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xanadu2 11-21-2007 12:17 AM

Re: Long-term single – I’ve found the answer!
 
Hi Folks, :wave:

JennyLee, I’ve been there too, although I don’t quite think that misery kept me from seeing a friend. Not sure I knew that many real friends at the time, just acquaintances. I would have been in my late 20s - early 30s, so getting so worried at the age of 23 seems rather early to me. Looking back, it’s just a stage I went through. I must have been 33 or 34 when it first really sunk home that I had a lovely way of life if only I let myself enjoy it instead of ruining it by trying to swap it for something else.

You mention an affair just for the sake of having a sex life, in a situation where you think the emotional involvement is too low for you to get hurt. I’ve been there too, and it hurts a great deal more than you expect! I screwed up a big trek in the Himalayas like that!

LLM, I expect you are sick and tired of people patronising you with: ‘Lighten up!’ and I’ve already told you that there is no way I’ll ever patronise you! However I’m trying to spot any resemblance between what you say and what I’ve discovered about myself.

When I meet people, on the face of it I do every right thing. I treat them as I like to be treated myself, and these days (not always in the past) I can easily approach a stranger and I laugh and sparkle with happiness. Yet no-one ever shows interest in a date with me. It seems to me that under the surface, my body language is giving out a very subtle message of self-sufficiency and caution. The caution began with fear of meeting someone like my father, continued when control freaks from the dating agency interviewed me for the position of girlfriend (idiosyncrasies not allowed!) and goes on to this day because of all the scary things I’ve learned about bad relationships.

In view of the boredom you express, it seems to me that, no matter what you try to do, your underlying body language subtly conveys boredom and misery and men could be subconsciously picking up on it. Unfortunately I don’t know what you can do about it, and I’m not going to join the ranks of those that tire you out with inappropriate suggestions. I just wonder if thinking along these lines will enable you to come up with something yourself.

Again, the last thing I want to do is to patronise you. I’m just wondering if I can apply theories along those lines to myself, and feel I’m on the right track.
:angel:

Larrylou'smom 11-21-2007 07:31 AM

Re: Long-term single – I’ve found the answer!
 
[QUOTE=xanadu2;3316366]In view of the boredom you express, it seems to me that, no matter what you try to do, your underlying body language subtly conveys boredom and misery and men could be subconsciously picking up on it. Unfortunately I don’t know what you can do about it, and I’m not going to join the ranks of those that tire you out with inappropriate suggestions. I just wonder if thinking along these lines will enable you to come up with something yourself.
[/QUOTE]

Well, thanks for the non-judgmental support!! And yes, to be sure, the world has an abundance of inappropriate suggestions! But dont' get me wrong, it's not like I walk around all the time with my head down, sulking, etc. My boss recently called me "sunny." Lots of people around here at work say Im' happy, nice to have around, etc. at least that's what they say to my face!! I always try to keep a good attitude and do my work with a smile and take things in stride, etc. But no, I decided that if I'm going to worry about things like "is my body language showing through??? uh-oh, what am I saying by crossing my legs??? Should I have tilted my head to the right instead of to the left????" No, I'm not going to drive myself nuts like that. when I go out on a date, I go into it with an attitude of thanks for getting to know another person. I smile appropriately, I laugh when something's funny, etc. Actually, I'm rarely bored on dates. But how bored I am depends on the person I'm with. I've been on dates where I wasn't bored at all and enjoyed the conversation, etc. There of course have been other dates when I couldn't wait to get away. One date told me once that I seemed a little nervous, but I can't help that. Blind dates are a bit nerve wracking and I'm going to be a little nervous sometimes. But I put my very best foot forward. If that's not good enough, then I guess I'm just doomed. Because I'm not going to pick apart every single little move I make and second guess ever word that comes out of my mouth and every gesture I make. That's the best way to become a neurotic, overwrought mess. If it's not in the cards for me to find a man who can like me for who I am, then it just isn't. And that's just it, Xanadu. That's what I'm saying. I dont' think there is a solution. I don't think it's a choice you make. I think you're just the kind of person who has the ability to be happy where she is without arms to hold you, lips to kiss you, a smile to share, etc. It's an ability. Some of us have it, some of us don't. Plus, I suppose it doesn't help that I'm selective, too.I'm not the kind of person who can have a great time with anyone who happens to be around. There aren't many people I like and respect and actually want to be around. Which is why it hurts like heck when I finally find one and lose them.

brook65 11-21-2007 09:29 AM

Re: Long-term single – I’ve found the answer!
 
LLM without being judgemental here, but is it possible that you give off a sense of being a strong lady. I know that when we have our own homes and are independant when we live alone, some guys can get the impression that we are just fine as we are. You say you give off a happy aura around people, as opposed to showing your true inner feelings of unhappiness. Another possibility is do guys think you are otherwise with someone? :)

Larrylou'smom 11-21-2007 02:32 PM

Re: Long-term single – I’ve found the answer!
 
[QUOTE=brook65;3316897]LLM without being judgemental here, but is it possible that you give off a sense of being a strong lady. I know that when we have our own homes and are independant when we live alone, some guys can get the impression that we are just fine as we are. You say you give off a happy aura around people, as opposed to showing your true inner feelings of unhappiness. Another possibility is do guys think you are otherwise with someone? :)[/QUOTE]

Well, the guys I meet, I meet through dating sites so I think they're pretty clear on the fact that I'm single. Regarding giving off an independent vibe, eh, who knows, anything's possible, but I doubt it. I mean, I'm pretty amiable, but the words people use to describe me are not "steely, strong, independent, strong willed" etc. They use words like "giving, sweet, kind, thoughtful, etc." So I doubt I give off an "I'm too much woman for you" vibe. I think it's just a matter of the chemistry being right or not. Like this last guy I dated, I think one of the things that turned him off was that he thought I was lying when I said the opera company I was in "did La Traviata" and he said "really, you performed La Traviata" and I thought i said "we did selections from" but maybe not. Anyway, he did the staring thing, too much intense eye contact that I hate that, it always creeps me out, and I tend to break eye contact and look away. Ok, he's not a great example because I wasn't upset at all that he wasn't interested, other than a little bruise to my ego. But there were a few guys who I did get a good vibe from and liked but who weren't interested. I mean, over a computer, we could sit and analyze till the cows come home what "vibe" I may be giving off or what I may be doing wrong, but I really think the bottom line is, it's either in your cards or it isn't. Not everyone gets a happy ending. Sometimes you just have to settle for what life has planned for you and try to be as at peace as you can with that.

brook65 11-22-2007 04:20 AM

Re: Long-term single – I’ve found the answer!
 
[QUOTE=Larrylou'smom;3317270]but I really think the bottom line is, it's either in your cards or it isn't. Not everyone gets a happy ending. Sometimes you just have to settle for what life has planned for you and try to be as at peace as you can with that.[/QUOTE]


But whilst thinking that way, don't ever give up:)

Lance0204 11-22-2007 07:01 PM

Re: Long-term single – I’ve found the answer!
 
[QUOTE=brook65;3317932]But whilst thinking that way, don't ever give up:)[/QUOTE]
she needs to move to where i live. there are 8000 more men than women here..you have a better chance of seeing snow in august here than finding a single woman.

brook65 11-23-2007 07:59 AM

Re: Long-term single – I’ve found the answer!
 
[QUOTE=Lance0204;3318690]she needs to move to where i live. there are 8000 more men than women here..you have a better chance of seeing snow in august here than finding a single woman.[/QUOTE]


Oh god, that's awful, I know where my mums family come from, which is the outer hebrides, the men there have the same problem. All the females grow up and then move to the cities for college and work, and the guys get left behind with the rural farming and fishing work.:(

Btw Canada is lovely, my parents lived there for 6 years before coming back to the UK:(

xanadu2 11-28-2007 12:56 AM

Re: Long-term single – I’ve found the answer!
 
Hi Folks, :wave:

I have to confess I’ve been away from here for a while and have some posts to catch up on. Meanwhile I see my counsellor today and here is a summary of what I have discovered.

I make friends very easily and thousands of people’s eyes have sparkled with interest when they talk to me so I know they like me. However it has been very rare throughout my life for me to have even a chance of a date.

Why? My father treated all my emotions with contempt, and my mother was blind and deaf to it, insisting I should be grateful because this was a ‘happy’ family and her parents were even worse. My father accordingly noticed that abusing my emotions had the consent of an otherwise loving mother, so repeated the offence.

This made me think that even loving fathers and happy families were foul. On the other hand, I could find an outlet for loving feelings by cherishing my favourite horse at the riding school. So I learned to find love and joy elsewhere, through Nature.

People kept on at me about ‘not spending so much time with that horse because you ought to have a boyfriend.’ This was a preliminary to finding a good husband and having a happy family. Swap the words ‘father’ and ‘husband’ and my goal in life sounded just like the miserable situation I wanted to escape from!

So I alternated between not caring if I ever married or not, and not wanting to marry at all. There were very few young men enjoying any of my hobbies, so I had no boyfriends in my teens or early twenties. I wasn’t needy enough to attract anyone!

My young brother married when I was 24, and that made me feel lonely. I had to go to social clubs that didn’t interest me; so all the men were likely to be incompatible. I was wary, shy, uncomfortable in the fashion clothes I had to suffer, and also I had been told I must never be ‘fast’ so I thought I was doing the right thing! No boyfriends!

Mid twenties. Happy on holiday. I relaxed enough to have a boyfriend. He left, I managed to interest a man who looked like him, because my loss made me needy, but was too shy to keep the second man’s interest.

Late twenties. Very lonely, hence needy. General shortage of unattached men, but I attracted a boyfriend. He moaned at me so much I seriously disliked him, but I saw this as a step towards getting a nice boyfriend! (Huh!)

Thirties. Fed up with shortage of men. Friendship bureau. Being needy, I fell for someone but it wasn’t mutual. I was heartbroken, so wrote to far too many men. They mostly interviewed me for the position of girlfriends, but rejected me for having idiosyncrasies. This is what I’ve always thought. Or – new idea – After finding some were so unreasonable that shades of my father came into it, I grew wary, rather than needy, so failed to attract the next men I met.

Anyway I seemed to be reacting to reactions to reactions until one decided to go out with me – Whinging Pete – who never stopped moaning at me for nothing. I put up with him just as I had suffered a boyfriend I disliked before. (Shades of my father?) When he finally ditched me, I realised what a wonderful life I could have, in beautiful countryside, if only I let myself enjoy it instead of trying to swap it for something else.

The love of nature had come to my rescue! Radiating happiness, I attracted a boyfriend whom I loved. (You see, the words ‘boyfriend’ and ‘love’ do not automatically go together.) He ditched me. I was heartbroken but managed to attract a kind replacement because I was needy. (He was incompatible.)

I cheered myself up by trekking in the Himalayas. Nature to the rescue again!

This is only Part 1, because this post is growing long. The idea is: underlying wariness made men wonder if I really liked them or not. If I ever got needy there was someone for me, but not guaranteed to be compatible. Difficult men awoke thoughts of my father and the ‘happy’ family, hence I grew warier. On the other hand I could always find emotional fulfilment in the joy of nature. So these two factors stopped me getting needy enough to attract anyone.

rosequartz 11-28-2007 07:54 AM

Re: Long-term single – I’ve found the answer!
 
interesting post, I enjoyed reading it. I always felt like I needed/wanted a man in my life. I usually always had one unless I was between relationships. I used to line up the next one before I was done with the previous one, but I stopped doing that. I've been divorced for 11 yrs now, and had boyfriends after that up until the last relationship ended almost 2 years ago. For the first time in my life, I'm content without a relationship and not in search of one. It's the farthest thing from my mind, and I don't know if I ever want one again. I'm also less needy than I used to be and reading your post makes me wonder if there is a correlation. Do we only need a partner when we're needy? It makes me wonder. If we're self-reliant and self-sufficent does the need/desire for a partner go away? It seems to have in my case. I also focus my attention and love on my dog, as you did with your horse. They won't let us down the way relationships do.
:angel:

Larrylou'smom 11-28-2007 09:54 AM

Re: Long-term single – I’ve found the answer!
 
[QUOTE=rosequartz;3326152]interesting post, I enjoyed reading it. I always felt like I needed/wanted a man in my life. I usually always had one unless I was between relationships. I used to line up the next one before I was done with the previous one, but I stopped doing that. I've been divorced for 11 yrs now, and had boyfriends after that up until the last relationship ended almost 2 years ago. For the first time in my life, I'm content without a relationship and not in search of one. It's the farthest thing from my mind, and I don't know if I ever want one again. I'm also less needy than I used to be and reading your post makes me wonder if there is a correlation. Do we only need a partner when we're needy? It makes me wonder. If we're self-reliant and self-sufficent does the need/desire for a partner go away? It seems to have in my case. I also focus my attention and love on my dog, as you did with your horse. They won't let us down the way relationships do.
:angel:[/QUOTE]

I think there's most definitely a corralation between not being "needy" and being happy being alone, but I don't know if self-sufficiency alone makes one ok with being alone. I'm very self sufficient, I pay all my own bills, take care of my place, I live alone, I pay my own way, I don't rel on anyone for anything. I don't feel I *need* a man to put a roof over my head or to pay my bills, but to have someone there to talk to would be nice. I have a dog, but he can't talk. and I can't take my dog to bed and make love with him. I think it's noit just a matter of self sufficiency, but I think it's a matter of sex drive (if you don't have a strong one, you're not going to be sad you dont' have anyone to make love with, but if you have a really strong, healthy sex drive, not having someone to make love with IS going to bother you, trust me!!) It's a matter of where you are in life, too. I'f I'd already been married once, I think I might feel differently about being alone now. But never having been married, never having had the chance to share my life with someone, never having a wedding day, to me that's a huge huge loss. I feel like I've missed out on a very significant part of life.

I think of course the goal is to be ok with whatever life gives you, but for me, it would just be nice if just for a little while I could have an actual life that I actually like living, instead of an existence that I have to settle for, bite the bullet and make the best of.

xanadu2 11-28-2007 03:16 PM

Re: Long-term single – I’ve found the answer!
 
[QUOTE=Larrylou'smom;3326324]I think there's most definitely a corralation between not being "needy" and being happy being alone, [/QUOTE]


LLM, you know I sympathise with you, but I can only find answers for myself.

What I think is that a man goes to a social event and meets several women. All are polite, interested, dress nicely, and so on, and most have an underlying eagerness, or neediness, that makes him feel welcome.

One however, while saying and doing all the right things, has a kind of underlying reserve that is actually caused by a level of caution so high it overrrides neediness. This feels appropriate to the woman but makes the man wonder how much she is really interested in him. So he passes her by and picks one of the others.

Since I am obviously this last woman, I've only just been able to identify what I've been doing to keep men at bay, though many of my previous guesses have come close.

Then, when I did find out how to meet plenty of men, what kind of man is not kept at bay by worries about how much a woman really feels interested in him? A man who is out for what he can get in an unequal relationship!

In my case this mostly took the form of being interviewed by the control freaks (and rejected for not being a ready-made servant without idiosyncracies) but the experience just convinced me that there really were bad relationships out there for me to avoid, so reinforced the wariness that started the whole vicious circle in the first place...

More another day. I never did see the counsellor because I had a breakdown and had to wait 5 hours (3 of them by the roadside!) for the RAC. :mad: So I've got behind in all sorts of things.

Laylah 11-28-2007 04:07 PM

Re: Long-term single – I’ve found the answer!
 
[QUOTE=Larrylou'smom;3326324]I think of course the goal is to be ok with whatever life gives you, but for me, it would just be nice if just for a little while I could have an actual life that I actually like living, instead of an existence that I have to settle for, bite the bullet and make the best of.[/QUOTE]

This is a fascinating thread I have to say! It didnt catch my eye initially because the thread title refers to the polar opposite of my situation; I am a long-term serial monogamist and all my relationships have been almost back to back; if I were to add all the days I've been single since I was fifteen years old together they wouldnt amount to more than two months! However, I do have my own worries about my relationship history and pattern, namely this: I have walked out on every relationship I've ever been in and I've done so ALWAYS at the five year point. I've heard of the seven year itch; well I get the five year itch, in fact my current partner and I are together five years and all of a sudden, out of nowhere, I'm starting to itch!

In reference to the quote above, and please don't take this the wrong way LLM, but it is clear that you are unhappy with where your life is at and that you feel deeply unfulfilled. You've said so yourself, in so many words. I think that in itself may go some way towards explaining why you are single. I don't know if I'm right but I'm sensing that I may be. It seems to be something of a self-perpetuating cycle that you are in. I mean, think about it: when I meet someone new and discover they have a healthy level of inner contentment I find that [I]very[/I] attractive. I know a man who displayed the opposite of that would not attract me at all. I'd be thinking; 'If he's not happy with himself and his life, well then, what's appealing about sharing it'?

Do you think this may have got anything to do with it? Do you think you may be unconsciously giving men the impression that life with you would be an unappealing prospect, because you are not content with how your life is yourself?

Larrylou'smom 11-28-2007 04:20 PM

Re: Long-term single – I’ve found the answer!
 
[QUOTE=Laylah;3327016]
In reference to the quote above, and please don't take this the wrong way LLM, but it is clear that you are unhappy with where your life is at and that you feel deeply unfulfilled. You've said so yourself, in so many words. I think that in itself may go some way towards explaining why you are single. I don't know if I'm right but I'm sensing that I may be. It seems to be something of a self-perpetuating cycle that you are in. I mean, think about it: when I meet someone new and discover they have a healthy level of inner contentment I find that [I]very[/I] attractive. I know a man who displayed the opposite of that would not attract me at all. I'd be thinking; 'If he's not happy with himself and his life, well then, what's appealing about sharing it'?

Do you think this may have got anything to do with it? Do you think you may be unconsciously giving men the impression that life with you would be an unappealing prospect, because you are not content with how your life is yourself?[/QUOTE]

Well, I thank you for your post and your theory, but no, I really don't think that's it. I'm very up and very sunny on first dates, and since it never gets past that, no, I have to think it's something else. But even if it is that men sense an unhappiness, I seriously doubt it but if they do, well there's nothing I can do about it anyway. I am as satisfied, fulfilled and content as I possibly can be single and childless. Anayway, I doubt I convey that much dysfunction on first dates. I dress nice, wear make up, smile, make good eye contact, have warm body language (don't cross my arms, etc.) ask open ended questions, don't talk about kids, marriage or my dog except in the most general, obscure ways, etc. Still never results in a second date. But seeing as my singleness goes back to Jr. High school, no, I really believe in my heart of hearts that alone and single is really just how I was intended to be. I was almost 31 when I had my first kiss, my first slow dance, my first date, etc. And I was not bad looking at all in high school. I had a really cute little figure, great hair, a nice smile, etc. Cripes, it's not like I wore black every day and never washed my hair and walked with my head down and never talked to anyone! Even the silliest, immature, unstable girls have guys at least trying to get down their pants if they're halfway cute. Nope, not me. Even if my single status can be related to some deep seated dysfunciton, it's a dysfunction that has been with me since I was five years old. If I haven't been able to even make a dent in it by now, I dont' suppose I ever will be.

Again, thanks, but I guess that's all that can be said about that. I didn't post what I did to be shrunk. I've already been shrunk all I'm going to be. Based on my life experience and what I know to be true and real, I think some people are chosen by God to be happy, to have soul mates, to have children, and to have that life. Some are not meant to have those things. The trick in life is to be ok with whatever kind of life God gives you. Some people are just better at it than others. I'm just not particularly good at it.

Laylah 11-29-2007 06:52 AM

Re: Long-term single – I’ve found the answer!
 
[QUOTE=Larrylou'smom;3327040]Again, thanks, but I guess that's all that can be said about that. I didn't post what I did to be shrunk. I've already been shrunk all I'm going to be. Based on my life experience and what I know to be true and real, I think some people are chosen by God to be happy, to have soul mates, to have children, and to have that life. Some are not meant to have those things. The trick in life is to be ok with whatever kind of life God gives you. Some people are just better at it than others. I'm just not particularly good at it.[/QUOTE]

I see, so it never gets past the first date; sorry, I wasn't aware of that. I'm also sorry for having given you the feeling that you were being "shrunk"! That wasn't my intention.

Based on your comments above, I'm wondering have you ever read Betty J Eadies 'Embraced by the Light'? She has some very similar views towards life paths as the ones you've expresses here. I loved that book and have bought several copies for the people close to me in my life.

Thank you for your response on the schizophrenia thread by the way, am just in a bit of a rush today to respond to it.

xanadu2 11-29-2007 08:04 PM

Re: Long-term single – I’ve found the answer!
 
Hi Folks, :wave:

Sorry I’m still behind on reading responses, but I thought I’d continue my previous train of thought to see how my new theory applies to the rest of my life.

I’d got to the point where my one and only chance of marrying a man I loved had disappeared. He saw my adaptation to the single state as ‘proof’ that I couldn’t adapt to marriage! What it really proved, of course, was how adaptable I really am!

So I stomped off to the Himalayas, and in no time I was thinking: ‘If I’d got married I would have missed this! Thank goodness I *[B]didn’t[/B]* get married!’ However I cringe to admit that sexual frustration had become an issue, so I wanted an affair. I’m not cringing in anticipation of judgement on this board, but because it involved a trekking guide! Big Mistake! My reasoning was that if I already knew we had to part, then separation wouldn’t be an issue. Actually it turned out to be a very big issue, and, with hindsight, was also a cultural mistake. But I didn’t have to make an effort to attract this man because of the widespread belief that western women are ‘easy’.

Thinking of how happy I’d been in the English countryside before I met the man I’d briefly been in love with, and how I’d screwed up my enjoyment of a trek in the Himalayas as a consequence, made me realise that I was actually much better off on my own. Unfortunately I told a ‘friend’ whose mission in life was to sort out everyone else’s life to her own satisfaction. She and her hangers-on were horrified by anything that sounded to them like rejecting love. They pushed the point of view that I should leap from one affair into the next, and the next, and the next, on the rebound or not, regardless of inner turmoil, because the ‘right’ lover was supposed to sort that out for me! :blob_fire:

All I wanted was a complete break from stressful situations for five years or so, but by the time they had pestered me to the point of harassment, I was totally full of hang-ups about all sorts of things including relationships. :blob_fire:

Since my discovery that caution outweighs neediness when I’m meeting men who much otherwise be partners, it’s not surprising that I met no-one else for a very long time indeed, without ever getting as far as consciously rejecting anyone! When I’d finally regained my happiness I once again thought I had such a great lifestyle, in touch with Nature, that a relationship would have been a mere appendage! Accordingly, I didn’t attract anyone for twelve years.

Then – think what I said about caution outweighing neediness to the point where my body language makes a man wonder if I really am interested in him or not. What sort of man is not put off by that? A sex offender who doesn’t leap out of dark alleyways! Not the rough type you first think of, because my deep caution would send me running before he had a chance, but a really smooth operator who could begin by convincing me I was ‘safe’!

Oh, yes, I met him, and his horrible mockery of a ‘relationship’ that left me needy as well as traumatised! I’m not going into six and a half years of trauma, except to say that I needed justice through campaigning action and it took me six and a half years to meet the person who could willingly provide it.

Then I was suddenly reborn, magically loving life again, except for still being needy, and my saviour appeared to have everything in common with me. So I fell seriously in love, but we had met only through the Internet, never in the flesh, so it took me some time to find out he was married, and then I was devastated!

In that needy state I met E, who became my only long-term boyfriend. I also suffered another kind of neediness because I was shut in a hideous town, miles from beautiful countryside. After four years of being with E, I escaped to live where I am now.

At first I wondered if my new home was what I’d always wanted, or merely the best I could afford. Then the love affair with my home in the hills began. It grows forever deeper, and maybe E sensed that I had become less needy, and that is why he prefers the other woman. I have more thoughts on this, because it seems that what I think I want on a conscious level is not the same as alternating between caution and neediness on a subconscious level.

Now, am I needy? You know how deeply I feel about my life here in this magical place. At the age of 64 it is a long time since I last experienced my father’s contempt, but I’ve picked up so much information about the horrors of bad relationships! It’s not difficult to see how a bad relationship could result in me losing this house, so caution once again has the upper hand.

I’d love to elaborate on this, but once again I’ve written a long post.


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