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Author Topic: Being "scared" of relationships  (Read 5490 times)

Stuebi

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Being "scared" of relationships
« on: June 07, 2018, 09:02:22 am »

So this is something I'd like to get some other opinions on, since my friendcircle is unified in calling me either damaged, or unhealthy.

I've not been in a relationship for roundabout 5 years, give or take half a year. And I've blown off one or two cases when a girl was interested, due to me hating the idea of being an "Item" with somebody.

I had 3 relationships so far in my life, none of which lasted longer than half a year. All 3 of them ended badly. One ended after I got cheated on, the other two were basically me dumping the gf in question after getting annoyed and/or having multiple fights.


The problem is, from my experience so far, relationships are work. Tons and tons of work. They mean dumping whatever you enjoy out of the window 50% of the time for another person. Add to that the fact I'm not very good at opening up, and much better at bottling, and I usually just tend to get annoyed the "closer" I grow with my partner, and the more time we spend with each other.

The ideal weekend for me is spent playing games, maybe going for a swim, but mostly just being lazy after a week of work. While my past "flames" wanted to go out, or wanted us to meet people, or just "get out of the house". Usually I could weasel my way out of that one way or the other, but all 3 of them were appearantly waiting for the next step, waiting for me to stop "liking the Computer more than them".

Is this just an issue with two incompatible people getting together? Or are relationships always like this? Because I can honestly not tell. Even the people I know that are in relationships often have this problem. If any of you have different or similiar experiences, I'd really like to know wether something is wrong with me.
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nenjin

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Re: Being "scared" of relationships
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2018, 10:54:13 am »

You and me are in the same place.

I haven't dated anyone in....probably about 10 years.

I've turned down a couple of leads in that time.

I've been called or at least it's been implied I'm damaged, by my nosy opinionated therapist aunt. Most of my friends are married with kids now. My immediate family is all married. I'm the only bachelor.

Quote
Is this just an issue with two incompatible people getting together? Or are relationships always like this? Because I can honestly not tell. Even the people I know that are in relationships often have this problem. If any of you have different or similiar experiences, I'd really like to know wether something is wrong with me.

Unless you two are identical in your interests....relationships are just like that. They're about compromise. You will do stuff you don't want to do for the sake of the person you're with, whether that's going out in public just to be out in public, visiting parents and in-laws or friends of theirs. That's just normal relationships.

And you clearly haven't found anyone that you want to sacrifice for. Is that ok? It's up to you. My take on it is......I have no fear of being alone anymore. I would rather be single and happy then not-single and miserable. I don't want to have a relationship just so I can be in one. I don't want to be with someone just to not be alone.

So I'm waiting. I'm waiting for that person I want to spend time with, legitimately, who I want to put before myself. I'm not going to the bars booty hunting, running through different women until I find one that's a match. It may mean I'm alone forever but if so.....? I will be alone doing what I enjoy instead of running around not enjoying myself in pursuit of some societal expectation.

One day I may be so sick of being alone that I will go out and find someone. I'm attractive enough, I have social skills, I've had women seek me out and I've shut them down. I have no worries about my ability to find someone.

So yes, relationships are work. The trick is to find a relationship that doesn't feel like work. And I think this is the trap many, many people fall in to. They don't want to be single so they attach to the first person that likes them before they consider what that person is about. Once the honeymoon phase is over, that's when the demands start. That's when the jealousy starts. That's when the resentment starts. That's when people start slipping in to their relationship roles.

For example, a friend of mine just got divorced by his wife of 5 years. They'd dated off and on since college (where she dumped him before.) While he was married to this chick, she basically ran his life. She controlled what he ate, what he spent his time doing, who he spent his time with. She used him as a handy man for her family so his time was always called for doing shit for someone else. She only could hold a job for a couple weeks at a time at best, so most of the time she was unemployed while he worked a full time job. She was always unhappy, sniping at everyone and everything outside of their relationship. She started influencing how he saw the world. He could hardly spend any time with me or his other friends because his wife simply was unhappy when he was doing something and she wasn't. Didn't matter what or with who.

He was becoming incredibly miserable. Even when he had permission to hang out, his wife would text him with trivial bullshit constantly just to remind him that she was out there, bored and unhappy while he was having fun. A total bitch move.

And when he started to stand up for himself, assert his right to do what he wants on occasion, then she dumped him for someone else and they got divorced.

Who you hook up with has a direct impact on your quality of life, and I don't think it's crazy at all to weigh that against the peace and comfort of being single. I don't deny that not being in a relationship deprives you of intimate contact, and no matter how self-reliant or self-confident we are, humans need intimate contact. But waiting for the right fit for you is not something you should feel bad about or be made to feel bad about. Most couples I see that go on in time just get fatter, more lethargic and possibly unhappy with each other. They crank out a few kids, their free time evaporates completely and before you know it they're basically different people. That's not what I'm looking for out of life. Maybe one day, however many days I have left. But for right now I'm looking for that special lady who isn't hung up on all the bullshit like "going out" and "excitement" and "competing with other couples" and "marriage" and "babies." Maybe I'll never find her. But that's ok, because it's the choice I've made. Not the choice I was forced in to.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2018, 01:51:43 pm by nenjin »
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Shook

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Re: Being "scared" of relationships
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2018, 10:58:47 am »

I've never been in a relationship, so take what i'm saying with a grain of salt, but i'm thinking that ideal relationships (alas, ideal rarely happens) should arise because two people already like each other for who they are. They enjoy the company of each other, respect the needs and quirks of the other part, and share at least SOME interests. It does sound like what you mentioned with two incompatible people getting together. It's clear that you're probably somewhat introverted, whereas your exes were more extroverted. A more suitable partner for you would probably be one who'd be lazy with you, rather than try to pull you kicking and screaming out of your cave (in the best intentions, mind you). Those do exist! Mind you, finding similarly introverted people might be difficult, precisely because they don't go out much. :v

So, is something wrong with you? Probably not, at least not from what you've given us here. It just sounds like you've had bad experiences with relationships, so it makes sense you'd be reluctant to engage in more of them.
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brewer bob

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Re: Being "scared" of relationships
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2018, 03:49:17 am »

If any of you have different or similiar experiences, I'd really like to know wether something is wrong with me.

It's perfectly fine not to be in a relationship. There is nothing wrong with you.

Personally I've been feeling much happier without relationships and being able to spend as much time alone or with projects that I enjoy. It's not that my relationships were bad (quite the contrary), but I realized that they were not my thing - atleast for the time being.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2018, 06:36:25 am by brewer bob »
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KittyTac

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Re: Being "scared" of relationships
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2018, 05:56:19 am »

I feel much happier alone.
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wierd

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Re: Being "scared" of relationships
« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2018, 06:27:06 am »

Never had the urge, EVER. :P

You cant imagine how much money I save not having a girlfriend or having kids. :P
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Retropunch

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Re: Being "scared" of relationships
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2018, 12:14:02 pm »

The ideal weekend for me is spent playing games, maybe going for a swim, but mostly just being lazy after a week of work. While my past "flames" wanted to go out, or wanted us to meet people, or just "get out of the house". Usually I could weasel my way out of that one way or the other, but all 3 of them were appearantly waiting for the next step, waiting for me to stop "liking the Computer more than them".

Is this just an issue with two incompatible people getting together? Or are relationships always like this? Because I can honestly not tell. Even the people I know that are in relationships often have this problem. If any of you have different or similiar experiences, I'd really like to know wether something is wrong with me.

Relationships always involve compromise, and it's something you need to work on. I say that, because I know a few guys nearing their 40s who never compromised and now they're feeling very, very lonely. By not compromising or working at the relationship, you're just being selfish.

That being said, you HAVE to find someone that likes the same things as you. If your favourite thing to do is gaming, you've got to find someone who also likes gaming!! I know that sounds super common sense, but its amazing how many people try to get with someone who has exactly the opposite interests to them and expects it to work. More than that, you'll find it so much less work - general conversation and chatting away will be easier because you can talk about your favourite stuff, and things like gift giving will be tons easier - I know that sounds like small stuff, but it makes relationships a lot less 'work'.

As an example,  my ex was really into board games, and whilst I prefer PC games it was a great compromise - we'd get to go out somewhere (which she liked a lot) play games (which we both liked) and could meet her friends there (which I didn't like) but play games with them rather than having to listen to them ramble on all night which made it tons easier. She didn't like a lot of video games, but enjoyed watching story heavy ones - so I'd compromise by playing those with her rather than playing strategy games. Yeah, on top of that she liked loads of stuff I didn't, but she could do those things on her own because we had enough stuff to do together that we enjoyed, that we didn't need to spend time doing stuff we didn't enjoy.

As Shook has said, if you've got something that is important to you (gaming) then you'll have to look a bit wider/in different places to find someone who shares that. It might be that you need to go on dating sites and make it clear it's a major thing for you, or it might be that you need to get more into your local gaming groups/scene.
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dragdeler

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Re: Being "scared" of relationships
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2018, 03:53:02 pm »

-snip-
« Last Edit: January 18, 2019, 01:45:54 pm by dragdeler »
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Retropunch

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Re: Being "scared" of relationships
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2018, 05:48:07 pm »

Just don't listen to dragdeler - it sounds like he's had a rough time, but that's not the norm.
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nenjin

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Re: Being "scared" of relationships
« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2018, 07:42:27 pm »

He's on the spectrum of how people deal with relationships. Trying to make him some outlier to be ignored isn't fair to him or the OP.

He describes feels and beliefs consistent with highly introverted people. To introverts, people ARE exhausting. Listening to them, following their conversations, making polite small talk, having to give your opinions you've only thought of but never had to articulate with your mouth hole before, trying to witty/clever/topical/relevant.....christ I'm tired just thinking about it.

Here's my take: I do not want to do someone the disservice of dating them, only for them to find out after sex that I'm rather withdrawn and that I need a great deal of alone time to recharge my batteries. That's why I pray to meet another hot introvert. A woman who is like a cat. She will love on you affectionately, but there's times she doesn't need you as well.

I remember the last relationship I had, it was long distance. Started in an MMO, turned in to a real life hookup and a whirlwind of 8 hour phone calls multiple times a week, with a big dose of phone sex.

Anyways, it got to the point that when I wanted to party in an MMO with someone that wasn't her, she'd get hurt. When I made plans to play in a party or raid with someone else (despite already being in multiple raids with her already), she'd get hurt. When I'd want to play a game with some friends she didn't have access to, she'd get hurt. When I would go out of the house to hang out with friends, she'd get hurt. Mind you, I was spending 8 hours a day with her easily between phone calls and WoW.

I was not used to having my almost all my decisions predicated on someone else's feelings like this before. I was not prepared. (zing) I got stressed out. She got stressed out. We fought. It collapsed.

Ironically the week we broke up, I turned down another coworker in a bar we went to as a group. Mmmmmmaaaaaannnnnnn was she not happy about that. I both wasn't interested in her and too fucked up from my break up to even conceive getting in to bed with someone else.

So bottomline: my inclination to not seek a partner is because I know myself pretty well, and it's hard sell to be like "I can be super charming and smart but after a certain threshold is met I will need to retreat and shine a little less brightly." This was my attitude going back to my 20s, and now that I'm in my 30s and everyone around me is married, has kids, has full weekends of doing some bullshit and fitting in to the typical married couple model.....my attitude is even less palatable to others. Woman my age that aren't married are edgy as fuck that they're running out of time and so that makes for a dicey proposition for me. Women younger than me don't know shit about shit yet and still have stars in their eyes about some dream life that I goddamn guarantee I will not deliver.

Weird as it sounds lately I'm more attracted to older women. They've been through shit, they know themselves better than younger women, they know what they want and what they don't want. There's a good chance they have that independent streak and are maybe not hung up on marriage, children and keeping up with the Joneses. The only forseeable dangers are that they are bat shit crazy as only older women can be...or that they're married and you're potentially stepping in to a bear trap or some exceptionally weird shit. Maybe the preference isn't so odd, actually. I suppose they seem like a safer choice then someone that is expecting a real relationship.

Anyways, listen to both the introverts and the extroverts about how they see relationships and ask where you fall on that spectrum. Some people absolutely thrive on intimacy. Some people need only measured doses of it. And some people will overdose the fuck out on it and then wake up one day and realize they don't feel the same way anymore. And that's when shit gets real. I dread falling head over heels for someone and then looking at them one day in the not too distant future and realizing that spark is gone. Realizing that, holy shit, I'd rather be alone right now. My cup overfloweth. I've felt like an asshole every time the feeling has come over me in a relationship. Which is why I carefully vet anyone I'm interested in. I've had enough emotional flings to realize it can be a shit deal for both parties, so after my last relationship I vowed I was going to try to never set someone up for that.

For example. I have a coworker. She's got trouble written all over her. Single, has two kids. Tattoos (blech!) Energetic, crazy personality. Has an on again off again engagement with this guy who no one at work has ever met because he refuses to come to events with her as a couple.

To put it bluntly, I could have her if I wanted her. She gets a little liquor in her and she turns in to a bad girl with shocking rapidity. At a cowokers wedding a couple of weeks ago I had to keep removing her hands from under my clothes. I'm not super unique in this regard, she gets handsy with anyone she's attracted to. But I know if I chose to capitalize on this, it'd be the easiest lay of my life.

And I won't do it. Because she's got trouble written all over her. Because she's attractive and I'm only really attracted to that and how randy she is. Because I hate tattoos. Because she has kids. Because she has a fiance. Because I'd be taking advantage of a woman who is just throwing herself out there every time she gets drunk as a sort of way to fuck with her asshole fiance. Because, honestly, her personality can be like sand paper to me sometimes with her cheeriness, loudness, energy, aggressiveness.....etc....Because, at the end of the day I'm not actually attracted to her, I'm just attracted to the idea of sex. And I don't play that way. I got another woman in the office I've been flirting with for years now. May have even missed my window with her at one point. But she has kids, has been divorced, has a boyfriend that treats her real well. I'm actually really attracted to her but again.....it's mostly the idea of sex and I'm grown enough to realize that.

When I run in to a woman who I'm attracted to for more than the idea of bedding them.....when I'm attracted to them just for the chance to hang out.....that's when I'll make a real move. That's all shit I can largely gauge and figure out without ever actually dating someone.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2018, 12:20:51 am by nenjin »
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dragdeler

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Re: Being "scared" of relationships
« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2018, 01:40:51 am »

-snip-
« Last Edit: January 18, 2019, 01:49:46 pm by dragdeler »
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Retropunch

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Re: Being "scared" of relationships
« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2018, 02:42:54 am »

He's on the spectrum of how people deal with relationships. Trying to make him some outlier to be ignored isn't fair to him or the OP.
Quote

Whilst dragdeler's approach is on the spectrum of how people deal with relationships, saying things like:
I think women are mean, never have I been told what essentially boils down to "it's exhausting to follow you, so please shut up", except by women that meant something to me.
Isn't a way to deal with relationships, it's just being bitter after having a string of bad breaks. I don't think dragdeler is an asshole for saying so or anything, but I could conversely say that I've never had someone willing to go as far for me as someone that I've been in a close relationship with - my ex took a 6 hour drive after doing a 12 hour shift on an emergency ward just to surprise me as she knew I was having the worst week - I've got great friends, but none would go that far for me. A lot of people here just sound as though they've had some really bad relationships, so all I'm saying is that you can have some amazing ones too.

I view everyone (even Nenjin :p) on this forum as friends - I post on here daily and it's the only place I do so, and so on a serious note, I'd like to ask one thing; if anyone is using the 'I'm much happier being alone' as an excuse, please please ditch it and confront your issues. Some of you will honestly want to live a life alone and that's fine, but everyone I know personally who was like that in their twenties and early thirties is having a really tough time in their late 30s and 40s, and all of them were using the 'I want to live my life and not let anyone else ruin it' as a defence rather than a reality. Again, small sample size etc, but every. single. one.

No one is right or wrong, but they haven't written love stories since the stone ages as a marketing ploy, and out of the 7 billion people on the planet there will be people you match with well. Don't get consumed with bitterness, and look further than where you were previously looking if you had no luck.
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KittyTac

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Re: Being "scared" of relationships
« Reply #12 on: June 21, 2018, 02:52:55 am »

I don't want to risk ruining my life. No. I will live alone. I'm not good with IRL conversations, so I won't succeed even if I wanted to.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2018, 02:54:28 am by KittyTac »
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dragdeler

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Re: Being "scared" of relationships
« Reply #13 on: June 21, 2018, 02:57:59 am »

-snip-
« Last Edit: January 18, 2019, 01:49:30 pm by dragdeler »
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dragdeler

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Re: Being "scared" of relationships
« Reply #14 on: June 21, 2018, 06:27:16 am »

-snip-
« Last Edit: January 18, 2019, 01:45:19 pm by dragdeler »
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