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    Old 07-07-2005, 09:50 PM   #1
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    Absolutely or not really? The pursuit of love: Worth it or not?

    Workplace romance, and how it affects the relationship you have with your pre-existing S.O. This is the insight I seek from you.

    Background:

    I'm in my first relationship with a truly amazing woman.

    She is beautiful, she is intelligent, she is honest, she is loyal, she is opinionated, she is innocent, she is funny, she is a natural at making the right decisions ALL THE TIME... she is, quite simply, the most amazing person I've ever met.

    Because she is so amazing, she's never had a one-night stand. She's always been involved in a serious relationship, never a fling. I've never been involved in a relationship lasting more than 2 months, but I've had a few flings. Which brings this story to us, at the immediate moment. We've been fortunate to be with one-other for more than a year now. Awesome.

    The first few dates, I was always thinking "I can't wait for our 1-month anniversary." After that, I couldn't wait for the 2-month anny. After that, the 3-month anny. After that, the 6-month anny. After that, the 9-month anny. After that, the ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY.

    We got there and enjoyed every minute along the way. Don't get me wrong, we've had our spats in the process (due mostly to my rough edges and immaturity, even though I'm older than her), but all-in-all, I've been pretty sure that this girl is the right match for me. Never thought I'd find someone like her. Never knew she existed with that amazing blend of characteristics.


    HOWEVER....


    I'm insecure.

    I see the way people look at my girlfriend when they converse. It's not a sexual thing, it's a "connection" thing. She connects with people in a way I've never seen. She flat-out "sees" who people are, and when someone "sees" you for who you are, you look at them in a slightly different light. People are intrigued by her, just as I was, she has an infectious personality even though she's not all that outgoing... the more people get to know her, the more they're magnetically drawn to her...


    Anyway...

    She has a new job. And she interacts with her colleagues... and there's a lot of them, more than half of which are male. Knowing how men operate, I'm sure the majority of them are attracted to her, a concept of which she's practically blind to. She's been asked out to lunch a number of times, and she asks me if I'm okay with that... afterall, "it's just lunch." I appreciate her honesty and how she takes into consideration the way I feel. At the same time, I'm not going to put a leash around her neck, and I'll just have to trust her judgement and see how everything plays out, I guess...

    So far so good. She shares all her office stories with me. I can tell through her stories that she talks to some people more than others, that some people talk to her more personally than others, that some people are fueled by certain types of motives more than others...

    So I started researching the internet about the role that the workplace plays in relationships.

    I read that 34% of married women HAVE HAD SEX with men outside of their marriages. Of that 34%, two thirds of those women meet their "secondary mates" at WORK.

    Knowing how something like 60% of marriages fail, knowing how my parents divorced, how one cheated on the other, well... those statistics are cause for concern.

    The more I read, the more I become disenchanted with the idea of marriage. I read all these case-studies where couples are head-over-heels in love with one-another, and then they get married, and then they're happy, and then... well, then one person breaks their vows and cheats on the other. And this happens in the MAJORITY (60%!!!) of MARRIAGES!!! How in the hell is that possible?


    Every couple looks at that 60% divorce rate, and they say to each other, "Baby, that'll never be us." Well the MAJORITY of those people are wrong! 60% of them wind up miserable and depressed and confused and demoralized and defeated and destroyed and all these horrible god-awful things... nobody gets married expecting to get divorced.

    And while 34% of married women have SEX with other men, almost ALL of them entertain "thoughts, ideas and fantasies" of being with other men. If they experience a "lull" in their relationship where they feel their husband isn't fulfilling all their emotional needs, they'll turn to the workplace where dozens upon dozens of men are eager to "stroke their minds and emotions with stimulating thoughts..."

    Say what?!?!!?

    If I knew my girlfriend EVER had "thoughts, ideas and fantasies" of other men, I'm not sure I'd be capable of coming to terms with those reactive emotions.


    Knowing how 34% of MARRIED WOMEN CHEAT ON THEIR HUSBANDS BY HAVING SEX WITH OTHER MEN, and how the MAJORITY of marriages end in divorce, and how the VAST MAJORITY OF MARRIED WOMEN ENTERTAIN INTIMATE CONVERSATIONS AND THOUGHTS WITH OTHER MEN...

    THEN PLEASE TELL ME THIS....



    WHY


    DO


    WE


    EVEN


    BOTHER


    TRYING


    TO


    FIND


    LOVE???????????????????????????????????? ?????????????????????????????????

     
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    Old 07-07-2005, 10:54 PM   #2
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    Re: Absolutely or not really? The pursuit of love: Worth it or not?

    And what does it mean when your SO hasn't initiated or demonstrated any types of physical expressions of intimacy in 2 months AND tries to avoid signing on under his/her screen name whenever you want internet access at his/her place (and it was previously never a problem)? What if these two months of unusual behavior coincides with the beginning of his/her new job? Could it be related to new types of stress that come with the job, or is it most likely a new type of man/woman in her life?

    And what types of questions should I ask to uncover the source of these problems?

    I asked tonight and my SO got pretty defensive and chose to focus on irrelevant points of conversation rather than the topic at hand.

    What kinds of questions can I ask to get to the heart of the matter? I'm new to all this and I'm in desperate need of guidance. I love this person and I need to know what's going on. Thank you for your help.

     
    Old 07-08-2005, 06:52 AM   #3
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    Re: Absolutely or not really? The pursuit of love: Worth it or not?

    The lack of intimacy for a couple of months is something to be concerned about.

    I can understand why you would feel a bit insecure with a woman who has so many nice qualities and seems to attract people like a magnet. If I were in your shoes, I would probably feel a little insecure also. That's why I am somewhat intimated with a man who has movie star good looks; I always feel like he could be more easily pulled away by another woman.

    Like the last poster said, I think you need to have a long heart to heart discussion with her about your feelings. Did she previously let you sign on with her screen name, or is this something recent where you are no longer able to sign on with her screen name?

    I hope you can work it out. However, if you show too many jealous and/or possessive tendencies, it could cause her to stray. So be careful about that.

     
    Old 07-08-2005, 05:27 PM   #4
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    Re: Absolutely or not really? The pursuit of love: Worth it or not?

    Should I even bother with this?

    Dude... looking up this GARBAGE online is fruitless, pointless and causing you nothing but stress and lower self-esteem.

    You are doing the EXACT same thing that some hypochondriacs do -- using the net's vast informational resources to further exacerbate EVERY little thing that happens in your life.

    Time to put an end to that.

    I can promise you something else, too: whatever study you are quoting there is ANOTHER study out there somewhere which CONTRADICTS it or points out the flaws in the research process.

    Since you WANT to see the glass as half-empty -- then you're right: why bother? If you WANT to be convinced that there is NO POINT in having a relationship -- then there will NEVER be a point to it.

    But the reality is, win or lose -- EVERY relationship can be an opportunity for growth. Even if this FAILS -- you can still BENEFIT from having known this woman -- IF you allow yourself to do so.

    Your way of thinking would allow us all to say: "What is the point of ANY relationship? Why do we even bother to love our families -- some day, they will ALL die. And if they die and leave us -- what is the point of loving them NOW? Aren't we just better off cutting all ties, stopping ourselves from loving, and living a life FREE OF RISK?"

    Now, clearly you can see why this is nonsense.

    We LOVE because we are HUMAN and every bit of love we share with another person enhances our soul (or spirit or whatever you believe in).

    Love is NOT worthless -- EVER. Even when it results in deep hurt and anguish and pain -- it is the JOURNEY you must remember.

    When our family members die, we do our best to REMEMBER them, cherish our memories of them, the time we spent together, the things we learned, the smiles we shared, the stories we pass along.

    EVERY relationship, be it romantic or otherwise, can give us something to REMEMBER and something from which we can LEARN and GROW.

    If you want to be a miserable sad-sack -- that's your choice. If you refuse to see the good in a romance -- also your choice. Or you can turn it around and get back to ENJOYING life for what it is.

    Has it never occurred to you, dear man, that your girlfriend has picked up on your constant lament?

    YOU told us just how perceptive she is, didn't you?

    YOU told us she can read people like no one you've ever met before.

    Do you think even for a moment that she has NOT tuned in to your BAD attitude of sorrowful self-pity?

    YOU BET SHE HAS.

    No wonder she doesn't want to be intimate with you.

    I'll be a million bucks this is at least the MAIN reason why she's cut you off -- who wants to sleep with a guy who is miserable all the time?

    Her new job is also certainly taking a toll. She has new people and relationships to stabilize, new responsibilities and is required to PROVE herself in her work situation. That can drain ANYONE, male or female, and also detract from their interest in sex.

    Furthermore, you say that most of your arguments were the result of YOUR immaturity -- YOU said that, not me.

    If this girl is as astute and self-assured as you say she is -- she's probably getting a bit frustrated that YOU are not showing any signs of personal growth. In fact, to HER point of view, probably you are REGRESSING with your recent change in attitude, of which she SURELY has noticed, being so mentally on target as you say she is.

    Spouses and SO's communicating with members of the opposite sex at work is something EVERYONE must deal with. It is a non-issue if your relationship is solid. Clearly, you KNOW your relationship is NOT solid -- AND WORST OF ALL -- you making it weaker every single day! You seem to almost be WANTING to give her an excuse to seek someone else.

    Just because a stupid study posted online says a small number (and it IS a small number, you are making it much larger in your MIND) of women cheat, you are running with that and letting it make you more and more insecure.

    Your gal KNOWS you are insecure and she has witnessed your immaturity, by your own admission.

    You are looking to come off as the "good guy" here, the guy who is being slighted. And the more you convince yourself that this IS what you are -- the more SHE will see that this is who you have become -- and she'll run away from that.

    If you want to keep this gal, whom you say is more mature than you and more astute and more socially-outgoing -- then you are going to have to start allowing for CHANGE within YOURSELF.

    SHE is not going to start being a hermit to suit you. She is NOT going to stop being able to communicate with others -- this is a SKILL of hers and she is RIGHT to keep improving it -- it is a valuable skill, after all.

    If you are too insecure to be with a woman who is so perceptive -- you may have to face the facts that this relationship is NOT meant to be. She may be "too much" for you, I'm afraid.

    If you don't want to accept that -- then it is time for YOU to CHANGE.

    It all starts when you wrap your head around some new concepts. Start trying to see things from ALL angles: objectively, subjectively, and from HER point of view, too.

    And then you need to have a talk with her. Open, honest, loving, NON-ACCUSATORY and inquisitive. Check your self-proclaimed immaturity at the door and talk to her as an adult, an equal, a man who LOVES her despite her "flaws" of being so in tune with her own Universe!

    Or you can continue to cry yourself to sleep and wonder "why, oh, why, oh, why me?"

    It's up to you.

    There. I've stood up for the WOMAN this time. How's that, folks?

     
    Old 07-08-2005, 06:15 PM   #5
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    Re: Absolutely or not really? The pursuit of love: Worth it or not?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ADDsubtract
    I'm insecure.

    I see the way people look at my girlfriend when they converse. It's not a sexual thing, it's a "connection" thing. She connects with people in a way I've never seen. She flat-out "sees" who people are, and when someone "sees" you for who you are, you look at them in a slightly different light. People are intrigued by her, just as I was, she has an infectious personality even though she's not all that outgoing... the more people get to know her, the more they're magnetically drawn to her...


    Anyway...

    She has a new job. And she interacts with her colleagues... and there's a lot of them, more than half of which are male. Knowing how men operate, I'm sure the majority of them are attracted to her, a concept of which she's practically blind to. She's been asked out to lunch a number of times, and she asks me if I'm okay with that... afterall, "it's just lunch." I appreciate her honesty and how she takes into consideration the way I feel. At the same time, I'm not going to put a leash around her neck, and I'll just have to trust her judgement and see how everything plays out, I guess...

    And while 34% of married women have SEX with other men, almost ALL of them entertain "thoughts, ideas and fantasies" of being with other men. If they experience a "lull" in their relationship where they feel their husband isn't fulfilling all their emotional needs, they'll turn to the workplace where dozens upon dozens of men are eager to "stroke their minds and emotions with stimulating thoughts..."

    Say what?!?!!?

    If I knew my girlfriend EVER had "thoughts, ideas and fantasies" of other men, I'm not sure I'd be capable of coming to terms with those reactive emotions.


    Knowing how 34% of MARRIED WOMEN CHEAT ON THEIR HUSBANDS BY HAVING SEX WITH OTHER MEN, and how the MAJORITY of marriages end in divorce, and how the VAST MAJORITY OF MARRIED WOMEN ENTERTAIN INTIMATE CONVERSATIONS AND THOUGHTS WITH OTHER MEN...

    THEN PLEASE TELL ME THIS....



    WHY


    DO


    WE


    EVEN


    BOTHER


    TRYING


    TO


    FIND


    LOVE???????????????????????????????????? ?????????????????????????????????
    Scruffy is 100% right, as usual. You're torturing yourself by doing all this research and looking at these meaningless statistics--yes, statistics are essentially meaningless, because they can be manipulated to support whatever claim the researchers want to prove. I'm sorry to say, but trust me that 100% of women have fantasies, thoughts, and ideas about other men, no matter how happy they are with their partners, just as all men at least occasionally have thoughts of other women. It worries me that you find this sort of thing so disturbing and depressing, and that you have allowed your insecurities to play such a major role in how you perceive--and most likely, also in how you act--in your relationship. If your GF is half as perceptive as you say, she has probably picked up on your insecurity and fear of her finding another guy at work. I've been in that situation before, where a boyfriend becomes more and more worried and mistrustful as I meet new guys, either at work or as friends, etc., and it's about the biggest turnoff their is. The sad thing is, while I was devoted and committed to these guys before they became preoccupied and borderline obsessed with other guys going after me and the possibility that I was into them, their insecurities drove me away and in some cases, drove me right into the arms of one of the men they considered such a serious threat.

    I really think you need to find a way to cope with and come to terms with your insecurities and fears before they totally ruin your relationship...your girlfriend is already pulling away, and if she's avoided sex with you for several months, you must turn your attitude around fast if you want to salvage what you have with her. The fact is, any woman you date is going to be around other men on numerous occasions, and you are going to need to be secure and confident enough in your connection to her that this fact doesn't cause you such concern and uncertainty. Every woman out there is attracted to, drawn to, and interested in other men, no matter how much she loves the one she's with--that's just part of life, and you can't change this anymore than you can change the fact that half of the people your GF encounters are males who would more than likely sleep with her if they had the chance. The only way you can stop this is to love her, trust her, and act confident in your connection to her. Letting doubts and insecurities get in the way of being happy and secure will only backfire--if you trusted her to be loyal to you, chances are she'd have no reason to pull away from you, whereas now she is clearly feeling alienated and less than completely thrilled with your relationship. Love is scary, risky, and often ends painfully, but it's one of the most wonderful and fulfilling things in life, and most people think the risk is well worth the reward, even if love doesn't always last forever. The best way to ensure loyalty and fidelity is paradoxically to extend as much freedom and trust to your partner as possible--they have to voluntarily want to be with you and you alone, and treating them with suspicion and mistrust will only drive them toward someone else, even if they wouldn't have been tempted to cheat otherwise. I'd suggest you see a therapist and try to come to terms with your insecurity and trust issues so that they don't cause any future problems or create unnecessary distance in your current and future relationships.

     
    Old 07-09-2005, 03:47 PM   #6
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    Re: Absolutely or not really? The pursuit of love: Worth it or not?

    Once in a while there are a few threads here that I think are really GREAT -- even if the original poster refuses to take the proffered advice, others who read can certainly benefit. Sarasota's thread is one of those -- the old thread from CrimsonClover was another. This one ranks up there, too -- I actually thought about it for a while last night and decided to come back and add a few things...

    Here we have a terrific example of EXACTLY how we can choose our destiny and manifest our own reality.

    We can view this from whatever perspective is best suited to our personal belief system. It can be a religious experience, a Karmic balancing act, basic cause and effect -- or, if we want to explore the realm of quantum physics again, it can be reality winking in and out of existence until WE select a path to follow wherein the POSSIBLE realities that exist become the ONE we have chosen for ourselves.

    But don't worry -- we don't need to get into details again.

    What this guy is doing, however, IS selecting his own reality, obviously.

    The MEN out there would skip the WHY part and go right to finding the SOLUTION. The ladies would probably like to know WHY he's doing what he's doing.

    It seems obvious that he FRIGHTENED of this gal. I suspect he feels she is superior in many ways to him. This is a legitimate concern and has a strong basis in fact, if we are to believe what he's told us so far -- and I see no reason NOT to believe him.

    He says this girl is socially remarkable and has keen insight into other people. Surely he knows that she turns this talent of her onto HIM quite often.

    He's afraid of what she'll see inside him.

    And he's decided, consciously and probably unconsciously, to go ahead and just let her see ALL his fears and frustrations RIGHT NOW rather than let her discover them on her own.

    This gives him some CONTROL over the situation. HE is showing her -- she isn't discerning it. By bringing it to her attention, he thinks he can get it all out in the open instantly and allow her to make a decision: "Well, here I am, with all my flaws exposed. Do you STILL want me now?"

    He's CREATING his reality by exposing himself in such a harsh manner and by allowing all his insecurities to bubble to the surface. He can take different paths, for sure, but...

    THIS path is the one that is BEST SUITED to him fulfilling his emotional addictions, of which we discussed in Sarasota's thread. He is USED to feeling this way -- his body CRAVES more of the same. Rather than try a NEW path, a path lined with self-confidence and common sense, he's sticking to what is tried and true and to the path of least resistance, the path that will flood his body with the neuropeptides linked to low self-esteem and frustration. Selecting the OTHER path would be VERY difficult, though the rewards for making the effort could be HUGE and worth the sacrifice of withdrawal from negative emotions.

    Out in the cyber-ether, every straight guy who reads this thread is wanting to yell at this man: "Dude! You've got a FABULOUS gal there! And you're RUINING it! Send her to ME if you can't handle it!"

    Who knew "the road less traveled" was actually a quantum physics metaphor, huh?

    TAKE the harder road, dude. BUILD YOURSELF UP. LEARN from the gal -- she has a lot to teach you. Don't let your ego get in the way of self-improvement.

    Your reality can be whatever you want it to be. If you choose to live in fear of her -- this is EXACTLY what you will get. If you remain trapped by your self-doubt, she will KNOW and pick up on that -- and the reality you fear most WILL materialize in no time at all.

    Good luck, dude... put on a good pair of walking shoes and take the road less traveled.

    Should you STILL get lost -- at least you will have seen some new things along the way and the journey will have not been a waste of effort.

     
    Old 07-09-2005, 04:00 PM   #7
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    Re: Absolutely or not really? The pursuit of love: Worth it or not?

    I definitely agree with Scruffy here--why do you let something as stupid and dry as STATICSTICS dictate the course of your relationship? It seems that your bitterness, insecurity, and lack of optimism in that it is possible to have love that doesn't end up in divorce of cheating are ruining your chances. Please try to focus on what you do have with this girl and stop spending every minute thinking about the impendig doom and gloom of divorce and infidelity. You don't want to create a self fulfilling profecy. Instead, try to feel confident that such an amazing woman chose YOU and not some other guy and has been in a relationship with YOU for over a year. I would suggest starting with some nice romantic getaway which is completely care-free and fun--no more of that heavy stuff about statistics, ok? Hopefully that will help you refresh the relationship and make her feel like you adore her and trust her.

     
    Old 07-10-2005, 03:06 AM   #8
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    Re: Absolutely or not really? The pursuit of love: Worth it or not?

    She is picking up on your insecurity and desperation to keep her from what it sounds like. That will turn off a woman who enjoys uncovering layers of people to get to the core, a perceptive woman. It seems you are showing her way too much way too soon. That will drive a woman of that kind away as she will get bored. The only thing you can really do here is work on yourself and take some time to find confidence and realize you are good enough for anyone, even this minxy woman. After you figure yourself out you can regain a lot of that texture of person, and she can re-discover you.

     
    Old 07-10-2005, 07:42 AM   #9
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    Re: Absolutely or not really? The pursuit of love: Worth it or not?

    There is something to be said for nature's desire to seek BALANCE.
    The high pressure encroaches into the low pressure.
    Humans build up to overpopulation and a pandemic strikes wiping out (insert your statistics).

    Many many times you will see the extremely social person who ends up with the homebody. The optimist who is with that "half-empty glass" person.

    The theory is that both people will end up more in the middle - less extreme - than they were.
    I was a real tightwad & Mr. Ruth is an extravagent buyer.
    Over the years I've loosened up (quite a bit!) and he doesn't buy everything he sees that he wants without talking about it (well, most of the time anyway)

    It's when the two extremes are unwielding and unwilling to change (on their own since we all knowthat you can't MAKE anyone change) that you end up with difficulties in the relationship.

    An excellent topic you guys!!

     
    Old 07-10-2005, 10:08 AM   #10
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    Re: Absolutely or not really? The pursuit of love: Worth it or not?

    You are simply on the verge of sabotaging yourself. I would recommend that you STOP. I had a guy that thought like you and I ran away as fast as I could. You can't control everything. Why do you think you don't deserve to just enjoy something for once??

     
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