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User Topic: Romantic love: do we need it?
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Default  Posted: 10:25 PM, June 4th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

When I was young, I could not imagine not loving another soul in a romantic way. And in fact, being "in love" with X, when I was young, really did help me find myself. I was able to see myself as others saw me because I could see myself thru his eyes, in a way.

Now, I cannot imagine ever loving someone like that again because I cannot imagine allowing myself to be that vulnerable again. I no longer have a need to discover myself, I have already done that. I KNOW who I am and how I fit in the world now, in a way that I did not know when I was 20. I don't need acceptance from anyone. I yam what I yam what I yam. If you do not like it, whatever.

Another big issue I have is trust. Frankly I trust no one, even trustworthy family members. How can I truly love someone if I cannot even bring them into a circle of trust?

Do I think that being in a blow-your-socks-off loving relationship wouldn;t be great? Of course it would!! DUH!! But I don't "need" it. Hell, right now I am not even looking for it. If it found me, then great. But I am too busy in my day to day life to even think about it.

I do envy those who have it. I watched my niece get M this past weekend and I do think that she and her new husband have it (I have not been convinced of this at my other niece/nephew weddings...)

Frankly after all we have been thru, it is a wonder that ANY of us even attempt to love again. But I do think that all of us do. Some seek it out. Some don;t. Some strike out, others have found love.

I guess my point is that you are not a loser just because you have not found love after D. If you have, great for you. If you have not, great for you too because you are STILL living a valid life!

And it's hard to dance with a devil on your back
So shake him off
-- Shake It Out, Florence And The Machine

Posts: 17687 | Registered: Apr 2006 | From: A better place :)
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Member # 21299
Default  Posted: 10:50 PM, June 4th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

It took me over 6 years from S to realize I do personally need and deserve romantic love.

It's a journey.

Years 0-2: I wanted romantic love so much! I was so used to being in a relationship... it's all I ever knew as a grown-up. But I was a lost. A wreck. And I attracted similar wrecks. My girlfriends told me I sent out negative "vibes". Huh? Thought I would just die if I couldn't find someone... and I'd be alone--and pathetic --forever. I was generally unhappy. Bad, bad, bad.

Years 2-4: The concept of romantic love became more and more foreign to me. Realized I was just not capable of a real relationship (and at the time I thought I would never be worthy of one). I started working on myself and healing. I dated quite a bit, but nothing serious. But I connected with my girlfriends. Journaled. Picked up new hobbies. Redefined "me" since I was no longer a "we". Decided that being alone forever is actually okay. Better than okay; it was fun! Alone does not mean lonely. I was getting more and more content with my life. Romantic love? Bullshit!

Years 5-6: Became a more experienced and pragmatic version of the "me" I was before my M. I liked me! Warts and all. And I started giving off those confident, positive, happy vibes that I wasn't giving out before. I didn't "need" anyone. But I started "wanting" someone: a BIG difference. My dating became a little more serious. Lasted a little longer. I became open to the possibility of a relationship. And a relationship found me.

I am now in a romantic relationship so amazing and intimate that I didn't believe was possible! All I know for sure is if I met my SO "the man of my dreams" 5 years ago, I wouldn't have been ready for him. Do we need romantic love? I now know I do. But I had to feel I was "worthy" of it first.

[This message edited by HappilyUnMarried at 11:05 PM, June 4th (Tuesday)]

True happiness comes from within, not from someone else.  Don’t make the mistake of waiting on someone or something to come along and make you happy

Posts: 1291 | Registered: Oct 2008
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Member # 20849
Default  Posted: 7:19 AM, June 5th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Like others have said, you don't need romantic love to have a happy and fulfilling life. But, if you are going to be in a relationship, for me, I have to have it all. I can't settle at this point in my life. I am happy alone, so in order to be with someone, they have to be totally worth my time and effort.

But THIS relationship is built by 2 people who WANT to make it work and keep the romance alive.
And that is the key. We both WANT this. First off, we both want to be in a relationship with each other. That part is important. A lot of people date but don't really want something long term and will even go to the point of sabotaging their relationship because of the fear of commitment. We both WANT a relationship that is open, with pure hearts (which is why we are completely truthful with each other), that is accepting of each other and each other's baggage, and we are willing to risk the pain to get this. We have talked about how scary this is and how both of us have a need to feel safe, loved, and protected....and we do whatever it takes to make that other person feel that way. With our past baggage, each of us have had to make a few compromises or go out of our way a bit to do so, but neither of us really feel like we are compromising because what we get back in return is so much better and I've found I truly want to make this person happy because of how he treats me.

And I can pretty much "ditto" what HUM wrote although my timeline was a bit different.

Year 1 after men, no relationships, I knew I was vulnerable and needed to heal.

Year 2 I met XSO. I was ready for something but didn't want to commit to life at this point. He was perfect for this period in my life.

Year 4 I came to the conclusion that I could lead a very happy and fulfilling life on my own, with or without XSO or any guy. I was comfy in my own skin, built a huge base of friends and support to hang with, talk to, have fun with, and socialize with. At this point I realized I would be very picky about allowing someone in my life again because I wasn't desperate, I wasn't needy, and I was having fun being single and being able to do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted.

All I know for sure is if I met my SO "the man of my dreams" 5 years ago, I wouldn't have been ready for him
Same here. In fact, he had been asking me out for a year before I finally "saw the light" and changed enough in my head to see the value of this man. I would not have appreciated what he had to offer me years fact, I may have felt smothered (because I was used to the guys that could not emotionally commit). He slowly worked his way into my heart by being loyal, stable, and caring as a good friend, and I saw the value of being with someone who could actually be here for me, physically AND emotionally, but I had to grow and heal first.

I think you are still too wounded and tender in your heart, OIAL. I see some of your thoughts and feelings and I was there a couple of years ago....I wouldn't let anyone in close for the fear of being hurt. I said I didn't need anyone but honestly I just wasn't ready to take that chance. I needed that year or two of healing, growing, and learning that "I" am enough, all by myself, and although I did miss the sex and physical closeness, I wasn't going to date someone just for those reasons. That was the mindset I was in when I finally allowed something deep and fulfilling into my heart.....

Original WS D-Day July 10, 2008. Kept lying, he is gone.
New WS (2 EA's, no PA) 12-3-13
If you don't like where you are, then change it. You are not a tree.

Posts: 15291 | Registered: Aug 2008 | From: Ohio
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Member # 26023
Default  Posted: 8:03 AM, June 5th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I think you are still too wounded and tender in your heart, OIAL

You're right, in the sense that rejection has gotten very old and I've formed scar tissue around it. Over the last few months, every now and then I'd poke back in the OLD site and browse around for potential dates, and poop out almost instantly. Why would I want to put myself through that again? It's like playing the lottery for a long time, only to finally get it that you've just been throwing your money away.

If I make finding a partner a goal, I'm bound for frustration unless I can truly let go of all my ego. If I don't make finding a partner a goal, I'll never find one. Catch 22.

So, I've chosen to believe that I don't really want a partner.

BH, now divorced

Posts: 3012 | Registered: Oct 2009
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Default  Posted: 8:48 AM, June 5th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Are you spiritual at all? I've been watching video's from a guru called Mooji. His talks about relationships are so spot on. Some relationships take us away from our own truth, while others can help reveal it. Maybe we just need to learn to discern when we find ourselves attracted to someone. Or recognizing when the relationship takes a turn and we end up giving away too much.
For me, I was very spiritual before I met SAWH. I was even considering becoming a Buddhist nun. But when we met, I fell fast and thought I was just following my heart. Now I see that I completely lost myself in the relationship. I don't want that to happen again, no matter what happens. I would rather be alone than to lose myself so deeply.

DDay Feb. 28, 2013
"I am pretty sure enforcing the boundary is the most important part of the boundary"- Jerry Seinfeld

Posts: 771 | Registered: Mar 2013
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Default  Posted: 11:12 AM, June 5th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

My IC says I'm just not really ready for "romantic love". I'm not sure....I know I'm not a flirtation person, and women who flirt seem to get a ton more attention from men. IC says that men want to go after a "sure thing", and if you smile, flirt, whatever, then men recognize that as a green light.

I havent' put my green light on. But, I don't think I ever did therefore it feels foreign to me. I'm trying to practice just by talking to any man that I come in contact with.

I do feel like my walls are still pretty high, but now I'm WORKING on taking them down. I feel less jaded and like I'm just now opening my eyes to the men around me. Actually LOOKING at them, trying to be friendly instead of expecting the guys to just pursue me. Which, granted, is how my youth dating life was. The guys were just there, I never had to try.

I do think I want romantic love. I liked being in a relationship, but I need to make sure my walls are down and not holding on to the pain of the past. I thought I was ready, but I'm seeing now that I have still been pretty shut off.

It sound like, to me, you are going through some more self realizations. Recognizing that your walls are still up too.

Yes, flirting is uncomfortable for me, but I found I have to give more obvious signals to guys. Be open. So, maybe you should try to flirt a little with harmless women...grandmothers, ladies at the grocery checkout, etc. Just kinda practicing being open.

me...BS, 43 years old, 2 small kids
WS, 41, multiple gay affairs
M 15 years, together 17

"For whatever we lose, like a you or a me, it's always ourselves we find in the sea" ee cummings

Posts: 4186 | Registered: Dec 2010 | From: South
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Member # 20849
Default  Posted: 4:09 PM, June 5th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage


Rejection sucks. I don't like it either, but I do realize that if I am not compatible with someone, it isn't personal. It just means our FOO issues and our personalities don't mesh well.

I still think online dating is brutal and not a good way to go for you. I won't do it. I know it is more difficult to meet people IRL, but some girls need a guy to kind of grow on them. (I'm one....I don't date guys I don't know, which obviously makes it difficult for most guys but I just won't do it. I prefer to get to know a guy a little bit first, as a friend or at least see what type of character he has. I have to feel a bit of a warmth towards someone before I will even go out on a date with them. Of course, I'm weird and a lot of women do date strangers....that is how you are supposed to get to know someone, but it is very slow going and I can't form a deep attachment to someone based on a few dinner dates. And I won't stick with someone without some type of attachment.)

I know that probably doesn't help, but I am just letting you know there are all types out there, there will be someone that fits with you, but it may take a while, and you have to be open to it. Right now, you may be limiting yourself on what you would consider (you remember this guy is considerably younger than me and pursued me for a year before I opened up my mind to him. We both feel it was totally worth it though.) And I know you said you don't want to pursue someone a year, but he wasn't mooning around and not keeping his options open either. In fact, I actually tried to help him get other girls, but they obviously didn't work out.....

Original WS D-Day July 10, 2008. Kept lying, he is gone.
New WS (2 EA's, no PA) 12-3-13
If you don't like where you are, then change it. You are not a tree.

Posts: 15291 | Registered: Aug 2008 | From: Ohio
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Member # 7168
Default  Posted: 8:40 PM, June 6th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

If I don't make finding a partner a goal, I'll never find one.

I think you really need to examine this assumption, OIAL, because it's leading you to try to sell yourself on this...

So, I've chosen to believe that I don't really want a partner.

which you aren't necessarily buying and is why you find yourself here asking us to reinforce this idea.

Maybe this is a different season in your life right now, one where you just simply don't have the time or the energy, given your other priorities, to nurture a relationship. Ok. But that doesn't mean it will always be that way. Sometimes we just need to let life lead for a few of the songs. You may find that she's a really great dancer, ya know?

[This message edited by truthsetmefree at 8:42 PM, June 6th (Thursday)]

Posts: 7682 | Registered: May 2005
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Default  Posted: 8:51 PM, June 6th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

All very good points, truthsetmefree, and I agree with what you say, except about not finding a partner unless I make it a goal.

It won't just happen by itself. And I don't run into new people in the course of day to day living. And, being a guy, I'm usually expected to take the initiative. So it has to be a goal with some energy and effort behind it.

But you're right. I don't have the energy these days. Life is keeping me exceptionally busy. The thought of romance is still a tease, but I don't currently have the wherewithal or the desire, really, to dive back in just yet.

BH, now divorced

Posts: 3012 | Registered: Oct 2009
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Default  Posted: 9:04 PM, June 6th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I was a divorced elementary teacher, living in a small town, with two young children and a seriously crazy X. My requirements for a serious relationship was a man that not only didn't have children but had also never been married. (I had too much baggage and needed someone that was traveling light.)

What were the odds? I didn't even bother looking.

It happened.

And then all the other stuff happened.

Such is life.

Posts: 7682 | Registered: May 2005
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Member # 24643
Default  Posted: 9:26 PM, June 6th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

OAIL, May I suggest Brene Brown's new book "Daring Greatly"?

A few of her points:

WHOLEHEARTED living means cultivating…
1. Authenticity: Letting Go of What People Think
2. Self-Compassion: Letting Go of Perfectionism
3. Resilient Spirit: Letting Go of Numbing and Powerlessness
4. Gratitude and Joy: Letting Go of Scarcity and Fear of the Dark
5. Intuition and Trusting Faith: Letting Go of the Need for Certainty
6. Creativity: Letting Go of Comparison
7. Play and Rest: Letting Go of Exhaustion as a Status Symbol and Productivity as Self-Worth
8. Calm and Stillness: Letting Go of Anxiety as a Lifestyle
9. Meaningful Words: Letting Go of Self-Doubt and “Supposed To”
10. Laughter, Song and Dance: Letting Go of Being Cool and “Always in Control”

"We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us." ~J. Campbell
"In the final analysis, it is your own attitude that will make or break you, not what has happened to you." ~D. Galloway

Posts: 2143 | Registered: Jun 2009
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Default  Posted: 9:57 PM, June 6th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I think there are a million fulfilling ways to live a life, so no I don't think everyone needs it. I know I really want it in my life.

I remember being married to X and realizing that romance was over for me for ever and how sad that felt. This was a few years before the A. I said how sad it felt that romance was over for me to my X and he just shrugged his shoulders, like so what? or 'whaddya-wan-me-todoaboutit?' and I felt even sadder. Damn that was depressing.

I should have gone out and seen a lawyer and filed for divorce the next day. Seriously. That was The Moment. And I just didn't act.

I know with great clarity now that if I am in a serious relationship that I need to be with someone that knows how to cultivate romance and acts accordingly.

Right now I am in a romantic relationship, but we are both working hard on jobs/career/making enough $ to pay bills that our relationship is like a little oasis or vacation in the middle of endless hours of work and practical responsibilities. It's sweet and romantic, but it doesn't occupy a lot of my energy. It's a nice thing to enjoy on our very little time off.

I seriously would not have the energy for hearing ILY 20 times a day or anything more romantic than it is.

BS, age 53, d-day 6-2-08, divorced after 17 years and 20 together. Now I am living alone in the beautiful rural property that was once the dream retreat with X. It's taking a long time to create new dreams but despite some struggles I am mostly happy.

Posts: 5859 | Registered: Jun 2008 | From: Rural California
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