I guess there is a first time for everything. In my 40s, I actually have a girlfriend for the first time. A woman actually put up with me for more than a couple dates and really wants to be with me. It did not really seem likely ever to happen. It did not seem like she would be the one to land that position.
So this is unchartered territory for me. In a land I never expected to need to explore. (Well, not since my teens.) So, this ought to be an interesting adventure.
My imposter syndrome screams that Fiona* still has no idea what she is getting into because she is high on oxytocin and dopamine and long deprived of them. Once those wear off, she will realize her mistake.
I have lived alone for a decade. And just a roommate for another decade prior. OK, most of that was with my father, but after the first few years, he stopped trying to control me as a child because… well, I was too independent.
This woman I have been seeing has needs. I enjoy the cuddling and kissing. It may not be an every day need for me like it is her.
The scariest thing about all this is the disruption to routines, shifting priorities, and juggling my deadlines.
I don’t know what I want from a significant other. The idea of being in a relationship sounds great but I can never find someone who makes that idea seem worthwhile. link
It’s like falling in love with a fancy sports car. It’s beautiful, it’s fast, it’s sexy, it’s loud. All the things you want. But it’s more than just what you want. It’s also expensive, bad for the environment, you worry too much about making sure it doesn’t get damaged. Yeah going with a pretty decent mid range car might be settling, but getting that perfect sports car with all of those aforementioned problems is also settling, in a way. There is never going to be a perfect car, but there will be one that is right for you. And her problems won’t feel like a burden, but just part of the joys of car ownership. Like rotating tires and getting a new paint job when she hits middle age because shes got a bit of hail damage. link
This is why we need to spend more research money on sex robots. Programmable humans. Replicants – the pleasure models. Let’s make it happen before 2030 link
I tend to go with the safe picks in dating. My imposter syndrome dictates that I feel undeserving of good things. That generous, beautiful, intelligent woman falls completely out of my league. There is no way she would be interested in a geek, freak, and all around reject like myself. Her laughter at my jokes sounds hollow with platitude.
Friends express disappointment in my picks. They picture me with the generous, beautiful, intelligent woman. Instead I barely muster the courage to handle the nice, homely, average woman.
It will never work because how can one build a relationship on a facade?
Found this amazing description of me from an otherwise lame article in my alma mater’s school paper:
The Awkward Guy
This dude is always the out of place friend in a group of spring breakers and is usually found in his hotel watching television. He has little to no social life and usually taken advantaged of because he is super nice. Due to the awkward guy being a push over, he is usually found surrounded by arrogant guys who boss him around. He doesn’t drink or smoke and most likely has no game with the girls. The awkward guy usually never goes out to party during the school semester.
I never went to the typical Spring Break things. Supercrowded beach locations never seemed like my idea of fun. At the time, MTV had extensive coverage of the relatively close beach where the college kids thronged. Seeing those crowds in high school and college, I knew better than to allow anyone to drag me there. Overpriced hotels + alcohol + being awkward = waste.
During the school semester, I would tag along to a party and designated drive. I was more likely to go if I had run across some girl I liked there. Often enough, I would run across her again to make it worth it. But, yeah, I had no game.
She launched a thousand ships. She is the archetype of the woman who a man scapegoats in his revision of history to account for the idiocy of men.
I have had a few Helens. When attracted to a woman, I become more intelligent and helpful. They have me wrapped around their pinkie and get me to do things I normally avoid. Like, I do not know how to dance, so getting me to go to prom was insanely crazy. One of the firsts asked me to go with her and she is the only reason why I did with only a week to prepare. Another got me involved in trying to be an organizer as her “lieutenant.” Thankfully, most of these girls never knew the extent to which they manipulated me.
But these Helens mostly all impacted me between 15 and 25. So, I made the mistake of thinking I was past all that.
The latest, let’s call her Briseis, had me wrapped around her pinkie without me realizing what was even happening. I am an idiot. I don’t date. Instead I collect beautiful women who would make fantastic partners, never venture into dating, never discuss it, and then when she fades from my life let the feelings fade with it. This is not the idiot part as I intentionally use this to keep from getting hurt. The idiot part was I somehow opened up to her way more than I should, I think because she was a Helen. Not just once, but over and over with how I felt about her specifically not very specific. She sussed out what was going on. The wound hurt. She felt it better to know than wonder. I… don’t. I thought at the time I was just allowing her to become a great friend, but really I veered off the path into the Black Forest.
This post was inspired because her namesake is another character from the Iliad. I was going to write a post about her with her named Helen when I realized that I have many.
Apparently my heartbeat is too fast? Every woman I have ever kissed has commented on it. That’s only 7, so that sample is pretty small. Plus it tends to be years in between. So I guess there is some excitement at the prospect.
I’m only reminded because of a comment the other night from my date. In overthinking the whole thing, I landed on her remark.
Schrödinger’s cat is a thought experiment, sometimes described as a paradox, devised by Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger in 1935. It illustrates what he saw as the problem of the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics applied to everyday objects. The scenario presents a cat that may be simultaneously both alive and dead [until being observed by the external universe collapses the system into one or the other], a state known as a quantum superposition, as a result of being linked to a random subatomic event that may or may not occur. The thought experiment is also often featured in theoretical discussions of the interpretations of quantum mechanics.
It might be fair to say I am in love with uncertainty. Maybe that is why I turn to books about physics or cosmology when work has me extremely stressed? I thought that it was because I would overwhelm my brain with something else. But maybe it is because I so very love the principle of things existing in superpositions until we force them into a position.
Until one asks out the girl, it is in a superposition state. The yes/no simultaneously exists until I ask. That trite “at least you asked” when she says no never comforts me. I am hurt because I was rejected. Here’s the thing… When she says yes, I get really terrified. So the only time I am happy is in the state of uncertainty where I do not know. All the possibilities are on the table. I can dream about where it could go without being committed to a state I cannot handle.
Kind of think the post is stupid. We want a partner to be ALL OF THESE. But the hypothetical is: “If you had to choose, which of these would you most want your partner to be?”
For me, the order of importance is:
Friend. Specifically, the Must Friend (support group) from the Dunbar on Friends post. Principal advisor, shared social activities, and communication are the main thing I seek.
Lover. Initially I put this last, but I guess maybe it is slightly more important than Homie. I’ve gone years between women and have no expectation with the ones I date. There is more utilitarian value to this one than the Homie, so it gets a slight edge.
Homie. Keeps me accountable, accompanies me on activities, clicks with my other homies. I laughed at this one because I other than keeping me accountable, this one is useless to me. My “activities” are things I can do alone like reading, watching a movie, watching sports, eating out. Sure, they are better with others (even reading: book clubs), but I do not go out of my way to bring others into the activity. And I outside of weekly hanging out with a brunch group, I do not have much social activity AND times when I do, I start shedding activities because I am stressed to the point of becoming an asshole by it all.
Which begs the question… Do I really need a wife or girlfriend when I’m not really interested in two of the three?
We all have different needs in a relationship. For some, sharing common interests is a must; others need their partner to always have their back; and for some, being sexually compatible is imperative.
R&B star R. Kelly famously sung of having a lady who fulfilled all his needs in his hit song Homie Lover Friend. But what if you couldn’t have all three?
Check out our definitions below then tell us: If you had to choose, which of these would you most want your partner to be – your homie, your lover or your friend?
1. They’ll keep it real
A homie will have your back no matter what, but won’t shy away from telling you – in no uncertain terms and sometimes with a lack of sensitivity – if they think you’re making a bad decision. Their delivery can be a bit harsh…
Relationships provide a lot of benefits. Someone to share your Netflix account with, to talk with about your day, to take care of you when you’re not feeling well. Our social relationships positively affect our physical health, including buffering against high blood pressure and heart disease, and improving mental health by decreasing depression, anxiety and substance abuse. It all adds up to building a healthy, meaningful life together with someone.
A good relationship also provides a partner who helps you become a better person. Researchers refer to this experience as self-expansion. It’s your relationship’s ability to provide you with opportunities for self-growth. Whether you learn new photography skills, develop a new perspective on politics, gain a new identity such as “organic gardener” or simply feel like a better, more capable person, self-expansion has benefits.
Relationships that include more self-expansion are more satisfying, more committed, have higher levels of passionate love, experience less boredom, and have partners who are less likely to pay attention to other potential partners and less likely to cheat. (If you’re wondering how much of this valuable quality you have in your relationship, check out the self-expansion quiz.)