Author Topic: Heist on Something....  (Read 1688 times)

sKePTiKal

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Re: Heist on Something....
« Reply #15 on: November 21, 2017, 06:54:13 AM »
Sometimes I CAN over-analyze things, putting myself into a kind of uncertain paralysis. Sometimes, it's way better when I just notice how I feel with someone. Are we just talking - telling our stories - and being open with each other? Admitting mistakes, but stretching to grow? And comfortable in that!

Even at more mature ages, people DO grow - and the number of "deal breakers" for a relationship seem to decrease. And in that case, one doesn't want to shop for someone "exactly" like oneself. Mike and I mostly had the important things in common, but not all of them. In some ways he was my opposite. And opposites do attract. And a relationship is like compost... it should nurture growth in the partners. This far down the road, I can say that the things I loved the most about him were precisely the things that drove me the nuttiest.

If I'd had a list of criteria I was matching up, and trying to evaluate him based on that list... I wouldn't have had so much fun, felt so protected and secure, or loved in return. There were surprising things show up in that relationship too. As much as he seemed to "need" me with him all the time - he was my super-bestest supporter to grow autonomy, to grow into myself.

My advice at this point is keep your "list" short & simple. You know what you absolutlely do NOT want to deal with. You probably also know what your major needs are. Focus on those... let yourself enter into conversation and time spent together as completely as possible and pay attention to how you feel. Are you excited to see him? or nervous? relaxed or wary? Are you having fun together and able to take care of each other while telling your stories (this is a good exercise...) or is there an instant critique, analysis and judgement?

What happens if you beg off a date to do something important to you - like writing over the weekend? Or if you want to change up the current routine and do something different?

Just my thoughts at this point, Hops.

I think you're doing fine. Just enjoy the process for now. Let the "filling out of forms" and ticking off boxes happen a lilttle later.
Success is never final, failure is never fatal.

lighter

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Re: Heist on Something....
« Reply #16 on: November 22, 2017, 07:36:41 AM »
Hope:

You are right to back away from expectations, and continue shopping relationships, IME. 

I had a full body stomach flip when I read this man kinda sorta accused you of having hard spots.  Not that any of us should or could be all all soft marshmallows.... it's that he had you in defensive mode.  That's familiar to me, and a red flag.

Im also confused about his wanting to be married or not.  I thought he didn't want it, but now he says he does? 

Stay busy with your own life if you really want more with this man.  Don't show all your cards..... I don't trust him right now, mostly bc he left you confused the first time you asked him about dating other people, but.....

You're right to express your feelings then pay attention to his responses.  Gather information then decide where to file him. 

You don't have to be his ocd twin or a chef or retired with him for this to be right, IMO.  If it's workable and you both want it, the differences will work for you.  I have the feeling he's feeling interviewed, and maybe it's uncomfortable?  Not sure, but you deserve some fun and to pointing tummy flips.

Relax.

Pay attention, and show him what you look like in joyful happily busy mode.  Let the interview mode end for a while.  Don't be available every time he rings or asks to see you if he asks without notice.

Date other people, and remember to seek your joy and have your interests and activities ongoing as priority.  Men like partners with something going on, besides them.

You're so on point and caring.  Please don't let that take your attention.  Pull up, get some emotional distance on this, and feel free to borrow our filters if needed.

Breath, Hops.  You are so bright, and talented, and worthy of a great relationship.  Think about what YOU want.

Lighter


Hopalong

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Re: Heist on Something....
« Reply #17 on: November 23, 2017, 04:49:29 PM »
I don't know how to thank all of you enough. Your experience, pragmatism, and observations of different perspectives on the same narrative are just mind-boggling. If there's any example of the cumulative value of the trust and intelligence shared (and increased) on this board...I nominate you!

Tupp, you pointed out two things that were hugely helpful. One, you caught me losing track of my self-esteem under the pressure of a new relationship. Dunno about the Marvellous Me wall  :D but thank you for your kind and reinforcing praise of what I've done well. I do underestimate my achievements and spend a bloody awful amount of time catalogueing my weaknesses. Thank you.

The other was the acknowledgement of his honesty. He had to be asked a very direct question before he answered unambiguously...but still, he did. And that is a good thing, regardless of how it ends up for us. I think future conversations will be easier because he made that choice.

Skep, thanks for reminding me not to obsess with the tick-boxes. And to be more present, and confident, while still changing things up while I observe. (I think one thing that accelerated my anxiety was thinking that once we'd started "making out" I thought he was ready to go straight to a kind of domestic dating...making food together, evening with movie, etc.) I am not THAT comfortable defaulting to that all the time because we haven't been in other situations at all together. Biggest thing we've done outside of each other's homes has been a couple dinners out, and a trip to a home store. I know how eager he is to get cozy and begin a semblance of  shared life, but I need a lot more exploration before we default to that outline of every date. My T said it's important to see him in a lot of different contexts, keep observing...etc. After he gets back from his Tgiving trip, I'll come up with another kind of activity to propose.

Lighter, you zeroed in on the most problematic thing. I agree about the red flag of him making a negative observation with weak-evidence criticism of "hard spots." It was stupid and unfair and it did make me feel defensive. My biggest doubt about a long-term fit for us is that I believe his perfectionist, engineer personality means (or his comments have revealed...no disrespect to engineers) that he's almost trying to "spec" his ideal future mate. She should cook. She should be sweet all the way through. On the brighter side, when I challenged him on that on the phone later, he said he never should have said that and that he thought it was stupid.

Another positive-negative is that he's willing to answer difficult, challenging questions. Like, when I asked him what his biggest regrets were about his marriage, he acknowledged that his perfectionism hurt her. He gave that example of being unable to let her share in painting a room, except she had his approval to tape down the drop cloth, but not paint. He said he was afraid she wouldn't do it "right." And that she was really upset about it. (Understandably!). What I'm saying is I think he sees this about himself and regrets it (sounds almost OCDish). And, he admits to it. What I worry about it whether it's even within his control.

I also really like your advice to back off, be busy, lighten up, and not be too eager or always available. That shouldn't be a problem because I have trouble adding in two dates a month! After so much time on my own, making adjustments to make room for him is quite difficult. And I do have a lot of other things going on.

I don't know if he feels "interviewed" any more than I do, gotta say. It took him three "interviews" with transparent silly questions before he admitted it wasn't a job interview at all. And he still asks sizing-up questions more than I do.

About the marriage thing. Although the first time (early on) we had that exchange and he said he wanted a "permanent relationship" and I said I did too and for me, that means marriage...he balked a little. But when I gave my reasoning, he immediately seemed to respect it. Now it's a month on and he has changed his terminology. Now he said, "a wife or a permanent partner." I just took that as a sign that he's considering me seriously, and that includes remaining open to the possibility of marriage. I don't think he's manipulating, I think he honestly hadn't thought it through.

One important thing (and a vulnerable one) that he shared over lunch was how inexperienced he is. He was married for 40 years, and faithful. Compared to my round-heeled tally (which I am NOT sharing), there's a big difference. And in a way, that means he's a little naive. I'm touched by that.

We'll see how it goes but I wanted to thank all of you for these potent insights. I don't know how anyone could ever find better help in thinking things through.

With major gratitude,

Hops
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

sKePTiKal

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Re: Heist on Something....
« Reply #18 on: November 23, 2017, 05:52:21 PM »
So glad we could help - while learning ourselves - Hops. I think if you don't think of him as "a solution" to anything, but a human being too... it will help alot.

I'm just having one of those epiphany days. My Thanksgiving is coming starting tomorrow and into Saturday... in the big city (my bugaboo). People I barely know - but like - and I'm hoping I don't embarrass anyone, including myself. Social anxiety again.

And I desperately want to have fun. No holds barred fun. Without casualities.
Success is never final, failure is never fatal.

Hopalong

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Re: Heist on Something....
« Reply #19 on: November 23, 2017, 05:59:11 PM »
Would a visit to the museum help while you're there?

Just to drink deeply of the peace and quiet, and art, to restore you amid all that social interaction?

I hope you DO have fun. And hope there are oysters in the stuffing.

xo
Hops
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

sea storm

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Re: Heist on Something....
« Reply #20 on: November 24, 2017, 10:51:00 PM »
Hi Hops

I have been reading what you say about this new guy. It is so hard to think clearly when one is so attracted to a man. I think it is important to introduce him to at least one of your friends and see what they think. Friends can be more unbiased about the dynamics going on between the two of you. For instance, is the conversation fifty/fifty?  Do his eyes glaze over when he is not the focus of the conversation.  Does he hug too tightly?  How is he about money?  I think this is pretty important. It usually reflects how he would be about sex.
He sounds like a practical shopper who wants a good cook and good mate.  Does he understand the qualities that make you rare and wonderful?  Your whimsy, insight, humor, deep life experiences including tragedy  and joy?

You are a lovely, sensitive woman with tons to offer.  He says he is dating others??? Is he nuts?  This is such a turn off. That is my view and not everyone feels this way. If I was an angel or a little monkey on your shoulder, I would say to you," Tell this guy to call when he knows what he wants "   I think you would say that if life hadn't beaten the crap out of you.

As for the hard glint in your eye?   There are probably fifty thousand nuances to you. Hope so. Banshee, hag, goddess, imp, momma bear. gentle guide, intrepid survivor.  Maybe you like him because he smells like your old uncle and wears red shirts you kind of bond with him right away.  Maybe you haven't heard a good deep male voice for long while and it just plays you like a melting chocolate bar.  It sorta sounds like you are accommodating him.  He has a great image, wealth, power, a big house and money etc and he likes you. Still, go slow.  He sounds a bit boulder booted dear Hopsie. I dont go for playing the field if you meet the one. Being lonely makes a person want to see their soul mate in frogs.

Hope this helps. I have a crummy track record but my parents were married for over forty years. I can just imagine talking to my dad about a guy who was dating other women and sort of juggling them to find the perfect mate for immediate marriage.  Since he loved my mom, I think he would consider that I was taking scraps. Or ask to meet his other girl friends.

I am kind of puritanical and I hope my two cents worth is helpful. You are much loved and revered.

Sea

sea storm

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Re: Heist on Something....
« Reply #21 on: November 24, 2017, 10:53:17 PM »
I forgot to say...., get back to your source and your inner light so that you remember to love yourself. Get the locus of control back to yourself, dear friend. No matter how enthralling he is.

Hopalong

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Re: Heist on Something....
« Reply #22 on: November 25, 2017, 08:26:54 PM »
Sea, I'm pretty blown away by what you've written...thank you.

I have been struggling to get a wise perspective and your advice about letting friends meet him and weigh in is really valuable. If he shies away from doing that, I won't want to continue. He seems oddly naive, as he's only been with one woman for 46 years. And his compulsive engineeritis seems to be driving his "shopping."

But I appreciated so much what you said about seeing and holding on to my own value. It helped. I really do feel pulled back, inside, as in more self protective. And that's a good thing.

He may not mean any harm by his "executive" approach to hunting for a new partner. But it's not leaving a warm impression. He's been out of town and has called twice, so clearly wants to keep the thread alive. But time for a ftf re-evaluation when he gets back, I feel. There's a whole lot of unaware male entitlement. I don't sense any ugly edge to it, just great unawareness. Why would he want to learn what feminism at the core feels like?

Anybody who wants me, though, will have to learn more about that.

I've talked to a few 3D friends about it, and one is as firm as you are about not moving forward if he's still dating others. I think you're both right. He's entitled to "shop" any way that suits him, and I'm equally entitled to protect my heart. She said unless he wants to date me exclusively until we figure it out...I shouldn't date him at all.

One thing I've realized is that if I continue seeing him, one thing needs to change. The reflexive being at each other's homes, to make a meal and watch a movie (and neck) is premature for me. Not scared of it and I've enjoyed these dates. But they do push the intimacy envelope. I've never seen him in any other circumstance except for a few meals out, on our own. I think his rush to re-create domestic life has a lot to do with his loss (he's lost since his wife died). But it also skips over some really important information you can only acquire about someone by being with them in various settings in community.

I'm not puritanical (neither are you) but I am seeing that in a way, I'd like to participate in a slow, moderate-paced courtship kind of thing, before jumping in bed or jumping into a commitment. If he's not up for that (he does seem frantic to find a partner) then we might not be a good match. It may seem old-fashioned and might test his patience, but then again, patience is needed for me.

Not to mention all the other big differences between us. One close friend urges me to not toss him out of my life prematurely. Another is all about strategy to capture him, but she is one who's been unable to be alone.

I DO want a mate if it's possible at this age. I DON'T want to write it off and give it up. But I need to keep my foot on the brake and remember that regardless of age and shriveling opportunities, it still matters to cherish my independence and protect my heart.

So far I detect no contempt or malice. Just cluelessness and an OCD-ish approach. But there is a big gulf, and it remains to be seen whether we can cross it. Would be nice, but then again, there's nothing lonelier than an unhappy marriage.

Thank you again so much, Sea. Your support is so tender and profound.

love to you,
Hops
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

Twoapenny

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Re: Heist on Something....
« Reply #23 on: November 26, 2017, 02:10:12 AM »
Hops I think your approach to this is pretty amazing.  It's hard not to rush forward to something we want so badly.  I find the idea of someone wanting me so delicious that it does make my brain go fuzzy and I have a really hard time being sensible, but equally enjoying myself and not making everything too serious, too early on (and yes, Sea's idea of him meeting your friends is a good one and something I shall tuck into my 'what if I meet a man one day' envelope).

I'm kind of hoping he turns out to be a good egg, if for no other reason that I feel so strongly that you really deserve someone that makes your heart sing and ticks all of your boxes.  But yes, it is necessary to keep in mind your own deal breakers (and, like you, I'm not keen on situations that immediately fall into staying at home - it requires almost no effort and that bothers me).  But I think you're going about it all in exactly the right way and it's pretty amazing xx

Hopalong

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Re: Heist on Something....
« Reply #24 on: November 26, 2017, 08:00:30 PM »
I've been feeling so GRATEFUL, for the advice and feedback I've been receiving here (and in a couple cases in 3D). Truly, I am.

Sea's advice got to my heart but EVERY SINGLE ONE of your other comments (including yours, sweet Tupp) has been another beloved arm around my shoulders, another supportive hand on my back, and overall...just this amazing feeling of being cared about.

I cannot thank you enough.

I think this kind of dialogue is cumulative. I've been sitting with it all, this holiday weekend, and something's gotten simplified. Thank god.

I think all I need to say to Mr. B is just whatever is real and true for me. As Lighter says, I don't need to worry about his reactions. As Skep says, I don't need to over-analyse it. As Tupp says, I need to think well of myself regardless. As Lighter says, I need to remember and respect my separate life. As Sea says, the inner light is still shining and I need to keep looking at it.

I mean, do ALL of you know how precious all this is, to an isolated older woman who tends to hide in fear? I LOVE YOU GUYS.

And what I've got now is just this: next time B. and I meet I'm just going to tell the truth. "I feel X about doing XX" or "I am scared about XX" or "I am happy about XX" and let it play out as it will. I'm not in charge of who he is or how he responds. And...he is not an enemy.

love and thanks, heartfelt thanks, to alla-y'all,
Hops
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

lighter

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Re: Heist on Something....
« Reply #25 on: November 26, 2017, 11:06:14 PM »
Hope:

Nothing takes the pressure off like going slow, I ME.

Making out like teenagers is THE BEST.  No need to worry about other people if you aren't giving too much if yourself away. 

Breath.  Have and share your opinions.

Be more interested in your feelings than his. 

If it's not right, it's not right.

Remember the AAAs
Assess
Accept
Act

Make not one excuse for bad behavior, and lean into new experience.

You're an interesting, very loyal human being.  Remember that always.

Lighter

Hopalong

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Re: Heist on Something....
« Reply #26 on: December 02, 2017, 09:09:46 PM »
Wow.
I'm feeling a little happy shock at the moment.
Went to dinner with B (I invited him to a restaurant to avoid the automatic "domestic dating" thing) and sucked up my courage and told him what had come up for me as concern and/or doubts...and why...and he shared his own...and we listened to each other and it was actually very reassuring.

The main thing I felt was respected. Truly listened to. So now I'm feeling we've taken a big step forward. And I'm totally surprised. (I was prepared to write him off, depending on how he reacted to the things I brought up: the meaning of the sexual harassment tsunami in the news, and secondly, how I'd personally felt when he'd made a sexist remark about waitresses that I found demeaning.)

I ignored eggshells and just told him very openly how racism and sexism are deep deep experiences in my life (sexism personally, racism observed and taken in as a child observer) that are just core to who I am. And I saw no contempt or dismissal or anything like that on his face (and had feared I might). He listened seriously and took it in, I believe.

And Lighter, the necking like teenagers we managed in the parking lot!

I told him I thought knowing each other in different settings was important too, including meeting friends...and he came back to that and said he would like to meet some of my friends, and he also suggested a short trip together (without sex). I liked both of these ideas a lot and now I think we have a direction to go...to see where we might go.

I'm very surprised. But this is feeling better. Even, if I dare say it to myself, good.

xxoo
Hops
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

Twoapenny

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Re: Heist on Something....
« Reply #27 on: December 03, 2017, 02:48:58 AM »
Oh wow, Hops, this does sound good!  You were heard :)  I think bringing up things that can give rise to what we all know so well in others - defensiveness, accusations of being 'too sensitive', raised eyebrows or that kind of patronising tolerance of indulging someone who's a bit silly - is so vital and having him listen and take things on board - I don't think that could have gone any better!  He sounds settled enough in himself to be able to hear another viewpoint without taking it as a criticism and feeling the need to stamp on it and good on you for drawing that line very firmly in the sand - very brave when you knew it could mean you going home alone.  This sounds like such a good step in the right direction :)

sKePTiKal

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Re: Heist on Something....
« Reply #28 on: December 03, 2017, 08:26:41 AM »
Hee hee..... doing a happy dance over here for ya Hops! That's delightful news.

I don't know if it's all women, or just women who've been going through the life process of examining and working on themselves, and then, trying to build something in their lives... but I've noticed a "thing we do" that ultimately - gets in our own way. (Me included, and Holly in a big way right now.) It may not even be relevant to you (and your ability to say what was bothering you is actual proof that you're not stuck in this.)


We take the raw materials of what's in our lives - people included, and all our feelings and rationalizations and intellectual processing - and put it into a mental "virtual world". And then we try to stage-manage it in that imaginary virtual world, re-arrange things, identify what's "missing" - and what's just fine and that we want more of...

and then we measure reality against it and make judgements about it and create dilemmas, and unnecessary, artificial choices - and sometimes internal or interpersonal "conflicts" - to try to suss out what is actually in front of us on our "quest" for fulfillment or a cozy life or flipping the bird at the early life that we're getting revenge on by "living well".

All without directly interacting, in the moment, in our realities. Passive versus active - and always one extreme or the other and nothing less will "do". Meanwhile the virtual world gets baroque-ly embroidered in the most fanciful ways.

And that habit or "way of being" is what is the actual source of many of the real problems we are trying to solve. Direct interaction with the others in our lives and allowing ourselves - insisting of ourselves - that we be somewhere between totally passive and totally active (and in charge) - is really where our "happy zone" is. Popping the bubble of the virtual world, making the commitment to ourselves that we DO matter and what we want from life IS IMPORTANT... and we're not going pretend or BS ourselves into accepting anything less (even though in reality that's always subject to change)... all this creates energy and momentum.

Maybe I don't quite see ALL of that yet. And it may not be relevant at all to your happy news... since its the opposite of what I'm noticing.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2017, 08:29:37 AM by sKePTiKal »
Success is never final, failure is never fatal.

Hopalong

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Re: Heist on Something....
« Reply #29 on: December 03, 2017, 10:10:05 AM »
Thanks, Tupp! Your description of some classic reactions to a woman asserting her truth is spot on. Been there, seen/heard that---way too often. In our dinner convo we revisited the thing about him focusing on the "non-sweet" parts of me and I told him, "'Sweet' is not something I aspire to. 'Keep sweet' was Warren Jeffs' first commandment for girls and women. My core values are kindness, compassion and empathy and those will do." He replied with some power in it, "Those are my core values too."

I also said "You know you can't re-engineer me, right? I am who I am, and this is the whole package." The non-defensive, accepting way he reacted felt very good.

I'm really surprised but for now it looks as though we're moving forward. (I also mentioned us not being on the same page yet as he's dating others, as another reason I'm not eager to spend all our time alone in increasing intimacy...and then he said, well since I met you I really haven't been.) That's a bit contradictory so I would still like to get clarity on that. Maybe he was just trying to protect himself by making me think he was still dating. It's not clear but I'm choosing to believe him.

Another thing he said is that he's seeing a counselor, female. He said to her, "She's been divorced twice and is estranged from her daughter." She said, "That's a yellow flag." I said, "I think she's right, and Yellow means go slowly." Then he asked again about my marriages and I told those stories (I understand you can need to re-tell the stories, or it might be a function of his age.)

I think he tends to over-simplify things and look for very binary answers. We're opposite in that sense too. On the other hand, as we talked back and forth, communication was really working.
About his waitress comment, his reply was, "I was being a jerk." I told him how I'd reacted to it (heart sinking, really backing off inside). He said he was going to be thinking about that.

And Amber, this is BRILLIANT.

Quote
We take the raw materials of what's in our lives - people included, and all our feelings and rationalizations and intellectual processing - and put it into a mental "virtual world". And then we try to stage-manage it in that imaginary virtual world, re-arrange things, identify what's "missing" - and what's just fine and that we want more of...

and then we measure reality against it and make judgements about it and create dilemmas, and unnecessary, artificial choices - and sometimes internal or interpersonal "conflicts" - to try to suss out what is actually in front of us on our "quest" for fulfillment or a cozy life or flipping the bird at the early life that we're getting revenge on by "living well".

All without directly interacting, in the moment, in our realities. Passive versus active - and always one extreme or the other and nothing less will "do". Meanwhile the virtual world gets baroque-ly embroidered in the most fanciful ways.

And that habit or "way of being" is what is the actual source of many of the real problems we are trying to solve. Direct interaction with the others in our lives and allowing ourselves - insisting of ourselves - that we be somewhere between totally passive and totally active (and in charge) - is really where our "happy zone" is. Popping the bubble of the virtual world, making the commitment to ourselves that we DO matter and what we want from life IS IMPORTANT... and we're not going pretend or BS ourselves into accepting anything less (even though in reality that's always subject to change)... all this creates energy and momentum.

So that quiet introvert observing the dance and the dancers has put together THIS. While this extrovert was too busy blabbing to do the same. Thank you.

love
Hops
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."