Self-Realization, Self-Reflection, Self-Forgiveness.

Old 01-26-2017, 02:10 PM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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Wells, if it makes you feel any better, I never understood that dating was about finding out if I wanted things to get any deeper, either. Pretty much any time anyone showed any interest in me, I latched on. I can't say I did it in spite of red flags b/c I honestly don't think I ever SAW them except in hindsight!

As I said before, I've never spent any significant amount of time "single" until the last year and a half...pretty unbelievable, when I think about it. For the most part, I'm actually really good w/being on my own. I do miss the security of a second income in the household, and it would be nice to have help w/stuff like yard work and snow removal, but it would be pretty sad to base a relationship on those things, wouldn't it?

I have no interest whatsoever in dating, but I do wonder if that's an age-related thing, w/younger folks being more interested in the "couple" thing.

I would not have imagined, a few years ago, that I'd be comfortable living and being alone w/my dogs, but actually, I'm happier than I was during many of the years I was married to XAH, and certainly stronger and more independent. How could that be a bad thing?
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Old 01-26-2017, 06:30 PM
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Honeypig, yeah I know what you mean totally. I know I can't be the only one who just jumps into relationships head first without paying any attention to anything else but the feelings of

Obviously, something I need to dig deep on for myself and also has to be a big trait of codependent personalities, has to be.

In my 40s, I feel like I'm on the borderline now, of either trying to restart yet again or just setting into a rhythm as you have, by myself. I know that I'm capable of doing it if that's my path. I have a remarkable ability to keep busy and a never-ending list of things to do or entertain myself with. It's just that I do prefer company. Not every minute of every day, but I know I'd love to have the opportunity again to share the experiences of life with someone else.

I'm not interested in playing the field or sleeping around is the thing. I'm ready to settle down. Always have been. Never really been interested in just meeting and dating and ditching bunches of girls.

So, we'll see how it goes. I'm so glad you are doing great by the way. I appreciate all the sentiments in this thread. I know it's not a game with my ex dating someone else, and needing to compete or compare, and that it's just about what I want out of life and being content with myself with or without someone else. You are a therapeutic bunch!
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Old 01-26-2017, 06:54 PM
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Originally Posted by dandylion View Post
Now, before you go all defensive, about this....I am only speculating to trigger your thoughts...not criticizing.....lol.....
Yeah, what she said ^^

My dating history is poor. I rarely dated around, I typically started dating someone and it quickly turned into a long term relationship. Also started dating very late in life, no real relationships in high school or college.

After that, 3 relationships, two of them 4 years long , this one 10 years long, and that's my entire dating history of any relationship. Never dated in high school or college, so zero short term dating history.

How much time have you spent alone since you started dating, Wells? How much time do you average alone in between long-term relationships?


So my thoughts when relationships happened fast and people latched were always - "Of course they are! You're awesome and they just found you and you're the best person they've ever met!" Etc etc. So it is a self-esteem boost I suppose but also deep down I definitely feel like a GOOD person. I feel successful in basically all things, except love.

So knowing that I am a decent, loving, stable, successful person in most other ways, I just need to determine the way to bring that stability and mindfulness into relationships.........

..... I just want to enhance what is a good (albeit somewhat empty feeling now) life and share it with someone.
(remember that thought-trigger-not-personal-attack-thing, ok?)

Do YOU like you, Wells? Really, all the way to your core, Like and Love yourself for who & what you are?

Not - do you like your Life, do you like YOU?

I keep hearing you needing external validation for your personal acceptance.
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Old 01-26-2017, 07:41 PM
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Deep down I know I am a good person with a lot of good qualities, a great family member and a great friend.

Like any human being, I know I have insecurities, and I do think a lot of them revolve around opposite sex attraction, likely stemming from the fact that I never clicked with anyone or was the serial dater or the desirable one in high school or even college. So I think missing out on those years in my teens and early 20s stunted emotional growth in that space, to the point where when I get a thread I grab on for dear life.

I think between the last 2 relationships, first one was about 6 months, the second one (where I jumped into relationship with exAGF) was very very fast, maybe a month, where I think I was cheated on and it hit suddenly, so I went right to the dating sites to numb the pain, ended up with exAGF, here we are after 10 years with her. Now been around 7 months since we broke it off for good.

Nothing but honesty here even though spelling it out I realize my patterns.

All that said I do really like myself a lot. I feel like I excel in all areas except in nurturing romantic relationships with the opposite sex. Either that, or I pick wrong from the start, and the relationships are doomed to failure from day one. I don't know. I haven't done it enough or done it the right way to know.

It's all pretty classic stuff spelled out, and I've dug my own hole that I find myself in. I certainly don't feel a "woe is me" attitude or blame the world or anyone else for my problems.

And like I said, I am a very happy, upbeat, friendly person. I am incredibly productive both at home and work. I am financially stable and further along than most on retirement funding and planning. I own a wonderful home. I cook. I clean. I entertain. I keep in touch with friends and family. Yet....here I sit spending most days and nights alone! I need to face the circumstances in my life that allowed me to get to this point, and decide what I need to do in order to be where I'd prefer to be in life.
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Old 01-27-2017, 07:33 AM
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Wells....as if you don't have enough concepts thrown your way....here is another one for you to "chew" on.
there are lots of people who meet all the criteria....good person/attractive and friendly/successful career/ laudable personal habits, etc, etc......
But, it doesn't seem to make a big difference when it comes to that special area of our lives--intimate relationships.
the answer to this paradox frequently lies buried, somewhere in the developmental years. for example...how well was personal worthiness nurtured as a growing person? How was self esteem nurtured? How accepting and intimate (not sexual) were relationships with the primary caretakers?
Did a person feel loved for themselves...or, just for their accomplishments? What were the boundaries l ike between primary family members and caretakers?
sometimes, even, a persons family could look pretty good...without any obvious traumatic events, abuse, etc...and, still a person could have fallen in between certain"cracks" as they were growing up. It can happen that, if a persons personal identity and unique wonderfulness is not attended to---not properly nourished... a person can grow up yearning for this thing. (we all want this "thing", by the way).
It can be sort of like being fed a diet of oatmeal all of one's life...and, then eating,for the first time, a serving of chocolate mousse? WOW!
One wants to have that chocolate mousse all the time and forever. Want to hang on to it...because it is wonderful!! maybe, won't ever get it again.....must hang on to it. Never want to go back to just oatmeal..ever,ever, again..
Would be willing to sacrifice other things...just to hang on to the wonderful experience of the chocolate mousse....

to get to the origins of such a thing involves doing some excavating into one's early developmental experiences....those experiences that helped shape one's inner life....developing some insights into this early experience....

this excavating is usually done with the guidance of a therapist who is trained in such things...Family of Origin stuff.....

I will add my own personal observations to this general discussion....
I know lots of people...lots among my cousins, etc, who only have had one intimate partner in their whole lives. Married their high school sweetheart and never divorced....(some happy/some, not so much).....It is just that they were never in the dating pool beyond age 17 or 18yrs. of age.....
So, counting relationships may not be the end all......

A couple of my personal comments---Just because one "dates" several people, doesn't, in itself, make someone a "Runaround Robert". Doesn't make one a Romeo, or a two-bit playboy.....
Dating is just getting to know a person better than just casual social knowledge. It is spending enough time with someone else to get to know them better. The "rule" is that one is entitled to exit any dating relationship at the p oint that there are red flags that indicate that further intimacy is not warrented. a red flag can be anything that has meaning for YOU. Like--maybe, not enough personal "chemistry"...or,someone who doesn't like cats...or someone who has some dicey value system....(for me...someone who eats with their mouth open, or doesn't like kids or tips cheaply).....
Even sleeping with someone doesn't necessarily mean a commitment forever.
I think it is a useful boundary to be able to say...."I like you fine, now...but, if I discover that it isn't working for Me in 6mo. or 12mo. or 18mo...I will wish you the best--but I am out of here!
(remember that I have been raised in an American, Western culture).....

(for me, they, also, have to like cats)....
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Old 01-27-2017, 11:05 PM
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I don't want to let this sit all weekend but I'm on the road until Sunday night so the response will be short until then. But I first want to thank everyone for the therapy here realizing this is really a bit of a departure from the usual!

Dandy the more I read your response the more I realize that yes, I neee to take more accountability than I have been for where I find myself today. My axgf was just one person and there's been a lot more to it from my upbringing to my choices and my own lifestyle that has me at the point I'm at today. Thanks for what you shared about your own experiences to help connect more dots for me!

More to come. Back at home base on Sunday. Typing on a mobile phone is not as fun!
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Old 01-28-2017, 03:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Wells View Post
More to come. Back at home base on Sunday. Typing on a mobile phone is not as fun!
IMHO, typing on a mobile phone BITES--I hate texting for that reason! Hope you have a decent weekend, Wells, and I look forward to hearing from you when you get back.
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Old 01-30-2017, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by atalose View Post
Dating should be fun, easy going, relaxed and taking our time in getting to know new people and maybe learn some new interests. But often codies show up for dates with a Uhaul and wedding plans! (joke) They want to skip through the dating as quickly as possible with plans of rocking chairs on the front porch and growing old together – securing that “relationship”.
This has been such a great thread to read. Atalose's quote above made me laugh but also made me pause... this was me! (I hope "was" and not "is"...) I mean wow... I think this is why I rushed into marrying my stbxah. I never stopped to think "wait, is this guy RIGHT for me?" I was afraid to throw a fish back.

Thankful for these reminders and nuggets of wisdom. Also finding some great ESH from "Codependent No More"
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Old 01-30-2017, 06:22 PM
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I too have FINALLY started reading "Codependent No More", all too late but this conversation really got me thinking. I realize it's a bit out of the usual subject matter here so I appreciate everyone indulging me. This is after all a support forum for family members of alcoholics, and with mine in the rear view mirror I suppose there's only so much I can say about my own life before I really need to step back.

That said, I really am learning that codependency is a real thing and that I've got it, and also taking stock of the things I did as far as enabling, through my own codependency, that allowed the relationship to continue on that rocky dead end path for so many long years now.

In knowledge comes forgiveness though, which is the real thought I had that started this thread. I can treat my codependency as an entity now, the same way we treat alcoholism. I can see the parallels and even understand more about how much like we feed off of caring for and enabling our addicts, they in turn feed off the bottle. We know it's bad for us...yet we go back for more and more, time and time again. It's a fascinating parallel and the book has me reading and reflecting on myself, and I can't help but see my own patterns and mistakes and LOTS I want to work on.

I still have a lot more to go, but really enjoying the book and looking forward to what other wisdom I find within.

Back on to dating - Yeah, I just never really learned the right way. Unfortunately I seem to be surrounded by people who are paired off. I wondered to myself today, of the age group from 35 - 55, I wonder if there are any statistics on how many of those adults are truly single, and how many are with a SO (married or at least together). I must admit when I am alone I get the feeling that there are so many of them, and so few of me. Then I start feeling like I'm doing something wrong and unorthodox, I am the "different" one in the room and it makes me feel a bit out of sorts. I attended a huge family party over the weekend, with at least 40 or more people in attendance. The only adult there without a husband or wife was me. Bleah.

So I need to work on that mindset and get over it, and I think the book will help with that. I've always considered myself to be extremely well adjusted but need to get over the fact that despite seeing it everywhere, I don't need someone else in my life just for the sake of it. I think I will welcome it when I am ready, but I also don't think I'm ready yet. I want to be ready, but I have more to ponder and work on for myself. I want my next relationship to be healthy and for the right reasons, not just because I don't like coming home to an empty house and turning out the lights every night in a bedroom with a big empty bed.

And yes, I do continue to ponder getting a dog to fill some of the void, but I'm too afraid to be a single dog parent now and the impact it will have on what little social life I do have. When I do things socially I leave town most of the time to see family or friends, and I can't be doing that with a pup to take care of. We'll see though. One thing at a time. I just don't want to trade a dog for people.

More ramblings to come as I think about rambling. Thanks all!
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Old 01-30-2017, 06:44 PM
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I'm reading "where to draw the line" by anne katherine. It's one of those
books you have to put down & take deep breaths frequently. Excellent
for codies( along with melody's books).

This article is very succinct & you might get a couples laughs
out of it too.

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/29/o...one-share&_r=0
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Old 01-30-2017, 11:18 PM
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Wells, you are wise to hold off on getting a dog friend at this time, I think. I am a "single dog parent" and while I love my houndies beyond all belief and can't imagine life w/o them, it does indeed put constraints on the plans you make for yourself.

With those 2 little faces at home depending on me for food, company, exercise and love, it is VERY difficult to take time away from the house when they're already spending a minimum of 9 hours home alone on a workday. I am able to swing by in the AM and spend 20 minutes or so to feed them and let them out, but still, it's a large chunk of the day by themselves.
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Old 01-31-2017, 03:43 AM
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Wells....I think that the composition of couples/singles depends very heavily on the demographics of the geographic region that you live in.....

Yeah, I agree with the idea of holding off on a dog if you want to expand your social life, more. The logistics can be hard. One thing that I found out that can help...if one has the ability to do so...is to have a dog door and a securely fenced yard...(we had an electronic fence, at one time, that worked like a charm). We lived on a very large corner lot with a lot of pedestrian and auto traffic, which supplied a lot of excitement for the dogs. Of course, our dogs were ones that we "saved" from being taken to a shelter--we never did go searching for a dog or cat!
Yikes...it seems that with dating as pet ownership, a lot depends on location, location, location...just like the old real estate saying.....lol.....
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Old 01-31-2017, 06:58 AM
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Not sure what it's like where you live, but there is alot of rescue
"fostering" where I live. You might keep a dog or a cat for a couple
weeks until a forever home is found. Of course, you run the risk
of falling in love........
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Old 01-31-2017, 07:28 AM
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I had a mental picture this morning at 3 am that might be helpful. Yes, I tend to get a lot of stuff when I should be sleeping!!!:

When someone suffers burns in a fire, the recovery time can be much more painful and long-term than the original event.
Now that we have left the fire, the painful healing begins.
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Old 01-31-2017, 11:05 AM
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Eauchiche, I think that's a really useful way to think about it--thank you!
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