2157. Dating in Mid-life — Part B1: You Gotta’ Know the Territory


Her Highness MeowMeow at 2153 asked about dating in one’s fifties. I expand it to ages 30 to 60 and deepen it to include developing (but not maintaining) a lifetime relationship. After all, that’s the unspoken objective and endless dream behind all dating for women in mid-life.

Some women too easily, however, give up before they exhaust the blessings they inherit at birth. They shouldn’t. Hope springs eternal from the heart of a woman, and by God’s design it enables you to make your world turn in your favor. Born to be happy, you earn it as you find and expand your gratefulness while searching, capturing, and relating with a man. Hopefully he’s valuable and beneficial for your mellowing lifestyle. But if he’s no better than adequate, it’s no reason to give up. You’re powerfully skilled to improve a relationship that starts out short of perfect.

Age doesn’t matter before first date if you exploit your relationship expertise. You aim at success. It calls for you to exploit your own strengths, compensate for your weaknesses, make the most of new man’s strengths, and ignore his weaknesses long enough to learn to also compensate for them. The female heart is wonderfully designed and powerfully blessed to exploit strengths and weaknesses and do it well. After learning, of course, and avoiding discouragement from the few or even more mistakes made along the way.

It all may sound too complex to fathom, but my role is to make the process simpler so you can make it easier for yourself and more meaningful for the next man in your life. I present this series in four major sections: a) the children (posted at 2156 and more to follow), b) relationship development process, c) your role, and d) the roles of men.

Relationship Development Process.

Others talk endlessly about the dating scene. Most women’s interest at every age, however, is about what dating leads to. It’s the start up to merging two or more lives together harmoniously and hopefully for life. So, all about dating that follows is designed to help women develop relationships that lead to permanency. All else is folderol or fun and games and irrelevant here.

By nature women are processors; they keep things going. Men are producers; they find satisfaction in making single events and results come out as intended. First date is a production and belongs to the man. Second date begins the relationship development process and your involvement. Being a series of events, dating one guy or many, the process works to the woman’s advantage or she’s not doing it right. That’s why women float along under the stewardship of each individual dater; return engagements are best produced by not driving the bus. Men are willing to deliver one date at a time, because they hope with minimal obligation to discover what price they must eventually pay to get you in bed.

You all know this but—especially during passionate moments—it’s inconvenient to remember it. Men date to associate and work up to getting sex. Women date to develop a lasting relationship. They compete. Each tries to sell the other on their agenda. He works directly but tries to disguise it with dynamic selling of himself. You work indirectly, and it takes you much longer to sell a man on your agenda. If you can’t find time and reason to hold him off and complete your sale, you yield first time sex and he wins and you may or may not lose him. What happens after his conquest is unknown until after it happens. He changes, and then you find out how accurate and true were his words. How he really, truly feels about you—or doesn’t. You take all the risk or you don’t get very far.

Unfortunately, that’s the only way for you to uncover a man’s intentions. Wait to see his actions and believe what he does after your first sex together, and locked in marriage is optimal. After his momentous conquest outside of marriage, he will be a changed man. He also takes charge of your sexual agenda as conqueror’s right, and you become keeper, booty, or dumpee. You don’t know which until the time comes, unless you have delayed conquest long enough for his devotion to you alone to have developed. That means months at least and perhaps a year or more of courtship.

Romantic love is often a scene stealer, disguiser of truth. It may or may not contribute to the enduring love that you hope will follow after romantic love fades a year or two after conquest.

Over the first few decades of life, the youthful attitudes of both sexes change. Out of unsuccessful relationships and soured marriages, the genders shy away from closeness except often for the mutual comfort of sex. But sex doesn’t bond men, only women.

Consequently, you are more interested than men for developing a relationship, and it generates three burdens for you in the dating arena. You have to virtually ignore risks to your feelings, learn to proceed cautiously, and have to earn the respect of each man you date. Moreover, development works best when you neither explain yourself or your feelings directly, nor try to convince him of your love with words. He believes much more easily what he figures out for himself.

You have to earn a permanent relationship. You do so by actions that show new man that he’s admired and favored over others. Oh, not on first date but both later and by indirectness. It enables him to see promise in you that can and likely will help fulfill his present life and future ambitions.

From day one you should claim these truths as part of your attitude. Men stay married when they sense themselves rewarded and admired for husbanding, fathering, and believing that only they can do as well at what they do best. That is, produce, provide, protect, and problem solve for those to whom they accept responsibility.

During dating and courtship, you should get your mind and heart wrapped around how to do your part in that scenario. After marriage is too late to start. Without it being habitual in your heart before marriage, the glow of bridal success will keep your focus elsewhere and thus hold you back. The absence of admiration, respect, dependence, and gratefulness for his presence in your life are toxic to a marriage, and so should be developed in courtship.

Men date for fun and games and put sex at the top of the priority list. When you don’t have a plan to follow, it releases men to follow their interest, which inevitably doesn’t work well for you. Expecting to develop a relationship, you do best when you have solid intentions that are more important in your heart than having a date or dates (more later about a plan).

That’s the territory. Now, let’s talk about the value of chaste courtships that fall automatically out of chaste dates and the promise of more chastity. It’s coming tomorrow at #2158.

 

23 Comments

Filed under courtship, Dear daughter, How she wins

23 responses to “2157. Dating in Mid-life — Part B1: You Gotta’ Know the Territory

  1. gonemaverick

    Dear Sir Guy,

    “You do so by actions that show new man that he’s admired and favored over others. Oh, not on first date but both later and by indirectness.” can we look forward to practical examples?

    the timing of this series is just perfect for me.

    as always, thank you.

  2. That Horse Is Dead

    Sir Guy,

    I hope you don’t mind a bit of humor here, but I enjoy metaphors and I especially love finding movie scenes as examples. Your voice through WWNH reminds me of Morpheus, from the movie “The Matrix,” who is helping Neo uncover the truth of a world after machines (agents) have taken over the minds of humans. You have been a lifeline to me in being able to recognize and counterattack feminism and it’s consequences:) I apologize for the bad language in the clip, but this scene seems to fit how I often feel when off to do battle for my hopes and dreams:

  3. Tooconfused

    Modern dating is more like Lord of the Flies than Cinderella.

    I ran home at midnight and lost my shoe while I was drunk. Nothing happened the morning after.

    I waited and he did not send out a search party. “He’ll come find me.” vanity says.

    Instead you may find out that after you left him at midnight he sent out a mass text to what you may call a his harem of convenient side dishes and by 1am he is doing his bidding at a bar.

    After all is said and done – once you go chaste courtship you don’t go back. It’s like drinking whiskey for the first time. The little feminist in you says chastity is “poison” but then why do I love it’s sting? Hmmmmmmm?

  4. Emma

    AI love the blog, man date for fun and sex doesn’t bond men, only women. I wonder how a 32 with a small child can again date. I am not divorce, going through it. The man I married was a serial cheater – after cheating no. 100 I said enough. He now plays hardball with me in every aspect. The new girl according to him is just sex and fun. Says he loves his family and wants to come back, but all in words. I, on the other hand have prepared for total separation, not entertaining dating yet as I am not a free women and I want to honor myself until fully divorced. But I do wonder how to keep my spirit up, specially when I still have a very strong bond to my soon to be ex.

    Your Highness Emma,

    I suggest you study certain articles. They will either lift your spirits with hope since you have “a very strong bond to my soon to be ex.” Or, they will inspire you to take a different route than you have planned. No guarantees about final results, but you’ll see your world in a different light. That will either lift your spirits or show you how to lift them.

    These are the articles: 1780, 1784, 1785, 1790 through 1794.

    Guy

    • Cinnamon

      AI love the blog, man date for fun and sex doesn’t bond men, only women

      Emma,

      You keep your spirits up by remembering that even though sex doesn’t bond men, good men are looking for more than sex. Even your husband (who with his cheating ways does not sound like a good man, at least at this point in his life) is not satisfied with “sex and fun” or he wouldn’t be trying to come back. “Sex and fun” is plentiful these days for men who seek it, but for most of them it does not in itself satisfy.

      This blog gives you the tools for discerning during the dating phase whether or not a man is looking for more.

    • Emma

      Thank you Sir! I will study those articles! It’s been a long process for us now – 7 months separated and 3 months out of the house. I noticed him wanting to come back around Jan / Feb time but I made it impossible. My fighting spirit took over. Sad but after so many years of the same I sorta gave up on us. I see your points throughout though the more I fight, the worst things get. Lastly, he mentioned to me, what incentive do I have for returning, this shattered me completely. The bond I mentioned about us is strong in regards that I know deep there is love but we are both scared. Him to give in and me to have the control. As I know my life will be completely different, I sm very independent and a working professional. He has taken notice and mentions that I seem I have it all figured out. I have filled for divorce, he has yet to respond. I am going to review the articles, even if it is to regain my spirit, I seem to have lost the spark.

  5. Lyndeooloo

    Sir Guy:

    Like gonemaveric, I’m grateful for the timing of this series!

    I’ve been dating my boyfriend for over a year and although I have done a pretty good job setting the pace and tone for the physical part of our relationship, I’ve slipped up a bit (done more than I’m truly comfortable with) and find myself frustrated. I want to move things forward with engagement and marriage or back off and he wants to continue dating “until we’re sure.” He wants to “enjoy the process, not rush it.” I’m frustrated that he wants more and more of me, my time, and commitment, but wants it under the title of “dating”. If it was up to him, we’d spend all of our free time together, OK all of our plans with each other, plan weekend trips and vacations together (months and even years in advance), etc. But I don’t want to behave as though we are engaged or married if we are actually only dating.

    He likes talking out every disagreement and I’m beginning to think its because he’s a better (verbal) negotiator than I.

    I’ve purposely filled up my evenings this week with other obligations to give myself some time and space to think away from him. I need to figure out what will work for me.

    I truly believe he is a good man, capable of being a wonderful husband and father, and worth being patient with. I could use advice and encouragement as I figure out how to show him that if he wants me, it must be in the right context! I value and welcome the thoughts of the men and women at WWNH.

    Your Highness Lyndeloo,

    You’re doing the right thing now, pulling back somewhat. He won’t change until he wants more of you and your time than he’s currently getting. He has to figure out how to convert his discomfort into comfort, since you discontinue providing what he’s used to and hopefully not enough to suit him.

    He has to go through the process of weighing what he can get if he offers up more of himself. Is he willing? Who knows? As of now, I expect that even he doesn’t know. You need to give him more time to face that weighing of his options.

    Guy

    • Lyndeeloo

      Sir Guy:

      Thank you. I’ve been at war with conflicting thoughts and emotions, and as a result I sense myself doubting my instincts from time to time.

      It was January of 2014 when my boyfriend asked me to date him exclusively. Until recently, he has been the one to push in all areas–verbal declarations, time together, physical boundaries, planning for the future, etc. We’ve been arguing more frequently during the last 6-8 weeks, during which we’ve spent A LOT of time together. He says there’s a pattern–the first day we see each other, things are great! The next day, things are tense and often “fall apart”. The rest of that day, we have to spend time sorting it out. On the third day, we iron it out, only to repeat the pattern. He says that we have seen each other 3-4 times a week and that we must continue this to “test our chemistry” and “go through the process.” I counted–we’ve been seeing each other 5-6 times a week. We live in different (nearby) towns. So much time together feels like an engagement to me.

      I’ve expressed my concerns and confusion. I don’t understand his desire for so much togetherness if he’s not sure about me. I even suggested giving him a break for a couple of weeks to sort out his thoughts/feelings. He insisted that would not be helpful for him and said that if we took a break, his mind would either race with too many worries or shut down and the break would not be productive for him in sorting out his thoughts. I don’t process the same way. A little space usually does me a world of good.

      I’m frustrated because I feel engaged, but I’m not engaged. I feel as though he wants to be together all the time, but the increased time together is often tense, and when I suggest space or question if so much togetherness is best, he gets frustrated. He feels that I am giving him ultimatums “be certain about me or be done with me.” I’ve never said that, but that’s how he interprets things. I, on the other hand, feel like I’m in limbo and on trial until he decides what he wants. That is why I feel like backing off–so I don’t feel so overwhelmed and vulnerable. And my backing off comes across as an ultimatum to him. At my age, I don’t want to date for 3-4 years if he’s not sure. (His brother had been dating/living with his girlfriend for over three years and though he bought a ring a couple months ago, had not proposed as of yet.)

      Perhaps I’m venting more than asking for advice. But advice and/or encouragement is welcome.

      Your Highness Lyndeeloo,

      What you describe doesn’t foretell a very happy marriage. I sniff out that he’s duplicating his brother. Listens with admiration and fears condemnation if he doesn’t match brother’s expectations. I bet brother is his hero and older by 4 or more years. Like a momma’s boy but attached to his brother.

      If your analysis confirms is to be so, let me know and I may have some tactics to either walk away or induce him to change into being himself rather than his brother.

      Guy

      • Cinnamon

        Lyndeloo,

        My heart aches for you. I don’t like the sound of how this man is behaving (he sounds extremely immature and a bit of a drama queen in many ways) but given the amount of time you have invested in this relationship I am at a loss as to how you should proceed. It really is a difficult situation.

        Hypothetically speaking, if Sir Guy were not available to advise on this I would be inclined to tell you to stand your ground and not let him manipulate you any more into “talking things out” and manufacturing more conflict and bottom line, putting you in the role of the seller – but to do so politely with something vague but firm along the lines of “we seem to be arguing so much and it doesn’t feel right to me,” and then refuse to participate in either the arguing, or the trying to “patch things up.” But to do this would take nerves of steel as obviously after all this time of dating you have an emotional bond with him.

        Sir Guy will not doubt talk you through all your options. Please keep us updated, as it is an opportunity for all of us to learn.

      • Lyndeeloo

        Dear Cinnamon and Sir Guy:

        Thank you for your responses.

        Cinnamon, until recently I would not have used the word “manipulative” to describe any of my boyfriend’s behavior. For a long time, I would have described his actions as atypical compared to most men and even sensitive (wanting to talk, etc.) but I admit to recently feeling somewhat emotionally manipulated and a bit resentful as well.

        Sir Guy, as far as ages go, it is the opposite–my boyfriend is four years older than his brother. They have no other siblings. My boyfriend is not the typical man’s man. He is a creative type, quite verbal, more outwardly sensitive than most other men I’ve encountered, very close to his family (especially his parents and elderly relatives), and extroverted in the sense that he is energized by being in the presence of others. He does not enter a room and pull people to him by being charismatic, outspoken, and lively but he eagerly listens, affirms, laughs heartily at others jokes, etc. He is very thoughtful, well-mannered, considerate, and romantic. He graduated from a liberal arts college where he was surrounded by like-minded people of both sexes. Work opportunity, familial duty (and comfort, I suspect) drew him back home a couple of years after he graduated. I have the impression he sometimes feels like an outsider in our part of the country. Most men in our area are more “typical” men–work with their hands, enjoy sports and hunting, etc. My boyfriend has an artistic, philosophical, imaginative, even idealistic bent. Sometimes I think he relies on me to fill more roles in his life than I’m able, due to his lack of like-minded male friends in the area.

        I describe myself as traditional, feminine, creative, and introverted. I have a stubborn streak and can be a bit inflexible at times.

        As a couple, we share the goals of marriage, children, involvement in the arts, have many similar hobbies, and a similar sense of humor. Family and religion are important to both of us. We have a similar outlook on finances. We are both deep thinkers, fairly emotional, creative, artistic, polite people.

        I would say he is more liberal and open-minded than I. I am a bit more of a realist and he is more of a dreamer. I am more judgmental than he. He needs more togetherness and I need more space. I am older than he is, but I have worked hard not to use that as a reason to lead our relationship. He pursued me hard, pushed, made his case, and persisted while I put the breaks on and let off very slowly over time. He was in love with me very early on while I took much more time to get there.

        I feel that I had reached the point he was (or so I thought) only to have him become uncertain and/or want to maintain a holding pattern of the status quo–long term, intense dating.

        He has recently told me (multiple times) that all of the successful couples he knows–his parents and his married college friends–dated for 3-4 years before being married. He does not believe that living together before marriage is good for him, though he doesn’t seem to question his friends or brother who did/are living with their significant others prior to marriage.

        Please note that the length of my comment and the details provided are to paint as accurate a picture as I can, because I’m looking for perspective, but don’t want to complain about him to friends and family members. I love and respect him and have never been so invested (emotionally or time-wise) in a relationship. In my heart, I believe we can work it out and even think he and I are soul mates. I don’t want to ruin our relationship, but I do want to improve it.

        Thank you for this place where I can share these things and receive thoughtful, insightful, and helpful replies.

        Your Highness Lyndeeloo,
        Tomorrow’s post, 2161, may be of help. See if any of the profiles I identify apply to him.
        Guy

        • Cinnamon

          Lyndeeloo,

          Things like this are complicated, and it is good to put us all more fully in the picture with details like the ones you have provided. He sounds like he has many wonderful qualities, and your strategy of taking a very conservative approach here is a wise one.

          You spoke earlier of the recurring pattern of argument/make up/argument/make up/argument. What are you two arguing about? Is it the same argument, or different things? From your description of him, I cannot imagine what you two could possibly be arguing over since you sound very well-matched.

          Maybe if you could provide some details about the arguments (without compromising your anonymity or his) it would give us more to go in trying to suss the situation.

          • Lyndeeloo

            Cinnamon:

            We do have a couple of recurring arguments and we have other arguments that are (on the surface) new or one-time arguments, but on deeper inspection may be more about conflict resolution style than the issue itself, so are–in essence–the same argument over and over.

            In the earlier days of dating, he might do or say something that irked me, but I would not say anything. Our dates were shorter and we were still “on our best behavior”. As we’ve spent more time together, we have learned to pick up on each other’s cues, so there are times when I’m irked and he asks me what’s wrong. I will know it’s an over-reaction on my part or a reaction that is based on a sequence of events that will likely never play out exactly the same way again. So, it’s not worth talking about as far as I’m concerned. It’s best for me to sort it out and cool off and never even discuss it with him. I’d just like to insert the fact that my being irked is often due to my being over-stimulated because we’ve been together too much and I need to “breath”. He may not have done anything “wrong”, I’m just in need of time to recharge. But, because he senses my irritation, he wants to know what’s wrong and pushes me to tell him. His reaction is visceral–he must know or he feels ill and/or it plagues him with worry that I may be thinking…who knows what. In order to accommodate his communication style, I have become more conversational and more immediate in my addressing of issues–i.e. We “talk it out.” But I firmly believe that my telling him what irked me only hurts him and he becomes hard on himself for “disappointing” me. If, on the other hand, I felt free to leave or be in my own head for a while and never tell him, I’d be able to recharge and be pleasant. We both know this is a challenge for us and that he needs to give me some space and I know I need to find the right way to tell him I’m irritated because I’m in need of space–not because of him. And I need him to trust that. His need to talk it out and prevent any given frustration from ever happening again is very strong. My need to just be in my own head without explaining everything is also very strong. Our processing styles are at odds and we are both highly sensitive to tension. This is the general source of so much of our frustration–from my perspective.

            One of our recurring arguments is that of spending alone time with single opposite sex friends. I’ve never thought it was wise for a woman in a committed relationship to spend time alone with an unmarried male friend–go out to dinner, spend the day together, etc. So, I would not do this. I’d invite my significant other along or see my single male friends in group settings. My boyfriend thinks there’s no problem with spending alone time with a friend of the opposite sex and feels very strongly about defending his view. I’ve told him that we disagree, I wouldn’t do it myself and would prefer he show me the same courtesy. He responded with, “So, you’re saying I can’t hang out with female friends.” I said, “No, that’s not what I’m saying. I don’t hang out with single male friends one on one when I’m committed to you, would prefer that you understand why and show me the same courtesy, but you have the freedom to do what you want. I may not like it or understand your reasons, especially considering that I’ve shared my reasons for feeling this way, but I will not prevent you.” He has brought this up multiple times, wanting me to feel positive about either of us spending time alone with single opposite friends. It pushes my buttons because I’ve already explained my stance. He says I’m manipulative to say “I’d prefer you don’t, but I can’t prevent you.” He wants me to change my opinion. My opinion hasn’t changed. Neither of us has spent alone time with a single opposite friend in all the time we’ve been dating, so it would seem to be hypothetical. We know where we each stand, so I see no need to keep rehashing it. I get angry when he brings it up.

            • That Horse Is Dead

              Your Highness Lyndeloo,
              A few observations that stand out to me from your account that you may want to ponder what these could mean for your future together: 1) He projects ultimatums onto you that you aren’t giving. Even when you tell him these are not your intentions, he continues to stand firm in false beliefs and accusations. For example, “my backing off comes across as an ultimatum to him,” “be certain about me or be done with me,” and “So, you’re saying I can’t hang out with female friends.” Why would he insist you are doing something that you’re not doing? Discharging guilt comes to mind but perhaps I’m wrong. 2) He insists on his way without allowing you freedom to move close or pull back. Will this be ok with you in marriage? This seems highly controlling. 3) He is arguing with you repeatedly about hypotheticals. What is the purpose of this? 4) He is demanding more amount of time with you without giving you an adequate explanation why. He is not assuring you that he wants to get engaged in his own time (see post #2120 “Christmas Present for Guy”) Overall, I see these as red flags, unless I have misunderstood. The important thing here is to not look at this in terms of engagement versus not getting engaged, but his underlying character issues which may be coming to the surface.

              • That Horse is Dead, you are right on in your assessment of this man’s responses. He is manipulative and controlling (sorry Cinnamon). Yes, maybe he is sensitive and artistic and verbal but the true test is in the way he is dishonoring Cinnamon with his words AND his actions when she states something that is very important to her.

                Also, the issue of needing breathing room is an important one for Cinnamon. As someone who gets overloaded with people, I understand Cinnamon’s need to be alone.

                Also, why does he get to set the amount of time you spend together (insisting on more days together) AND set a long courtship (3-4 years?). This is your life!

                I think it is very wise and reasonable for you to ask him to not spend time alone with girl “friends.” Wise, indeed.

                Cinnamon, now is the time for you to courteously and kindly pull back and treat yourself to some time away from this guy. The way he responds will tell you a lot about him and his respect for you. Remember, even if his words are about loving and wanting to be with you, if he doesn’t respect your boundaries and give you some space, he doesn’t love you and respect you!

                Jill

            • Cinnamon

              Lyndeeloo,

              Re. your second paragraph – I’m not clear whether he is actually saying and doing things to annoy you or whether you become irritable because of “too much togetherness.” If it’s the former, what is he doing /saying to annoy you so frequently? If it’s the latter, have you thought about the fact that you will be LIVING with this man 365 days per year in the event you eventually get married i.e. maybe you aren’t cut out for marriage, at least not at this point in your life?

              With respect to the third paragraph – why does this subject keep coming up, especially given that it’s never been acted out?

              Sir Guy teaches that harmony in male-female relationships is not based primarily on love but on the absence of irritants, including mastering the fine art of saying nothing. From your description it sounds like although you have a deep emotional and spiritual connection with this man, there are a lot of irritants in the relationship.

              I know Sir Guy is quite tied up at the moment gathering data about his blog style on 2162, but I hope he will come back to this thread to weigh in when he has a chance.

              • So sorry! My comment was directed at Lyndeeloo! Not Cinnamon! I was writing it in the wee hours of the morning.

                I do want to add that, Lyndeeloo, the fact that you have already invested so much time in this man should not keep you in a relationship that is not respectful ie., “Oh well, if I give up on this, it’s too late to find the right man.”

                Don’t get sucked into this kind of thinking. Test your man out. Watch how volatile he acts when you insist on being respected in areas that are important to you.

                Jill

        • Lyndeeloo

          Thank you, Sir Guy.

          The final profile seems closest to him. Maybe he lacks a little self-esteem from time to time (not much, but perhaps he could be more secure in himself) I’m not sure how to help him with that.

          Your Highness Lyndeeloo,
          I don’t know that it’s critical. But if you learn more about the difference between self-esteem and self-image (study 2161 again), you may understand better and figure out more easily just how you can help him along to reach his potential for meeting your expectations.
          Guy

  6. Lyndeeloo

    Cinnamon, That Horse is Dead, and Jill:

    Thank you for your input. Last week, I limited my phone contact with and saw my boyfriend only once (for a pre-scheduled, mutual obligation), and I did not “explain or complain.” When we saw each other, he apologized for his part in our recent arguments, and for smothering me. I apologized for my part. He admitted to being afraid of losing me and I reassured him that while I have no intentions of ending our relationship, the time apart was very welcome. He has agreed to give me more space and to honor an agreed upon signal for a communication “time-out.” In other words, we chose a signal that either us can use if we feel pressured to talk or if either of us is feeling smothered. I appreciate this from him because I know it’s for my benefit as I’m the one who requires space. We’ll see how it works. I’m optimistic that it will be successful.

    We have plans to see each other once this week and to shuffle between our families for Easter celebrations on Sunday. This feels comfortable for me.

    He says that he’s been thinking a lot about marriage and has been heavily weighed down by concern over whether he is capable of being the provider, and that he wants to pay off some debt before he proposes. He offered this information, unprompted by me. My response was simply to listen and thank him for his candor and squeeze his hand.

    My instincts tell me to continue with things slowly and see how the next few months play out.

    I feel compelled to respond to a question that Cinammon asked. (Forgive me if this comes across as a rant, but it seems that introverts are often misunderstood.) Yes, I am aware that married couples see each other 365 days of the year, and yes, I know I am ready to be married, to be a wife and mother. I’m quite self-aware and am certain that introverts can be just as successful at relationships as extroverts. We have our needs and natural boundaries that are not about being withdrawn or uncommunicative for the punishment of others, but are ingrained in our very personalities. Relationships require compromise and in my case, I think I met him 3/4 of the way (regarding time together/alone) and it is not unfair or unrealistic to ask that he respect my natural need to process and recharge inwardly. Without adequate time to do so, I’m unable to communicate effectively. It isn’t a failure on my part, it is a different way of processing and I don’t ask for unreasonable amounts of alone time.

    Thanks again, ladies, for your wisdom and encouragement.

    Your Highness Lyndeeloo,
    Wise decisions, darling. Your relationship expertise is shining more brightly and effectively.
    Guy

    • i have one of these “Talkative” husbands too (And I’m an introvert at heart.) I enjoy his dynamism/energy, but since he’s been unemployed for several years now I have become practically his only outlet for social connection! I wish he’d get some male friends to talk to but since he’s unemployed that isn’t very likely. Sometimes I even have to lock the bathroom door/wear headphones/get away from the house and walk the dogs to recharge myself with some solo time! He is at home almost 24/7 and there is no escape for me except work….which isn’t exactly me time. So its good if your boyfriend understands that before you get married (If you do.) It sounds like he’s making progress though:)

    • Cinnamon

      Lyndeloo,

      I think it’s good that you are working through some of these issues in writing and in response to feedback from others, for it helps you clarify your own thinking on these matters. If I am understanding you correctly, it seems as though you expect him to understand your introverted nature and adapt to it somewhat, but he is unwilling to bend.

      I am high on the introversion scale myself. I explained early on to my Mr Goodenough (who is extroverted) that I have a very pronounced need for time alone that has nothing to do with him (i.e. I was like this before I ever met him – it’s my nature) and that if I don’t get sufficient time I feel drained and uneasy. I do make an effort to meet him half way, but if he didn’t accept that aspect of my personality and try to meet me halfway also, it would be a difficult slog.

      A little off-topic – there are a lot of myths about introverts by the way, one being that they aren’t “leadership material” – this is FALSE.

    • That Horse Is Dead

      Thanks Lyndeeloo for sharing and being vulnerable, it really helps me to read about someone else going through a process, question, or struggle. As an introvert, I have asked myself many times whether or not I could marry again. I’ve been divorced for over 9 years now and although I do enjoy dating, I also enjoy my solitude tremendously and have a need to go underground for a period of time. I get it. And I agree with Cinnamon, introverts do make effective leaders and even public speakers.

      • Lyndeeloo

        MeowMeow, Cinnamon, and That Horse is Dead,

        It’s always validating to hear from other introverts! I grew up being told that I was shy and it took a long time for others–and myself, to some degree–to realize that it was introversion more that fear that shaped my personality.

        Yes, some of the best public speakers are introverted! They can captivate their listeners, take questions, and interact…then they just need to go home and recharge in solitude! 😉

        Thanks again for the exchange of ideas, ladies!

  7. Interesting little rabbit trail about introverts and extroverts. My definition of an introvert is someone who is energized by being alone while an extrovert is energized by being with people. I’m an introvert and I enjoy people (I have 8 children) but I HAVE to have alone time or I lose my perspective on life and am not at my best.

    Funny thing (re the discussion above), I am a public speaker and teach speech and, yes, the best speakers are often contemplative introverts who have battled to get over their fear of speaking!

    Jill

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