say if my father or exes are psychopaths, sociopaths, narcissists or the like. I simply do not know. And in no way shape or form am I saying they murder people or are capable of it. My father was violent toward me at times growing up but that does not make him a murderer.

    Again I do not know if any of my exes fit the psycho bill. I just don’t and I am not a doctor. It takes years of delicated, thoughtful and pragmatic training to diagnose these disorders. With no formal training in any of that it is best for me to apply this logic: I have sufficient evidence to say my exes and father put me in danger, treated me badly and contributed to me being miserable. That is enough to apply no contact and stick with it indefinitely.

    It’d be nice to have a concrete label and diagnosis for these men as to provide a precise explanation. That’s not going to happen. Sometimes all the answers are not provided and we must make and stick to a decision of no contact based on what we have experienced and how we felt in response to that.

    That said the main character in this movie uses charm to lure people. You don’t have to be a serial killer to do this. It’s the ultimate inauthenticity. It is acting in a calculated way in order to coerce someone to buy what you are selling whether it be goods or beliefs regardless if they have a real, beneficial practical need for it. We must always evaluate what we put out there and what we take in.

    I don’t particularly advocate or watch these movies as I think they are harmful to and harsh on the psyche, but I might put this one on my list because I think it can really be effective in waking up a dreamer like me to street smarts and even though it’s a very, very extreme example, shows the ill and yes, sometimes fatal effects if being really really naive. I can honestly say that a combination of extreme naivety, delusion, and arrogance have lead me to making some very and even life threatening decisions.

    Just because someone is selling something doesn’t mean we should buy it.

  68. AfroK says:

    Peanut, I do love reading your posts. What you have been through since you were a child, is just hard to comprehend. My heart goes out to you. Thanks for sharing and inspiring. You have been through a lot, and you are still so young. You present with no victim mentality and so insightful in your suppoting of others, how do you that? I admire your strength.

    Also, NO, you do not present as thinking your pain is greater than others. It is a great pain you are dealing wit. To me, you come across as very strong and resilient and refusing to let all that horrible experience define who you are and shape the rest of your life.

    Thanks for sharing and inspring.

  69. Vee says:

    @peanut
    Charm is a narcissist’s (and psychopath) way to disarm people and create a false sense of trust and curiosity. I am strongly attracted to charming people and have been told that I myself am charming. However the last relationship that I was in was with a narcissist and the charming exterior was just a cover for the pessimistic, bitter, resentful person that was underneath all that charm.

    My father was a charming narcissist.

    In my relationships I always end up feeling resentful and unappreciated as I watch the charm flow freely for other people while I get the crap.

    I’m learning that I have to pay attention to how I feel. If I’m feeling resentful and abandoned because the guy I want doesn’t treat me well, then it’s time to get a new guy, isn’t it?

    I’ve patted myself on the back recently for dodging at least two bullets, and for maybe being very cautious about entering back into a relationship with a guy that has already shown a pattern of being unreliable and maybe unavailable. We’ll see.

    They are just so darn charming that is all – it’s like I get bedazzled and all the logical thought goes out of my mind.

    Is that betting on potential?

    Vee

    • BS says:

      Be dazzled, be charmed, just don’t be fooled into letting your emotions get involved. Relationships are like fenced yards; some yards a large, with lots of space and openness. Some yards are very small and limited. Doesn’t mean you can’t appreciate the lawn but you can’t grow corn in a 3×5 area – you know what I mean?

  70. pinkearth says:

    I’ve built a fantasy world chasing potential and encaged self for 10years. Im almost 40 now, where did all the time go? I’m awake now and will stay awake.

  71. teachable says:

    Pleasure Peanut. You’re the one doing the (hard) work. Ironically, I touched on the exact same reality yesterday. Time for my family to stay where they belong. At a safe (& healthy) distance (largely) away from the inner sanctum of my life. They f*cked my life up from the outset. Any healing I have done (& there has been much) will only ever be undermined by them. Sad for them. Relief for me.

My Book - Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl

Stop believing that you did something to make them unavailable or that their inadequacies are down to your inadequacies - it is not about you; they are unavailable!

My Book - Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl

Stop believing that you did something to make them unavailable or that their inadequacies are down to your inadequacies - it is not about you; they are unavailable!