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Do you think?

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Bella_D

Guest
Thankyou for responding to my post Kat. Its always nice discussing life and the universe with you:)

I would say the situation more mystifies me than anything, it doesn't really feel uncomfortable; indeed, it's probably very comforting in many ways because there is no commitment. When there was, he was anxious and moody. I was always anxious because I always felt like the bottom was going to drop out.

Yes, I remember that you told us once you think your YM is narcissisitic.....was It full blown NPD, or just narcissistic in his tendencies? I don't remember.
Narcissists do become moody and even cruel when you are too close. At arms length, they seem to be ok but if you're a lover, the cycle of `pull-push' can continue for as long as you're willing to tolerate it.

Bottom line, you're doing what it takes to manage the relationship on an emotional level, as most people do. I agree with what you said about humans being highly adaptable. I only urge you to consider the fact that you have great coping skills and an amazing ability to adapt, & maybe it doesn't mean that this is ALL you can adapt to.

There is no question in my mind that we genuinely love each other and that we enrich each other's lives. What is clear to me is that my life would be even far more enriched if I had a partner who I could depend on, but could I handle it? There's the rub.

Well on a friendship level, I'm sure the relationship is mutually meaningful and loving. I dunno Kat; I know you'll be ok no matter what, but all I can say is that is really great to get into a space with a lover where you are truly emotionally nurtured and safe, and not always `in your head' wondering whats happening and whats wrong with you. Its very special letting exposing every vulnerability and having another person devote themselves to you in response to what they see........rather than just catering to another person's moods and inconsistency.
Kat, its just good getting back to being someone who feels and not just thinks because I feel safe to feel, and have trust that my feelings count.

Dunno if I made much sense. Anyhow, its good talking to you, as always.
 
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GoldieCat

Guest
kat7 said:
Goldie said something interesting earlier in this thread I think about about a relationship being there to support you so you can expend your energy on other things. Well, I feel this relationship does that for me right now. Certainly not in any conventional way, but it's still there...I know he feels the same way.

I think Tinks and Bella D are seeing things similarly to the way I do...

I don't quite know how to respond to what you said above Kat. Because umm...I really do not think what you think you have qualifies for what I was describing. Just because someone is able to -tolerate- an unstable situation in an ongoing fashion does not make it equivalent to a profoundly satisfying and secure relationship. The last thing Bella says above is so true - there is just no substitute for the real thing.

We have mentioned on this site over and over, and again in this thread, that keeping inferior placeholders around reduces the likelihood of finding something truly satisfying. I mean...your situation is in its basic outlines is real similar to Polly's (or at least the last status of it I saw discussed here), and by and large she got the same advice.

ALL of us OW know the tragedy of losing the "good parts" of someone who is otherwise not a good choice for a partner, that's just life. Even though I wanted to leave my ex-husband, there were things about him I anticipated missing. Well, it turns out that my honey has most of what he had that was any good, plus a LOT MORE of what I REALLY wanted. Holding onto an old dysfunctional love interest is similar to being in a monkey trap. Why can't people just let go?

It's your life Kat, we know that, but these are the things we're seeing and we think you'd be better off doing things differently...'cause we'd like to see you happy, not just coping. Ya know?

I think Tink's posts get right to the point, she said it all VERY well. I'd read those again...
 
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1love

Guest
Goldie... I have to say, you are so helpful and have such good advice and food for thought. I really got something out of reading this thread and all of your posts... unfortunately, the whole "committmentphobe" label seems a bit familiar to me... YIKES! :eek:

LOL!

I think I have that whole unavailable parent thing going on and did not even realized it for a long time. SO thanks for giving me a lot of information to process.
 
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Bella_D

Guest
Yeah, I feel the same 1love....Goldie's posts are real gems; worth reading many times over in my opinion.

It's always easy to say this in hindsight, but finding love takes ultimate faith and loads of sifting, which translates into letting go of real people who you may love. Thats the hard part, but thats also what it takes.

I believe its easy to get `stuck' if you have a big heart and a capacity for understanding. And yet those very qualities make you a prime candidate for something much better....unmeasurable happiness with the right mate.
Maybe thats why we all push kat so? Shes such an amazing lady. So intelligent and wise and giving.

We want to see you happy in the way we are happy, kat! I know you're very self sustaining woman, but theres more joy to be had in our very short lives that what you're experiencing right now...and you deserve it.
 
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GoldieCat

Guest
Awww, thank you ladies! :)

Real happiness is available for all of us...we really do have to get out of our own way sometimes in order to take the steps to get it. If we're not in an -actually- helpless position in life (like being a hostage or something), we do have the power. I'm just being a cheerleader for the fabulous person in all of you that deserves the best.

:)
 
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intime

Guest
Hi Kat,

Interesting the difference of opinion here. I am also kind of commitmentphobic, I think it stems from the whole 'parents weren't there for us' thing. As adults it's our responsibility to try to overcome these feelings. In the case of P, I don't think it's the age. I do think that you are in a good place with him. NOT EVERYONE BENEFITS FROM THE TRADITIONAL TYPE OF RELATIONSHIP. Some of us walk a crooked line. I love living life a little differently from the norm. Whatever works.
 
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GoldieCat

Guest
You know, the whole "I'm unconventional" and "I'm not the norm" thing can be a smokescreen.

I would hardly say that my relationship (or many of the others here), is "traditional." We are hardly "conventional" and hardly "the norm." But we ARE happy and solid. You don't have to throw that baby out with the "traditional" bathwater.

When there's a lot of talk about how a footloose and non-secure, drama-filled relationship is just soooo wonderfully freeing, well - ask yourself. Are you really happy? Then why all the rumination? Why the endless reconsideration and analysis? Why all the pain?

A lot of highschoolers still think that if you're in a lot of drama then you MUST be "deep" and meaningful. A darn sight more so than those who are happy!

Happiness does not have to mean acceptance of whatever society thinks is normal. Happiness means HAPPINESS, however it looks in your life. Maybe you're happy with 2 husbands and a dog...whatever. But the PROOF IS IN THE PUDDING. If there's still a sense that you are not content, that there's a constant wondering if the person you want wants you, if the threat of loss is always there, if things are a struggle...then SOMETHING is not working.

Doesn't have anything to do with tradition, or not.
 
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intime

Guest
Goldie,

In the case of Kat, I think what she's saying is there really is no threat of loss. She's content in what she has. Saying goodbye has no definite date with anyone. Death, relocation, changes in ones life, there's no concrete date. If you and your beau last a lifetime, that's wonderful. You will part at some point though and many people could obsess about it and ruin a good thing, even though they're in a good place. My YM says I will make my worst fears come true if I voice any sort of insecurity, probably because I have no reason to feel that way. It's my problem, really.
 
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intime

Guest
Oh and Trish,

They find you because you let them. You're ripe for the picking. I don't mean at all to be insulting. I was ripe when I met YM. He knew just what to do to get my attention. But, another woman in a different place, maybe not into ym would say thanks, but no thanks. You know what I mean?
 
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GoldieCat

Guest
Ok, I don't see any point at all in considering the parting part before it happens. Yeah, every single relationship ends. So many use that as an excuse not to participate, or to settle with the first thing that walks by. In any case I think the inevitable ending of ALL relationships is an irrelevant issue here.

You have a good point that maybe the victory here is Kat not obsessing about potential loss now - but...we are encouraging her to not stop there.

Metaphorically speaking - just stopping the bleeding does not necessarily equal health. Just not-losing a "partner" does not a happy relationship define.

Nobody said that goodbyes had a set schedule, but we don't see the utility of keeping the system clogged with old dysfunction that has to be continually worked around. There's nothing wrong with saying goodbye and saying hello again later after we've TRULY moved on.
 

kat7

Active member
Yes, I remember that you told us once you think your YM is narcissisitic.....was It full blown NPD, or just narcissistic in his tendencies? I don't remember.
Narcissists do become moody and even cruel when you are too close. At arms length, they seem to be ok but if you're a lover, the cycle of `pull-push' can continue for as long as you're willing to tolerate it.

Bella, I think he just has narcissist tendencies. We're all self-serving to a degree; he's very out in the open about it...no surprises with him. And yes, I have full consciousness of the push-pull thing going on at this point in the relationship, and in fact often use it to my advantage. It's taught me something about my own management style. That may sound kind of pathetic to some, but I see it go on in many commited/married people as well, so I enjoy the fact that I've "figured it out" and can plan accordingly so to speak. :)

Bottom line, you're doing what it takes to manage the relationship on an emotional level, as most people do. I agree with what you said about humans being highly adaptable. I only urge you to consider the fact that you have great coping skills and an amazing ability to adapt, & maybe it doesn't mean that this is ALL you can adapt to.

Yup. I agree with you. I am the queen of adaptation, otherwise, you know what? I wouldn't be alive. My own cleverness helped me survive a depressed, narcissistic mother and an alcoholic father.

Well on a friendship level, I'm sure the relationship is mutually meaningful and loving. I dunno Kat; I know you'll be ok no matter what, but all I can say is that is really great to get into a space with a lover where you are truly emotionally nurtured and safe, and not always `in your head' wondering whats happening and whats wrong with you. Its very special letting exposing every vulnerability and having another person devote themselves to you in response to what they see........rather than just catering to another person's moods and inconsistency.
Kat, its just good getting back to being someone who feels and not just thinks because I feel safe to feel, and have trust that my feelings count.

Dunno if I made much sense. Anyhow, its good talking to you, as always.

Bella_D, can't tell you how much I appreciate your supportive comments. It's obvious that you are a woman with an amazing capacity for empathy, and your personal growth has been enormous I bet. I have spent the past 15 years or so trying to get out of my head and into my body to tap into just exactly how I am feeling. The signals stopped at the neck for the first 40 years of my life! Going to massage school in 1989 was my first foray into a world where I could just really feel...getting touched every day created a window through which I could see how much I had been restraining, resisting, deflecting...basically just "holding it together" for so long...in my marriage, my life, my entire existance. What a relief it was to cry and cry and be in a supportive environment. You just reminded me of that experience with your words. And that IS a wonderful feeling. I'm happy that you have that.

In some kind of minor capacity, I do have that with P. He really is the first man in my life who has (emotionally) supported me at the times that he was capable. Sadly, no other man has, and I know that's something I've hung on to because a little taste was so much more than the vast chasm of no support I've had most of my life. But there are so many times when he is not capable because of his own mental illness (depression) his narcissism, and the on-again off-again nature of our relationship. The good news is that I've reconnected with some family members over the last couple of years and my close friendships are so much stronger than they've ever been (a result of me being more available to them and for them,) that I now have more support than I've ever had in my entire life. That has freed me up emotionally to be less attached to this relationship, and that's a good thing. Anyway, this is a lot of blah, blah, blah to say that I don't feel that dysfunctional pull to remain abnormally attached. However, it doesn't mean I've let go either, and I hear you and I hear Goldie and Tink too and appreciate what you all are saying. I really do. Not only that, I appreciate you saying it.


Just because someone is able to -tolerate- an unstable situation in an ongoing fashion does not make it equivalent to a profoundly satisfying and secure relationship. The last thing Bella says above is so true - there is just no substitute for the real thing.

Goldie, I've never implied that my relationship is profoundly satisfying, and it's obviously not secure in the sense that I have a commitment. But I wouldn't necessarily label it as "unstable." If anything, I'd classify it as a very stable friendship, but that the romantic component of it is just undefined, and therefore a little mysterious at times. There's no particular drama. In fact, when we get together, there is just enormous enjoyment now. Unconditional love. We try to let it be a vacation from our "normal" lives and spend a few days eating really good food, giving and receiving massages, exploring our mutual ongoing sexual chemistry, enjoying similar interests and laughing our asses off. There is no angst involved anymore. That's actually why I choose to stay in it. IT'S DAMN ENJOYABLE!!! Is it a given for the future? No, of course not. But is there in anyone's relationship? People make promises and commitments and hope for the best, but we never really know. So right now, I'm having a good run. I guess I always think: How many other 55 yr old women are getting this good sh!t from a 27 yr old man? From that perspective, it makes sense to stay in it, shallow as it may be.

We have mentioned on this site over and over, and again in this thread, that keeping inferior placeholders around reduces the likelihood of finding something truly satisfying. I mean...your situation is in its basic outlines is real similar to Polly's (or at least the last status of it I saw discussed here), and by and large she got the same advice.

I disagree Goldie, and here's why: I'm dealing with a person who is driven and ambitious who has just finished his masters in public health and is going to Duke University to do research. Someone with a myriad of interests and who intellectually and emotionally challenges me. Someone who is interested in his own growth and has the capacity to map out his life to achieve his goals. In the relationship arena, I believe he is as lost as I am, but in every other aspect of his life he's on top of things (as am I.) That's a very different scenario than Polly's situation.

ALL of us OW know the tragedy of losing the "good parts" of someone who is otherwise not a good choice for a partner, that's just life. Even though I wanted to leave my ex-husband, there were things about him I anticipated missing. Well, it turns out that my honey has most of what he had that was any good, plus a LOT MORE of what I REALLY wanted. Holding onto an old dysfunctional love interest is similar to being in a monkey trap. Why can't people just let go?

To keep therapists employed? ;)

It's your life Kat, we know that, but these are the things we're seeing and we think you'd be better off doing things differently...'cause we'd like to see you happy, not just coping. Ya know?

I can get behind that!!!

When there's a lot of talk about how a footloose and non-secure, drama-filled relationship is just soooo wonderfully freeing, well - ask yourself. Are you really happy? Then why all the rumination? Why the endless reconsideration and analysis? Why all the pain?

Yes, I really am a happy person. Moreso than most people I know. My relationship with P as mentioned, is not drama filled. Sometimes it's exciting, but it's not drama. It's no longer painful (it used to be) but I'm in a peaceful and detached place right now. The endless reconsideration and analysis is my basic nature. If it were not so, I wouldn't be blabbing my a$$ off on this board. I'd be out hunting alligators and making purses. :p
 
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GoldieCat

Guest
kat7 said:
We have mentioned on this site over and over, and again in this thread, that keeping inferior placeholders around reduces the likelihood of finding something truly satisfying. I mean...your situation is in its basic outlines is real similar to Polly's (or at least the last status of it I saw discussed here), and by and large she got the same advice.

I disagree Goldie, and here's why: I'm dealing with a person who is driven and ambitious who has just finished his masters in public health and is going to Duke University to do research. Someone with a myriad of interests and who intellectually and emotionally challenges me. Someone who is interested in his own growth and has the capacity to map out his life to achieve his goals. In the relationship arena, I believe he is as lost as I am, but in every other aspect of his life he's on top of things (as am I.) That's a very different scenario than Polly's situation.

Kat, you missed the point on this one. My comparison has absolutely nothing to do with the outer facts, or how on-track the man is with his work life.

The similarity is in the women not being able to let go of a man who keeps drawing her in, yet does not offer a personal relationship to her that meets her needs. She allows herself to be at his convenience despite that. That's basically what I meant.

You may have fun and wonderful times, but - again, he's claiming psychic real estate that keeps you from getting what you need. Just what it looks like to me.

(Maybe he's fine, and you're fine, in every other aspect of life. But those areas of life are not the substance of your relationship. In the aspects that count between a man and a woman -having- a relationship, things are missing. I'm not saying those things don't -inform- or -enrich- a relationship but they are not the relationship itself.)

So, same advice as she was given, basically...
 

kat7

Active member
GoldieCat said:
Kat, you missed the point on this one. My comparison has absolutely nothing to do with the outer facts, or how on-track the man is with his work life.

Goldie, I understand...but her basic issues in the relationship are not my basic issues at all. There are no financial issues, no work ethic issues...and these are sort of fundamental to her problems, understandably so. She also has major commitment issues, and I'm not saying I want one at all!! If anything, I'm saying I have commitment issues.

The similarity is in the women not being able to let go of a man who keeps drawing her in, yet does not offer a personal relationship to her that meets her needs. She allows herself to be at his convenience despite that. That's basically what I meant.

I do hear you, and I do appreciate what you are saying, I really do. It's what I need to hear. I would say however, that I'm not "at his convenience." Not at all. In fact, he goes out of his way to see me, not the opposite. The relationship would not be happening otherwise. He has gone out of his way to see me all of 2005, and '06 is starting the same way. He must travel to see me, and he makes the effort. What do you make of that? I can only conclude that he wants to hang out with me!

You may have fun and wonderful times, but - again, he's claiming psychic real estate that keeps you from getting what you need. Just what it looks like to me.

Again, I hear you, but don't you think I'm benefiting from seeing him also? Because every time I see him, I ALWAYS feel better. I do pay attention to that, and find meaning in that. It's part of what mystifies me.

(Maybe he's fine, and you're fine, in every other aspect of life. But those areas of life are not the substance of your relationship. In the aspects that count between a man and a woman -having- a relationship, things are missing. I'm not saying those things don't -inform- or -enrich- a relationship but they are not the relationship itself.)

So now, I'm going to make a list: What do I have, What am I missing? This is helpful.....THANK YOU!!! You know, I've thought about this in my head, but never really laid it out on paper, which is sometimes helpful.
 
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Bella_D

Guest
Again, I hear you, but don't you think I'm benefiting from seeing him also? Because every time I see him, I ALWAYS feel better. I do pay attention to that, and find meaning in that. It's part of what mystifies me.

Hi Kat!
I'm just wondering what do you think of the theory about romantic attachments `feeling' more deeply meaningful when they are with someone who resembles your dominant parent.... the one who's needs you most catered to as a child? They say the `meaning' in a relationship with someone resembling that parent comes partly from comfort (i mean you spent 18 years in a certain dynamic), and partly because we project the importance of that parent onto the partner resembling her or him.

I always found some truth in it myself.... Don't know if its helpful in any practical sense though. Maybe its just information we need to take in when properly assessing our relationships?

At the end of the day, you are who you are. If you grew up with a narcissistic or alcholic parent, you probably know how to cope with & love people like that. Those relationships may have meaning for you which seem unfathomable to others. Doesn't mean you can't have relationships with other types of people though.
 

kat7

Active member
Bella D

It's true, P resembles my mother on so many levels...not physically :eek:...but SO MANY characteristics in common. That fact has certainly not escaped my radar, although I was two years into it before I saw that clearly. I do understand that I'm trying to heal the effed up dynamic between my mother and I through P. Of course, he's a much more complex character than my mother, part of why he's so intriguing. But I've got the connection. Still, I don't think it defines the entire relationship by any stretch...I still love P for many other reasons.

But fair enough, your comment on having other relationships with other types of people is well taken. I think I need to do just that, and by dating others, I'm attempting to do so. So far however, three quality guys don't do a thing for me, nor I, apparently, for them. Perhaps I'm not far enough along in my development to attract anything healthier yet.

I'll chip away at it!
Thanks. K
 

TALLBLONDECUTE

Here I am...
Letting Go!

Kat dating others? But then you keep (or P) coming back to each other. Yes, nice he makes the "effort" to see u (expenses, time, etc.) then you have a few beautifull days together and he is gone!

Why is it so hard to let him go? Yes let him go, whatever little relationship you have with him, even if you do not want to call it that, call it connection, call it whatever you want but he is still affecting your life that you are not moving forward...

I think you are cheating yourself, even though you try to rationalize how great P. has been in your life. Done deal, he was good while it lasted and time to move on.. Isn't time to let him go completely?

You have said the until you find another guy that meets the standard you are looking for then you would....... But would you?

If you do not break total contact with P. it would be very hard for you to allow another man in your life, you end up comparing the two, contrasting, and analyzing... and then P. remains in your life. Dating others may not be the solution while you still hold on to P.

I think you are trying to convince yourself that what you have with P. (whatever it is) is a good thing. I disagree. I have been in your shoes and what worked best for me was letting go, it was very difficult to say the least... But letting go 100%... Out of my life and on to a new chapter... Don't you want to do that?

P. makes you alive, makes you young, makes you feel, but then he does not fulfil you as YOU so wish... A permanet one on one relationship? Or any other desire....

Sorry, I may sound so hard, it is not my intention to hurt your feelings. I just want you to have a reality check, that even if you do not have much contact with him, he is still affecting your life that you are not able to "let go"... When you do, and he is out of your life completely then you will see a different you......

Yes, giving advice is so much easier than applying it...

Please take my words as food for thoughts!

Wish you well,

Rosa
 
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intime

Guest
But you're wrong. He does fulfill her. Not how some might want or need. I understand because for a large part, I am living kind of the same thing.

Why give something up that makes you happy? Move on to what? I've never met anyone like my YM. I'm thankful every day for the experience.
 

kat7

Active member
Intime, I agree...there is fulfillment on some level for both he and I, or we wouldn't stay in it...many things in my life are a result of knowing him. Many good things. Things that effect my life in a daily way. We are very supportive friends. He counts on me, I count on him. Even though we actually SEE each other rather sparcely at times, we talk frequently, often daily. He offers me a perspective that no one else does in my life. THAT, I value. Strange as it sounds, I do believe I've matured as a result of being in relation with him, and I know he feels the same.

Rosa, I appreciate what you're saying. But in my defense, I will tell you that I have broken things completely with him twice. Once for six months...zero contact. And once for three months, again, zero contact. I never met anyone else in those breaks who I liked as much, and I'm not meeting anyone now either. I'm absolutely open to it, because I'm staying here, and he's not coming back here. Should I spend the next five-ten years or maybe the rest of my life with no meaningful male-female relationship (which I did for six whole years once) or should I take what I can, while I can?

You know, I did a dating service once and did extensive testing....you'll laugh...they said I was only compatible with 3% of their data base, and that most people were about 40-50%. Three percent. That might tell you what a freak I am! :eek:
 
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Bella_D

Guest
Hi Kat; I hope you're not getting tired of all this scrutiny:) I know it can be a bit awkward having everyone comment on your life, your psychology., and your relationship....hopefully you're holding up ok!

I hope you don't mind me asking such a negative question, but what will you do when he starts sleeping with other women, if he's not already? Would this exceed your limits of tolerance, or would it be ok with you? Do you think he'd be honest with them and with you?
 
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