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Source: (consider it) Thread: A Truth Universally Acknowledged...
Pomona
Shipmate
# 17175

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quote:
Originally posted by LucyP:
quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:
Well I know, but how do I learn to not want a thing that I want? Romantic intimacy is a pretty universal human need, and if you can't find it then it seems quite natural to be unhappy about it. If you feel lonely even though you have friends, what's the solution?


Hope you don't mind if I delurk to express some disquiet with the wording of this posting.

I am perplexed about the concept that romantic intimacy is a universal human need. Do you mean physical sex, or do you mean relational intimacy?

Countless people experience physical sex without any relational intimacy - either through casual or paid sex in egalitarian societies, or women in patriarchal societies where they are not valued as people but treated as possessions (like teenager girls sold to elderly men in the Middle East). Are they having their needs met? Some (in the casual sex group) would say they are, and claim that casual sex is so important that the government should fund it for people with disabilities. It seems that casual sex is not what you mean, because (unless you're severely physically disabled) it isn't that hard to find when there is no emotional involvement required.

Is it then emotional intimacy with one romantic/sexual partner which you see as necessary? Personally I would class this as a universal human desire, or pleasure, but not a need. Being valued for who you are, feeling like you have something to contribute to others, having someone to share happiness with -they are all important, but don't have to be achieved within a romantic relationship to be life-enriching. I have known lots of wonderful older single people who would have loved to be married, if the circumstances had been right, but singleness didn't stop them from living fulfilling and loving lives.

I understand that you are going through lots of roller coaster emotions and that this quote is just one expression of your pain. As another single, though, I feel it's a reiteration of the superficial and patronising idea that "you're nobody until somebody loves you [romantically]" -which I see as one of the huge falsehoods of our age.

Unhappiness is magnified by the stories we tell ourselves. In my view, there is probably not a single solution to loneliness, but it often requires a multipronged approach, looking at issues like (1) distorted thinking patterns about what is "normal" and what life "should" be, (2)self-talk that is unnecessarily pessimistic and self-blaming, (3)unrealistic expectations of how much external relationships can resolve inner conflicts, and (4) a more imaginative approach to life which appreciates all the goodness that exists outside of romance. (That's just a short list of possibilities!)

I know this is a support thread, not purgatory - please do take my ramblings as intended, as supportive! [Smile]

I actually worded it carefully because I didn't mean either just a sexual relationship or relational intimacy, I meant both together. Sexual needs are still needs, just like relational intimacy needs. At the moment I'm not getting either but unless someone is asexual, for people in romantic relationships both are necessary. Like you say, single people can have non-romantic relational intimacy (which I have to some extent but not to the level which I need) but their sexual needs are still not being addressed. So it's a problem (or it's a problem for me at least).

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Consider the work of God: Who is able to straighten what he has bent? [Ecclesiastes 7:13]

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LucyP
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# 10476

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We probably have a differing view of what a "need" is then. Unlike eating, breathing and eliminating, sex is not a "need" for an individual's survival, but it is a biological urge which enables the survival of the species.

I would call it a want, not a need. Analagous to someone saying "work is so stressful, I really, really need a foreign holiday in a 5 star resort." If they can afford the holiday, it may be a solution to their stress level - but others who can't afford the same luxury find alternative ways of coping.

Many people who are not asexual live without sex -eg those not in relationships, those whose partners become disabled in a way that leaves them unable to have sex. They may not see it as an ideal situation, but to say the sex is "necessary" is, in my view, an overstatement, and one that leads to avoidable unhappiness.

[edited for poor sentence structure]

[ 01. May 2013, 09:37: Message edited by: LucyP ]

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Welease Woderwick

Sister Incubus Nightmare
# 10424

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Please remember, and bear in mind when posting, that this is All Saints and not Purgatory.

Thanks.

--------------------
I give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way.
Fancy a break in South India?
Accessible Homestay Guesthouse in Central Kerala, contact me for details

What part of Matt. 7:1 don't you understand?

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la vie en rouge
Parisienne
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For those of you who remember my woes as a weirdo-magnet...

Oh My Goodness [Eek!]

I was sent a bunch of flowers this morning (with dinner invitation attached) by a person who is actually very nice and not a dysfunctional weirdo

[Yipee] and [Help]

--------------------
Rent my holiday home in the South of France

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Mad Cat
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# 9104

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quote:
Originally posted by LucyP:
....... but it is a biological urge which enables the survival of the species.
......

Umm. Some human animals do it for fun or as, like, a bonding thing. As well as for the making of the babies and all that. [Biased]

--------------------
Weird and sweary.

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Mad Cat
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# 9104

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quote:
Originally posted by la vie en rouge:
For those of you who remember my woes as a weirdo-magnet...

Oh My Goodness [Eek!]

I was sent a bunch of flowers this morning (with dinner invitation attached) by a person who is actually very nice and not a dysfunctional weirdo

[Yipee] and [Help]

And also - YAY!

--------------------
Weird and sweary.

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LucyP
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quote:
Originally posted by Mad Cat:
quote:
Originally posted by LucyP:
....... but it is a biological urge which enables the survival of the species.
......

Umm. Some human animals do it for fun or as, like, a bonding thing. As well as for the making of the babies and all that. [Biased]
Point taken, but fun is a want, not a need, and there are alternative ways of bonding. But I want to heed the hostly warning, and not be purgatorial, so I shall say no more, except best wishes to all who post here from a fellow single who tries to cope with the struggle by intellectualising! [Smile]
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LeRoc

Famous Dutch pirate
# 3216

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quote:
la vie en rouge: I was sent a bunch of flowers this morning (with dinner invitation attached) by a person who is actually very nice and not a dysfunctional weirdo
Classy.

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I know why God made the rhinoceros, it's because He couldn't see the rhinoceros, so He made the rhinoceros to be able to see it. (Clarice Lispector)

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duchess

Ship's Blue Blooded Lady
# 2764

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quote:
Originally posted by LucyP:

Unhappiness is magnified by the stories we tell ourselves.

This is a wonderful quote! So true! Good sound advice for life. Thanks for reminding me LucyP, one of my various crushes told me yesterday I am being too negative and he's right. Blast.

BTW - Kelly Alves, thanks for the highlight/compliment. I actually was worried my post might be taken wrong and not in the winsome yet serious tone it was intended. All women are queens in here and all men are kings! Treat ourselves accordingly! [Yipee]

[edited to make royally tidy.]

[ 02. May 2013, 01:26: Message edited by: duchess ]

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infinite_monkey
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# 11333

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I was talking today to the (gulp!) man I'm (gulp!) kinda sorta dating (eek!), and he mentioned something that intrigued me: the idea of "five levels of intimacy". I googled a bit and found some stuff about it, and wanted to throw it out there as a possible interesting Thing to Discuss:

5 Levels of Intimacy
Basically, the ladder is:
  • Safe conversation ("How are you? Fine."/ "__weather we're having")
  • Sharing other's opinions/beliefs (talking about other people we know--"My friend says...")
  • Talking about our OWN opinions and beliefs
  • Talking about our own experiences and feelings, typically in the past
  • Talking about our emotional responses and needs, looking at the present

I see that in my non-romantic relationships as well--the different "levels" on which I can connect and communicate with others, and how off-kilter it is when people approach each other from different levels. Most of the stuff I've been looking at tonight is about how COUPLES go through those levels together, but I dunno...I think this sort of stuff is a big part of satisfying friendships as well.

Do others have thoughts about how "intimacy" plays out for them as single folks--how those levels of connection are or aren't experienced?

(PS I, er, kissed him tonight. First time I've done that in a couple years. Eek.)

--------------------
His light was lifted just above the Law,
And now we have to live with what we did with what we saw.

--Dar Williams, And a God Descended
Obligatory Blog Flog: www.otherteacher.wordpress.com

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Kelly Alves

Bunny with an axe
# 2522

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[Yipee]
Jeez, IM, if he's even capable of having that conversation, he's certainly the guy I would pick for you, if I were your yenta.

--------------------
"Take your broken heart, make it into art"-- Carrie Fisher (1956-2016)

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Pomona
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# 17175

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Well done La Vie En Rouge and IM.

With that ladder of intimacy, there are a maximum of three friends I have a level of intimacy with at level 3 or beyond, and two of those friends are a couple.

--------------------
Consider the work of God: Who is able to straighten what he has bent? [Ecclesiastes 7:13]

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Pomona
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# 17175

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Asked a (local) lady out for a drink on a dating website. It would be nice if my new-found bravery could be transferred to other areas of my life...

--------------------
Consider the work of God: Who is able to straighten what he has bent? [Ecclesiastes 7:13]

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ken
Ship's Roundhead
# 2460

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quote:
Originally posted by LucyP:
We probably have a differing view of what a "need" is then. Unlike eating, breathing and eliminating, sex is not a "need" for an individual's survival, but it is a biological urge which enables the survival of the species.

I would call it a want, not a need. Analagous to someone saying "work is so stressful, I really, really need a foreign holiday in a 5 star resort."

So you only count something as a "need" if you die quickly without it?

As it happens single people do tend to die younger than married people , and the never-married tend to die younger than the once-married (as well as being on average poorer and in worse health). And death rates go up after bereavement or divorce - more for divorce than bereavement, and the effect is larger for men than for women.

I'm not helping am I? [Frown] It must be these George Jones songs I'm listening to. Specifically this post so far was in fact written to He stopped loving her today

Oh that's OK, its ended. Now my playlist is on I'm so lonesome I could cry.

"Did you ever see a robin weep..."

Now its Willie Nelson singing Amazing Grace. And that is really really good.

Yes, I am listening to both kinds of music today. Country and Western. Time to go to to the pub.

--------------------
Ken

L’amor che move il sole e l’altre stelle.

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LucyP
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# 10476

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(Purgatorial tangent to answer ken because I think it would be rude to ignore him -please forgive me, hosts.)

Research on whether singles or marrieds live longer has too many confounders to be very useful. Single people with chronic illnesses are less likely to get married, and more likely to die young, so they skew the statistics. Nuns live longer than anyone. Bereavement is horrible for anyone, and people who have lost a child are also more likely to die early.

Yes, almost all of us need to be connected with other people, and if we can find a single exclusive and intimate relationship to do this in, then great. It's just that this is neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition for happiness and longevity. Again, best wishes to all on this thread in the search - and may this weekend bring all of us the joys of friendship and community!

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infinite_monkey
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# 11333

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quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:
Well done La Vie En Rouge and IM.

With that ladder of intimacy, there are a maximum of three friends I have a level of intimacy with at level 3 or beyond, and two of those friends are a couple.

Thanks, Jade! It's a little terrifying, really, to actually BE in (something resembling) the thing that I've spent a good long while imagining and longing for and freaking out about. I don't honestly know how stuff will play out long-term--there are logistical issues and age differences and different sorts of preferences on things that are kinda central. But in the meantime, I'm interested in giving it a shot.

My story on the ladder thing: I think I'm unusually blessed in that many/most of my close friendships go to level 5. The "emotional responses and needs" we talk about are not typically about what we need or want from the other person, because friendships typically don't have that kind of relational "demand" as it were--jealousy doesn't usually play in, feelings aren't very often bruised, there aren't a lot of "you need to do more of..." or "I wish you wouldn't..." But I have a solid group of people with whom I can be emotionally transparent and know I'm safe doing so, and people who are able to do that with me. If I didn't, I think I'd have jumped more quickly, perhaps, into an intimate romantic relationship, because it seems like a lot of what drives our understanding of romantic love is the belief that that's the ONE BEST WAY to get that. And I'm honestly not sure if that's a good or a bad thing.

--------------------
His light was lifted just above the Law,
And now we have to live with what we did with what we saw.

--Dar Williams, And a God Descended
Obligatory Blog Flog: www.otherteacher.wordpress.com

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la vie en rouge
Parisienne
# 10688

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Personally not sure I deserve a well done, I kind of didn't do anything... This person is actually one of my bestest friends who I've known a really, really long time but I didn't realise he liked me THAT way. In fact I'm almost having a hard time getting my head round it - you know me that well and you still think I'm amazing? You have very strange taste.

So I guess what I'm saying is that sometimes being your (in my case slightly off the wall) self really does work out.

--------------------
Rent my holiday home in the South of France

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Paul.
Shipmate
# 37

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Can you make yourself more attractive to someone?

There's this woman, my best friend and the person I'm closest to, who I've realised I'd like to be with. In the past she wanted to be with me but I wasn't sure. Right now she's just been dumped for the second time by the same guy. I think there's more drama to play out there and I'm not about to try to insert myself into it at this point.

But. I am thinking that if it ends up in a few months where she's single again and not hung up on this guy then I'd like to be thought of as an option. Clearly there's a version of me somewhere in there that it's possible for her to be attracted to, I guess I'd like to try to find it.

Even if things don't work out with her I think the version of me right now isn't that attractive in general.

So I guess I'm trying to ask the question is it possible to make yourself more attractive without it being trying to change yourself into someone else?

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lily pad
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# 11456

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I doubt that you can do anything to make yourself more attractive that wouldn't backfire in the long run.

Personally, I would leave this thread open, in a strategic fashion, and see how she reacts. Much simpler, no? [Smile]

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Sloppiness is not caring. Fussiness is caring about the wrong things. With thanks to Adeodatus!

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lilBuddha
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# 14333

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Confidence, LP. It doesn't change the essential "you" but can put a better light on it. We, most of us, adapt ourselves to new relationships, but this should be organic. And the result of interaction, not to cause interaction.

Not knowing her, this is general, but don't wait too long. Halve the time you think you should wait, and then start sooner.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Surfing Madness
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# 11087

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My flatmate and I are currently filling out online dating profiles......not sure if either of us will be brave enough to actually communicate with anyone!

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I now blog about all my crafting! http://inspiredbybroadway.blogspot.co.uk

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infinite_monkey
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# 11333

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Surfing Madness, it's genuinely not as terrifying as one thinks it might be. I've found internet dating to be excellent, non-threatening practice: you set the pace, you decide how much or how little contact, you're not going to have to deal with ongoing contact if you don't want to deal with ongoing contact. Get out there!

Re: making oneself more attractive. I dunno--to me, making changes can be a good thing, if and only if the things you believe the other person would like are also things you feel you'll like, a lot, about yourself. Things that you want to have as a positive part of you, regardless of how your potential beloved ultimately sees them. I want to bring my best self to my relationships, but that only happens when it's truly ME I'm turning into, you know?

I'm finding that exactly the parts of me that my Schrodinger-friend found most difficult are exactly the things that my current person finds enormously valuable: if I'd been able to change to be more attractive to her, I would have reduced my attractiveness to him. And at the end of the day, I'm the one I end up with the most--so really, that's the person I need to change for, if something's not working or I think I could be better.

Although there's no shame at all in, say, remembering a shirt she likes, and, er, wearing it or something like it, a couple more time. [Smile]

--------------------
His light was lifted just above the Law,
And now we have to live with what we did with what we saw.

--Dar Williams, And a God Descended
Obligatory Blog Flog: www.otherteacher.wordpress.com

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Surfing Madness
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# 11087

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I guess the process of internet dating is not my problem. It's by signing up it's like saying "i'm not happy with where my life is at the moment." By signing up, will that make me less content with where I am currently at? What am I saying about singleness by signing up.....you get the idea!

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I now blog about all my crafting! http://inspiredbybroadway.blogspot.co.uk

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Kelly Alves

Bunny with an axe
# 2522

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quote:
Originally posted by infinite_monkey:

Re: making oneself more attractive. I dunno--to me, making changes can be a good thing, if and only if the things you believe the other person would like are also things you feel you'll like, a lot, about yourself. Things that you want to have as a positive part of you, regardless of how your potential beloved ultimately sees them. I want to bring my best self to my relationships, but that only happens when it's truly ME I'm turning into, you know?


[Overused] Oh, that's perfect.

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"Take your broken heart, make it into art"-- Carrie Fisher (1956-2016)

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Paul.
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# 37

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Problem is I've always been pretty vague what is the real me anyway. Plus the version that's been around the last few years I don't too much like. So why not try to make a better version?

I do think I have to want to do it because it's worth doing not because it'll make me more attractive.

Also I don't want to be a lousy friend when she needs one, chasing something that if it's going to happen won't be for a while.

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Scots lass
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# 2699

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quote:
Originally posted by Surfing Madness:
I guess the process of internet dating is not my problem. It's by signing up it's like saying "i'm not happy with where my life is at the moment." By signing up, will that make me less content with where I am currently at? What am I saying about singleness by signing up.....you get the idea!

I would say it's saying that you recognise this isn't what you want your life to be forever. It doesn't make you less content - or if it does then that's the people not the process, and it could happen through meeting them off-line just as easily.
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Nenya
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# 16427

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quote:
Originally posted by Late Paul:
Also I don't want to be a lousy friend when she needs one, chasing something that if it's going to happen won't be for a while.

I'd suggest just concentrating on being a good friend to her and supporting her through her current upset. Friendly texts and phone calls are good. Chocolate is always welcome. Being asked out for a friendly drink so that she doesn't have to spend the evening alone is thoughtful. [Smile]

Nen - optimistic for you. [Smile]

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They told me I was delusional. I nearly fell off my unicorn.

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lilBuddha
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# 14333

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quote:
Originally posted by Late Paul:
Problem is I've always been pretty vague what is the real me anyway. Plus the version that's been around the last few years I don't too much like. So why not try to make a better version?

I am not certain what you are actually conveying here. Vague to others or vague to yourself?

quote:
Originally posted by Late Paul:

Also I don't want to be a lousy friend when she needs one, chasing something that if it's going to happen won't be for a while.

I was not suggesting anything predatory, I would never do so. Just suggesting that the "while" may not be as long as you think. IME, it rarely is.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Pomona
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# 17175

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I really hate internet dating, I've found. Feels too similar to using jobsearch websites. I need to find a way to MEET people, I think.

Re attractiveness, my issue is that I *do* feel attractive in myself (cheers fat acceptance movement). I then feel....puzzled when somehow that attractiveness isn't attracting anyone.

--------------------
Consider the work of God: Who is able to straighten what he has bent? [Ecclesiastes 7:13]

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la vie en rouge
Parisienne
# 10688

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Here's the way I see it…

AFAICT this about myself, I am more than averagely easy on the eye. The reason I figure this is that I get a LOT of "how is a girl as pretty as you still single?" comments, usually from other women or from male friends who are already in a couple. I am not unhappy with what I see in the mirror most of the time, but I think that's more of a self-confidence thing, anyway (and getting here was a long journey). Even so, well as I said, I just get all those "how are you still single" comments, because… didn't meet the right person, I guess.

But the thing is, this is the thing - you don't need hundreds of people to think you are the incarnation of esthetic perfection. You don't need the universe to fall for you. You just need one. And finding one has to be doable, right?

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Rent my holiday home in the South of France

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The Intrepid Mrs S
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La Vie en Rouge, I thought that about my daughter, the beautiful, intelligent, successful and Intrepid Miss S. I finally decided that if she didn't have a boyfriend, it was because she didn't want what was on offer. Now she's engaged (and in 6 months will be married [Yipee] ) to someone she's known these past 18 years or so.

So yes, it's like selling a house - you just need to find one right person AT THE RIGHT TIME - I think, for those two, their orbits had to collide when they were at the right (same?) stage of maturity ... or something like that.

Mrs. S, Future Mother of the Bride [Axe murder]

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Don't get your knickers in a twist over your advancing age. It achieves nothing and makes you walk funny.
Prayer should be our first recourse, not our last resort
'Lord, please give us patience. NOW!'

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Pomona
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But my problem is that actually I do want what's on offer, they just don't want me. So I just wait?

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Consider the work of God: Who is able to straighten what he has bent? [Ecclesiastes 7:13]

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The Intrepid Mrs S
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Well, I guess so, Jade. Either that, or you end up lowering your standards/requirements, and that way madness lies.

I have other friends who didn't meet their soulmates until quite late in life, and I suppose that was the result of them waiting, rather than lowering their sights.

Mrs. S, no dog in this fight any more

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Don't get your knickers in a twist over your advancing age. It achieves nothing and makes you walk funny.
Prayer should be our first recourse, not our last resort
'Lord, please give us patience. NOW!'

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RuthW

liberal "peace first" hankie squeezer
# 13

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quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:
But my problem is that actually I do want what's on offer, they just don't want me. So I just wait?

No, you go out and meet more people!
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Nenya
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Jade, if internet dating really isn't working for you then I guess the only answer is to get out more. You sound confident and likeable, you just need to meet the right person. [Smile]

Nen - last year's Mother of the Bride. [Axe murder]

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They told me I was delusional. I nearly fell off my unicorn.

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Scots lass
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# 2699

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quote:
Originally posted by RuthW:
quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:
But my problem is that actually I do want what's on offer, they just don't want me. So I just wait?

No, you go out and meet more people!
I agree! Although I think there's an element of waiting as well - just not sitting about waiting, more accepting that meeting someone hasn't happened yet but living life fully in the mean time. Quite apart from anything else, that will provide more opportunities to meet people!

Admittedly I say this as someone who's spent the last couple of weeks hiding and feeling sorry for myself, but then I resolved to Do More Things and am making proper social life plans. So I'm trying to take my own advice!

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Pomona
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Unfortunately at the moment meeting new people is the last thing I want to do! I'm involved in plenty of activities anyway, and I can't think of anything else I want to get involved with. Edited to add that at this point, with the whole of uni being on exam alert, my social life is down because nobody's around to go out with.

The whole asking-rejection-asking-rejection cycle is just tiring anyway.

[ 08. May 2013, 13:58: Message edited by: Jade Constable ]

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Consider the work of God: Who is able to straighten what he has bent? [Ecclesiastes 7:13]

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Chorister

Completely Frocked
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I have heard some people say that it tends to happen when you stop looking (or minding). Not sure how true that is, or whether people only say this when they've already found someone special, so it's rather like 'You always find your lost possessions in the last place you looked'.
But I guess it might be worth a try? Going about your normal daily life quite happily without the undercurrent of feeling you must find someone to go out with? It might be just that sort of carefree happiness which attracts.

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Retired, sitting back and watching others for a change.

Posts: 34566 | From: Cream Tealand | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
To The Pain
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I've heard a few of those 'it happens once you stop looking' stories and I see Chorister's point about not being able to tell whether people only say it once 'it' has happened, but I got to see one close up that was rather lovely.

I had a friend who was utterly desperate to get married. Tried internet dating, asked a number of his friends out, all to no avail. Got rather woeful just before his 30th birthday about being alone forever and decided he didn't want a big fuss made of his birthday. We threw him a surprise kid's birthday party and took him out to a ceilidh. This helped him to realise that people loved him after all and he decided that he didn't need to run around looking for someone special. I think he said at the time that he 'gave up' on the whole idea. But he was maried within a year.

Of course, there must be plenty of people who have similar experiences then go on to lead long-term-single lives. I may turn out to be one of them. I guess the only thing this serves to illustrate is that you never can tell...

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Now occasionally blogging.
Hire Bell Tents and camping equipment in Scotland

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Carex
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That was my experience: I hadn't exactly given up, but at one point I decided that I might as well have a life and do the things I wanted to do alone rather than wait to have a partner to share them with, because otherwise I might never get a chance. So I started enjoying life by myself.

I really find that sense of self confidence is an important factor in attractiveness: it isn't just the physical attributes, but also the expression on someone's face when they aren't thinking about it; the sense of energy and enthusiasm with which they approach the world; and the ability to be caring and emotional without getting stuck in neediness or addicted to drama. So, for some of us at least, making that transition to accepting and enjoying our life as it is can be an important part in making ourselves more attractive as a partner. (But we could have a whole separate thread on what people find attractive in others.)

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Pomona
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Thanks for the responses. I deleted my OKC account - just because I find it more helpful to not have one at all as opposed to one that I'm not enjoying using. Obviously I'm coming to the point where my friends are getting married (actually it's been that way for a few years now, but I seem to have friends that marry young) but weddings are better than funerals. I think the feeling of being excluded is actually the worst thing, much more than singleness itself, and the current depressive episode isn't really helping either.

I am pretty certain that I don't want kids of my own but just an 'aunt' role (biological aunt or not) and I am actually quite OK with the prospect of not getting married, it's just not having anything at all that's frustrating.

I am feeling rather nostalgic for my previous, bustling, full-of-young-people con-evo Anglican church....but not the theology or single women being relegated to childcare/Sunday school. I love my SCM friends but they're spread all over the country!

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Consider the work of God: Who is able to straighten what he has bent? [Ecclesiastes 7:13]

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Hedgehog

Ship's Shortstop
# 14125

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Jade, my dear, you are still very young. I know how you feel--I felt it myself when I was in my twenties--but I am now in my fifties, so please allow me to say: you are still very young and there is plenty of time ahead of you.

But let me change the pace here and babble on about my sweet Penelope! Her birthday is in April. The exact day doesn't matter because she celebrates it over many, many days.

But here is the thing: for many complicated reasons, Penelope has a very restricted diet (food allergies are the worst!). But she can eat beef so long as no oil is involved. And she likes it rare. The rarer the better. She has often told waitresses that she wants her meat as rare as can be..."as close to moo-ing as you can get it." Now that is not unusual. I know many people who use the "moo-ing" line. But my Penelope is my Penelope. She actually found a restaurant that will serve her a filet..raw. When she found out that this restaurant would do that, she called me. This, in itself, is unusual. She will text me, but she likes actual conversations to be in person. But she called me because she had to tell me about this restaurant. Now, I am not completely stupid (no matter what opinion you may have formed from my postings). I realized we had agreed to go out for her "birthday." But no restaurant had been selected. The fact that she bent her rules to call me told me this was special. Penelope, sounding very much like a little child, asked if we could go to the raw meat place for her birthday. Of course, I said: We can go anywhere you want. It is your birthday celebration. You get to choose!

Now earlier I said that Penelope was very careful NEVER to say "I love you" to me. She violated that rule on this occasion. When I said I would take her, she was so excited that she actually blurted out "I love you!!" because I was taking her to this place. But I understood. This was her dream place: a restaurant that would give her Very Rare (i.e. Raw) Meat. Still, I think it is the first time that she ever allowed herself to say "I love you" to me. I treasure it even if I do understand that it was Unusual Circumstances!!

As the day of our dinner approached, Penelope took great delight in just texting me: "Moooooooooo!" Over and over again. I strongly suspect that she barely slept in the days between because she was so excited at the prospect.

So we went.

Wow. Really. Wow.

I have said before that I live for Penelope being happy. I hit the jackpot. I have NEVER seen her quite so happy! She even called her mother (as a general rule she turns off her phone when we are out--again, special occasion!). But when she got Mom on the phone, she was laughing too hard to talk so that she handed the phone to me.

Now Mom and I have a great relationship. Unlike Penelope, Mom has no problem saying that she loves me. And I her. Mom and I adore each other. The conversation went sort of like this:

Me: Hi! Your daughter is here.
Mom: So I gathered. To what do I owe this honor?
Me: Well, she is pretty close to incomprehensible at this point.
Penelope (gasping): I can talk now!
Me: Oh! She says she can talk now!
[I hand the phone back to her]

Now what happens next I blame myself entirely. You see, Penelope, when she laughs, she laughs with her whole body. She bends at the waist. Her upper torso swings this way and that. Her feet tap a rhythm. So, while she was talking to Mom, she was swinging all over the place. So much so that she whacked her head a solid thump against the wall.

"And" I said, raising my voice so Mom could hear "she has just given herself a concussion..."

This is my fault. I chose the table. I could have picked one in the middle of the restaurant far way from any wall. But I chose one next to the wall. Clearly I didn't think it through: I know how Penelope is when she is giddy. I should have foreseen her whomping the wall with her head. But I didn't. It is my fault. I admit it. I mentioned this to Penelope and she, of course, laughed.

But we had a deliriously happy night. Penelope adored her raw meat, eating far more than she usually does (and cleaning her plate because she refused to leave anything left over). Her eyes were sparkling with happiness. She was in full "giddy" mode, which I adore.

It has been over a week now since then, and when she discusses it she still starts laughing with delight so hard that she can barely speak and her eyes shine with joy. I have said before that I live for this, and I do. I have done many things for Penelope in my life, but I have never done anything before that filled her with so much happiness. To have her eyes still sparkling with joy so long after an event is incomprehensible to me. But I accept it. I love her so much. To bring her so much joy in one night is beyond anything I could imagine.

I don't know why I felt compelled to post this. Other than the fact that I want a record of it to look back on.

Although, God help me, I have no idea how to top this for her birthday next year. But maybe I don't have to worry about it, because early signs are that my sweet Penelope will still be giggling and laughing about this a year from now...

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"We must regain the conviction that we need one another, that we have a shared responsibility for others and the world, and that being good and decent are worth it."--Pope Francis, Laudato Si'

Posts: 2675 | From: Delaware, USA | Registered: Sep 2008  |  IP: Logged
Kelly Alves

Bunny with an axe
# 2522

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That was absolutely effin' wonderful, Hedgehog. [Overused]

(Hope Penelope gets well soon!)

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"Take your broken heart, make it into art"-- Carrie Fisher (1956-2016)

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basso

Ship’s Crypt Keeper
# 4228

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What Kelly said, Hedgehog. Gives me a glow just to share that by proxy.

Best to both of you!

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infinite_monkey
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<bump>

Tell me the story of how you become less run-for-the-hills scared of relationships. Is some anxiety normal, when you start these crazy things?

(It's, er, been awhile.)

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His light was lifted just above the Law,
And now we have to live with what we did with what we saw.

--Dar Williams, And a God Descended
Obligatory Blog Flog: www.otherteacher.wordpress.com

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lilBuddha
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# 14333

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Hang on, reduced anxiety is an option?! Why did no one ever tell me this?

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So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Mad Cat
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# 9104

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My consolation is that everyone else is as anxious as me, so I try to laugh about it.

Then I do my anxious 'whinny' laugh and just think: "Oh Lord....."

[Roll Eyes] [Hot and Hormonal] [Roll Eyes]

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Weird and sweary.

Posts: 1842 | From: Edinburgh | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
la vie en rouge
Parisienne
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*updatey bump because I would like to brag*

I am in the middle of a weird and rather enjoyable paradigm shift. My best friend of approximately a bazillion years has turned out to be in love with me. This was a strange week which involved him being admitted to hospital (he'll be fine, but lots of stressy upheaval for all concerned).

He sent me a message last night telling me I am "ravissante et courageuse"*. Which are not words I would ever have used to describe myself but I'm going to go with it. I fell asleep last night repeating to myself that I am ravissante et courageuse. I don't think I've ever been courageous before. [Axe murder]

*I'll try to translate this, but well, there's a reason why French is the language of lurrrve. Ravissante is something like "breathtakingly beautiful". The best I can for the whole phrase is "beautiful and courageous".

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Rent my holiday home in the South of France

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ArachnidinElmet
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# 17346

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So lovely. Brag away, it gives the rest of us hope. Well done, La vie en rouge [Axe murder] .

[ 27. May 2013, 16:10: Message edited by: ArachnidinElmet ]

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'If a pleasant, straight-forward life is not possible then one must try to wriggle through by subtle manoeuvres' - Kafka

Posts: 1832 | From: the rhubarb triangle | Registered: Sep 2012  |  IP: Logged
Mad Cat
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# 9104

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Awesome [Yipee]

Compliments are great. Compliments in French? Hooo- eee!

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Weird and sweary.

Posts: 1842 | From: Edinburgh | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged



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