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Old 08-31-2005, 01:00 PM   #1
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To men single after 1st long term relationship - questions!

I am currently dating someone who ended a 7 year relationship last fall. Apparently she was his first real girlfriend (he was only 18 at the time) and he lost his virginity to her. So now he is newly single, in his mid 20's and dating for the first time after such a long relationship. The thing is, he reminding me of an old friend of mine who also lost his virginity to his 1st girlfriend, was with her for most of his 20s (both relationships were fairly volatile) and now, while he is totally into pursuing girls for casual flings, seems totally closed to the idea of a relationship.
I can completely understand why someone would need a break and want to experience new people, be free, ext, after spending so much of their youth with one person. However, what I dont understand is how they can be so completely closed off to the notion of falling in love again if a good prospect happened to come along. My friend (not the guy I am dating) has been single for almost 2 years now and is still a hardcore bachelor, even though he has dated (& dropped) a few girls we thought were great - smart, mature, attractive - that would have been perfect matches for him & were interested in a relationship. I myself am newly single and not looking to jump into anything quickly, either. But that doesn't mean I would push away someone who came along who happened to have good boyfriend qualities - I would at least be open to something possibly happening. The guy I am seeing seems to think I am perfect, and we do get along great & are very attracted to eachother, yet after 2.5 months, he more or less has made it clear that he is still not at all interested in a relationship with anyone and that I shouldnt expect anything. I am not too bothered by this, being that I knew this all along & diddnt expect more - hell, maybe it could just be my ego speaking here but I guess a part of me cant believe that he wouldnt think we would make a great couple! We get along so well, tons of affection and interest in eachother (and great sex!) These opportunites dont come along everyday, and maybe becasue I am a bit older and have dated quite a bit I know that and he doesnt. ...anyway...
I guess what I am wondering is what is going on in the mind of a guy like this? Is it just fear of being "trapped" again in a relationship that isn't working? Can getting in a long term relationship too early in life - especially one that has many problems & ended painfully - "ruin" someone for real relationships? Will they always see the idea of a relationship as being like their painfull early one, when the 2 or them were too young to know how to do it properly and hurt eachother in the process?

 
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Old 08-31-2005, 01:28 PM   #2
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netle HB User
Re: To men single after 1st long term relationship - questions!

You mentioned your ego earlier and I'm wondering if maybe you're not having an inner-struggle with what you know logically and what you feel emotionally. You know in your head that this person isn't ready for committment and you accept that. But perhaps there is a part of you that has become emotionally attached. Is it true to say that maybe you're a little hurt because in your mind, if you found a great catch you would snap them up regardless of where you were in your life?

I wouldn't interpret his lack of committment as a rejection. You said yourself that you are more experienced and a little bit older. You're in a place in your life where you would't mind having a real relationship with someone. Try to imagine what it would be like if you were young, inexperienced and with someone who wanted something more serious from you.

You are probably a wonderful person and a great catch. But sometimes that isn't enough. As strange as it sounds, if someone isn't ready for the next level it doesn't matter how wonderful you are. Sometimes it's a matter of timing.

When I was 17 I started a relationship with a guy that lasted for four years. It should have ended sooner but we were both too chicken to drop it. Even when I tried to end it he still refused to let go. I actually jumped from that relationship into another one and now 4 years later we are married. At the time I was concerned about experiencing more, but that's not why things ended with my previous relationship. I simply wasn't in love with this person and they were not a good match for me. I was, however, ready for a serious relationship with the RIGHT person.

I believe the reason why your friend/boyfriend are going to be hardcore bachelors is probably because they simply aren't ready yet. Aside from the obvious fact that they are making up for lost time, they probably realize that they are still young and that there will always be other fish in the sea. Sometimes it's not just an issue of finding the right person, but finding them the right time.

I can't imagine being married to anyone other than my husband. We seem perfect for each other. The funny thing is, before we started dating, I remember noticing him around town and he would notice me. But had we started dating a year or two before we actually did, the timing would have been all wrong. We weren't ready for each other yet and thankfully things worked out the way they did.

On a personal note, even though I do believe finding someone with the right qualities is indeed special. I don't believe it's such a rare occasion that if you miss your chance you're completely SOL. You definitely have other oppurtunities and chances to meet other people who can fufill your needs as long as you're open to the experience. So even though these men are passing on women who seem to be great catches, when they're finally ready to return to a monogomous relationship there will still be more oppurtunities for even better catches.

Last edited by Geek_Kittie; 08-31-2005 at 02:05 PM.

 
Old 08-31-2005, 03:03 PM   #3
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Re: To men single after 1st long term relationship - questions!

To be blunt, I think that women could avoid SO much heartbreak and confusion if they would realize that when men tell you who they are and what they want, they are being honest and we need to take them at their word. Thinking about why he's the way he is is really entirely academic at this point--the important thing is that he is being honest and upfront with you about what he is all about, and you need to believe him. Men (and women too) aren't that complicated; I heard a great quote once along the lines of "when someone tells [or shows] you who they are, believe them." It's when we don't like what we hear, so we try to analyze someone and convince ourselves that we can "set them straight" and show them the light that we end up banging our head against a wall over and over and are invariably disappointed if not heartbroken by the fact that the person always ends up being and acting exactly how they told us they are/would from the onset.

 
Old 08-31-2005, 04:00 PM   #4
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Re: To men single after 1st long term relationship - questions!

Great quote, eaglesgirl. It's one of my all time favorites and is actually, "When people show you who they are....believe them." Maya Angelou

Went thru this with X. Wish I had you around then to knock some sense into me. But I probably wouldn't have listened anyhow. Sometimes we just have to walk thru the darn fire to learn, huh?

 
Old 08-31-2005, 04:22 PM   #5
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Re: To men single after 1st long term relationship - questions!

Thanks Laurie! I love Maya Angelou...such a wise and poetic writer. I always have trouble remembering quotes, so I'm glad there is someone so wise and literate around here to help keep me on my toes! It really means a lot to me that you have been so supportive and complimentary of what I have said...I admire your maturity and perspective a great deal from everything I have read that you've written, and so it makes my day to hear that you've found my advice helpful and insightful. I wanted to reply on your other thread, but all I really had to say was that I think you have an awesome, wonderful attitude toward pursuing happiness and that your children are extremely lucky to have such a strong, determined model of what it means to balance responsibility with joy and fulfillment . Anyway, I would be very interested to hear from the original poster to hear what her take is on everything her new guy has said about himself--how does that mesh with what you want and are looking for in a relationship at this point in your life? To elaborate a bit more on some of the questions you posed, I don't think a failed but extended first serious relationship necessarily ruins someone for future serious, committed relationships. However, I do think that after going s long with only one girlfriend (and perhaps more importantly, only one sexual partner), it is going to take quite some time before he even considers the possibility of reentering a long term relationship, and then only if he meets a woman who absolutely knocks his socks off, so to speak. Actually, I think a lot of what people intend and plan as far as finding or avoiding someting serious tends to fly out the window if and only if they come across someone who seems worth throwing away all their assumptions for...the fact that he has told you that he's a long way from wanting a serious relationship clearly signifies, sorry to say, that no matter how much he likes you or admires all the amazing qualities you possess, he doesn't consider you that person. Unfortunately, there is no logic to love, so no matter how strongly you feel for him nor how great you are for him objectively, it doesn't mean your passion will be requited or that you'll be the one he throws away all his preconceptions about what kind of relationship he wants when for. We've all seen so many examples where men and women throw away wonderful, talented, accomplished partners for someone for whom no one else can see the attraction or appeal. The haphazard, unpredictable, and illogical nature of love is why we have to look for any clues we can, especially hints the person in question reveals through candid comments, for indications of whether or not they perceive the relationship and its future in the same way we do. I'm sorry to say this, but all your analysis and deconstruction of his state in mind is in vain, because there is no sensible, logical explanation for why people feel and act the way they do when it comes to love and relationships. That's why we need to be as objective and dispassionate as possible when evaluating how someone feels about us and place such faith and emphasis on Ms. Angelou's very incisive quote.

 
Old 08-31-2005, 05:22 PM   #6
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Re: To men single after 1st long term relationship - questions!

Thanks so much, eaglesgirl!! Are you SURE you're 23?? I just think you couldn't possibly be. (kidding!! But honestly, so refreshing to know that there ARE indeed very mature 23 yr olds.--whether they agree with me or not--quite well spoken and insightful) See ya.

 
Old 09-01-2005, 06:43 AM   #7
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daria74 HB User
Re: To men single after 1st long term relationship - questions!

Wow, what great, thoughtfull responces! Thanks everyone!
Well, I definately agree with most of what has been said. In my defense, though, I must say that I never really expected anything else from this person and I'm certainly not one of those "how can I change him?" posters. I'm a firm believer in the 'believe what they tell you" type of thinking, too. I respect his decisions and definitely respect his honesty (a rare trait in the men I seem to attract!).
I mostly wanted to know what people thought the motivation could be for being so firmly opposed to a relationship - and how much of it could be fear. Because as horrible as some of my breakups were, I dont think I was ever in a place where I would have let a good prospect go if they came along. As far as "wanting more experience", I spent my 20's in both serious relationships and long periods of being single/dating, so now in my early 30's I dont feel I am "missing" anything by being in a relationship and know, after years of both, that I prefer commitment and that casual sex, while fun, is just...casual sex. So I cant really relate to where he is at now, and was curious...
The funny thing is, as much as I enjoy him, when I really think about it I am not even 100% sure I would be interested if he were to change his mind! That is what makes me wonder how much of this illogical feeling of (albeit mild) rejection and this desire to analyze him is just my bruised ego wondering why he hasn't fallen for me yet and wanting to "make sense" of it, so that it feels less like a rejection! Ah, ego....such a funny thing. So important in any relationship to know the fine line btw true feelings and the sly workings of ego - its errie how easily the 2 can mix, and how one can be mistaken so easily for the other! I have defiantly been fooled into thinking I "loved" someone I didn't (of course these feelings only popping up after they rejected or lost interest in me!)...or wondering if an ex I dumped just may have "been the one" months later when I find out he is with a new girl...

 
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