Post # 1
I guess what I’m getting at is….does something just click and you know this guy is different? I’m 29 and only been in 2 serious long term relationships and they’ve both been disasters. I’m trying to question whether I just haven’t met the right guy yet or if it’s something I’m doing. Those of you who are in great relationships after bad ones, did you have to identify and change some underlying issues (i.e. realizing you’re drawn to emotionally broken men, etc.) or was it just a matter of having not met the right guy yet?
For what it’s worth, my parents have been married for 35 years but it is not a kind, respectful relationship. Basically, because of this I do not date a whole lot because I don’t associate marriage with happiness. When I do get this inkling of wanting to share a life with someone, sometimes I feel like I have no clue what I should be looking for in a man/relationship.
I should add that while I have my own set of emotional issues in regards to this, I’m a relatively normal functioning, happy person. I will say that it takes a lot for me to commit to a guy but once I am committed, I stay committed….usually much longer than I should, AKA I become too nice and lose a backbone but that’s a whole ‘nother Oprah. Haha
I’m sure I’m philosophising too much. Any advice or insight is appreciated. Thank you in advance.
Post # 2
Being in a healthy relationship after a disastrous one feels like touching the bottom of the pool when you feel like you might have been about to drown. It’s like a sudden wave of peace that you didn’t know you needed after you’ve been splashing around, hoping you don’t die from all this water getting in your lungs.
I was in a terrible, mentally abusive relationship for 4 years. I had to move off the continent to get away from it. It wasn’t easy letting a nice guy into my life because I wasn’t drawn to that AT ALL. When my husband and I first started dating, I really liked him, but it was too safe and I really quickly lost that spark I thought all relationships should have. A year later, we started dating again and I had to actually work to keep myself interested. Not because he’s boring by any means, but he wasn’t wild like my last boyfriend. He is safe and sweet and gentle and considerate and full sail ahead in love with me!
You can have it too. There are a lot of nice guys out there, but they’re never given a chance because they’re not loud, crazy, or showy. But we have the most special and unbelievable relationship and oh my god I cant believe how happy this man makes me. you’ll find him 🙂
Post # 3
JackiBean: Thank you for that. I felt like my heart got lighter after reading your response. I think that’s exactly what I needed to hear.
Post # 4
Agreed. I had a million crappy relationships before FI. He changed me. Calmed me down. Gave me security. I knew when we got together that we’d grow old together, and he’d always take care of me. The hardest part was waiting for the other shoe to drop. I’ve let that go and have given him my complete trust and confidence.
In the beginning though, I had to constantly tell myself that every man is different, and they’re not all bad. I had to remind myself to trust him.
Post # 5
You can definitely feel a difference once you find a great guy for you. I was in a serious relationship for 3 years, but while I was in love we broke up a few times because of his cheating, and at the time I thought well he’s got everything else I want so I’m happy with that! But after 3 years I broke up with him, and then the next year I met the guy I’m with now who is amazing. To be honest, only after 2 dates I felt like we were going to have a really long relationship and that he could be the one. He treats me so much better than my ex and has so much more respect, and I didn’t realise what I didn’t have until I have it if that makes sense! It has now been almost 4 years with my new guy. There are definitely still some nice guys out there, so all the best with your search and your heart will know when he comes around 🙂
Post # 6
- Wedding: March 2014 - A castle!
ClassicStarlight: My highschool boyfriend was abusive and controlling. My DH was the first guy I really pursued after him. He was beyond kind, gentle, and generous to me. I love his group of friends and was accepted with open arms. It just… felt like home. It was comforting and relieving and just “right.” Believe me, you’ll know.
My advice to you is stop “dating to date” and start “dating to marry.” Make a list of important must-have qualities you want in your husband. Make a list of deal breakers. Once someone does something that you think is a red flag or a deal breaker, get out of there ASAP and on to the next.
Best of luck to you!
Post # 7
For me the difference was I could just be myself and feel happy/safe/comfortable. In my bad relationship before FH I was CONSTANTLY anxious and walking on eggshells.
Post # 8
I am with a wonderful man and planning our wedding. It took me the longest time to get over that feeling that he was going to leave me at any moment and that the bottom would drop out.
FutureDrAtkins: Love that “Dating to Marry!”
Post # 9
Agree with all the PPs. When you meet a great guy, you just know, things just click. My FI is a complete 180 from the last guy I had a long term relationship with and it couldn’t be better. In my last relationship I was always on edge, always worried about him and us. I never felt comfortable or at peace. With my FI everything just fits and it has since the beginning. I knew from the very beginning he was the one. He was always kind, loving, appreciative, and has always made me feel beautiful and loved. I think when you find “it” you will know. Good luck and best wishes!
Post # 10
Very well said. I agree about the sense of peace. And the relationship just isn’t hard all the time.
When I met dh, I was in the midst of an ugly divorce from an abuser. Dh knew to take things very slowly with me. One day, it just hit me that everything feels a little sunnier when he’s around.
I would say be careful not to discard a guy quickly if sparks don’t fly right away. My relationship with dh started out as old fashioned courting which evolved into friendship. The romance didn’t happen for me until 8 mos later.
I genuinely like the guy. That counts for a lot.
Post # 11
I have been in quite a few shitty relationships too and actually left my last one cos i finally realised i was seeing the same patterns.I was drawn to ”i need fixing” men and i was very much a rescuer. I spent a nearly a year on my own and took a good long look at myself and why i was drawn to these men and also took up new hobbies,made new friends and became happy with myself again.
During that time i caught up with an ex from many years ago,we became friends for many months via phone/text and finally met up in person after 9 months……and we are now engaged!
I was super wary at first (old habits die hard!) but i still ‘knew’ all would be ok.It just feels so damn easy. That horrible anxiety feeling,overthinking,looking out for signs of betrayal etc….they just arent there. The only thing i looked at was his actions and they told me time and time again that he was committed,honest and loyal and that he would do anything for me/us.
I honestly think its a mixture of both,not identifying issues in yourself aswell as not having met the right one. Its good to look at yourself and work out the ‘whys’ and work on them in order to be ready and at peace with yourself when Mr Right comes along
Good luck to you!
Post # 12
ClassicStarlight: I didn’t have bad relationships with guys, but I grew up in a house with a huge amount of conflict/yelling/voilence. So I guess that’s kind of similar. I could tell who I clicked with pretty well, but I did often end up with disfunctional guys (I think because I felt so disfunctional). For me it was a combination of calming down (realizing that something bad isn’t always about to happen, you don’t always have to walk on eggshells, etc.), and of working a lot on myself. Growing up in such a weird environment I didn’t really understand how things were supossed to work. How angry is too angry? How jealous is too jealous? How mean is too mean? ETC. It wasn’t just the guys I chose, it was me as well (which scared away a lot of the nice guys at first). I was overly needy, insecure, and absolutely shut down at the first sign of any conflict. I read somewhere that healthy people attract healthy people. For some reason I took that massively to heart. I worked more on cultivating myself and my friendships. And of course when I wasn’t looking for it I met my “the one”. It was love at first sight, but we hung out for two months as friends before our first kiss. Once we kissed I knew that was that. BUT, I think if I had forced a relationship before having healed from those old wounds, it would have been a disaster like my previous relationships.
Post # 13
1. Time to see a counselor. No shame, but they can help you in finding the answers as to what a healthy relationship looks like to you. They can also help you stay mindful of what you need from your partner to stay healthy, safe, sane, and balanced when you do find that guy. Counselors are not a one-size-fits all, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t click right away. It’s kind of like dating.
2. I don’t agree necessarily with “clicking when you find the right one”. Yes, you might have the easy attraction to them in the beginning, but a relationship is more than attraction, it’s about working on yourself to sustain longevity. There might be times that you feel challenged and unsure. If you have a rough history with men, moreoften than not you could wind up doing things to sabotage the relationship.
3. the relationships you have with people are learned. That means how we love and make room for people are taught to us often times before we can even walk. If dysfunction is in your history, then you will need to work that much more to make sure 1. this guy is good for you and 2. you are communicating with yourself on what feels good and right.
There is another thread kind of about this that I commented on back in emotional or relationships I think.
The long and the short of it that yes, you absolutely can have a fulfilling relationship but you have to hone your judgement; recognize your own patterns in these failures (ie. what drives you to men that have failed you before; what choices did you make that kept these relationships going past their expiration dates); and trust yourself to make the right choices when you find a good/bad guy.
Post # 14
ClassicStarlight: And for what it’s worth, in my own experience, it was about timing. I was wildly single, but before that had a sad break-up. I was in a place where I was really, really happy. If I had met FI a year sooner, I might not have paid any mind. It was because I had an open heart that I welcomed him into my life. In short, I had the structures in place to nurture a relationship with him. I was happy with myself, loved life, and was confident in my choices.
Post # 15
JackiBean: That is a beautiful and elegant analogy!