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Relationship Health Message Board


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Hey there Xanie!! Hope you don't mind if I call you that:)

Anyway, well, I think platitudes do help a few people who don't really have any real serious problems in life but just need a little pick me up. Words, a nice saying, "today is the first day of the rest of your life, the 10 most powerful two letter words, if it is to be, it is up to me, If you can dream it you can live it" etc. Some people actually find great comfort in these words in times of distress, and that's great if they do, I've just never really been that kind of person. I like answers. I must admit I've never been good at letting things be the way they are and trying to be happy anyway. Like I mentioned before, I live in a part of my state that is suburban, and used to be very undeveloped, but since the late 80s, development has been rampant and out of control and every month another beautiful little meadow, field, orchard, is gone for good. I"ve been working very hard on just letting it go and being happy anyway instead of getting upset and trying to change it. I used to go to city planning meetings and speak and try to change it that way, but people here are hell bent on utilizing every single last inch of open space. It's terribly sad, but I'm working on being ok with it and not letting it make me frustrated or unhappy. It's tough sometimes, though.

I guess I also have to work on changing what my idea of happiness is. That task has proven to be much much harder. Ever since I was 5 years old, all I wanted was to love someone. Yes, five years old!! I had a crush on a boy in my kindergarden class named Steve, and I wanted him to be my boyfriend. I used to thing how wonderful life would be if I just had someone to love, someone to hug and hold, to walk with and hold hands with and laugh with, that's always been my idea of happiness. By the time I got to my late 20s and had never even been on a date or kissed a man, or even really slow danced with a man, I had determined it would never happen and that was ok. I had even gotten to a place where I was relatively satisifies without it. Then I met this guy who liked me, and I liked him, so I thought what the heck, I'll try this dating thing. Little did I know I would never be the same again. Like Smokey says, "a taste of honey's worse than none at all." Now that I know exactly what it is I'm missing, I haven't been able to go back to the way it was before I met him. After 10 years of searching, I just don't know what will take this pain from my heart. All I can do is keep on keeping on and hope one day I'll find something that makes this pain go away.

I have to laugh at some of the things the shrinks come up with, though. I mean, I do have respect for the psychiatric profession, but some of the things they come out with don't really hit the nail on the head for everyone. Like saying women often seek out men just like their fathers. HA!!!!! I run from men who remind me even in the slightest way of my father. But I think I'm looking for someone who really doesn't exist, at least for me.
[QUOTE=Larrylou'smom;3078012]

Hey Xanadu!! Glad you could peek your head in and say hey! Hope you're enjoying yourself and having a lovely time. You'll have to tell us all about it when you come back.

[/QUOTE]
Yes, I went to the soggy flooded Royal Show to report on the heavy horses and sneaked a peek on one of the computers in the press room while it was pouring with rain. ;)

[QUOTE=Larrylou'smom;3078012]
LOL! Anyway, take care, have a great time, see you when you officially come back!! [/QUOTE]

Thanks! I've got webbed feet now! ;)

[QUOTE=Larrylou'smom;3078012]

I think love is supposed to be something more than just "ok, you make a decent living, have all your own teeth, I'm pretty sure you won't beat me, so yeah, let's get married, yawn, ho-hum." I think the reason why 55% of marriages fail in this country is because too many people go into it with that mentality, and then they wonder why, five years down the road, they just no longer want to have sex. Hmmmmm.....don't know why, I just don't want to sleep with my husband anymore. D'uh!!! I know what love feels like. I loved somebody very much once, even though he didn't love me back, but I know what that is, and having experienced it once, there's just no way I could ever be with someone I didn't feel at least that much for. I'm not looking for the guy who's well, I guess good enough. I'm looking for the one that will make me glad it didn't work out with my ex. I just couldn't be happy with anything less.

[/QUOTE]

Hi Larrylouísmom, :wave: I feel a l-o-n-g post coming on!

I hear what you are saying, but all thoughts of marrying for love left me a very long time ago. I would settle for good companionship with someone kind who really enjoys the same kind of life as me.

However, this is what itís like. Trying to assess myself impartially (which is difficult, of course) this is what I see.

Here I am at the age of 63, actually 64 in a couple of daysí time. I donít think I look my age, still having an unwrinkled face and naturally dark hair. Iím a bit overweight because trying to diet never seems to achieve results, but Iím not gross, and many women who are very much heavier than me have good relationships. I view high heels as instruments of torture, and also dislike tights and short skirts. Make-up never makes me look much different, so I havenít worn any for years. I really feel that, if I have to dress up in things I hate, that any man who might look twice at me is only concerned with an artificial image, and isnít really interested in the real me at all. Also I can really stand up for myself if Iím provoked, but this happens so seldom that few people ever see this side of my personality.

Those are all the negatives I can think of. I have three wardrobes and two chests of drawers bulging full of lovely clothes that I really enjoy wearing, and I enjoy meeting people, so have no difficulty chatting to strangers. The shyness of my youth vanished many years ago. Iím polite and I try to treat other people as I like to be treated myself. Iíve got a sense of humour and I can make people laugh. I also watch the expressions on their faces so I can avoid boring them, and time and again I see the eyes of both men and women light up with interest when they are talking to me. It seems to me I am always out and about meeting interesting people.

Yet how many men have even wanted one single date with me? Eight years ago I went to the Royal Show and started talking over coffee to a man who asked me how I proposed to spend the morning. ĎWatching the judging of the heavy horses,í I replied, and it was the right answer, because heíd been writing about heavy horses for many years.

So began the only long-term relationship Iíve ever known. I thought that wanting to be swept off my feet was too much to ask, so I was not really concerned that I hadnít fallen in love with him. Yet he seemed a very reasonable person who encouraged me in all my interests, and little by little he grew on me. Now I think of him as He of Two Girlfriends.

So who else has shown an interest in me during these eight years? Some men may have seen me as Eís girlfriend and not liked to trespass, but I attended events independently often enough for E to cultivate his other relationship for some years before I found out. So where were the other men, even when I knew I better start looking again?

Think back to a time before I met E at the age of 56. Who was there? Itís true I was unlikely to attract anyone while I was traumatised. That lasted six years, so what about the remaining 34 years or so of adult life? The man who cured me of trauma was married, and we never met in the flesh, so what happened before then? There was a time when Iíd said: ĎNever again! I donít want to get hurt!í That stage lasted maybe four years. So there is still a period of thirty years to account for.

Think back, think back, think back to when I was 33. I was in love for a whole five months, and a second man was kind to me while I was heartbroken and needed company. The first man had decided I should be ready-adjusted to cooking and cleaning, because it never occurred to him that if you live that way after the age when most people marry, instead of focusing on interests and outings, that you are making yourself lonely and miserable. :blob_fire The second man simply didnít have enough in common with me for a long-term relationship to work, but I managed to hide the incompatibility until I moved away from that area.

Was I ever in love with anyone else? Iíve unfortunately suffered from one-sided infatuations four times in my life. So think back. Before the Man Of Five Months, there were all the encounters arranged through the friendship bureau, when I was interviewed for the position of girlfriend, but invariably found to have idiosyncrasies, which was apparently a Very Serious Shortcoming! No romance or enjoyable dates there! In the early stages there was one man who really appealed to me, but he apparently had other ideas, which really upset me.

Think back again to the age of 30 or so. I dated a couple of control freaks because Society had programmed me to be One Half of a Couple, and I didnít know how else to get a relationship off the ground. Mistake! They nagged me so much that I actively disliked them! :blob_fire

Think back again. A few unpromising dates when I was about 25. Think back further. When I was 24 I had a boyfriend for a week on holiday. Think back further. In my early 20s I actually knew very few men. Back to my student days. One man asked me out, but I was not attracted to him. Before that? Nothing...

This isnít supposed to happen, is it? I am, on the face of it, doing everything right, yet my history gives me no reason to expect that I will ever have another relationship. Iím not saying that itís impossible, only that Iím not building up any hopes.

Yet what am I doing to keep all the men Iíve met at armís length? I described my appearance earlier. As for personality, certainly I donít appeal to the man who wants a ready-domesticated cook and housekeeper. I get very intense and enthusiastic about my interests; quite a number of which I acquired because the few men Iíve met introduced me to them. Maybe Iím too overpowering for some men. But what about men who want a woman who enjoys sharing their hobbies?

I donít think Iíve got much of a sex drive, but then itís hard to make a comparison when you donít know what other peopleís sex drives feel like, but suspect that many people exaggerate. My talent is for making friends, so maybe I give out an aura of only wanting friendship, even when itís not what Iím thinking at all.

Having just returned from my 22nd consecutive Royal Show, where I just once managed to meet a boyfriend, I remember the woman who quizzed me about my success at the show many years ago.

ĎDid you meet a man?
ĎNo.í
ĎWhat? I wouldnít have it! I would definitely have met a boyfriend

But [B]*what*[/B] exactly would she have done? Or was she only boasting?

I realised many years ago that no-one has everything, so it is no good hankering after someone elseís kind of good fortune. If you could change, you would have to take on all their problems as well, and maybe I find my own problems easier to live with! Certainly I think that many different factors are involved in happiness, so itís better to have a good overall balance rather than one particular thing.

Society plays a damning role in creating unhappiness for anyone who doesnít conform to the social ideal of good marriage plus 2.4 kids. ĎYouíll be sorry later, etc!í I think it is just as stupid to assume all single people must be lonely and frustrated as it is to assume that all married people are happy. Without all this ridiculous pressure to jump into your one-in-four chance of being beaten up by the person who is supposed to love you, many single people would have very much happier lives! :blob_fire

So I had to find my own way to happiness. I can liken it to other things Iíve done in my life.

As a nervous beginner rider, I clung to the horseís mane at canter for a whole year, being ridiculed as Ďhopelessí, yet in time I bought a fiery thoroughbred and trained her to do dressage. :bouncing: As a would-be mountain walker, I was told I was a dangerous liability on any kind of hill walk, so should remain in the valleys, yet I progressed to trek over high altitude passes in the Himalayas. :bouncing: Both these challenges, tough as they sound, were infinitely simpler than the apparently impossible task of finding a good permanent relationship, or even getting enough dates to raise my hopes, for the probable reason that I saw what I had to do to succeed and could map out my path ahead. In the case of relationships I have absolutely no idea, which could make all the difference, because when I drove myself frantic to find a boyfriend in the past, I achieved absolutely nothing!

I mention these examples because they do show how the same determined spirit can overcome all the negatives attached to the single state to have a happy life regardless. So I continue to get on with life, without bothering about relationships. Just as some people canít imagine what it must be like to be alone, so I canít imagine what it must be like to live indefinitely with a partner. Maybe I wouldnít enjoy it after all!

Whew! I do write some long posts, donít I? ;)





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