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Relationship Health Message Board

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[QUOTE=Hiya]Well, not that I really owe you an explanation, but I've only been physically intimate with two men my entire life, and I never had actual intercourse with either of them. The first was my ex, who I loved, who I thought would be my only lover and who I thought I would marry. Six years later, after not being touched by a man for all that time, and finding out my ex had married the TTE, I reconnected with the mutual friend, who I never had any serious romantic or relationshp inclinations toward, but there was a physical chemistry, and I knew he had always been attracted to me. In an attempt to escape the pain and to try to forget the memory of the intimacy I had with my ex, I fooled around a couple of times with the mutual friend, who I had known for 10 YEARS, NOT just some guy I picked up in a bar half an hour ago. and each time, I cried during from the emptiness and loneliness. Once I realized physical contact with him did nothing to lessen the pain or the loneliness I had been feeling, I ended the physical aspect of our relationship, despite having the misfortune of being born a passionate, visceral person with an extremely high sex drive. I would rather spend my days so frustrated and miserable it's physically painful than compromise my values again. I am quite clear, in fact way TOO clear, on what kind of person I am and what kind of SO I want to be with. I want to be with a man who loves God, who has only had one or two lovers in his history, who would love me enough to be faithful and devoted to me, who wants to make a home and a family with me, i.e. the kind of man my ex's wife gets to be with. I want to be the woman I am, momentary indescretion due to blinding physical and emotional pain aside, virtuous, faithful, devoted, having only one lover in my life, my whole life, family oriented soccer mom with the cookies and milk when the kids get home and dinner with the hubby every night, with a man who would appreciate it, i.e., the kind of woman my ex's wife gets to be. The problem is not my being confused about what I want or who I want to be. The problem is, I don't get to have what I want, and I don't get to be who I want to be.[/QUOTE]

Nini, is what you want at all negotiable? As you know, we have some things strongly in common (such as what you said about being passionate with a high sex drive) and have other significant differences...I'm a little worried that part of the problem for you might be that who you are and what you're ideally looking for in a relationship might not be compatible. For instance, if you're only going to have one lover, I'd assume that you'd want him to be quite talented in bed, right? It would be pretty frustrating and unsatisfying to hold out and sleep with only one partner and then have him turn out to be clueless or just plain bad in bed. Unfortunately, some men just are, and the vast majority of bad lovers are those with little to no sexual experience. We differ in that while like you, I'd be okay with eventually settling down with one partner, assuming he was a good match for me, unlike you, I've always been excited to sleep with a lot of different people. From those experiences, it's pretty clear to me that the more experience someone has with sex (both in terms of the total sexual encounters and the number of different partners they've had), the more likely they are to be able to thoroughly satisfy their partners. Guys who have only had one or a few partners are almost invariably lacking in sexual talent, with the exception of a few who I dated early on, but then I slept with them each hundreds of times, so while they ended up being pretty amazing lovers, but then they also had a lot of experience compared to other guys despite only having been with one girl. Also, the vast majority of people with sexual hangups and inhibitions are likely to be religious, so you might want to consider relaxing that requirement. Besides tending to be great in bed, people without strong religious beliefs are rarely judgmental or hypocritical when it comes to sex (as your ex turned out to be when it came to his views on religion, birth control and premarital sex). And also, by steering clear of guys who like smoking pot, you are leaving only the most uptight men in your dating pool, not to mention the fact that men who smoke pot (even if they only used to or only do occasionally) are inevitably skillful and sensual lovers compared to those who don't--there's not even a contest.

I'd really hate to see you rule out otherwise great potential prospects because they have at least a decent amount of sexual experience, aren't religious, and/or smoke pot, as I highly doubt there'd be very many good partners left to choose from. And if you did find someone who fit this criteria who was still single, I'm very worried that it'd be nearly inevitable that in this day and age, he'd nearly inevitably be unable to satisfy you sexually. I know that it's important to have principles, but I would strongly suggest that you be flexible about considering men who don't exactly conform to your standards. I think most people who find great partners end up surprised that in at least a few ways, these partners don't live up to their original expectations and requirements. I've always vigorously avoided guys who smoke cigarettes, for instance, yet several of the men I've loved most were smokers when I met them and though I insisted they quit, not all were able to do so completely successfully, which had little effect on their ability to be wonderful, loving boyfriends. Looking back, I wish I'd been a lot less rigid about what I wouldn't tolerate in a potential partner--physical standards are one thing, as you just can't talk yourself into being attracted to someone by being flexible if you're not naturally drawn to them. Compromise and an open mind are two very good things when it comes to searching for someone to love, and I hope you retain a little bit of hope, at least, that the right guy could still come along and be amenable to giving him a chance even if he doesn't fit the ideal partner you described above.

I agree completely with you that guys will pursue us if they are truly interested, and itís not in my nature either to be the aggressor, but Iíd caution you against adhering to that principle too rigidly. Itís one thing to be strict about such rules if youíre getting all the dates you want and 100% happy with your love life, but if not, itís a good idea to shake things up a bit, try something different, and relax your approach somewhat. Keep in mind that while guys generally like to do the chasing once dating starts, they are often just as nervous and reticent about making the first move as even the shyest women are. So slipping your phone number to the limo driver, in my view, wouldnít have been a mistake at allóif you think about it from his perspective, heís probably thinking that youíd never consider dating the hired help or worried that youíd be offended that he was trying to take advantage of his position if he asked you out or acted at all unprofessionally toward you. Slipping him your number would have been a risk-free proposition, since at worst he wouldnít call, and his attitude suggests professionalism and restraint, not a lack of interest in you. But even if he wasnít into you, what do you have to lose? Assuming that or anything else negative only deprives yourself of chances before you even get a shot, and since I get the sense that you feel you canít get much lonelier and sadder as long as youíre single, what do you have to lose by taking the pressure off a guy by making a subtle first move that shows your interest and leaves the ball in his court? I also agree with Soulster about the guy at work, assuming you find him at least somewhat physically appealing. It sounds like your main objections otherwise are his use of tobacco and pot, but trust me that if you avoid all men who use or have used those substances, you will be ruling out a large number of brilliant, talented, caring, wonderful men without ever really giving them a fair chance. If you just donít like him, thatís one thing, but if thatís not the case, I think Soulster might be quite right about the benefits of giving him another chance. At worst, itíd be some additional dating experience, which is always valuable, as well as a confidence boost for you to go out with a man whoís obviously very into you. Anyway, I donít mean to lecture you or criticize your approach to dating; I only want to see you happy and having fun with good company, and I think staying positive and open to guys who donít fit your usual dating criteria is the best way to accomplish that. Please try to hang in there and donít give up completely, OK? Thereís always the chance that the perfect man for you is just around the corner (I definitely hope he is and that heís not too many corners away from you)!
[QUOTE=stacykgb20]Guys who have only had one or a few partners are almost invariably lacking in sexual talent, with the exception of a few who I dated early on, but then I slept with them each hundreds of times, so while they ended up being pretty amazing lovers, but then they also had a lot of experience compared to other guys despite only having been with one girl. [/QUOTE]

Exactly. There are certain things a woman can teach, and you taught these guys. A man being a great lover is not nearly as important as a man who loves me, wants to please me, and is open to my needs and compromise. Although these inexperienced men you slept with were bad in bed at first, you became sexually acclamated over time, as most couples do, and they were able to please you. When there's respect and love and compromise, to me that's worth far more than a guy who's banged a lot of women he didn't love, not to mention most likely has herpes or HPV. Pot is also a non-negotiable, I'm afraid. It's a criminal activity, and studies have shown that pot smokers are just as susceptible if not moreso to lung cancer, they think because pot smokers hold the smoke in their lungs longer than cigarette smokers. Plus, I get drug tested for work, and I don't need to getting a contact high and getting busted at work. I wouldn't object to a guy who maybe used it occasionally in his past, but a present pot smoker, no, out of the question. The guy at work, no, these aren't the only reasons why I don't think he's dating material. He's just not stable or settled enough, and although he's nice to me, there's just no chemistry.

Religion is another thing I just can't give on. He doesn't have to be a bible thumping, Bush-loving, Dr. James Dobson quoting fundamentalist, in fact that would turn me off. But a firm belief in something greater than him, a belief in a moral structure to the universe, and some sort of sense of Jesus and why we celebrate His birth, yes, that's necessary for any man who will be the father of my children. I could never raise children with a man who didn't have some kind of faith.

[QUOTE=stacykgb20] I highly doubt there'd be very many good partners left to choose from. [/QUOTE]

Exactly. Which is why it hurts so badly to feel this door slam in my face for good. I really doubt there's anyone else out there for me.

Anyway, I have to accept the way my life unfolds. If I do end all contact with my friend, I will lose contact with the women I have been forming a friendship with, one in particular, who I do feel a connection to as a friend, but still don't know well enough to associate with her outside the context of our mutual friendship with my friend. If that relationship ends, I'll probably never see her again. I'll have no one to go out with or go to clubs with or whatever, except my brother, who is a big, Geraldo Rivera -looking guy whom everyone assumes is my boyfriend or husband. How am I going to flirt it up with guys in that situation? I'm screwed, or at least sure feel like it now. But the ex probably went to his wife and made me out to be some sort of stalker type hell bend on making trouble for them, so it's turned into this stupid high school stuff, "well, you can't go if she's going to be there, well, let's see, nini's going to be there so I can't invite the ex, well I want the ex to be at this event so I can't tell nini about it" and it's just so stupid. I tried to rise above it, but she would have none of it, so it's best if I just take myself out of the picture. I just wanted answers, why I deserved to be yelled at, called names, to have the church kneeler slammed down on my leg, without so much as an apology. When he left me I told him it wasn't losing a lover that was so bad, but losing my best friend that was killing me, and he said I wasn't, that I would always have that. I guess that was just another lie.

No, it's pretty clear to me that what I should do now, at least for a while, is just keep to my business, keep my head down, work my job, come home, hang out with my dog, and leave it at that. I obviously brought this on myself, and I can't fix it. I don't fully understand why I deserve to be so alone and so unhappy, but I guess I do.
Hey Hiya, I am so sorry if I offended you in anyway at all. I didn't mean that you should settle for anything less than what you want. I wondered if you would let things from someones past influence you, guess in a way I was asking for my own benefit.

I do not want you to settle, and believe me, I know exactly how you feel about knowing how you will never find another soul that you will connect with the way you did with your ex. I know I won't either. And it's really bad because anywhere I go, everyone I see, I somehow compare them to my ex, and no one ever even comes close. I don't know why, but the conversations I had with my ex were so stimulating to me, even if they were hurtful alot of the times. Weird, huh? I think you have a whole lot to offer to some lucky man, you are truly an amazing woman, and I am honored that I have had the privilege to meet you here on HB, along with everyone else.

If you think that ending the relationship with the FFWB would be the best thing for you to help you move on, then I think you should do it. Maybe you could gradually, over a little of time, break contact, and then only talk to him every so often just to see how he is doing. I think the fact that he is your ex's oldest friend has in a way kept you tied to your ex. It would be hard t be around him and not think about your ex, or ask about him. The guy I dated for 8 yrs off and on since high school was a big part of my life, and all our friends were mutual, but when I left 3 yrs ago, I left them all. That may sound harsh, but it was how I had to do it. I still talk to one girl who was my closest friend, not very often though.

I wish I knew how to help you close this door, but no matter what Hiya, you never deserved anything that was ever done to you, and you only deserve the very best that there is. I hope you find it, I really do. I hope we can both find a way to let go of what has happened, but I am, like you, doubtful that I will ever find another person I will want to share my life with. Sending you lots of hugs today, I will be thinking of you.
Part 2:

I also think that you can relax your standards without lowering them to the point where youíd be miserable with someone and always wishing you were with someone different. After all, you said your ex wasnít everything you were looking for, but you still loved him deeply and were happy with him when you were together and things were good, right? Thereís a lot of room for compromise between the standards youíve listed and settling for a man who you donít love and donít want to be with at all. For instance, thereís no reason why you canít fall just as deeply in love with a man with 100 past sexual partners as a man with one if you didnít know the truth about either. As Cinting said, if you have a strong connection and love each other, it would be a terrible shame to let your view of someoneís past stand in the way of spending your life happy and in love rather than lonely and miserable. No one is telling you to date someone who you donít love or find appealing, and no one has ever said to you that you donít deserve to be with someone who you love and are happy with. It just seems that by having pretty rigid standards about what youíll accept as far as a guyís lifestyle, beliefs, past, etc., you might be missing out on a man who would make you wonderfully happy and who you would love deeply. A guy who smokes pot or has had a lot of sexual partners or isnít christian can be every bit as lovable as one who isÖitís not about lowering your standards so youíll be with someone who you donít want, itís about keeping an open mind so you wonít miss out on someone you would really want if only you gave him a chance and accepted that he didnít fit all your criteria. Thatís all weíre trying to help you realize and understand, but you seem to think that weíre saying you should settle for just anyone when we all want to see you with someone you truly love. That love is what matters, not his past and how well it conforms to your expectations.

Can I ask what is the important thing that you feel like youíve lost all over again? Do you mean your ex, either another chance with him or a chance to explain how you feel to him? In any event, I really truly think that it is in your best interest to realize that while he may have seemed like the right guy for you, he has proved over and over that he isnít, and to close the door on him completely once and for all. Itís only hurting yourself to allow him to continue to make you unhappy and let your experiences with him color your feelings toward all men or worse, potentially stand in the way of being open and positive about finding love with someone who might not be exactly what youíre expecting at first glance. As far as your FFWB goes, I personally think that you do need to cut ties with him because the only thing he seems to bring to your life is memories and connections to your ex. I just donít see you ever being able to turn your back on your ex as long as the FFWB is in your life, but thatís just my opinion. Also, I donít like how he makes you feel taken advantage of and bad about yourselfÖin my view, itís better to have no friends than an unreliable, disrespectful friend, but of course itís ultimately your choice how to proceed with him. But why would you have to then stop being friends with the girl you were hanging out with at the party? If I were you, Iíd pursue that on your own, as what do you have to lose? And what about the woman from work who wanted to be your karaoke pal?

I am really sorry to hear that youíre feeling worse than usual because of all this and wish there was some way we could help. I must admit that I was really scared that this might be the result when I heard about the party and the possibility of seeing your exóit seemed like it was worth taking the chance of seeing him in order to get some closure but also had the potential to backfire if things didnít go as you hoped. I am really wishing for you that this is just a temporary setback, that youíre understandably feeling down and disappointed that you built this up and didnít get a chance to confront your ex after allÖI do think he owes you an apology, but I doubt heíd see it that way or even remember all the details that still sadden you, so even if you talked o him, I just donít know if itís realistic to expect an apology after so long. I am just worried that by relying on him apologizing to feel like you belong in the world, you are again putting way too much of yourself and your future in the hands of someone who never came close to deserving you. But if you really think it might help, why not try talking to him over the phone or email? Explain how an apology would really help you get closure and move onóyes, heíd then know youíre still holding on, but chances are, he already realizes that, so what do you have to lose? Goody is right that sometimes things get worse before they begin to get better, and I hope so much that is what is happening for you now. Perhaps you are feeling worse than you have in some time because you are finally realizing that you need to let go of your ex, and that realization is extremely sad and painful for youÖin some ways itís seemed like youíve seen your feelings for your ex as better than nothing, like even though it hurts you to hold onto him, at least you have some love still in your life, and so I can understand why letting him go once and for all would be extremely devastating for you despite how necessary and ultimately beneficial it is. I canít urge you enough to keep moving forward, to keep your back turned on your ex and leave all that in the past, and to trust that things will improve in time. Please, please donít give up completely and accept your present situation as something that must inevitably continueÖkeep trying, keep talking to us, keep looking forward and trying to move on. It has to pay off, and I just know things will look up for you if you can just hang in there and hold onto hope. No one here will give up on you, so please donít give up on yourself either, as you have so much special promise and intelligence and talent and insight and loveÖplease reread your advice to cinting and realize that it applies just as much to you. You always give everyone such brilliant, logical advice, and I hope you can apply some of it to yourself--you really deserve to give yourself a break for everything in the past and face the future with optimism and pride in everything you have to offer.
[QUOTE=opielonghorn]let me rephrase, then. the positive will ULTIMATELY always win. yes, a few doors may be slammed in your face in the process. maybe 99 out of 100 will be slammed, all in a row. but that one door will not be slammed, and that's why it's such a simple concept. if you keep trying, then eventually you will succeed. that woman didn't want to talk to you? move onto the next. someone doesn't hire you for a job? apply for another one. the beauty of life is that there are a million paths to take and a million ways to change.

you've said yourself that you have spent the last eight years hung up on the breakup and your ex-boyfriend. if this mindset hasn't worked for you yet, why not change it? why not open your mind and your heart to everyone's advice here, instead of instantly formulating a defensive response? there must be a reason that more than one person here has offered you the same information. positivity breeds positivity, just as a child can't grow up with a positive outlook if he has negative influences.[/QUOTE]

I really agree with thisÖI donít mean to be critical, Nini, but it seems that a lot of your responses zero in on specific details of othersí posts that you can refute almost as if to prove your theory that youíve done all you can and that love and happiness just isnít in the cards for you. No one who knows and loves you here is willing to accept that and give up hope, but I sure wish that you could put the energy and intellect you dedicate to defending your position on minor issues that come up in posts into opening your mind to the positive, big-picture kind of advice and trying your best to put some of those optimistic suggestions into practice. In some ways, Iím sure itís easier to resign yourself to your current situation rather than get your hopes up that some new effort will make a difference in your level of contentment and risk being let down, but focusing on your negative experiences isnít helping. It seems like a lot of the same bad memories come up over and over again in your posts (the girl who was mean about the Queen concert, the boys who beat you up on the playground, your ex-best friend being unsympathetic and fading out of your life following your breakup with your ex, and of course, amazingly detailed recollections of a large selection of moments during which your ex failed to show you the love and respect we all deserve from our partners).

While no one deserves to go through such painful experiences, there are people who have had as bad or worse ordeals in their past who still manage to remain optimistic and hopeful, choosing to focus on the positive aspects of their life rather than the negative. You express this so eloquently in your posts to others, most recently memorably in your replies to cinting, yet you seem to have difficulty applying your excellent advice to your own life and outlook. And you do have some positive experiences with others, who demonstrate interest in dating you and/or being your friend, but the hurtful experiences seem front and center in your mind. To some degree at least, you do have a choice as to what you choose to think about, dwell on, and let influence your future outlook. You have so many appealing qualities and so much to offer a partner that I bet weíd all be pleasantly surprised at how much success youíd have with men if you could open yourself up to even a bit more optimism and positivity, as well as opening yourself up to possibilities you might not consider if youíre not feeling that hopeful. What you said about us both potentially missing out on great guys due to our standards is definitely true, but the difference is that Iím not feeling stuck and unhappy with life as a result of having difficulty meeting men who fit my expectations with whom Iíve been able to build satisfying relationships. Itís only when your current approach and criteria arenít ceding your desired results that itís important to be open to trying something different or adjusting what youíre looking for. And Iím not talking about settling for some guy who doesnít wow you just for the sake of security and companionship, as I know and completely agree with the way you feel about such partnerships. I just mean that for all you know, your ideal guy might have some skeletons in his closet that you wouldnít approve of if you knew about them, but if heíd make you happy permanently, why should that stuff matter and why should you even know those kinds of details about his past? I just really think that you have more power to eliminate negativity from your life than you acknowledge, and that maybe if you evaluated some of the advice youíve received with a more positive outlook, youíd find that itís actually helpful if you give it a shot. Even if you arenít open to trying new things right now, Iíd still suggest that you reread your old threads, with an eye to possibly helpful suggestions and to spotting and excising any kneejerk type negative reactions from your current mindset. Iíd suggest giving Opieís last post some more thought, and please keep in mind that no one wants to be critical, we only want to support you and see you happy.

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