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[QUOTE=MysteriousGuy]Veronica...I want to ask you something. You have been ranting about trust, loyalty, etc. How is it you expect those kinds of things when you do not keep them in the past (and possibly present) with cheating on the men? How is it that you could expect that kind of things when men, you supposedly loved, gave their trust and loyalty to you only to be cheated on several times? I really would like to know that.[/QUOTE]

Those are excellent points, though I certainly haven't been intending to "rant." I guess I just do by nature :). Anyway, valid questions. I very much appreciate Eve's answer and I do agree that it is unfair to judge people on past mistakes, because we all make them. I would not want someone to judge me on a past version of me, because I have changed and improved over time and tried to become a better version of myself.

Also, the thing is, I haven't really ever cheated in the sense that I have lied to one man, made him think he was the only one, and then had others behind his back. I haven't ever really lied about sleeping around or done it behind any guy's back. I try to let them all know where they stand and I have always tried to make sure that if a guy is not the only man in my life, that he is not expecting otherwise. Most of what I would say I've done that was "cheating" was really more of overlapping two relationships, one that was already dead and buried in my mind, and a new one. I would never ever be able to carry on a serious exclusive relationship with one guy while betraying him without his knowledge. However, I obviously have no problem sleeping with, and even loving, multiple men at the same time. I do not know why, but for me, sleeping with one guy doesn't have anything to do with a lack of love for another man. I just have different feelings and relationships with them. I hope that kind of answers the questions you were asking MG but sorry if I didn't address what you were getting at.

Anyway, I do not cheat anymore, I never cheated on Patrick who lived with me for almost three years. I was pretty proud of not cheating on him, but I would be lying if I said I would not have happily jumped into bed with a few other guys as long as no one found out and no one got hurt. The only reason I didn't do it was because I loved Patrick and didn't want to hurt him, but the temptation was still there, despite how much I loved him. I think Goody might be right that I am not a one-man kind of woman, at least not right now. But I really hope she is right that I have the potential to change and come around...I really don't need to be like other people, but I do hope I can be happy being me and treat other people with kindness and respect.

Speaking of Goody, I am SOOOO glad to see you around! It makes me very sad to think of you going through tough times and I really hope things look up for you and your loved ones very soon. How is Ollie? I always loved hearing Ollie updates! And I'm thrilled to hear things are good with Tom, as you seem like such a wonderful unusual happy couple. It is the rare couple I see like you and Tom who are happy as individuals and not dependent on being a couple that make me think that there is hope for me to settle down with one man some day and actually be able to enjoy it and make it work. I really hope your daughters are ok--and if not, remember that they are young and that this too shall pass, and that they are good girls, and that everything will turn out ok in the end because you have a great family who loves each other. I do hope you will post if there is anything people might be able to advise or support you on...

It is so funny that you mentioned my mom! I love my mom so much, and you remind me of her so much, though you are probably sweeter and more patient. But you are both excellent moms! You should both adopt Sophia so we can be related :). Anyway, yeah my mom and I hung out a lot tonight and talked and she was saying that even though she knows I probably won't marry or reproduce and she supports that, that if I do get married or have a kid, I should do it with Brendan (the guy I've been talking about here) because we are so close and so alike. I had to laugh, because I don't think she knows I like him as more than a friend, and I doubt that she even suspects that we've been a lot more than platonic friends for a long time. I think I do give her a lot of worries, as she is always having to meet new boys and keep up on all my old friends without having that much info about whether we are more than friends, lol. But she is a great mom fortunately and doesn't judge me but instead loves me for who I am and supports the choices that make me happy. You are like that too Goody and your daughters will someday realize that they are incredibly blessed to have a mother who loves them so much.

So I told my mom that she was actually right and I had just been thinking that if I did ever change my mind about marriage or have kids, Brendan was definitely the frontrunning candidate and probably always would be even if I meet a ton of other guys or even if I met someone I felt a more intense passion's more important to have a love grounded in friendship, I think, than to get swept away by emotions which are always transitory and ephemeral for me. I would definitely select a husband and a father based more on logic and reason than on my emotions, so even if I was not head over heels for a guy, I'd rather have a kid with someone who would make a good dad than some jerk no matter how much I loved the jerk. But anyway, my mom is having Brendan's mom (who is my friend even when I'm not in touch with Brendan), his dad (my friend and career mentor also separate from Brendan), Brendan, Brendan's brother (who is my friend from high school too) and Brendan's brother's girlfriend (who is pushing me and Brendan to date and who my mom is mentoring professionally) ALL over for dinner next weekend. It should be very cozy, lol. They all know he stays over at my house, but I am not sure if any of them know anymore specific details about our interactions. I kind of doubt it. It might be a ridiculous dinner, but it should be fun, as Brendan is the only guy I've ever dated whose family I not only don't dislike and want to avoid, but whose family I actually enjoy. I wish I was part of their family. Maybe I can be, unofficially, adopted into it...they always invite me for holidays and stuff when I am not up for dealing with my mom's crazy relatives.
[QUOTE=Lance0204]actually, stacy i think you should just leave things the way they are since you like what you have with him. also i think the first thing you have to do is really decide if you want a bf or not. do you think you might lose him to another girl if you don't find out where things stand exactly?? i ask because you say that he pretty much assumes that you'll always be dating some other guy and thus he'd be open to seeing other women since you guys aren't together or anything.[/QUOTE]

Eath, thanks for your post, and I really agree. I am someone who prizes independence and emotional self sufficiency above almost everything but my integrity, and so to me, to depend on someone else for completeness would be horrible. I really feel like I will not be ready to have a partner in life until I am truly content with my life as a solo person, and while I have always strove for this and been quite happy overall, I do not feel like I'm there yet. So maybe someday when I am a whole person on my own, I will meet a man who is the same way, and we can then settle down in a healthy way and be happy together. That might be really nice. But I'd also like to be prepared to live my life alone and enjoy that too if necessary.

Lance, I think you make several great points and I always appreciate your input as a fellow INTJ ;), so thank you very much. :wave: You are right, I do really need to decide what I want before anything changes between Brendan and I, because once it changes, we might not be able to go back. I'd be lying if I said I was desperate to be with just one guy and have a serious boyfriend, but then again, other guys pale in comparison to Brendan when I weigh out all their qualities and attributes. So maybe he will become my boyfriend by default, not because I'm limiting myself, but because I voluntarily want to be with him and just him. I am not sure, but I don't think he would get with another girl, though I could not blame him or be angry if he did because I have done the same thing. I would never want to hold him back from doing what he wanted, but he doesn't seem to want to be with women other than me, he never really has. I think he's just not into being with a lot of different women the way some men are and the way, if I am going to be honest, the way I am too.

I guess I just believe in more of a free love policy than most in, if I care about and respect a man, and want to make love with him, why shouldn't I? If we aren't lying and hurting anyone? Many people just do not understand that and cannot conceive of wanting to be with anyone other than the one partner they love. But I am not like that by temperment, I don't really understand why people don't all sleep around with each other as long as it is fun, safe, and casual. Maybe I should have grown up in the sixties and seventies before all the propaganda about STDs and abstinence made everyone scared to reject monogamy. I have always wanted to be with a lot of different men, and I love men so much that I have a hard time saying no sexually to anyone I really really like and find attractive. Some people don't have that player tendency or instinct at all though, and I have never been attracted to men who have a lot of girls around or who have ever cheated on a girlfriend. I don't know why, but I don't like men who like women as much as I like men, if that makes sense.

So yes Lance, to answer your question in a not at all succinct manner :), I think things could stay the way they are here indefinitely, because we both seem very content being close friends as well as lovers. And he is a sweet guy, he actually cares about me and what I think and how I am doing and not just how I look or what we do in bed. That makes me feel good about myself, I like men who make me feel like the best possible Stacy. As for whether I would lose him if I don't make it clear that I want a relationship, I think probably not, or at least I feel pretty sure that he wouldn't leave me for someone else without first giving me a chance to change my mind about being "single." My best guess is that he will not date other women not because he can't or shouldn't, but because he doesn't want to...which is not dissimilar from the way I feel about him. We did talk when I first saw him again this year after not seeing him for a few years. The first night I saw him, we were all snuggly and cuddly right away and he teased me about (not) being engaged, and asked if I had a boyfriend. I said no, do you have a girlfriend, and he said definitely not. Then we went home together and we have been talking pretty much every day since then. Very early on I asked if he was capable of having a relationship and falling in love and all that and he said yes that he had done both of those things and thinks he can do them. I said do you want to get married, and he said not anytime soon (right answer!) and I said do you want kids and he said maybe someday (also the right answer!). Then maybe the second night we hung out, I asked if he thought we were like an exclusive couple, and he said that since we'd only seen each other twice in a few years, that he didn't think we should think of it like that right then, and I agreed with him. Then of course we dropped the subject completely and immediately went back to talking about nerdy things we find much more interesting than our relationship, such as school, golf, and science. That was a few months back though and since then we have not discussed anything about our commitment status or feelings--we both hate to talk about those things. I did tell him on Friday when I saw him after being away for a week that I really missed him and couldn't wait to see him again (maybe not a big deal for some girls but more than I would ever say to most men), and he said of course I missed you a lot too (of course??!! Like it's obvious?!!!? Whatever.) That is about as mushy as either of us are likely to get.

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