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Is there such a thing as an 'ideal type', or am I just relationship-inept?

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Old 05-06-2007, 07:26 PM   #1
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Is there such a thing as an 'ideal type', or am I just relationship-inept?

I have a bit of a convoluted long question, but it is very important to me and I hope someone can help. To put it short, I am a dating disaster. Over the past 2 years, I have been through about 15 very short and very bitter experiences with women; I won't call them all dating ones, but what you could say as flirting or the beginning stages of it, for all but three. I have started and ended three relationships, two since September; my longest one was a grand total of 3 weeks, and this one was far from perfect, I dont want to dwell on it, but I was at the opposite end of an abusive person who made it very hard to escape from.

Other girls that I met, a few of them I ended up chatting with on the 'net, a few in my classes. I managed to go out on a few dates here and there, quite a few of which went fairly well, although my ineptitude or anxiety ended up ending any chances at things going further. I also tend to go in one of two directions; if I like a girl, I like her ALOT, and tend to scare them off by coming off as being to desperate and needy for their attention; this has scared off quite a few, and three of them were really great people that I got along great with and we had so much in common, only to get the cold shoulder, either online or in person, or both. One girl gave me a particularly harsh 'go away' by totally ignoring me at a dance party, then semi-blocking me on the net next day; this just happened a couple days back, and it still hurts. Or if I dont like a girl (in that way), I get extremely anxious and nervous, and make an utter fool once again, so that I end up avoiding them in different ways and likewise, alienate them. This has made dealing with relationships very hard; of all these girls, I am still friends with only one of them, and that was after about a year of me being bitter before I started talking to her again.

So, I recognize I have some real issues with this all, but I dont know how to properly deal with them. My problem is not with looks or social ineptitude or anything - I have a good deal of good and close friends, I relate easily to people I just meet, and have worked in the tourism industry for many years. I am in very good physical shape, and have been complimented on my looks many times. And I can relate to women just fine, only as soon as there is a hint of something more, I break down. Try to learn from my mistakes for the next time round, except I dont learn anything and it happens again.

Which is another thing. From reading my post, it would seem as though I am desperate for a relationship and hate being single. But in reality, I am not; as I said, I have never been in a long-term relationship, and when I am in one, I am much more nervous and high-strung than when I am not. When a long period of time goes by without any interest shown in me or vice-versa, I cope very well and am very happy. I am not jealous of any of my coupled or married friends, either. I just found out one girl I briefly dated back in November has a new boyfriend, but I was not jealous at all, rather relieved that I was free and did not keep going out with her, because it would have gotten serious and long-term, which I did not want. But on the other hand, I am also a contradiction: I have a particular 'type' of girl that I am absolutely crazy about. This 'type' is also a very specific one; I would rather remain single and hope to meet such a girl someday, than go out with someone and fear meeting that 'type' and being locked down in a relationship. I know this sounds ridiculous but it is how my mindset has gone. And I have met such an 'ideal' woman, albeit only once, we flirted for several weeks and went out on one great date, only my over eagerness ended it. Since that time I have been unhappy with most girls I have met/talked to. And I do know a few others of this type that I would be crazy for if they expressed interest in me, and the vast majority of others I dont really care.

So I really dont know how to deal with this all. I am so conflicted and unhappy with how I deal with women, and it never seems to change. When I meet someone new, I briefly have some hope, then revert to cynicism soon afterwards. How to deal with this? Also, I wonder, are there people out there who are simply unable to cope with being in a relationship? Not that they dont want to at the time or its the wrong person, but just simply that for whatever reason, they cannot emotionally, at any time, live with and adapt to all the different experiences and stresses of a relationship? If this is true, then perhaps I would feel better and just accept that this is what I am. I have never felt like I have 'loved' someone. Actually, I find it very difficult to forge an emotional connection with any girl. It might be infatuation or indifference, or lust, but I have been in situations where a girl was so into me and I felt kind of empty. The times when I started to get excited about someone and it ended on a sour note, I let get to me so bad, and then I just went out on dates with anyone for awhile just to prove that I can, although I hated it too.

Maybe if there are other people in the world whose minds arent wired for relationships I could learn to better accept my situation and just roll with it. Or should I just secretly hope that one day, I will meet that ideal woman with whom none of these issues will matter? Thanks for listening!

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Old 05-06-2007, 09:51 PM   #2
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Re: Is there such a thing as an 'ideal type', or am I just relationship-inept?

With the history you have given in this post, I think you are in real danger of the "self-fulfilling prophecy" syndrome. It happened this way up to now, so this is what it will be like, and you get the old tape playing and relive your old experiences, and sure enough, it happens just like it always does...etc etc etc.
You need to put in a new tape.
You don't have to act "needy and desperate" if you really like a girl. That is what you USED to do, now you will not.
You don't have to act nervous and foolish. You know what nervous and foolish looks like..DON'T ACT THAT WAY.
The point that I am making is that, for whatever reason, you have acquired a set of reactions to dating..I say acquired because we are not born knowing how to behave, so somewhere along the line you have got stuck in this mindset. You can change, you can choose to get over this. Simple as it seems, to start with, just act the way you would like to be. This is not deceitful, in that you are just using a technique here. Act AS IF you are the person you wish to be when dating. Consciously, deliberately, be the person you want to be, act the way that person would act. You are the only part of this whole dating dynamic that you can change.. and you must work to change it. I hope this has been a bit helpful, Cheers, Sera

Old 05-07-2007, 12:17 AM   #3
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Re: Is there such a thing as an 'ideal type', or am I just relationship-inept?

While I was "listening" to you, I was wondering how old you are. I think Seraph had a lot of good things to say to you. As always, Seraph, you did it. I would just like to add a few lines that are perhaps implicit in what she was saying to you.

I don't think you are relationship-inept. You like talking about yourself (availability?); that is a good point. You recognize that you have a few issues (self-analysis?); that is a good point, too. You ask people's opinions and advice (modesty?); that's a third good point. To me, you seem to be a man after a path. You want to interact. You have all the tools and resources you need to do so; you just seem to need some practice and to be less demanding on yourself.

I think that some kind of psychosomatic activity along the lines of yoga, tai chi, etc would help you to cope with your anxiety. Also joining a group of men to talk and discuss about men's issues would help you to see that you are not alone.

You might also want to remember that the girls you meet are not free from problems and issues themselves.

I don't believe there is an ideal type for you in the sense of a perfect soulmate. Personally I wouldn't like to have a copy of myself by my side; this is like having someone who can read all your thoughts! No thanks. On the other hand, I believe that there are persons (women) that have more things in common with you in terms of temperament, education, etc... That is the kind of woman you must look for. But I also believe that when two persons are mature enough, even if they are basically very "different", they are able to enter a good relationship with each other. What I want to say is that maturity makes people respect the differences and maybe even long for a certain level of difference, if you see what I mean.

Maturity is maybe all you need.

Last edited by pendulum; 05-07-2007 at 12:18 AM.

Old 05-07-2007, 12:45 PM   #4
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Re: Is there such a thing as an 'ideal type', or am I just relationship-inept?

Thanks, guys, for this advice. It is true that I keep falling into similar patterns of acting whenever a dating situation comes up. When one is not on the radar, I have no problem acting like myself, but for whatever reason, I mentally shift gears and make myself feel as though I have to act a certain way when one does. I self-consciously change the way I act around a girl I like much of the time rather than being myself, but it is hard to just change overnight! I also have a tendency to always blame myself and my issues for things not working out, when the girls I talked to most likely have issues themselves, they are just better at hiding them. Even when it seems very obvious that a girl was just being rude to me and I was not to blame, I found a way to assign all fault to myself.

Now that I think about it, yes, I have ruined a few chances by NOT being myself - I have always been much too reliant on other people's advice on this all, and I dont just mean on webboards like this one, but just in general, I ask way too many people what a right course of action is, dont trust my own gut feeling, and it ends up bad. If I had just done what I felt I should have, perhaps things may have ended up a bit differently than they have in the past, at least in a few cases. Perhaps I just need to force myself to act like I always do when I am not in a dating situation, when I get into one, rather than panic. But, that is easier said than done, even if I consciously am aware of it.

I do work out on a regular basis, and this has always helped me to alleviate stress and anxiety. Unfortunately, this has been a hectic year and I have not had a chance to work out as much as I would have liked. When I am on a roll I can go for intensive workouts 3-4 times a week, so I want to get back into that. In answer to your question, I am 26 now. So yes, older in some ways but not necessarily in all. But I am also not in a panic mode that I am too old to meet anyone decent, and I think I am independent minded enough that I will always be able to feel so, regardless if I am single or not.

In terms of 'ideal', maybe I should elaborate a bit. I guess everyone has a type they would like to be with. For me, for example, I like girls who are taller, slim, dark haired/eyed. And also, being an Eastern European myself in origin, I much prefer girls from that region, or from Europe in general, and have no problem not pursuing certain people if they are not that type. I have for example avoided getting into anything serious with a few people because they didnt conform to that standard. Is that necessarily a bad thing? Thanks...

Old 05-07-2007, 12:59 PM   #5
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Re: Is there such a thing as an 'ideal type', or am I just relationship-inept?

people do tend to stick to their own. but if thats not working then you may want to consider going outside your circle to find someone. i love guys with brown hair and brown eyes. never even considered going out with someone with blonde hair blue eyes. so now i have a son that has blonde hair and hazel/brownish eyes. sorta changes my thoughts..

anyway sometimes if your standards aren't working you may have to adjust them not matter what they are. not lower them by any means..just change them.

**i was just answering your last question. the others have answered the first ones very nicely...
This is your life and it's ending one minute at a time.
Those who forget the past are destined to repeat it.

Last edited by tarheel247; 05-07-2007 at 01:01 PM.

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