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Fred's Blog

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly


Looking back, have you ever given much thought to your dating experiences?

Itís interesting how the passage of timeÖa lot of timeÖ.gives one a perspective that one would never grasp at the time of their experiences. Hopefully, distance, time, a bit of maturity, introspection and honesty serves us well. If we are fortunate, we have learned truths that will help guide us properly in all of our future social endeavors.

I try very hard these days to be clear with myself. Fortunately, Iíve developed my self-image over the years to a point where I donít feel the need to impress someone, or follow someone elseís lead, or take anotherís direction. As well-meaning as friends and family are, they just canít walk in my shoes. Iím responsible for my own happiness. Quaint as the saying goes, ďI AM the captain of my own ship.Ē

This leads me to try very hard to assess my current needs and wishes accurately, and to imagine what they might even be over the next 10-20 years. Now, I have had friends who have been married before; some once, some twice, and some even three times. Some are steadfast in their desire to find a new mate or partner. Some could care less. The latter would rather remain independent, divorced from a committed relationship. So be it. It truly is critical to know yourself and what might work for you going forward.

For me, the choice is clear. Iíd rather share the last part of my life with a partner, rather than going the ďlone wolfĒ route. It just seems to be more appealing to me now (some might say that itís about time). Iíve worked out a lot of issues, and although Iím far from being perfect, I think Iím in the best place that  I have ever been to make a relationship work.

One of the things that I have done to help assess my needs today is to truly look back and think about what they were in the past, and compare them to what I think they have become today. Are they the same? Have I modified my thinking over the years? Do I seek a different kind of relationship today than I might have 10, or 20 years ago? And, most important of all, do I seek a different kind of woman today than I might have relished back then?

Thatís a lot of thinking, a lot of introspection. Perhaps, looking back at all my experiences, itís appropriate to make some generalizations; to put people in certain specific categories. I think that it is helpful moving forward to know what has worked and what hasnít, and where you want to put your emphasis today.

The UGLY

The smallest category of all has been the women who were so inappropriate for me that I knew almost instantly that we would never be a match. Of course, if I met a woman who was greatly enticing 20 years ago, I probably gave her every benefit of the doubt. I might have been incredibly patient and accepting. I might even have gone so far to think that my magnificence, my omnipotence was so great that I could change her, or at least highly modify her behavior.  Such is the naivetť of the hopeful romantic and optimist. For me these people might include smokers, drug users and alcoholics. They may also have included personality types that were so consistently extreme that I knew that they could never be right for me, i.e. someone who complains all of the time, or someone who always has a chip on their shoulder, or who is always critical of others, or who is always right. These are areas that are so black and white to me today that I need not go any further. And, thankfully, because Iíve suffered through some very bad experiences at the hands of women with these habits or inflictions, Iím completely intolerant of people like that now. I donít have to think twice now about walking away no matter how exciting a personality they might have or how physically enticing they might seem to be.

The BAD

There are people who might be just fine for someone else, but who are just simply BAD for me. Call it compatibility. I never used that word very much when I was younger. I use it all of the time now in regards to all kinds of relationships, but especially for romantic ones. Iíve come to the conclusion, the hard way, that if I am not very compatible with someone, the chance of our relationship ever working is quite remote. Similar values, needs and goals cover a lot of that compatibility today. Iíve met people in the past who were very exciting and lived for the moment. But, they may have given no thought to their future. They may have never saved, invested or worked hard at a career. But, they sure could party. They were ready on a momentís notice and could go to all hours. Once upon a time those people were very attractive to me. Now they are a headache and a walking liability. Creditors are always chasing them down day and night. They have trouble making their rent or mortgage, car payment and credit card bills. They live on the edge, and sometimes, they actually seem to enjoy it. Thatís simply too toxic a lifestyle for me to be around today.

Iíve always been attracted to high personality types with strong opinions. That usually made for riveting conversations. But, if there were great differences in our points of view, that might not have augured well for a tranquil relationship. Iíve had women raise their voice to me when they realized that I might not subscribe to their political point of view. Or, Iíve had others insist what the ďappropriateĒ restaurant or hotel should be for us. Or, Iíve had some try and severely change my habits or choices, perhaps in clothing, vehicles, hair style, etc. At this stage of life, Iím looking for a kindred spirit where we will mostly accept each other for whom and what we are. For most assuredly, the majority of people around our age are not about to make big changes for someone else. Either you are on the same page when you meet them, or you are not. Itís probably better to move on when the differences are too great.

The GOOD

The best woman for me now is one that I likeÖ..really like as a person. She becomes a friend of mine quickly and easily. There is no pretense, no grandiose acts or claims, no over the top dramatic appeals. I feel comfortable having her around. She is fun to do things with. She is trustworthy, dependable and predictable. Her word is her bond. She will have my back as she would expect that I would have hers. Itís very natural, and Iíll feel like Iíve known her for years. We will rarely disagree with each other, but when we do, we will both be polite and reasonable with each other. She is a woman of great depth and high character. She is interesting to be with and interested in meÖsincerely interested in me; what I feel and what I like, and what I stand for. She allows herself to be vulnerable, because she knows that the best relationship for her is the one that leads to greater and greater intimacy and understanding. She will make me wonder how I could have ever been with someone else. Sheís a good personÖ..and most important of all, she is simply GOOD for me!

A friend of mine gently reminded me a short time ago how difficult it is for so many of us, especially at this point in life, to find a great partner. He said that if I was very fortunate to come across such a person, that I should remember the last lines from South Pacificís ďSome Enchanted EveningĒ:

Once you have found her,
Never let her go!

Once you have found her,
Never let her go!

Whatever your choices, I wish all of you the best of success!


|  Posted on: 2012-03-26 03:30:44  |  0 Comments  

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