I'm a 32 yr old male with a real problem moving on. About 4 years ago I largely created the situation which led to the break-up of my long term girlfriend (6 years). I cheated, I lied, I didn't appreciate her and despite all that... the thing that put her over the top was I didn't propose to her. Deep down I knew I wasn't ready. Through my behavior and deceptions and from the lack of enthusiasm I had for the idea of marriage she eventually broke up with me due to my inaction. Since then I've carried around a lot of guilt over creating this situation and I feel totally responsible.
Fast forward to today. I feel like I've learned a lot and done a fair amount of growing up since then. I've begun to recognize red flags and things that I know are signs that any new person isn't right for me. The problem is that with each new opportunity, I'm usually only shown that where I came from (the long term Ex) was amazing. Nobody seems to live up. With each new person it's almost like I'm reminded of how badly I screwed up. Mind you, I've met some wonderful people. But none of them seem to work.
I've done a lot of work on myself, I've exercised, joined clubs, put time into my career, traveled, spent time with family and close friends and still I find I usally come back to the same place. I did the "write down everything you didn't like exercise. But, This image of this woman who I failed with and my inability to find someone else who even comes close keeps coming back.
Additionally, my ex was very beautiful. Very sexy. Where we lacked symmetry was in our emotional needs and our personalities. I haven't even come close to the level of attraction I had with her. The sad part is that I HAVE found people that are much better emotional and personality matches for me. However, my vanity always sabotages the situation due to a relative lack of attraction. I truly admire the people who can say "beauty is only skin deep." However, I am not one of them. Especially after I spent so long with someone where I didn't have to. Like getting to the mountain top and then being content at the bottom.
I am really concerned because it's been over 4 years and I am yet to find somebody that I want to be around more than a few weeks. I carry this torch for somebody that I don't even want to get back together with. She's married now to a man who puts her first, which is exactly how it's supposed to be. I'm happy for her and all I'm really hoping for is that I find somebody who I can get another shot with.
I guess I'm looking for either a slap in the face or just some techiques I can use to try and break myself of this cycle. Recently I met a very nice woman. She's cute, funny, outgoing and seems to really be interested in me. (poor girl) However, yet again... as with each new opportunity... I revert back to my ex. In this case it's purely looks and it's creating a subconscious barrier for me. It's funny, the times that I'm happiest seem to be when I'm completely single.
Now that I'm older, I want to get married and have children. I want to build a healthy, honest and loving relationship. However, I'm really scared that either I'm broken or that it's just not possible because I can't seem to get past the barriers I've put up.
Any suggestions, advise, insults... lol... would be greatly appreicated.
all i can say is that the past is the past and you need to give someone a chance. you hurt your ex and you learnt a lesson from what happened. time to forgive yourself aswell and move on from it. i know you have this barrier but to take that away i think you need counselling to talk it over and find ways of putting it behind you and lowering your guards. this lady that is interested in you could make you happy. everyones different you need to stop comparing every girl to your ex. that was the past and different time in your life. you got a chance to be happy yourself. say for example if you started dating this lady maybe a few months or years down the line you could end up madly in love with her and she may be perfect for you. at the start of a relationship the real love doesnt kick in straight away its all about excitment at the start and if not excitment then its -wary and cautious. you really need to let the past go.
What I'm hearing is you feel guilty about having messed up so badly in this one relationship you can't seem to let go of, but you know that you have learned lessons from that experience. That's a good thing. But you also said that this ex was very beautiful and sexy, and you want to find a woman who not only is more compatible on an emotional level, but a woman who is ALSO as beautiful and sexy as your ex. You had a really beautiful, sexy woman and being with a woman who isn't as pretty feels like settling for second best. So even though you don't want the ex back, even though you know she wasn't really right for you, and you've met other women since who were more right for you, you ditched them because they weren't as pretty and sexy as this ex, is that right?
I know it feels terrible to feel like you're "settling," but very few people get absolutely everything they wan in a partner. Most unions are a compromise of some kind. You have to pick and decide what qualities are most important to you in the long run. I mean, even this ex that you still romanticize about didn't have everything you want,, she wasn't as compatible you didn't have as deep an emotional connection as other women since her. You need to decide how long you're willing to hold out for absolutely everything you want, and what you're willing to compromise on.
Last edited by Larrylou'smom; 01-10-2011 at 09:51 AM.
no person should feel second best. also its not just about been sexy and good looking its about the personality which is more important and how the person makes you feel. if you dont let go of the past you will most likely always be single as you will push people away. sorry to say this but if your ex was all that then you wouldnt of cheated you would of been 100% into her and her only. you also learnt from your mistakes stop beating yourself up we all do things we regret but we have to move forward else we are stuck and life goes no where.
Last edited by cryingforever; 01-10-2011 at 11:21 AM.
After I read your post I basically got the feeling that you don't really want to settle down. When you were 27/28 and with a woman who would have been perfect for you, you made mistakes that made sure that didn't happen. Now you are hanging onto her image and rejecting all other women, even ones you can acknowledge as being "contenders". It seems it's just a different way to keep from having to commit to someone.
If you had two lives, would you live one of them without ever marrying?
That was the question I had to ask myself many years ago when someone asked me to marry him. I wanted to say yes, but the truth was I was doing it while wishing I had a second life where I wouldn't have had to. So I knew the right answer was no.
Maybe it's not the case at all. But if you imagine having two lives and you can see yourself as staying single in one of them, then you're just not wanting marriage all that bad and this is just another way to justify not having to take that step.