I feel like there are too many social pressures to meet most of the expectations driven by popular culture... besides, my lousy job and other factors make it nearly impossible to find, much less maintain, any meaningful relationships.

Anybody else find themselves in the same situation, or am I the only ape here left grooming themselves in the corner?

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Isnt that always the way?
Once the decision is made someone always comes along to challenge our resolve...
I guess I'm in between...I have no desire to force myself into a relationship, and yet, I would like to find one. I guess at the moment I'm just building friendships with no real pressure for anything more. I feel like I'm most likely to have a fulfilling relationship which just builds naturally rather than one where i try to chase after something.

I'm focusing on other things (school, my writing, etc.) and if something else comes along, I'll deal with that when it comes up. I've always kinda felt that relationships aren't something to be real aggressive about. After all, it takes two, and putting yourself in a position where you are relying on someone else is never healthy. I'm just keeping busy taking care of myself, and until something else comes up, I'm content with the way things are.

I would suggest that it might help to worry about what you can do for yourself rather than what you want from someone else. Make sure that you are confident and content with what you have, and whatever you do, never let your happiness depend on the approval of others.
What? I'm not saying that at all...I want to have a meaningful relationship. Hell, I'd like for my every relationship, romantic or otherwise to be meaningful.

I'm not sure what you mean to imply by this, but I hope it isn't that there is no use or benefit to an intimate relationship...I'm just saying that I'm focusing on the things that I can control rather than expecting someone else to be able to provide what I need.
That is probably one of the smartest responses I've read! Spot on Nick, spot on!
I'm in a weird dating group anyway. The 40ish crowd. I don't look 40 first of all, a curse when I was younger but loving it now, and I run a successful business. I'm not saying I am better than anyone else, just that I'm looking for someone that is on the same page as I am. So, needless to say, I'm not dating very much. I'm like you, quite happy with who I am, and hope some day I will meet someone who holds my interest both physically and mentally. Until then, I'll fend off the cougar hunters and mindless horny old bastards, who don't understand that I have no interest in merely "knocking boots". The same as you guys must watch out for the mindless twits and gold digging assholes who need you to provide their personality for them.
You are in a good place Nick! What you said is very wise :)~
I guess ... no I definitely still know where my towel is, I just never seem to have it handy when I need it. ;P

The thing about finding a romantic relationship is that at some point you're pretty much obligated to let your emotions run the show ... and I'm not good at that. I'm not a follow-your-heart kind of person, I'm a use your head kind of person.

I mean when you meet someone and you've got that romantic, euphoria thing going on. The first thing my skeptic brain does is tell me "this is just a chemical reaction, don't do anything stupid". Which I think is detrimental because there's an expectation of a sort of free-spirited, throw caution to the wind attitude during the early stages of a romantic relationship.

And then once you've got a few failed relationships under your belt it's worse, because now you've got empirical data that the whole thing could go very badly ... at that point it's just a very scary prospect.

So I guess I'm trying to cultivate my inner idiot. It's like that Elvis song ... "wise man say only fools rush in". Except it bears mentioning that the wise man was probably a cleric of some sort, celibate, and therefore not a credible dating adviser.
Always know where your towel is.
Well said!
Nature drives this crazy train... and the ride is only fun if you dont derail it with too much thinking. That kinda sucks, but, in the long run it is the rational side which maintains the relationship. Either way, people have to overcome some aspect of their own natural inclinations.
Hey Jack....guess they don't call it FALL in love for nothing :) When you meet the right girl, she will rock your world, and you won't imagine being without her. Until then my aunt gave me a piece of advise to live by that sounds harsh but totally true. IF you can live without someone, THEN DO!
I have found I should have listened to this statement on at least 2 occasions. (Married and divorced 2 times.) OUCH!!!
I've had my world rocked a couple of times.  It's still a bit off kilter from the last one.
Of course, you've also got empirical data that the whole thing could be fantastic if only we could keep it going . . . .
I wouldn't say I've thrown in the towel, but I too am in a situation where I don't run into very many people and I live a somewhat transient lifestyle which, if I did meet someone, would either make a relationship very difficult or cause me to make major life changes.

Then again, maybe there's some great, compatible guy out there who would enjoy the traveling-gypsy life.

Most of all, I remind myself that all of my past boyfriends were found when I was not looking. When I'm actively looking, I'm afraid I'll project; see qualities that aren't really there. Much like Theists trying to self-justify their own religion.

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