New Beginnings
User Topic: Dating rules.
Member # 30346
Default  Posted: 9:43 AM, April 16th (Wednesday)

I've been doing a lot of thinking recently…and of course it finally hit me that I'm at my d-day anniversary. 4 years.

My ex took the kids on a fabulous vacay for Spring Break. I get to see all the photos and listen to them on FaceTime every night having a wonderful time. I miss them and I'm jealous.

No one talks about how feeling "off" after all of this is also OK. We are supposed to be healed and perfect and move on with our life. Find a relationship that makes sense again. But, at some level, isn't it OK that life changed drastically for me and I am forever changed? Some for the worse, but mostly for the best?

Where I am hurt worse is around relationships with men.

I feel like when I'm dating…I'm watching everyone else play a game and I wasn't given the rules. I watch from the sidelines wanting to play. I try to play the game, I watch everyone else to figure out the rules. I listen to different people tell me different rules and none of the rules make any sense to me. I keep fucking up from the fear of the game. Fear of failure.

"Let the guy chase you!!"
"You HAVE to flirt with them!!"
"Don't let them know you are interested!"
"Show some cleavage!"
"Don't reply for at least 4 hours!"
"Be sexy"
"Be a size 2"
"Don't have sex for at least 3 dates"
"Don't introduce them to your children"
"Just be friends"
"Make eye contact wherever you go."
"Smile at men"
"Go where the men are!"
"Be mysterious"
"Men are clueless, you have to tell them you are interested in them"
"Men only want beautiful, younger women"
"Men don't really care what you look like as long as you show up"
"You are so cute, men should be falling all over you!"
"Men only want long hair"

I literally realized yesterday that I keep trying to do what everyone is telling me to do. I keep hoping this game will make sense to me.

So, I took my dating books and I threw them in the trash. I cancelled the email advice from websites promising me the "key to understanding how to get a man."

The only thing I can do is be myself. If I fuck it up, I fuck it up.

Be. Myself.

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: 4175 | Registered: Dec 2010 | From: South
Member # 33226
Default  Posted: 9:46 AM, April 16th (Wednesday)


You can call me NIK

"Sometimes it takes a good fall to know where you really stand."
-Hayley Williams

Posts: 25667 | Registered: Aug 2011
Member # 32810
Default  Posted: 10:37 AM, April 16th (Wednesday)

The only thing I can do is be myself. If I fuck it up, I fuck it up.

I bet you're going to do great.

"You yourself deserve your love and affection as much as anybody in the universe." -Buddha
"Let's face it, life is a crap shoot." -Sad in AZ

Posts: 13784 | Registered: Jul 2011
Member # 17460
Default  Posted: 10:46 AM, April 16th (Wednesday)

Standing Ovation!


Fidelity isn't a's a choice.

"Truth has no special time of its own. Its hour is now - always." - Albert Schweitzer
Me: BW - Him: 200+ # tumor removed 7/09
DS - 31 - Yikes!

Posts: 21068 | Registered: Dec 2007 | From: Been Through Hell...On My Way Back
Member # 42092
Default  Posted: 10:56 AM, April 16th (Wednesday)

How freeing!

Sit. Feast on your life.

Posts: 4196 | Registered: Jan 2014 | From: NYC
Member # 42192
Default  Posted: 11:05 AM, April 16th (Wednesday)

Be yourself, indeed. You may not be everyone's 'cup of tea'... But you'll be someone's 'perfect brew'

On any given day you have the power to say "my story is not going to end like this"
Me 41 BS
Him 41 WH
6 kids...7 weeks, 5,7,9,11&13
D day jan 29th 2014

Posts: 536 | Registered: Jan 2014 | From: Land down under
Member # 22870
Default  Posted: 11:05 AM, April 16th (Wednesday)

Yep. I had the same epiphany.

You can stuff your sorries in a sack, mister. -George Costanza
There is a special place in hell for women who don't help other women. - Madeleine Albright

Posts: 7761 | Registered: Feb 2009 | From: Western PA
Member # 33882
Default  Posted: 11:08 AM, April 16th (Wednesday)

Love this!

me (BS)
him (NPD Ex)
2 dds
DDay 10/7/11

Divorced 1/17/2013

"Diamonds aren't a girl's best friend, freedom is."

Posts: 2601 | Registered: Nov 2011 | From: MA
Member # 40173
Default  Posted: 11:25 AM, April 16th (Wednesday)

If you need to follow those sorts of rules to have real human contact with someone, then date a law book, otherwise be you yourself.

Me: BH, 39
Her: WW, 40
Together 18 years, married 15+
LTA 3.5 years, ongoing
Dday: 7/28/13
Divorcing, 3 children
"There can be no friendship without confidence, and no confidence without integrity." -S

Posts: 722 | Registered: Aug 2013
Member # 30498
Default  Posted: 11:30 AM, April 16th (Wednesday)

Love it.

Quite frankly it has been so long since I've "dated" I don't think I would have a clue how to go about it anymore. I am almost back to pre-pubescent status. Maybe I should keep that list

A friend of mine recently started dating a younger man and she came rushing home one day saying "Do you know he's got a PA!" I didn't think having a Personal Assistant was such a big deal but NO apparently these days PA stands for Prince Alfred. I didn't have the heart to tell her I had no idea what she was talking about so I googled it only to be greeted by a lot of pictures of mens dicks with metal rings pierced right through them. My only question is............WHY?

I think I might stay home for a while longer.


Married 25 years now divorced.
D-Day: 20/11/10
Me: 48.5 plus 10% GST
Him: mental age 6 (apologies to all 6 year olds)
Betrayal: Who cares anymore?

Posts: 1096 | Registered: Dec 2010 | From: Adelaide, South Australia
Member # 30341
Default  Posted: 12:09 PM, April 16th (Wednesday)

Like you and WilliesMom I have recently had the same epiphany. I'm me. I'm enough. There are no rules to follow. Running around trying to get it right, made me get it wrong. All wrong. And it took me about 3 years to figure that out!

Funny thing though, it was a dating book that got me to realize this... It wasn't the usual "do this" and "do that" book, it was more of a "figure yourself out first" kind of book. And I was ready, and it made sense, and it changed everything...

DDay 11/17/2010 BW:52

Posts: 3203 | Registered: Dec 2010 | From: Iowa
Member # 33129
Default  Posted: 12:25 PM, April 16th (Wednesday)

So I'm finally doing something right??!!

I am being me- nothing more, nothing less. And I have found an incredible man who wants to hear me, takes me places, enjoys my company and cares about my feelings.

Just being me. It's so refreshing!

[This message edited by PurpleRose at 4:53 PM, April 16th (Wednesday)]

divorced the Dooosh
even if you find your voice,
sometimes it does not matter anymore,
when you speak to a man who is deaf by choice.

Posts: 3612 | Registered: Aug 2011 | From: Happyville
Member # 30346
Default  Posted: 2:54 PM, April 16th (Wednesday)

I think a lot of my dating and meeting new people is somehow driven from fear. That fear is what I'm trying to get on top of.

I do rock. I have a 4.0 in my grad classes. Just bought a larger new house. I am damn cute. I can handle large amounts of responsibility without blinking…yet somewhere fear grew and I've almost allowed it to take over.

If people want to be in my life, then they will be. If I fuck it up, then hopefully they will allow me a pass or two, and I have to learn to give a pass or two.

There are no rules. Or, the rules as I knew them no longer exist.

I know the fear is a fear of rejection. How to stay on top of it is the next goal. Don't let the fear rule me, but allow my strengths to shine through. I am going to make mistakes and it is OK to be fearful, it is protecting me (as a dear SI friend told me). Fear has its job. Fear protects my heart from allowing another man to do what my ex did. But, fear is also preventing me from opening up to possibilities.

The fear can perch on a branch in my heart, it has its value, it just can't rule my decisions. Hope has to find a way to rule.

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: 4175 | Registered: Dec 2010 | From: South
Member # 33129
Default  Posted: 5:00 PM, April 16th (Wednesday)

I just had this exact conversation- fear and rejection- with SO over the weekend. I'm trying so hard to allow myself to go along with the process of opening my heart again, but it's just so damn scary!

I have not opened up my heart because I don't want to ever be as hurt as I was from the affair... But if I do not let go, how can I move forward into a new relationship? I am very lucky to have someone who completely understands my fear...

And even though he says he really cares about my feelings and won't push me, I need to open my heart fully to him, or circle the wagons and push him away.


I love that you posted about the stupid dating "rules" because I have felt like I never know what I am SUPPOSED to be doing, so I was just doing what I felt was right.

You do rock cmego. Letting go of the fear has been my biggest obstacle so far. I'm a work in progress.... You will find your path too just by being you.

divorced the Dooosh
even if you find your voice,
sometimes it does not matter anymore,
when you speak to a man who is deaf by choice.

Posts: 3612 | Registered: Aug 2011 | From: Happyville
Member # 39193
Default  Posted: 7:38 PM, April 16th (Wednesday)

Be. Myself.

^^^^ Bingo. That's all you need to do.

Ever heard of Trent Shelton? Amazing guy, motivational speaker and highly quotable. One of my favorites by him:

"You're perfect for the heart that's meant to love you."

Be you, cmego.

Me: Enjoying life
Him: Someone else's problem

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage. ~ Anais Nin

Posts: 912 | Registered: May 2013 | From: Oregon
Member # 39169
Default  Posted: 9:00 PM, April 16th (Wednesday)

Awesome! One of the great part of hitting my 40's is that I am pretty much at peace with myself. I live a good clean life and I act like an adult. I don't get all the "rules". It seems rather childish, and I'd rather be with a man.

Add it to the list of things I would never have learned about anywhere but SI.

40 somethings - me BW after 20 years
D Day April 2013
Divorced November 2013

Be happy with what you have while you work for what you want - Hellen Keller

Posts: 638 | Registered: May 2013
Member # 34146
Default  Posted: 8:09 PM, April 17th (Thursday)

I'm glad to read this. I'm all for people being themselves. If my XWH had not tried to cover up his true self, I would have saved myself a lot of pain. And I'm sure that's true of a lot of relationships.

I'm eccentric and I'm not going to hide who I am to attract someone because if I'm playing games, then they're not attracted to the real me, and then things are never going to work!!!

Me: BW, divorced, now fabulous and happy!

Married: 11 years, no kids

Character is destiny

Posts: 3400 | Registered: Dec 2011
Topic Posts: 17