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Old 03-24-2015, 01:39 AM
 
1,882 posts, read 2,833,175 times
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I am really keen on getting opinions on this so pardon if this winds up being a long post. I always hate it when people complain on CD about that- but I am a fast reader, and I think reading is fundamental.

But, romance.

My entire life I feel I have given myself over to a myth that didn't serve me. As a sensitive child, I ate up love songs and soap operas and always believed in "the one". Now, I am past 40, no children, don't look my age, nor do I feel I typify most women my age. Ergo, no children, no mortgage, been in school for a couple years and have lived a somewhat bohemian life. The only reason I say this is to underline the fact that I am not putting down anyone else's experience or saying that mine is like everyone else's. No one has a story like anyone else's, but most women I know of my age have children. SO maybe that gives me more time to naval gaze. I don't know.

But I do know that after a lifetime of romantic relationships, a marriage, etc., I realize that my romantic inclinations haven't served me very well. Most things that have happened in my life happened under my own power. They didn't come from men. In fact, I have to say, that the older I get the more my relationships become like power struggles. I find that men are more pressed to undermine my independence- and I am not talking about sleeping with other people. I have always been monogamous, that is a non-issue.

No, I am talking about creativity and life choices and doing things on your own. Men are threatened by that, and I suppose, women would be too- I am not couching this in feminist language, I simply a woman and I can't speak for men, can only speak of my own relationship to them. And I have a lot of great male friends and am certainly a fan of men, in general.
But its the romantic balderdash I just can't stand anymore. And after a couple of really, really bad relationships I am finding myself in this very unusual place of realizing that I may never find "the big one" and perhaps I have already had my share. And if I were 20, I would be crying about this.

But no. Instead, I feel a new kind of freedom. Its really liberating to no longer be spending energy wondering about the next relationship, and in fact its cast a pall on all those goofy notions that I used to believe in wholeheartedly. In fact, in retrospect I realize I have been far more captivated than most about those myths. I spent so much of my youth really wrapped up in it, chasing after it, while still being luckily someone who enjoyed my own company and independent. I can change my own tires, thanks.

SO now when I look at love I see a whole bunch of hoohah. I see an unattainable that is perhaps something that is like a carrot on a stick- its probably inborn in us to swoon over poetry and pine for our beloved. It keeps the human race going, it keeps us procreating. But when I look at it that way, it looks like a big lie.

I know a handful of couples who have something really special, but most relationships I have seen seem to be some sort of struggle for dominance. It seems with relationships, romantic ones, that once the bloom is off the rose that things get weird.

I can't count the number of female autobios I have read of female artists that have had to be told by their men, "its either me or the music". Just eye-wateringly horrible examples of women having to fight alot harder to be able to do what they want creatively while their husband complains that the dishes aren't being done properly. I think of Viv Albertine's autobio where her husband, whom she had been married to for 18 years, derides her for wanting to fulfill herself in some way other than just being a wife and mother, and being told "you aren't an artist, you are a wanker".

Then there is the issue of men who decide that if they don't want to sleep with you, you aren't worth having as a friend. Naturally one concludes that a man like that is not worth having as a friend, and of course that conclusion is appropriate. But why does it happen so often?

I am led to the conclusion that women and men have NOT learned how to accept the other, and that my own company is a lot more fun than some of my boyfriends I have had, who would sneer when I would exult in the beauty of a spring morning or make fun of me for petting every dog I passed. I can't count the number of times boyfriends have, upon my successful finish of a show or a piece of art, to have them go out of their way to deride something I am proud of, simply to "keep me grounded" as they say. As a woman who had to learn how to have pride in her work the hard way, it just rankles. It just leaves me thinking, "gah, I am actually HAPPIER without believing that romance is the staff of life, because where does it lead you? Standing in a kitchen being taken for granted".

Again, I am only speaking from my own perspective, and I am sure there are male perspectives that led them to these same conclusions.

Thing is, I don't WANT to become cynical or hard. I would like to fall in love. But how do you do that without forgetting where you are parked? Without being taken for granted? Without falling into these stupid sex roles that don't serve ANYONE ultimately, men included?

Thoughts?
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Old 03-24-2015, 02:41 AM
 
Location: Polynesia
2,240 posts, read 1,214,986 times
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I disgree with Mr Professional. You have not been picky enough and have wasted time with the wrong men.

They may not be common, but there ARE men out there who dont need to keep a woman down. The right man will encourage you and applaud your successes and he will be there for you when you fall. Settle for nothing less. Stay open to the concept of love, but don't be too quick to give your heart away. Good luck!
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Old 03-24-2015, 03:17 AM
 
Location: In a place beyond human comprehension
7,557 posts, read 4,824,777 times
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I'm 2 decades younger than you....and the idea of romance isn't as big to me as it was when I was 16.

I haven't been in a relationship yet and at one point wanted one really badly in my life. I realized you can't really control how people feel about you, you can influence it to a certain extent under certain circumstances but you can't change them. I have grown accustomed to being by myself and my guy friends tell me that if I do get into a relationship I have to let a man be a man (basically cater to his every beck and call) and that irritated the heck out of me.

I don't care for gender roles. If both of us are capable adults, you better believe we're BOTH going to put our share into a relationship, if I am to ever get into one.
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Old 03-24-2015, 03:41 AM
 
1,882 posts, read 2,833,175 times
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Thank you for your replies!

I guess Mr. Professional deleted his post, but perhaps I have had some made bad choices in my older years- in fact, I know I have. And its funny, because I had a number of great boyfriends, even my ex husband remains a friend and taught me alot about fighting fair, staying on point in an argument, etc. But it was that good long run of decent boyfriends that sort of allowed a couple of real jerks to slide in under my radar, and it kind of made me wonder where my intuition fled, because it does seem in romance I am apt to go totally blind at times. Which can make you lose your self confidence. IF you don't see them coming, how can you know when the guy is really good? When you have trusted all your instincts, and they failed you?

I like companionship, and I am a big fan of domestic life. I love being at home, cooking, gardening, my home is my shelter. Seems tho, when I invite someone else into my world, they just don't take the same care, they eventually wind up no longer helping with dinner and it stops being a love song and becomes picking-up-their-socks drudgery. Its alot better when I am alone at home, petting the cat, tending my spinster cave : )

I guess I am over trying to find someone who fits into my world- an old bachelorette at large.
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Old 03-24-2015, 05:10 AM
 
Location: San Diego, CA
494 posts, read 379,779 times
Reputation: 1212
It all boils down to this - you have poor judgment in choosing men.

Until that is resolved, you will end up in the same spot, over and over again; or you can throw in the towel on having a happy relationship - which it sounds like you are ready to do...
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Old 03-24-2015, 05:11 AM
 
Location: Polynesia
2,240 posts, read 1,214,986 times
Reputation: 3979
You can learn to trust your instincts again if you are smart about it. For me that meant not rushing into exclusive relationships without taking the time to observe a man's character, willingness to be selfless and his maturity level. I was so sick and tired of irresponsible boy/men who needed a mommy. Ugh. Never again!

I had gotten to the point in my life where I was "done" with it all. I wasn't going to get involved in a relationship again unless I knew it would be the last time. I was determined to end the pattern of serial monogamy I'd had that had not served me well at all. I'd rather stay single forever.

Once I stopped playing fast and loose with my heart, everything changed for me. I hope you too will find love again like I did. Please, I encourage you to hold out for that special, once-in-a-lifetime man. A man whom you admire and respect and who, in return, gives you all of himself without reservation. A love that most people only dream of but dont have the faith to wait for.

Meanwhile, continue to work on yourself to be the best you can be.
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Old 03-24-2015, 06:02 AM
 
Location: Where rhotic consonants are either absent or intrusive
8,890 posts, read 5,205,125 times
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The good news is you're at a point in your life where you know who you are, and what you do or don't want in a partner. You're in a way better position for finding the right guy than if you were younger and willing to try and be someone you aren't, just to avoid being alone.
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Old 03-24-2015, 06:07 AM
 
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
42,796 posts, read 41,495,107 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GuyInSD View Post
It all boils down to this - you have poor judgment in choosing men.

Until that is resolved, you will end up in the same spot, over and over again; or you can throw in the towel on having a happy relationship - which it sounds like you are ready to do...
I agree. You hand over your power and self-worth when you stay with a person who doesn't respect you.

I've never been in a relationship with a man who has said anything remotely insulting to me, and I'll never forget the look on the face of the one who DID, on our second date, as I got out of his car at a stoplight and walked home.

As you now know, OP, life is too long to spend it with someone who holds you down.
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Old 03-24-2015, 06:43 AM
 
4,486 posts, read 3,136,590 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wmsn4Life View Post
I agree. You hand over your power and self-worth when you stay with a person who doesn't respect you.

I've never been in a relationship with a man who has said anything remotely insulting to me, and I'll never forget the look on the face of the one who DID, on our second date, as I got out of his car at a stoplight and walked home.

As you now know, OP, life is too long to spend it with someone who holds you down.
Absolutely! Sometimes you just have to say this is what my life is going to be for a while and be happy with it. Doesn't make you any less of a person, but you have realized you are tired of getting the short end of the stick. I have friends that seem to always get a good partner in their life. Then I have friends who seem to only attract bad partners in their life. Then there's all the ones in between. You just have to love who you are and where life is taking you. Even if life is taking you there by yourself.
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Old 03-24-2015, 09:38 AM
 
4,659 posts, read 3,977,591 times
Reputation: 9737
Do not give up. Somewhere there is a man whose soul is as generous as yours. It is Spring. Perhaps this year, you will find someone who is as much of a giver as a receiver.

I believe people treat you as you let them treat you....if you will pick up the socks, they will keep discarding them. Some things are minor and endearing, while others lead to you doing all the heavy lifting in the relationship. Maybe you need to be aware of sliding into same old pattern that has always ended up with same old results--ones which you do not appreciate.

You might be stuck in a self fulfilling cycle. I have been guilty of that. It is difficult to recognize. Or perhaps you have just been picking frogs. Maybe you need consider a man that you would have previously considered "not your type", because maybe your ideal type is not what you think.

Regardless, it is a new season and opportunity for new changes. Treat yourself to something wonderful. Good luck.
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